ISIS Recruiting Operations In Indonesia By Walrus.


The Australian ABC has allegedly obtained video (link below) of an ISIS recruiter; cleric Syamsudin Uba, peddling his wares at a mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, to what is believed to be potential ISIS recruits:

"They declare that territory as Islamic State where God's law is upheld fully and where there isn't any intimidation from foreign countries……….

…….And based on their sacrifice of their blood and wealth they declare an Islamic State……

……Even though the infidels wouldn't acknowledge it (an Islamic state), even though the United Nations wouldn't acknowledge it……..

…………………….Muslims don't need that, Muslims only want the blessing from God, in a state where the laws of God are implemented fully. Even when the infidels don't like it……………..

………When you get there soon, God willing, you won't have to pay rent, you don't have electricity and water bills," he said.




Comment: Indonesia is the most populous (about 200 milllion) Muslim state in the world. Its stated national philosophy is "pankasila"the five principles:

Belief in the one and only God .
Just and civilised humanity. 
The unity of Indonesia. 
Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives. 
Social justice for all of the people of Indonesia.

As a general rule Indonesia is a pretty, relaxed, place.  There are important nationalist considerations, but there is no direct linkage between Islam and a national agenda. The "one God" principle requires that Christians, Muslims and Jews, Animists, etc. co – exist. As you can  no doubt imagine Saudi Wahabists have been trying to gain a larger foothold in the country for at least Thirty years via the usual route of charities and schools. I am not privy to the counter efforts made by the West, if any.

Indonesia controls the Straits of Malacca as well as the deep water channels between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea so its radicalisation, let alone possible tolerance of ISIS operations) would not be just a regional nightmare.

One hopes that the Indonesian Government, perhaps assisted by its many Western friends, pushes back against Wahabist ideology wherever it is found and ensures that ISIS does not get a hold in the region

As for potential Indonesian recruits to ISIS, I guess the best message we could send is some graphics of what is in store for them at the hands of the R+6. 

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44 Responses to ISIS Recruiting Operations In Indonesia By Walrus.

  1. MRW says:

    And Indonesians, in general, are a sweet, warm, and welcoming people. Traditionally incredibly tolerant of all beliefs and customs, except those that would offend any western country.
    Hard for me to believe that they would be seduced by Wahabist ideology, which would enslave their people, destroy the tourism that makes up the backbone of so much of their economy, and destroy their paradise.

  2. Iron Knee says:

    I’ve been living in Indonesia for nearly 7 years (pop >250m). It’s common for both locals and foreigners to suggest that the country is becoming increasingly socially conservative, but it’s unlikely that hard-line “ISIS-type” extremism will ever gain more than a relative handful of adherents there.
    After the recent attacks in Jakarta, I read an interview with a brother of the alleged “mastermind.” The brother claimed that he was essentially being hassled by everyone from his teachers to his neighbors because he had a terrorist in the family, and he hails from Solo, a city that is known for being a devout and conservative community.
    In addition to what might await potential Indonesian recruits to ISIS in Syria & Iraq, there are also several special anti-terror units in the Indonesian police and military, all of whom are likely to be keenly aware of the ISIS advert described in the post. Densus 88 in particular, a special police unit, has a well-deserved rep for finding and eliminating terror suspects, usually without a great deal of bothersome negotiations.

  3. incredulous says:

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is simply not a credible source for such a story.
    I am a 62 year old Australian who has spent much of his life listening to and watching–being informed by–the ABC.
    No doubt the ABC has always had a bias, but that bias has never been as stark as in the post-9/11 era.
    The bias today? No prizes for guessing: Islamophobia, Russophobia, Neoconophilia, Israelophilia. Yeah, same old NWO nonsense…

  4. walrus says:

    Incredulous, i share your concerns regarding the ABC, most of them have drunk the koolaid. However this report contains video and was presented without analysis, so I suspect it is reliable and perhaps accurate. We need a translation or confirmation – hence my use of the qualification “allegedly” in regard to this story.

  5. SmoothieX12 says:

    “islamophobia, Israelophilia.”
    Very wrong dyadic set. Understanding Islam’s fundamental incompatibility with Western (that is to say classic European) Culture and being “Israelophilic” are not the same. It is, of course, how it was impressed on the “Western” (primarily WASP) mind but I can not stand Islam not for “phobia” reasons, I am very rational in my judgement, if not to say academic, but for me neocons are the same trash as any Wahhabi. In the end, when one meets “Muslim” who drinks good Scotch and reads Federalist Papers and watches Asghar Farhadi movies, one is no closer to Islam than me being an astronaut (or cosmonaut).

