Army, Allah and America: on Pakistani pitfalls and the future of Egypt

January 30, 2011

egyptAll countries are unique and comparing two of the world’s most populous Muslim countries, Egypt and Pakistan, is as risky as comparing Britain to France at the time of the French Revolution. But many of the challenges likely to confront Egypt as it emerges from the mass protests against the 30-year-rule of President Hosni Mubarak are similar to those Pakistan has faced in the past, and provide at least a guide on what questions need to be addressed.  In Pakistan, they are often summarised as the three A’s — Army, Allah and America.

Both have powerful armies which are seen as the backbone of the country; both have to work out how to accommodate political Islam with democracy, both are allies of America, yet with people who resent American power in propping up unpopular elites.

As my Reuters colleague Alastair Lyon writes,  Egypt’s sprawling armed forces — the world’s 10th biggest and more than 468,000-strong — have been at the heart of power since army officers staged the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy. Mubarak’s announcement that he was naming his intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as vice-president was seen as a move towards an eventual, military-approved handover of power.  And Egyptian protesters have sometimes tried to see the army as their ally — an institution that puts country first before personal gain.

Yet armies, as Pakistan has discovered over its many years of on-again off-again military rule, are not designed for democracy. They are designed to be efficient, and with that comes the hierarchy and obedience to authority that would seem alien to many of those out on the streets of Cairo.

In his book about the Pakistan Army, defence expert Brian Cloughley writes about how the British general, the Duke of Wellington, responded to democracy in his first cabinet meeting as prime minister: ”An extraordinary affair. I gave them their orders and they wanted to stay and discuss them.” The story is told as part of an argument about why the Pakistan Army has never been particularly successful at running the country.

“All Pakistan’s army coups have been bloodless, successful and popular – but popular only for a while,” he writes. “The trouble is that military people are usually quite good at running large organisations, even civilian ones, but generally fail to understand politics and government, and the give-and-take so necessary in that esoteric world.”

It is a lesson that may yet need to be learned in Egypt.  As Amil Khan wrote from Islamabad in his Twitter feed,  “Love the way Pakistani twitterers puzzled by Egyptians’ trust in army. Guys, you’re kinda similar, but kinda different.”

Then there is political Islam. Both Pakistan and Egypt have powerful religious parties which have their roots in Islamist movements born out of Muslim resentment against British colonial rule.  In Pakistan, the Jamaat-e-Islami, founded in then British India, has, along with other religious parties played a disproportionately significant role in setting the agenda which goes well beyond their weak showing at the ballot box.  It has reached the point where no government — either civilian or military — has dared challenge them on issues of faith.  When Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab province, was shot dead by his own security guard earlier this month over his opposition to the country’s blasphemy laws,  his killer was celebrated as a hero.  Few dared speak out and most of Taseer’s colleagues in the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were quick to insist there would no changes to the laws.

Many attribute the grip of religious parties on Pakistani society to the use of Islam as a means of uniting the country’s different ethnic groups, to past support by its military for mujahideen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan and then the Indians in Kashmir, and to the Islamicisation policies of General Zia-ul-Haq. But over the years every politician has made use of the religious parties to bolster their support, including PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who declared the minority Ahmadi sect as non-Muslims in 1974, and was later deposed and hanged by Zia in 1979.

In particular, argues Manan Ahmed in this essay titled “Pakistan’s crisis can’t simply be explained by religion”, Pakistan politicised reverence for the Prophet Mohammed.  “This emergence of the Prophet as a centralising and orienting raison d’etre for Pakistan, however, was not merely an organic outgrowth of a religiously inclined society, it was a deliberate state policy, aided by Islamist parties, to mould public faith. The blasphemy riots of the 1950s, when the Ahmadi sect was violently resisted by the Jama’at-i Islami, had taught one clear lesson to the religious right: the veneration of Muhammad was great political theatre with infinite malleability for nearly every segment of the Pakistani population.”

Unlike Pakistan, Egypt has more ethnic homogeneity and, with its large Coptic population, greater religious diversity so – on paper at least – political Islam would be less obvious as a unifying force. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded like the Jamaat-e-Islami in opposition to British rule, has taken a low profile in the Egyptian protests, though as former Reuters bureau chief in Cairo Jonathan Wright argues in his blog, this may be a deliberately calibrated stance.

