June 2, 2006

WHICH IS WHY IRAN IS OUR ALLY:

In tape, al-Zarqawi lashes out at Shiites (MAGGIE MICHAEL, 6/02/06, ASSOCIATED PRESS

The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq urged Sunnis to confront Shiites and ignore calls for reconciliation in a new audiotape posted Friday on the Web, saying Shiite militias are killing and raping the Sunni Arab minority.

The tape was a four-hour sermon by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi against Shiites, denouncing their top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani as an "atheist," and saying the community had collaborated with invaders throughout Iraq's history.

"Oh Sunni people, wake up, pay attention and prepare to confront the poisons of the Shiite snakes who are afflicting you with all agonies since the invasion of Iraq until our day. Forget about those advocating the end of sectarianism and calling for national unity," al-Zarqawi said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 2, 2006 1:20 PM
Comments

The Sunnis have been calling the Shi'ites 'atheists'for 1400 years.Sunni's are as close to 'orthodox' Islam as you can get.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at June 2, 2006 2:27 PM

So they think.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2006 2:31 PM

As they have always thought and if numbers mean anything.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at June 2, 2006 3:01 PM

Numbers don't mean anything.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2006 3:05 PM

90% vs 10% and the 10% are the 'real' muslims?

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at June 2, 2006 3:09 PM

Mr. Stamford, a "real" muslim believes that Mohammad is the seal of the prophets, and by definition has no heirs, so the number of "real" muslims would be closer to zero.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 2, 2006 3:30 PM

Mr. Mitchell-
I'm not sure I know what you mean. Mohammed is the 'final' prophet and his recital is the final and unchanging word of the Almighty. Submission to the word through the prophet makes one a muslim.The Qu'ran is perfect while the older monotheistic religions are based on the incomplete, even fraudulant traditions of the old and new testaments.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at June 2, 2006 3:58 PM

Always fun to listen to middle-aged white American males talk about who's a real Muslim...between Thurman Munson/Carlton Fisk arguments anyway...

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2006 4:14 PM

Thurman Munson! You heathen scum!!!

Posted by: Pepys at June 2, 2006 4:18 PM

The Shiites may agree with the West more often than the Sunnies do, because they have had their "perfect" caliphate in Iran for a while now, and more and more of them realise that Islamic totalitarianism doesn't work and that liberal democracy is the way to go.

Shia Islam, with its hidden imams, worship of Ali, and the like, is certainly less orthodox than Sunni Islam if the Quran is a standard for Islam. Not that it matters which form of Islam is more orthodox.

Posted by: Mörkö at June 2, 2006 5:23 PM

Thank you for your time Mr. Stamford. The squabble between the Sunis and the Shi'ites is about who is Mohammand's heir, not the Qu'ran. Since he is the "final" prophet, there can be no heir. Making the arguement between the two factions pointless, if they belive that, or heretical if they don't.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 2, 2006 5:25 PM

And more Judeo-Christian in nature.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2006 5:30 PM

Just rival mob bosses squabbling over who is to be capo di tutti capi.

Who imagine that it is more than that may wish to share with us what the theological disputes at issue here might be. By that we refer to matters of faith and not of mere earthly power.
"My godfather is better than your godfather," is not a theological dispute.

The non-existence of such disputes confirms that we are dealing with a RICO aping a world religion.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 2, 2006 5:54 PM

Except that's precisely the dispute, which is why the Shi'a are a great religion, natural democrats, and allies and why the Sunni particularly fear Sistani.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2006 6:03 PM

Looks like "Big al-Z" is just trying to foment a civil war. Whatever the doctrinal differences, the real question seems to be whether or not the Sunni are stupid enough to take him up on it.

Posted by: jdkelly at June 2, 2006 6:28 PM

Mr.Mitchell-

The Shia/Sunni conflict has always been about clannish power. No one can succeed the prophet in his special realtionship with Allah other than as the head of the unified mosque and state.

OJ- Thurman Munson's relative skill as a money player is, no doubt, a more interesting topic, although, unlike either the Shia or the Sunni, the doctrine of jihad has never been one of the 'tools of ignorance'.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at June 2, 2006 7:43 PM

Tom:

That's where you have it exactly wrong.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2006 9:08 PM

oj-

Back at'ya

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at June 2, 2006 9:31 PM

That's it? A two-line ipse dixit holding that the dispute is "precisely" theological? Then a while later we read that it is "exactly" so.