  6. Chris Chuba says:

    Hmm… you mentioned an important waterway to the South China Sea?
    Well, if one of our genius uber-Hawk Republicans get elected they will be too busy fighting the Chinese over their claims over the islands / reefs in the name of international waters. Color me cynical but I have never seen such a tone deaf bunch and this includes Hillary. We seem to be obsessed with picking a fight with China and Russia every chance we get rather than work with them to fight the radical Sunnis. We are in a serious dry spell in terms of having political leaders with minimal common sense. BTW commercial maritime traffic does not depend on being able to sail over reefs and tidal islands.
    I think Donald Trump gets it but I don’t have any hope for the rest of them (Col. I am talking about the South China sea and unfortunately I am serious and not being flippant).

  7. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Sweetly murdering 1 million souls – out of religious bigotry – in 1965 and proud of it to boot.

  8. Babak Makkinejad says:

    What is Classic European culture, in your opinion?

  9. Babak Makkinejad says:

    ABC is only telling Australians what they want to hear; in my opinion.
    I also think Australia no longer has independent capability of analyzing the world around it; no more the likes of Ross Terrill.

  10. JC Murz says:

    Indonesia controls only one side of the Straits of Malacca. Pirates can wreak havoc by hijacking and sinking oil/LNG tankers and such, but it won’t close off the Straits.
    Malaysia and Singapore control the other side (oh, and Thailand too), and the Indian Andaman & Nicobar Command controls the Indian Ocean.
    There’s also Australia(New Zealand) and the US, plus China in the equation.
    The Indonesians have always struggled with Islamic extremism, it comes and goes. They had their late 20th and early 21st century jihad in the Spice Islands, and Dayak massacres in Borneo. The Daish/al-Qaeda brand has no attraction for the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the region who are genuinely sickened by their barbaric and un-Islamic actions, except for addle-brained low I.Q. radicals influenced by Saudi/Sunni propaganda on the ‘Shias exterminating Sunnis in Syria’ or petty bandits like Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines seeking legitimacy for their kidnap and extortion rackets.
    All this is bad for business.

  11. paratrop says:

    Totally agree, Incredulous. I would add Assadophobia!

  12. paratrop says:

    If you are very rational in your judgement, SmootheiX12, how do you manage to suggest that Incredulous is saying that Israelophilic and Islamophobia are the same? He is merely saying that the Australian ABC is BOTH Islamophobic AND Israelophilic. It might be one without being the other, but as it happens it is BOTH! I know, I listen to it.

  13. Is my understanding correct that only the Island of Bali out of 90,000 islands making up the Nation-State if Indonesia is majority Hindu/Hindi?
    Is my understanding correct that the many killed in 1965 were ethnic Chinese?

  14. SmoothieX12 says:

    It is, in its foundation, broadly a Christian culture. There is a reason I like Roger Scruton’s definition of the real “West”. In general, it is the culture based in tradition of Ancient Greece, Roman Law and, as Scruton defines “God of Israel”–various manifestations of this combination. Even European secularism is based in Christianity.

  15. SmoothieX12 says:

    Define Islamophobic.

  16. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your response.
    So Scruton is channeling me with my discourse on the Persistence of the Past and the significance of the Diocletian Line. From that perspective, Greece, Russia, what used to be called Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, the Balkan States, the Baltic States are not part of the “Real” West.
    I could agree with that.
    Ethiopia has been Christian for millennia, so has been Armenia and Georgia. But they are not European and will never be so. Russians who travelled in Armenia and Georgia could tell you that much. Which basically means that Christianity as the foundation of European Civilization is a rather shaky notion.

  17. MRW says:

    Ancient Greek culture went east, not west. The great Islamic Golden Age arose out of it.

  18. SmoothieX12 says:

    “From that perspective, Greece, Russia, what used to be called Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, the Balkan States, the Baltic States are not part of the “Real” West.”
    It is kinda along the lines of Huntington’s definition, when he writes about Sotto Voce in his “The Clash Of Civilizations”. The real West could also be defined in terms of Enlightenment. Here, Russia, through Petrian Reforms, certainly qualifies, as none David Hackett Fischer underscores in his “The Great Wave”. I doubt, though, that most Russians want any association with the “real” Europe of today. I, certainly, have very little in common with it.

  19. YT says:

    Mr. Cumming,
    Yes – to both former & latter.

  20. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your response.
    In my opinion if one conflates “West” in particular and “Europe” in general with the “Enlightenment Tradition”, then indeed Muslim Culture and Tradition are incompatible with it.
    The “Call of the Mu’azan” – which is God’s implicit speech – is incompatible with strong atheistic irreverence of the likes of “Charlie Hebdo” – to be concrete.
    On the other hand, one could argue that many daily practices and behaviors of Muslim populations in Iran, or in Pakistan or in Egypt are themselves incompatible with the ideals of Islam – as a religion.