“The Brotherhood, like Islamist groups in many Arab countries, has cold feet about governing. It does not feel it is ready. This is reflected in its official strategy of concentrating on a political reform agenda which it shares with many other groups – free and fair elections, rule of law, a new constitution with checks and balances and so on. What the Brotherhood wants most in the short term is the freedom to organize and promote its ideas in a democratic environment, regardless of who is in government. The Brotherhood believes that, given freedom and time, it can win over Egyptians to its long-term agenda.”

The Pew Global Attitudes Survey released in December also suggested that Egyptians might actually be more in favour of Islam playing a role in society than Pakistanis.  Ninety-five percent of Egyptians questions said it was good for Islam to play a large role in politics, compared to 88 percent of Pakistanis. “At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion,” it said.

Finally there is America, which has propped up military rulers in both countries and used generous quantities of American aid to buy support first against communism and then against militant Islam.  In Pakistan, the United States is already struggling to foster civilian, democratic rule at a time when it is deeply distrusted.  It is likely to face similar challenges in Egypt if it chooses, and manages, to go down that route.

Moreover, while the United States was able to underpin the growth of stable, secular democracies in Europe following World War Two with huge amounts of trade and aid, the world nowadays is still recovering from financial crisis.  And as Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper noted, the world’s Muslim populations face faster-than-average growth rates at a time of increasing global competition for resources.  At least some of the unrest in the Middle East, especially in Tunisia, was fuelled by anger over rising food prices. It is not an easy time for any country to win over people looking for an end to poverty and unemployment.

Comments

Rex Minor:
I know Sarkozy is Jewish, and that Sarkozy and Obama may not have the exact same viewpoint as you do, or the Palestinians’, nor the Israelis’.

They do, both of them, however, unapologetically called the settlements illegal, and firmly opposes
Now, they won’t send troops to stop the construction, but that’s a degree of entanglement that should not be expected from a country situated on a different continent and has not been directly attacked in America.

Sarkozy and Obama are both pragmatists. They have their own ideals. They respond to the electorate.

Nobody who votes in America has to tell another soul whom he or she had voted for, unless one votes by mail. (When one votes by mail, one has to sign on the enveloped and the computer code can be more easily traced, but nobody is supposed to trace it for retaliation. IF anybody discovers evidence that any voter is retaliated against for whom he or she votes for, that would be a blockbuster scandal in America.)

What does happen, and I agree with you in part, is that lobbyist groups, and very efficient ones, with well funded coffers, in disgracing candidates who are considered anti-semite. And, increasingly, Americans recognize that some labelled anti-semites are not truly anti-semites. An less controversial example is Henry Kissinger, who is himself Jewish. Much more controversial example may be Helen Thomas, whom I can get censored on this site, just for mentioning her name! Of course, many realize that. That’s how things can backfire, when sloppy comments get labelled anti-semite, when in fact they apparently had not been anti-semite in nature.

I believe in the American democratic system in this respect. If you believe that not sufficient rhetoric has been made, it’s probably not been made eloquently enough, or effective enough. Go ahead, blog more and motivate fellow voters, if you are eligible to vote.

Not that long ago, many believe that funding controls everything. That’s been proven quite wrong in California; otherwise, Meg Whitman would have beaten J. Brown for governorship.

The fact that running against an effective and efficient lobbyist’s stance requires more effort, greater care in the rhetoric, and superb persuasion skill, does not mean it is impossible. The worst approach to take is to believe that it is impossible, so much that one does not even try. Refusal to try is the only sure strategy to ensure what you don’t want, will certainly happen. Worst of all, that’s when people resort to violence or extreme means rather than verbal discourse.

I’m an idealist in this area. If you deeply believe in the fairness, and wisdom of your cause, then arguing fullest to the end, as long as you have the optimum or necessary support in your private life to pursue it till the end, your righteousness will come through in the end. Alternatively, some discovery of minor flaws in your argument will only help refine your stance more, and help you become more convincing.

Posted by Janeallen | Report as abusive
 

umair “in return among all its smaller neighbour it appears only Pakistan is capable of challenging India. That is the whole truth, do not tell half stories.”

This is funny…
Challenging India Militarily…
Challenging India by surrendering 90000 pakistani soldiers by surrendering…Or Challenging India by asking America’s help everytime there is a conflict with India(Kargil)…

Challenging India on Economic Front..
I really dont have much points on it.
Really don’t even think about it..

Posted by TnC | Report as abusive
 

@janeallen
Are you telling us that Sarkozy and Obama are the first to discover and speak out about the illegality of sttlements? We have a united resolution on this several decades ago and successive USA adminstrations and French Presidents have unequivacly supported the UN resolution.