I have to say that I have turned a lot of pages looking for articulation of what these "theological" distinctions might be, in their books, our books and neutral books, and I am still left feeling like Diogenes with his lantern.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 2, 2006 9:39 PM

Mr. Stamford, the fact that no one after Mohammad can have a special relationship with God is one of the five pillars of Islam. Anyone trying to fill that role is by definition, a Islamic heretic.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 2, 2006 9:46 PM

Mr.Mitchell-

The prophet is unique, of course, although the state has to be governed. Mohammad's successors rule both the state and the faith while the prophet is the guide.The instruction and example of the prophet is all that is necessary. Until the world has submitted to Allah AND his messenger there is work to be done. Conflict and injustice will be with us until then. The world will be perfected ONLY under the religion of submission to Allah AND His prophet. Seems kind of a silly goal for an 'Abrahamic' faith.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at June 2, 2006 10:48 PM

All the Abrahamic faiths believe that to be true, but only the Sunni believe men can actually achieve it.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2006 10:57 PM

Well, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Christian believers must be quite an offense, eh?

Posted by: ratbert at June 3, 2006 12:48 AM

Will Iran still be our ally after they incinerate Israel?

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 11:15 AM

149 - Rest easy, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of Iran incinerating Israel or any other country. If you are new to reading this blog, you may be misreading some of the comments.

Posted by: erp at June 4, 2006 11:29 AM

During the cold war, the chances that the Soviets would actuallly use nukes were remote. At the end of the day, the Soviets were atheists who did not believe that they would enter paradise with 70 perpetual virgins if they died for Communism.

The Iranians believe otherwise. Which is why they will use them when they get them, not caring about retaliation. They only need a half dozen nukes to turn a tiny country like Israel into radioactive glass. Our they'll use an untraceable terrorists proxy to plant a suitcase nuke in Tel-Aviv.

And New York.

They have publicaly stated their desire to exterminate Israel. So don't make the same mistake that appeasers in the 1930s made when they couldn't believe that Herr Hitler actually meant what he wrote in Mein Kampf.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 12:16 PM

The Soviets couldn't and neither can the Iranians.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 12:49 PM

Care to explain WHY the Soviets could have never nuked us?

And why the Iranians never will be able to nuke us?

Or incinerate Israel?

Nuclear retaliation won't scare people who believe they will go to paradise fighting for Islam.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 1:09 PM

149-
oj believes that nuclear war with the soviets could not have happened because it didn't happen. He also belives that National Socialism wasn't a threat because it was defeated by the allies who probably shouldn't even have bothered since it's collapse was inevitable. The same goes for the bolshiviks. The Shiite version of Islam is just like Judeo/Christianity because they believe in the return of the 'hidden Imam' as Christians believe in the return of Christ and the Jews believe in a coming Messiah.It's very simple really.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at June 4, 2006 1:52 PM

The Soviets were too backwards as are the Iranians. Communism and Islamicism don't work.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 4:26 PM

I hope you are joking Tom, but I would like to hear such bizarre statements from the horse's mouth. I find the last statement about Shiite Islam to be particularily strange.

Apparently their belief in the hidden Imam explains why the Iranians love and adore both Israel and the US and and want nothing bad to ever happen to either country. It seems we Christians and Jews are just like they are and that is why they love us so.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 4:47 PM

Are you saying OJ that Russian ICBMs would never have worked, that their entire Rocket Force was one big Potemkin village? All the rockets would sputter and fail during launch? Are you serious? If the Soviets were so primitive, how is it that they got the first satellite, the first animal (a dog) and the first man into space?

As for the primitive Iranians, they already have nuclear capable intermediate range ballistic missiles, the Shabaz series. They only need a few nukes to destroy tiny Israel as a nation. They have expressed their desire to do so.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 4:51 PM

Not just love us, but ape us:

www.brothersjudd.com/blog/archives/2003/09/the_third_great_foundation_of_1.html

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 4:54 PM

No, a couple might have worked.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 4:57 PM

So OJ you're saying that out of about 2,000 delivery vehicles (ICBMs, SLBMs, and long range bombers) and over 10,000 warheads at the height of their nuclear arsenal, only 2 would work?

Do you have any idea how idiotic that sounds?