  21. SmoothieX12 says:

    Islam is Sharia. No Sharia, no Islam. Western tradition and Sharia are incompatible. Late Anwar Shaikh, of course, went even further and defined Islam as the tool of Arab imperialism, which does have root in reality. Enlightenment is incompatible with Muslim tradition, that is what Asharites in general, and Al Ghazali in particular, did to Islam. Empirical evidence of that is everywhere. No Muslim nation can be considered today a developed nation in full sense of the word. Charlie Hebdo is trash, though. But at least it doesn’t produce Jihad.

  22. walrus says:

    Thank you for your comprehensive analysis Mariner. In regard to Sulawesi, when I visited Manado and Bitung I noted the presence of very aggressive Christian evangelicals. I think they were American.
    These folk I think were full on Baptists and they advertised their converts pretty heavily. I saw “christian” houses and settlements decorated by crosses in lights, billboards, etc. I was not impressed and I can’t help thinking that anti christian sentiments may have been stirred up by this movement.
    P.S. I can’t stand Gareth Evans either, nor the political correctness slowly strangling the country.

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “Islam is Sharia. No Sharia, no Islam” may be for Wahhabis and assorted other neo-Salafis. I think you have not been paying attention to the developments in Islam if you subscribe to that viewpoint.
    If by Western Tradition you mean the “Enlightenment” – yes I could agree with you.
    And please spare me your self-righteous and facile rhetoric; Islam did not produce Death Camps, Gas Chambers, the Gulags, the Great Leap Forward, the Khmre Rouge, the Opium War, the Famines in Ireland and in India, Leopold II @ his Congo project etc.
    All of those owed much to the Western Enlightenment Tradition….

  24. turcopolier says:

    You used to argue that reform of Islam is not possible. pl

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Not in Sunni Islam unless and until it adopts the Shia ideas and practices of Ijtihad – that is the only path forward, in my opinion on the Jurisprudence side for them.
    I also believe that neither Shia nor Sunni Muslim countries can be ruled through institutions that would be considered secular by a Western Diocletian; that is not possible.
    What is possible, in my opinion, is the adaptation of the ideas and practices of the Islamic Republic of Iran to other Muslim countries; Morocco could be the vanguard and most likely to succeed for reasons that I have enumerated before.
    On the ideas and practices of Individual Liberty & Freedom, unfortunately, nothing exists in Islamic Tradition, all of that has to be developed over many decades and centuries of hard intellectual slog.
    In other words, the Principles of Liberty & Freedom have to be amalgamated with the Principles of Islam; just like Ayatollah Khomeini amalgamated those of Republicanism with Islam.
    Even when such an attempt of amalgamation has been successful, the practices of Liberty would be different than those among Western Diocletian states; there would almost certainly be areas would not be considered protected speech – such as those that would impugn the Honor of Islam or the House of Prophet.
    It is interesting to me personally that the Shoah Cultists have indeed created such areas in Europe and North America – they have defined a new god and demarcated speech that impugns that new god’s honor.
    I also find it interesting that the UK is constitutionally a theocracy.

  26. SmoothieX12 says:

    History of Jihad predates GULAGS and Death Camps by centuries. I am keenly aware of the developments in Islam. As I already stated, empirical evidence is out there for everyone to see–not a single Muslim country which can be called developed. There are reasons for that. Once we get into Arab world, the only segment of humanity they are better in terms of development is sub-Saharan Africa. I don’t know what it is so self-righteous in pointing out the facts, which are easily verified. I am keenly aware of the favorite method of discussion when once the hard facts are introduced, including Quran, Hadith or more “program” documents such as Quranic Concept Of War by Malik, suddenly everything drops back to how West is bad. Of course it is bad, in fact it has a lot to atone for but that is the difference–many in the West are aware of that and I am not talking only about some lefties. Islam is Sharia, it always was and will remain so for a foreseeable future.

  27. charly says:

    East Timor is i assume a small elimination. What is 1400 people.