Henry Kissinger is the worst example you have quoted, he is the first who has demanded of Palestinians to recognise Israel as a “jewish state” ad the first American retired secretary of state who declared that ‘We’ i.e. the USA should not have accepted the creation of Pakistan. He is the advisor to Obama on foreign policy and his former pupils are still running his policy in the state dept. to manage crisis, without solving them.There are those who are of the opinion that he should be tried as a war criminal?

But you are probably aware that the USA is the only western country which does not recognise the UNO criminal court?

I am glad to know that you are an idealist, but sometimes it is good to know the reality. America is a great country with wonderful people, decent and generous, but it has also a powerful military and a number of contridictions. Kentucky Bourbon is produced in the country where prohibition is in place. In California people went to the pole and elected a Governor, who was known to molest women. For two terms a President was elected by the system to shake the foundations of the republic, to the extent of torturing people in the name of National security. Mr Obama first task was to announce immunity for those who were involved in torturing people under George W. He promised change but continued to went further than George W in following militaristic foreign policies. You are an idealist and probably do not know how strong your military apparatus within USA is? Listen carefully to the praise of the President for the military and the presence of military in the state of union speach. No different than the praise of Roman Senators in ancient Rome.
Mr Macchrystal was an accident, the republicans and the democrats kowtow the line of military. When did the USA administration last have a secretary of defence from the democratic party?

This is not new for students of history! Roman empire went down when its army was the best, Mubarak is going down whose army is the largest and strongest among the Arab armies.

The USA has a systemic problem and has a need for competent people not old and sick who refuse to retire, like the Mubarak of Egypt!

Bon Courage!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

PS
orry for errors! We have a United Nations resolution on Illegal settlements!

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Challenging India is a good idea if it’s constructive and based on improving social indexes. The kind of challenge Pakistan engages in is of a schoolyard type and quite juvenile. A recent analysis of the reasons for Pakistan’s rapid increase in its nuclear arsenal comes to the conclusion that it is for psychological rather than strategic reasons.

http://bit.ly/eYdZyP

And this at a time of grave economic crisis. Do they think anyone is actually impressed? This is like college boys speeding on motorcycles and doing stupidly dangerous stunts in front of girls thinking they look like heroes, while the girls probably think they’re a bunch of jerks.

All in all, a rather silly way to run a country.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh: “All in all, a rather silly way to run a country.”

Everything stems from a basic human instinct – ego and contempt. To understand why Pakistan is obsessed with being equal to India and keep challenging it, one has to go back to its formation. When something is created out of a flimsy argument, justification for it gets desperate. Those who are on the losing side of an argument get more vocal if you notice. Sometimes they can get violent and become more intimidating as well. And if they get what they want using the flimsy logic, there is always the sense of guilt that they got it by unjust means. In addition, there is a fear that the other side might come back with more valid justification to expose the unfair method by which the argument was won. These two feelings create a perpetual agony in the group that wins an altercation for a flimsy reason by unfair means. And they fill their ego with false justification – they are better than the other party, smarter, superior and so on. Once in a while they try to demonstrate that attitude by charging or throwing a brick. This phobia never ends. So they keep on building barricades around themselves. Pakistan’s nuclear obsession stems from a superiority complex. They have to see themselves above Hindus. They are unable to accept the reality that India has progressed and is getting positive recognition for its own efforts. They are still in the same state when they left their brethren. For not having anything else to stand tall, they have gone to relying on nuclear material build up. Somehow they think the world will fear them and respect them from that angle. These are signs of immaturity arising from emotional nature of its people. If they build a tower way too tall without paying attention to the foundation, that tower can fall on themselves. But they have to learn that from their own experience.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Rex Minor:
Of course those are not what I mean. You know that.
And it appears that you love to distort the patent meaning of others who respect you enough to engage in a civil discourse with you.

Let me tell you. That attitude of yours, condescending without logic, reason behind such attitude is why voters do not get convinced by you. That’s my sincere advice for you.

Sincerely.

Posted by Janeallen | Report as abusive
 

As an observer,
I would suggest that Rex Minor take a class on the art of persuasion.
The way you argument, jumping for facts to facts capriciously, and clearing showing your lack of comprehension of Janeallen’s point ( either that, or you are not reading and comprehension, or worse, you deliberately try to distort other’s point of view with blatant disrespect).

You would alienate 100 out of 100 readers or listeners in the United States with your style of writing, ie., 100% failure, and 0% of success in persuasion.