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 7:22 PM

OJ, why are you an apologist and cheerleader for people who want to exterminate Israel?

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 7:24 PM

149:

At the height of their arsenal they had deteriorated the furthest. Earlier--when they were still getting bu on copying us and the Germans--they had no delivery capacity. We could have taken them any time.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 7:28 PM

The Iranians are are our friends. They've got a lousy president temnporarily.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 7:29 PM

If the Iranians are our friends why did they elect such a lousy president? If they were truely our friends wouldn't they have elected someone more conciliatory?

Even if only a few hundred Soviete missiles would have worked, America would have been destroyed by their attack. And where is your proof that hardly any of them would have worked?

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 7:43 PM

We told reformists to boycott the elections ourselves, we can hardly be surprised they did.


A couple missiles would have killed a few milllion people, but we'd have won the war, which would have beenm preferable to fighting it for fifty years.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 7:47 PM

Why do you think only a couple of Soviet missiles would have worked? Where is your proof? Only a few hundred are needed to destroy America (a mere 10% success rate given the size of their arsenal at the time.

In any case, why do you prefer the deaths of millions of Americans rather than fight a bloodless cold war for 50 years?

Obviously you've never read Sun Tzu, "Supreme excellence in the art of war lies in winning without having to fight".

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 8:08 PM

How and where exactly did we tell Iranian reformists to stay away from the polls? I didn't know that the Great Satan had that much pull in the Iranian electorate.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 8:10 PM

149, What makes you think the Soviets had a large arsenal? They lied about everything else...
Second, the cold war was not bloodless. Vietnam, the killing fields, Africa, South America, Russia, all saw Millions dead. All the cold war did was increase the suffering and the death count, oh, and kill innocent people who got used as proxies in the long war. That shouldn't be how America fights wars.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 4, 2006 8:21 PM

The Russian arsenal was verified on the ground by American inspectors during the SALT negotiations and again during START. Their destruction has been observed and recorded under the disarmament process.

Shouldn't be how America fights? So to quote from Dr. Strangelove Robert, you'd rather we had a full blown "newclear war, toe to toe with the Russkies"?

The cold war between the Russians and the Americans was bloodless. At no time did we fire on each other (except Russian fighter pilots used in the Korean war). Only a fool makes a direct attack.

And for a long time, the Soviets played us for fools by making us fight their proxies. Now one of Reagan's brilliant strategic moves was to use our own proxy guerrillas like the Contras and Afghans. We showed the Communists that they weren't the only ones who knew how to use guerillas and it hastened the end of the Evil Empire.

Maybe we should take a page out of the Gipper's play book and show the Islamics that they aren't they only ones who know how to use terrorists. I for one would love to see car bombs and IEDs going off every day in Teheran. Let's see how the supporters of terrorism like terrorism in their own back yard.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 8:35 PM

149, Those are the same people who told us that the Soviets were out performing us economical, that their birthrate was steadly increasing, and that their military was larger and better then ours. They have and had no credibility. Also, many nukes were unaccounted for in the disarmament process, leading many to think that the bombs had ended up on the black market. Big news a few years ago, remember? Maybe, just maybe, the process was a shell game and we got played. The cold war was only bloodless if you don't think of foreigners as people. As to your copybook heading, only a coward lets the weaker man fight his battles.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 4, 2006 8:45 PM

149:

Tut-tut, displaying your ignorance about our actions vis-a-vis Iran is hardly helpful:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/print?id=862799

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 9:09 PM

Yes, we should have taken the Cold War hot, it would have done less damage.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 9:10 PM

Sun-tzu was right--we never should have fought the Cold War.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 9:11 PM

OJ, why exactly would millions of dead Americans and 10s of millions of dead Russians, Chinese, Europeans, Japanese, etc. in a nuclear exchange be LESS damage than the actual history of the Cold War?

The Cold War was never "fought" OJ. It was classic Sun Tzu in winning without ever having to actually fight your enemy directly. Especially Reagan's brilliant end game where he used the threat of Star Wars to make the Kremlin throw in the towel. Don't you give Reagan credit for ending the Evil Empire?

As for Bush's remarks (not policy), the only evidence we have for their effect on the Iranian electorate comes from Bush's enemies in the Iranian theocracy. I submit to you that they may have an axce to grind and a motive for lying.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 9:28 PM

Because the actual cost of the Cold War was tens of millions dead, trillions of dollars wasted on the military, the New Deal/Great Society, the social breakdown of the 60s and 70s, etc. We did irreparable harm to the United States needlessly.