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “History of Jihad…” etc. statement is so generic as to be devoid of content – all you are saying is that Muslims have waged wars.
    Well so have others – under one guise or another.
    And let me be perfectly clear that when a Western-oriented individual is presented with facts from a Third Worlder – such as myself – the facile response is always the same: “West is bad etc…”.
    The hard fact is that the Western Enlightenment Project of the City Man failed but not before causing the deaths of tens of millions in its name.
    And when you are confronted by that failure, you have no response but to insiniulate that I am somewhat of a shallow thinker that is suffering from some sort of post-colonial chip on the shoulder.
    Really Sir – I expected more from you whose ancestors had suffered under the yoke of the Mongols and only 2 generations ago lost 20 million people to the flowers of Western Enlightenment Though – which you evidently so cherish.
    There is no shame in being undeveloped, i.e. poor – no Latin American country is developed either, nor vast tracts of Africa, or South East Asia.
    So what?
    Is being poor equivalent to being un-civilized to you?
    Must Iran deploy hydrogen bombs and point them at Moscow, Brussels, Vienna, New York before she would be considered “developed”?
    I think it is fair to sate that West while not morally Evil in the sense of Zoroaster – that Iranian prophet who began all of this – has a sordid history.
    I am doubtful that you are aware of the developments of Shia Islam – that much is quite clear.

  29. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Mariner and All,
    Mariner, thank you for your comments. I know that this is incredibly complicated and I don’t know much about it.
    V.S. Naipul, in “Among The Believers”, describes what he heard and saw on a long journey into the Muslim world, at a time when most people in the west hadn’t the foggiest about Islam. He went to Malaysia and Indonesia. I seem to recall one Islamic business man telling Naipul that if the Chinese in his country were to convert to Islam he would change his religion.
    Also, between 2004-2012, the documentary film-maker Joshua Oppenheimer, an American now based in Copenhagen, brought out a number of films about the mass murders in Indonesia in 1965/1966. Two of these are “The Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence.” I have not seen them but I find that one is on Amazon prime. The first of these is considered a classic.
    I know some odd things about this practically unknown Holocaust. I don’t recall how much of the killing was reported in the press at the time. I don’t think much. As far as I know the word of what was happening in Indonesia was brought back to Richmond by a tobacco buyer. The story that made the rounds as ghost talk was of a buyer, so-and-so’s father, who was crossing a bridge in Java going out to look at some “leaf” that was being collected from growers to be shipped back to his company in Richmond for processing and eventual sale to Philip Morris. (A very lucrative business, that of the buyer, by the way, if wife and family can stand Father being perpetually away on four-month long buying trips.)
    The buyer saw something odd in the river coming towards the bridge and stopped the car. He got out and looked. He realized that the river was full of bodies. The object coming towards him was a raft and on it was a kind of bizarre shrine. Bodies and body parts were elaborately arranged into a grotesue figure of legs and such topped by many heads on sticks. (Muslim mockery of Hindu gods?) He watched it float under the bridge. I suppose that he then went on about his business. Perhaps he expedited his business, since mass murder was continuing to go on all around him. So the word got around a certain set in Richmond and life went on.
    A year of so later a group of Indonesian leaders were brought to the United States, presumably under the auspices of the State Department, I suppose to consolidate the new friendship with the Suharto regime. Two of these officials were either high ranking police or army military police officers, and they were sent to Richmond. I was in close contact with both of these men for about a week, eating some meals with them, and explaining about the US, etc. They did not drink, and I was vaguely aware that they were Muslim, though that meant nothing really to me. I even ran into them by coincidence at Richmnond Police HQ where they were being shown how the police card index worked, a gigantic contraption that rose from out of the floor and unfolded. We were well met on that occasion. I got along with them. There was extreme mutual deference, courtesy, and above all, discretion. One of them bought a Timex watch. In the company of others he suddenly asked me if I thought it was a good watch. I felt a number of eyes on me. I carefully replied that I thought that as far as an old reputation went, it was generally thought that Swiss watches seemed to be regarded as among the best in the world, though it should be borne in mind that they were exremely overpriced; the Timex, on the other hand, was a very good, very sensible watch–a great new American product– and it would serve him well. I rolled my own Swiss watch around on my wrist when a suitable moment came. I noticed signs of relief in the faces of the Americans around me as I said this.
    In time, I was able to insert a few careful questions. I learned that one of them commanded five thousand men. Slowly, I began to realize that these were the two scariest guys I would ever meet in my life. (And I continue to think they were.) There was little something in the ether around them, their “aura”, ya’ know. They seemed to carry a certain little stillness about them as if they were aware of things that I, and the people with me, could not possibly be aware of. I would like to think that I was able to conceal from them with somewhat energized,good Richmond manners my awareness of what they were; also, the fear of them I held somewhere in a deeper and more private place. I thought of them years later watching ‘The Year of Living Dangerously.’
    There is something else I find a little strange about the whole weird thing. The Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Church is based in Richmond. At the time missionary work was being carried out in Indonesia. After the mass murders which the Baptists called the “bloody but failed communist insurrection,” a Christian revival swept through Indonesia. More than two million people were baptized in churches of all denominations, and (Southern) Baptists quadupled in number. To this day this enormous crime in which American, British and Australian intelligence had a deadly and remarkably successful hand (a fact now revealed in ecstatic State department cables),is called by the Southern Baptist Church “the time of miraculous harvest.”

