Backtalk, January 20, 2006

Bush Has Crossed the Rubicon

Paul Craig Roberts’ piece pretty much sums up the state of the state in the good ol’ USA. … I have been writing to you for the past couple of years and trying to tell you that you are wasting your time anticipating prosecutions and jail time over “Plamegate” and associated issues. As Roberts says in his piece, it is rapidly becoming irrelevant as to what the actual “law” states; it will only matter what the president and his cronies think and how they choose to interpret it.

I see from your latest editorial that you are finally beginning to realize that Bushco is determined to plunge the world into war and it is going to be difficult to stop them. Roberts outlines why in his article: namely, they don’t care what anyone else thinks, and there is no one left with the will or the power to stop them. Congress has degenerated into a gang of corrupt cronies who no longer care much about the people they supposedly represent, as is well demonstrated in the recent Duke revelations. All most of them care about is who can give them the most perks and dollars.

Not to say that there are not a couple of still, small, voices left who are unafraid to speak out, but at this point in time it is too little, too late.

~ KW

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

With Gore’s speech, this view is now being put to the test.

Please explain why the Senate confirmation hearing of Alito failed to ask the nominee of the points you mentioned. Also the illegality of Iraqi invasion. Some people think the hearing is just a public farce, and should not be taken seriously.

Your comment will be appreciated…

~ Eugene K.

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

I don’t know the answer. But the Democrats’ failure to perform is losing them votes.


World War IV

Dear Mr. Raimondo,

I read your article with interest.

What you and all the media, whether mainstream or not, appear to have forgotten is that Iran is a state whose supreme leader is not Ahmadinejad but Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei. I shouldn’t need to tell you that the Supreme Leader is the the “central political and religious authority in the nation” and that, “de facto and de jure, the Supreme Leader’s authority is, as the title implies, supreme.”

All the media have also failed to inform their readers that the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons on Aug. 9, 2005. The full text of the fatwa was released in an official statement at the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

~ David Sketchley, Seville, Spain

Their Terrorism, and Ours


That Italian video was the most eye-opening, sickest thing I have ever seen. I sent it to a friend and asked him to pass it on. I think if it was shown on a major U.S. media outlet it would end the war in a minute.

What a f-n horror.

~ Ed Villanueva

Their Armageddonites, and Ours

Your article on Armageddon indicates that you have not done your homework properly. Europeans have the habit of assuming that the historical experience of Europeans is the same as of others. As a result, you assume that the solutions to any problem anywhere in the world is the same as the solution found in European society.

On the issue of Armageddon, there are some similarities between Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, but that does not mean they are the same.

Armageddon and the Muslim end times are not the same even in definition. Loosely translated, Muslims believe in the “last day” at which the world will end. The time before it is referred to as the time near the last day. Now how long is this time, most sources are not sure. However, it is believed to be many years.

The main personality in the Muslim thought of “end times” as called by Christians is Imam Mahadi. … Imam Mahadi will establish an Islamic government. There is a difference of opinion as to what this means, but most agree refer it to as a government of Justice and Peace. This will be the last attempt by God to demonstrate to the people the right path for humans. As per the traditions, the series of prophets and their attempts to direct man to the right path were the earlier attempts to show humans the right path.

However, unlike the Christian view, the Shia believe that he will be killed and the Just Government will fall. Then there will be chaos and disorder more than before for decades before the world as we understand it and the human race will end. Then there will be the day of Judgment.

The belief is that the martyrs and the prophets all will be questioned on judgment day, unlike what you have written. They are not considered dead and they are not yet in heaven, though they are being sustained by God and are not in their graves.

You gave a link to a Sunni Web site while your article tries to imply that the Shia alone hold the view of the end times. It is a strange way for a journalist to write an article.

Also it would be better to drop the statement if it is not contained in the Koran argument. Unlike the Christian view of scripture, Muslims have to believe and obey and follow – as per the Koran – the traditions of the prophet. There would be no sensible scholar who limits himself to the Koran except some ill-informed, Westernized Muslims who barely read the Koran and assume that most Muslims are just as uneducated about the Koran.

A literal believer in the Bible is referred to as a fundamentalist. Though there are Muslims who read the Koran in a literal way, it is quite easy [sic] to anybody reading the Koran either in Arabic or any other language that the Koran uses a lot of literary devices and should be understood as such where it is using such techniques. Not only that, the context of the verse is usually quite important to make out the proper meaning of the verse. Such a reading is considered proper by most Muslims as well as the scholars. So applying fundamentalist to a Muslim does not quite refer to the same as a Christian fundamentalist. I suppose it would be the job of people like you to find appropriate words when referring to those among Muslims who appear to have similar views as Christian fundamentalists.

~ Zain Abedin

Jon Basil Utley replies:

You make several thoughtful and valid points, although I did not deny that Muslims face a judgment day, rather I stated that they go to Heaven automatically if killed in war. You are right that fundamentalist has a slightly different meaning in the Muslim world. The problem is that we don’t have a precise vocabulary for those who have passed from forecasting the end times to trying to bring them about. As you write, I know little about the fine points of Muslim theology. The point of the article is to alert the world to the power of the fanatics among the three major religions in determining policy and to bring exposure to their thinking. In the West, most journalists are very secular and find it almost incomprehensible to take these believers seriously.

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