Ronald Reagan deserves credit for being one of only three or four opnion makers in the West who understood that the USSR was a complete failure and not an enemy whose capabilities needed to be taken seriously.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 9:35 PM

149, Those are the same people who told us that the Soviets were out performing us economical, that their birthrate was steadly increasing, and that their military was larger and better then ours. They have and had no credibility.

You're claiming that military intelligence is sometime faulty and misses the mark? That's not exactly news. Military intelligence throughout history has always been crap. But for statemen making decisions and generals planning strategy, its the only crap they have.

Also, many nukes were unaccounted for in the disarmament process, leading many to think that the bombs had ended up on the black market. Big news a few years ago, remember? Maybe, just maybe, the process was a shell game and we got played.

The mising nukes were tactical nukes, not part of the strategic arsenal. When everything fell apart in the USSR lots of things got misplaced. Frankly I'm amazed that their aren't hundreds of warheads unaccounted for.

The cold war was only bloodless if you don't think of foreigners as people. As to your copybook heading, only a coward lets the weaker man fight his battles.

That's not what we did. We helped the Contras defeat the Sandinistas and Afghans defeat the Soviets. We helped the weaker guys stand up to their enemies, but it was still their fight. If you want blood, have a full scale nuclear exchange between the US and USSR. Everything else by comparison was a skirmish.


Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 9:47 PM

Because the actual cost of the Cold War was tens of millions dead, trillions of dollars wasted on the military, the New Deal/Great Society, the social breakdown of the 60s and 70s, etc. We did irreparable harm to the United States needlessly.

You value money more than the lives of 10s of millions of people?

IIRC the New Deal began before the Cold War. You could look it up.

How exactly did the Cold War lead to or otherwise cause the Age of Aquarius and disco music?

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 9:50 PM

Heck, the nuclear option would only have been a skirmish for most of the Cold War.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 9:51 PM

We wasted the lives of tens of millions anyway, and the money.

The New Deal would have ended but for the Cold War, it was the price the Right paid to keep the Left on board.

War corrodes the societies that wage them. Permanent war in particular. Add in the welfare culture that we fostered to keep the war going and you had the climate for the perfect storm of the 60s and 70s.

We should have done the USSR in '45-'46 and come home to dismantle the New Deal.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 9:55 PM

Ronald Reagan deserves credit for being one of only three or four opnion makers in the West who understood that the USSR was a complete failure and not an enemy whose capabilities needed to be taken seriously.

Reagan respected Soviet military capabilities. If he didn't, he wouldn't have paid for the greatest military build up in American history to counter the Soviets. I still remember a booklet published by Caspar Weinberger in the 80s and Reagans behest. As far as the Reagan administration was concerned, the Soviets were 12 feet high, powerful and dangerous.

What Reagan percieved was that the Soviet economy and society could not stand the stresses of a full court press, with competition in all spheres, especially high tech space weaponry. Star Wars may never have worked as a real weapon, but it was a powerfully effective political weapon.

Its threat forced the Soviets to attempt reforms. The reforms spun out of control and the USSR collapsed. Without a shot being fired. Sun Tzu would be impressed.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 9:57 PM

What 10s of millions of lives did WE waste?

The New Deal survived because the American people wanted it and liked it very much. Any right wign GOP candidate that seriously considered doing away with the New Deal would have been defeated in a landslide.

If it was the price the IRght paid to keep the left Anti-Communist, then the New Deal should have died with the USSR, yes?

If what you say is true then the Left should have always stayed staunchly anti-communist as part of this deal with the right. I don't recall that happening in the 60s and 70s.

How did we foster a welfare culture just to keep the war going? Bizarre claims like this really should have some facts to back them up.

What permanent war were we waging? Was Korea permanent? Was Viet Nam? The Cold War was not in itself a war.

Posted by: 149 at June 4, 2006 10:06 PM

149, we wasted African lives, Asia lives,Cuban lives, European lives, Indian lives, South American lives, the list goes on........