  30. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, truly deplorable. It makes the South African Dutch look like true humanitarians.

  31. Thirdeye says:

    Your view of the Muslim world seems overly monolithic. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there have always been local Muslim traditions that reflect the local heritage and social structures. Iran’s version reflects its emergence in a strongly centralized Persian state with Zoroastrian and Sufi traditions. The fertile crescent had relatively advanced economies and pluralistic, educated societies. The Moors carried those influences throughout the Mediterranean. Tribal versions reflect the lack of other civil structures. The Salafists and Wahhabists are the ultimate manifestations of tribal Islam as it arose among Bedouin warlords. Sadly, the fusion of oil-based economic power with a hold on the holy sites of Islam is fueling the influence of un-civil, regressive, tribal Islam throughout the Muslim world. The real “clash of civilizations” seems to be not between the West and Islam but within Islam. And one side of that clash barely warrants the title of “civilization.”
    There are a number of issues that could be discussed about the lack of development in the Muslim world. Some are internal and some are external. Some are severe, some less so. Some are present in some Muslim societies but not others. The Hindu world also has hurdles to social and economic development that are as severe as any in the Muslim world.

  32. Thirdeye says:

    Death camps and the Khmer Rouge were not products of the Western Enlightenment tradition. They were the result of atavistic, anti-rational ideologies – the opposite of the Enlightenment. The Gulags seem like a neutral example. Penal colonies were an expedient of empires with great geographic reach. Australia started as one big Gulag run by the Brits. I have to acknowledge that the Great Leap Forward and the Irish and Indian famines had a lot in common as products of “enlightened” thinking: overly rationalized economic plans gone awry, resulting in disaster for local populations. We might include the Soviet Great Turn in that group, although it had some crucially positive results at a crucial time.

  33. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Babak Makkinejad,
    Thanks for your comment. I think it’s a story that has yet to be written. In 1999 there was a series in the Sydney Morning Herald: “US orchestrated Suharto’s 1965-66 slaughter in Indonesia.” A few things came out then. The US Embassy gave hit lists to the Army; also an elaborate communications system to help the Indonesian army chain of commmand reach out far into the archipelago.
    The massacre in Indonesia began to be designed by 1955 when the US, washing its hands of Sukarno, and cutting off aid to him, began training and equipping certain carefully vetted Indonesian officers and troops. The coup d’etat and liquidation project was helped by the $64 million the US supplied to the Indonesian generals between 1959 and 1965.
    There ought to be a law-suit to get into the secret archives, like the one(s) that got the Kennedy assassination archives opened up a bit more.
    By the way, I don’t think that an established church makes for a theocracy.
    Surely a theocracy is a form of government where God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler. With God’s laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.
    Civil authority in Britain resides in Parliament.
    I have been working on reading Toynbee’s An Historian’s Approach to Religion for fifty years. I flunked something called “Histo Philo” at my college but passed “Bib Thought” giving minimal effort, an expensive disgracia, actually, (though fortunately there were no loans in those days).
    Still, I’m not into Spinoza.
    Toynbee goes out of his way to note that in matters of belief in Britain that the date Nov. 28, 1660 has to be accepted as a very important moment in istory.
    This was the founding of the Royal Society.
    The Royal Society was founded by a group of educated Englishmen who were full of revulsion and horror at the Thirty Years war.
    In time it became recognized that they had created the true system of belief in Britain: SCIENCE.
    Aren’t you of that sect?

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    USSR, and before that the Russian Empire have been the results of more than 300 years of ruthless Westernization by the Tsars, followed by the Commissars in order to develop Russia.
    They used un-enlightened means to achieve the end result of the Enlightenemnt Project – from the Life of Reason to the Freedom of the Stateless society – in my opinion.
    The Germans, on the eve of World War II, were the most advanced nation in Europe. Where they not the product of Enlightenment? They were, in fact, so developed and so educated that they had Doctors of Christian Theology running the Death Camps. They were, again, in my opinion, the supreme embodiment of the Life of Reason unalloyed by any sentimentality.
    The Khmre Rouge learnt their communism in France, need one say more?
    I really am not against the Enlightenment Tradition or any other Tradition or Religion; men cannot fail to be what they are. That is why the Developed World is flirting with World War III and nothing that Muslims, or Hindus, or Africans can do to prevent World War III if the Developed States so wish it.

  35. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments, specially for pointing out the abject state of poverty that so many hundred of million Hindus live in India.
    I think the rise of the Wahhabis could have been retarded outside of Arabia if other Muslims had strenuously objected to their ideas and practices back in 1950s.
    When they started destroying Muslim historical memory by razing the house of Khadija in Mecca, obliterating the historical structures of Baqi’a Cemetery nary a peep came out of Islamic Ummah – to my knowledge.
    I mean, you could walk in Mecca until middle of 1950s and be taking the same route that the Prophet had taken and visit structures that had existed in his time.
    Now all of that is obliterated, replaced by that monstrosity that only one enamored of Stalinism could like.
    The Shia Doctors in Qum and Najaf made some noises but they were not supported by their governments – the Shah of Iran was to weak and too reliant on US to make a fuss (even if he had wished to) and the Iraqis were ushering in their so-called Revolution.
    Now, of course, is too late. Wahhabi ideas have spread – cuddled by the likes of Zia al Haq of Pakistan and other wretched people like him all over the Muslim world.
    If by some circumstance the Wahhabis, the neo-Salafis, and other Muslims-Friends-of-West gain control of Italy, they will destroy all the physical legacy of Greece and Rome extant in that country, burn all the paintings, crush all the musical instrument, ban opera, and almost certainly raze all the cemeteries in Italy with their art work.
    Yet, I want you to know that the liberal & democratic country called New Zealand – on the other side of the world – has a boat in Persian Gulf in order to help US, UK, France, and other Western states protect Saudi Arabia and their Gulfie friends from Iranians.

  36. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Well, per your definition of theocracy, the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a theocracy either; its constitution does not declare God to be the Civil Ruler or Authority.
    In England, the English Monarch is head of the Church – the Body of Believers. The English Monarch, in effect, claiming that the Authority that Saint Peter had received from Jesus inheres in him.
    I think then that in the English Constitution the religious authority still resides in the Monarch, even though he has not exercised that prerogative for centuries. Whether his religious authority can extent to matters civil, I do not know. The Parliament, formally at least, is exercising Civil Authority on behalf of the English Monarch so, legalistically at least and formally, the Civil and Religious Authority are combined in the person of the English Monarch.
    Therefore, I must conclude that UK is much more of a Theocracy than Iran.
    In regards to empirical sciences; yes, I really like them and enjoy them and am specially appreciative of Western medicine. But I also now that they have their limitations and cannot encompass, even in principle, all that can be known or we wish to know.
    Lastly, empirical sciences do not, in my opinion, provide any foundation whatsoever for human sciences.

  37. SmoothieX12 says:

    “There is no shame in being undeveloped, i.e. poor – no Latin American country is developed either, nor vast tracts of Africa, or South East Asia.”
    You conflate two things. Underdeveloped and poor, yet again, wrong set. Brazil is poor, but it is developing, in fact, it produces even jets–Embraer. Saudi Arabia is filthy rich but it is at the bottom of the development pyramid. Even extraction which gives KSA its wealth is a result of Western capability. Soviet Union in 1945 was utterly destroyed and beyond poor, in 1957 it pioneered space exploration and in 1961 launched first man in space. Yes, I do cherish Western culture–nothing comparable ever existed in human history. Can you imagine, I even love German music, art, philosophy, yes, those same (???) Germans who killed my grandfathers. Guess what, so do overwhelming majority of Russians, each of whom had somebody killed by German Nazis. I abhor US creating mayhem in the Middle East and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims and non-Muslims but US knew better times and may yet come around. But in US I will not be killed for apostasy if I decide to leave…well…I never was a genuine Christian to start with. So, we may continue on this path for a long time but this discussion will lead us nowhere since it will end in discussing theological and geopolitical ramifications of Islam. I’ll give you a hint: Chechnya till very late was known for…slave trade. Forget about genocide of 40 000 Russians and other people in Chechnya early 1990s. All done in the name of Islam but, of course, we all know that they are “wrong” Muslims, so are Saudis, enablers of global terrorism, are they also “wrong” ones? Last time I checked, perpetrators of 911 were mostly Saudis, murderers of hundreds of children in Beslan also were not those violent Russian Orthodox monks.
    Sir, we may condemn here the West and we should for its crimes and failures, but that is the whole deal–most of us have an idea about the moral standard which should be pursued. And we sure as hell are trying both privately and publicly. Sometimes going too far. But, if to rephrase Hans Morgenthau from his Spruance Lecture: even if the West never meddled in the Middle East, even if the house of Saud was never heard from we would still have to deal with what we are dealing with today. So, while West is culpable in many problems, let’s not close our eyes on the real problem with Islam which comes as a result of Islam’s civilizational loss in the last millennium to Dar al-Harb. In the end, this is the real culprit, especially in the times of the free flow of information, which, accidentally, is also the benefit combined West afforded to the world.