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 4, 2006 10:16 PM

No, he understood that the Soviet state and economy hadn't been able to withstand reality and that they'd already lost. The final arms race was just too push them over the edge so he could end the war:

www.brothersjudd.com/blog/archives/2002/05/the_vision_thing.html

Iran's Revolution has likewise failed and they just await a president who'll spell out that failure in Islamic terms as Reagan explained the USSR's failure in Marxist terms.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 10:54 PM

60 million in China alone.

The New Deal is dead now that the USSR is.

During the Cold War we averaged spending 6% per annum on defense as opposed to a historical norm under 2%. Not only is such spending inherently wasteful but it dislocates monies and production better used elsewhere. (Paul Kennedy's Rise and Fall of the Great Powers is very good on why this is a foolish national policy. Derel Leebaert's Fify Years Wound is good, though idiosyncratic on some of the damage the Cold War did to America.)

Yes, when the Left broke its side of the bargain we ended up with violence on campus and in the streets, a president removed from office, etc. H. W. Brands's Strange Death of American Liberalism is good on the bargain that was struck.) None of it was worth it.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 11:04 PM

How did we kill 60 million Chinese?

If judging by defecit spending and governemnt bloat under the faux conservative Bush presidency, the New Deal is alive and well.

We are nowhere near Kennedy's imperial over stretch, especially compared to the military spending that bankrupted the British and Spanish empires. Kennedy's own stats bear this out. And didn't Kennedy predict we would all be speaking Japanese by now?

But if the Left broke their end of the bargain, why did the Right continue to support the New Deal? Your claims don't fit the facts.

I'm still waiting for evidence that the Cold War cause damage to the US worse than millions of dead Americans.

As for Reagan, let me ask again. If he didn't respect Soviet military pwer why did he bother building up America's military strength. If the Soviets were never a threat, why did he bother with military budgets far in excess of 6%, let alone 2%?

BTW, the 2% norm you site includes decades of physical geographical isolation from the rest of the world. Those days are gone, killed by technological advances in propulsion and aeronautics in the first half of the 20th century.

Posted by: 149 at June 5, 2006 6:15 AM

Spending dsoesn't matter--the programs on which you spend does.

We did less damage than those empires, but too much.

The Right did because it's honorable and had legitimized the New Deal/Great Society. As soon as the new generation of pols took over though -- with Bill Clinton -- they began dismantling it.

There are 45 million dead Americans because of the Cold War.

Because he knew the regime was rotten and could be pushed over the edge.

No, they aren't.

Posted by: oj at June 5, 2006 7:16 AM

Spending does matter if it creates a monster deficit. You worry about Kennedy's imperial overstretch? What ruined the British and Spanish empires was the DEFICIT SPENDING that resulted from said overstretch. They went bancrupt, which is where Bush and the GOP's bloated, pork barreel spending is taking us.

No politician, Right or Left, is honorable.

45 million dead as the result of the Cold War? Let's see... in Korea and Vietnam Aerica lost over 34,000 and 58,000 KIA and MIA respectively for a total of 92,000. I had no idea that we lost 44,908,000 killed and missing during the invasion of Grenada.

So where exactly do you get the figure of 45 million?

So why exactly did Reagan order a military build up (the largest in American history) if he didn't fear the Soviet military a see a need to catch up to it?

Yes they are.

P.S. You stil haven't explained why only 2 Soviet ICBMs out of thousands would actually launch. The fact that the Sovs beat us into space twice (the first satellite and first man in space) indicates that they really could build rockets that worked. Even if they only had a 10% success rate at launch, we're still talking about 100s of missiles, more than enough to destroy America.

Posted by: 149 at June 5, 2006 9:00 AM

So how exactly did we kill 60 million Chinese?

Posted by: 149 at June 5, 2006 9:04 AM

The British ran up a deficit 250% of GDP to defeat Napoleon and it began their time as the world's greatest power. Spending and deficits don't matter.

Roe v. Wade was just a function of the Cold War.

He knew the USSR couldn't keep up but had to try to.

No, they aren't, which is why we have almost no domestic security in place, unguarded borders, etc.

The Russians themselves acknowledge that into the 60s they had no capacity to wage a nuclear war with the US. James Obewrg has covered how inept their space program was. Blind Man's Bluff is good on how feeble their sub system was. Ask any American sailor about the Soviet navy. They were a paper tiger.

Posted by: oj at June 5, 2006 9:10 AM

We legitimized Communism by allowing the Bolsheviks to stay in power.

Posted by: oj at June 5, 2006 9:11 AM
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