  38. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I understand Rich and Poor and not-so-poor and not-so-rich.
    I even understand places with Platonic Academy and places without Platonic Academy and places in between those two.
    You need to educate me by defining what the words “Developed” & “Developing” mean.
    But I cannot understand the way you use these words.
    In regards to Western Diocletian civilization: two words – “Pirenne’s Thesis”.
    I modeled my own “Makkinejad Thesis” on his.

  39. SmoothieX12 says:

    “Your view of the Muslim world seems overly monolithic. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there have always been local Muslim traditions that reflect the local heritage and social structures. Iran’s version reflects its emergence in a strongly centralized Persian state with Zoroastrian and Sufi traditions. ”
    It is not, I am keenly aware of the point you are trying to make, since I was born in Caucasus, namely about 150 nautical miles from Iran. I also served there, including Middle Asia, I also visited Maghreb and knew also first hand issues of massive differences between many local traditions. I also know not to call Iranian an Arab, which I never did anyway. But it is impossible to deny the overall state of Ummah.

  40. rjj says:

    What’s the likely effect of this ever so well intended snuff-stuff by Joshua Oppenheimer going to have on the people to whom it happened 50 years ago.
    the conspicuous sensitivity and lofty language does not quite cover something that looks a lot like shit stirring.

  41. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You need to study the Makkinejad Thesis to grasp the importance of the Seljuk Transcendence.
    That you have been exposed solely to the non-Seljuk part of Islam explains your understandings to me quite well.
    Look on this site for my long discourse on the topic ” Makkinejad Thesis”.

  42. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Babak Makkinejad, Mariner,and rjj,
    Babak: I think that the beginning of the end came when the King lost the Broadband Connection over at Runnymeade when the Barons put in a splicer. That split the traffic load and then the Barons ended up picking up most of the service. After that it was “Katy, bar the door.”
    I didn’t realize until recently that at Runnymede neither the King nor anybody else signed a damn thing. I thought the signing was what it was all about. The lawyers seem to have gotten involved. They were called ‘clerks’ then? Notes, minutes, or rough drafts of the meeting went forth all over England and an army of clerks settled in to old-English it and examine the fine points. It took months to get the document finalized. Does that mean it was then signed by the King? I am not even sure. I once pored long and hard over a glass-topped case which held one of the few remaining copies of Magna Charta. There was a parallel translation and commentary. I felt that this thing was supposed to apply as well to me as those good folks. So I read it diligently for a while. There was a lot about the chickens and the hogpens. Finally, I think I got to something that clicked. It was a phrase which tells us where Bail Bondsmen come from. (I am just back from the Black Coastal Kingdom of South Carolina.)
    Actually, this is a very interesting subject, though my Spinoza Syndrome seems to be surfacing. Over the years I have made four or more visits to the city of Canterbury, always spending a good deal of time in the cathedral there. Gradually my interest moved from the architecture to the story itself. More recently I have begun to wonder whether or not Becket was a psychopath. The last visit I snagged a gracious and patient docent who walked me through the whole thing. The knights had worked themselves up into a frenzy and then came clanking in on the run. There are sword cuts in the Cathedral stone floor. (My docent was a Christian. No doubt about that.)
    I ought to say that the Henry II dispute with St.Thomas ‘a Becket seems to me to go to the heart of what you are talking about. It is quite interesting that there were two types of courts; presumably,the religious courts keeping a check on the civil authority and courts. The religious courts did not police themselves properly and it became an issue that they were corrupt. (Council of Clarendon.) Then, after the Reformation there was consternation that there seemed to be nothing to keep a check on the civil authority.
    Mariner: Have you ever seen ‘Mondo Cane’? They sound like they became some kind of a cargo cult! Shades of Joseph Conrad. I don’t think the Southern Baptists–good people, very sound on the Establishment Clause :)–would have been involved with this or allowed this breakdown to happen. They did what–went away too soon? HAD to go away? Somehow lost touch? It doesn’t sound like them. Though I take Walrus’s point that the missionaries were a bit much for him to take. The best baritones from Liberty Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., often are actually allowed to go into the pods of Virginia’s Death Row. They stand outside the pod doors and sing hymns like “That Old Rugged Cross.” I know some funny stuff that happened ‘behind that.’
    Aren’t you the one who pointed out a year ago that somebody from Saudi Arabia are spending millions of dollars on building and maintaining new television stations which are teaching and spreading a deadly Islamist Wahhabi doctrine? Relentlessly. And that nothing is being done to check this or to stop these Saudi fanatics?
    Question: do you know of a book about this breakdown in Southern Baptist evangelicism? I wonder about this. Has this been simply covered up?
    rjj: Well, this seems to raise a kind of ethical question. Would you, if you were in authority in the US government during WWII, and had the knowledge that the Final Solution/ Holocaust was happening–would you feel morally obligated that this be widely published in the United States? Or not? I am afraid I would probably keep the whole thing quiet. Why? Because then the order would have to be issued that some Canadian generals promulgated at D-day: Take no prisoners. That would mean, if the orders were obeyed by the American army, including the many American Volk in it, that you had two Eastern Fronts.
    And then there is the matter of allied prisoners. Odd where some of them were put. In one case, hard by Auschwitz. Was that a signal from the SS to go easy on your end and we go easy on ours? Same as why there were so many high-ranking German prisoners in the Tower of London?
    What matters to me at this point is whether it is a good film or not. I am reminded of Marcel Ophuls’ documentary “The Sorrow and the Pity”. There is something called “transgressive literature” which I assume could include film. (Think VICE videos.) If Oppenheimer has brought forth a kind of a video-taped deposition of war criminals,it might be hard watching. In Ophuls’ case he somehow found and interviewed some extraordinarily heroic people as well as at least one unrepentent Gestapo officer. I am very curious about Oppenheimer’s work.
    My take on this is: For a reporter the sweetest words that he might ever hear about a story of his that has just hit the mean streets could be: ‘”Yep, he’s going to jail.”

  43. rjj says:

    Tidewater, I did not question the aesthetic or the entertainment value of Oppenheimer’s atrocity porn for Americans. I questioned its impact in Indonesian stability.
    One year it is the Chinese
    Another year …. who??

  44. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to mariner and rjj,
    Thank you for your comments.
    mariner: They TALK about it? I assume that you keep your fuel and water tanks topped off at all times. 🙂
    I have checked Amazon for the “Holy Pill” but no luck.
    rjj: I take your point. I have been reading about Indonesia today and one comment sticks in mind: “A hundred countries in one.”
    I am at sea on this topic of Indonesia.
    I have had Canterbury on my mind, and then up came Joseph Conrad. I always thought Canterbury would be regarded as a cathedral town; but it is also a garrison town. (‘The Buffs,’ now amalgamated.) I didn’t know that he lived a number of years near Canterbury. Nor did I know that he is buried in the Canterbury City cemetery. I did know that he, Ford Madox Ford, Henry James and Stephen Crane all lived at one point in the Rye-Winchelsea area, this being off the English channel.And Rye, I think, being one of the Cinque Ports. I had a very good visit there once upon a time.
    Interesting things about Conrad: He had a rich uncle who sent him a very good allowance for years. Tremolino (“Swallow?”), the small sailing ship (not a schooner) he claimed to have used to run arms into Spain for the Carlists may have been a part of some elaborate fiction. But one of the Maine schools of wooden boat builders has built a replica, off of what plans I know not. It is an amazing little sailing craft with Moorish/ Mediterranean characteristics and rig. It’s in Images.
    Conrad couldn’t swim. One of his first voyages was on the ‘Palestine’, which became the subject of “Youth”. It took twenty-two days to get to Newcastle from London; now that’s stormy weather. The cargo of coal began to smoulder and then burn! I think it is true that a lifeboat was his “first command.” There was a rank higher than Master Mariner, which was called Extra Mariner. I think it might have bothered him that he didn’t get it. He was Captain of the Otago, a beautiful barque. He didn’t like the ship? He could handle a three master. (At Annapolis a plebe has to stand up at dinner and shout out the orders that will bring a full-rigged sailing ship around.) He dropped a rank to sail as first mate on the Torrens, said to be the finest clipper that ever came out of the Sunderland ship yards. It was noted that as a voyage progressed every body on board would become thrilled at the extraordinary sailing qualities of this ship. It held the record on the Australian run. Torrens did 16,000 miles in 64 days. That’s about ten knots an hour, every hour, for more than two months, isn’t it? (Ten knots seems fast in a 40 footer.) At one point Conrad was on a ship where the entire crew was down with malarial fever. They found that the previous captain had sold off the quinine. When he was a boy, Conrad put a finger on a map of Central Africa and said, “that’s where I am going.” He waited all his life to go to this terrible place and when he saw a chance he jumped at it. It did not go well at all for him in the Congo. The Belgian merchants were running a crooked, murderous conspiracy. He was regarded as someone who might blow the whistle. He paid a real price. Dysentry and other illnesses that dogged him for the rest of his life. He had depression upon his return to London. He felt he had been an accomplice to evil. I wonder if Conrad ever really set down what he knew. Roger Casement’s ‘Black Diaries’ talk about mass murder, bounties on ears? There were twenty boats on the upper river in Conrad’s day; now there is only one, or maybe two. But these are a mile or two long. Many hollowed out tree canoes, pirraugas, whatever, rafted up to an old steamboat?
    However, I run on.

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