If you don’t get it, all the more reason you need to take classes on your skill. Start with comprenhension skills

Posted by jo5319 | Report as abusive
 

Janeallen, jo5319:
Rex Minor is clueless.
His writing makes many many false and self-contradictory asumptions, namely that Americans want to be proud that they call the settlements illegal. Americans don’t want to be entangled with the fighting between all sorts Middle Eastern groups that had been going for thousands of years, unless situation forces them to.

Americans’ complaints are there people in the Middle East keep fighting for thousands of years and keep dragging the world into it, for one unfair reason or another.

Against any country that helps terrorists that hurt the safety of Americans, America has the right do everything possible defend our citizens. That’s a universal truth.

Any other assumptions are based on abysmal ignorance.
American law does not even require any bystander to rescue a stranger who’s in peril for whatever reason, let alone somebody who is not an American citizen in a foreign country.

American’s top interest in foreign policy is to root out terrorists. All other arguments about what we should or should not do— will mostly become arguments with themselves, not a concern for America unless they are persuasive from the American perspective. That’s true for any country, any culture, any family

Rex Minor sounds very jealous of America’s wealth and power might — that’s the only point that comes through. The rest is illogical ranting like that of a mad man.

Posted by CommonSensLogic | Report as abusive
 

jo5319 to rex minor: “You would alienate 100 out of 100 readers or listeners in the United States with your style of writing, ie., 100% failure, and 0% of success in persuasion”

I would say, he would alienate 100 out of 100 non-muslims & moderate/tolerant/liberal muslims.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

“2011 is the year for oppressed people and not for the oppressor”

Pak army must watch out. Balochis might rise after watching what is happening in the Arab world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD4qQCmLo io

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

> American law does not even require any bystander to rescue a stranger who’s in peril for whatever reason

There’s of course Massachusetts’s “Good Samaritan Law” as featured on a certain TV sitcom, but the “S” word is taboo now, isn’t it?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

I know Umair will hate this, but all roads seem to lead to Rawalpindi:

http://bit.ly/f0DBZK

Not Islamabad, not Lahore, not Karachi, but Pindi itself. Is the PA/ISI being framed, or did they just slip up/get lazy? At least they took care not to call from GHQ!

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh: “Not Islamabad, not Lahore, not Karachi, but Pindi itself. Is the PA/ISI being framed, or did they just slip up/get lazy? At least they took care not to call from GHQ!”

Nothing will happen. Most countries have given up asking Pakistan to own up to the crimes committed abroad. Right now the juicy matter is about the American diplomat who is in Pakistan’s custody for killing two people. There will be some bargain deal done to exchange the American for some goodies. ISI chief is also indicted in an American court of law. The priority list is too long. No one will care about the 2005 incident now.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh Prasad, TV Sitcom has created many ignorant, grossly false misconceptions about America in you, making your comments quite ridiculously and salaciously entertaining! What a waste for your little grey cells!

You understood the Good Samaritan law exactly backwards.

This is not the first time you twisted facts around on this blog, by the way.

There is no legal obligation to rescue in American law.
The Good Samaritan Statute does not change that.

In fact, under common law, any rescuer who is negligent in the course of rescue, may be sued by the person he tries to help. Also, if somebody starts an attempt of rescue, and then decides to stop, for whatever reason, and leaves the person in a worse situation, he can be sued.

Yes, it is counter-intuitive. If you don’t do anything, do not choose to be a Good Samaritan, there is no legal liability. Under common law, if you choose to be a Good Samaritan and botch it, you can be sued. That’s from age old common law.

The common law applies to doctors passing by a victim. Doctors who choose to rescue may be sued for malpractice.

But if the doctor passing by does nothing to help a stranger lying on the street , the doctor cannot be sued.
A Good Samaritan Statute does not change that.

The Good Samaritan law’s goal is to encourage doctors who would have wanted to help by limiting their legal liability, protect them from being sued for common neligence that were, of course, not intentional. Otherwise, good hearted helpers may be penalized by doing good, just not succeeding. Doctors are most at risk for frivolous lawsuits because the optimal equipment is usually not available, and therefore vulnerable to unfair lawsuits that tend to try to hold them to the standard of professional medical care. That’s the main impetus of the good Samaritan law.

So you have the Good Samaritan law backwards, just like many other words you said on this blog.

I see that you are one of those who try so hard to make yourself look smart by jabbing at others. In every case, you make yourself look dumber and insecure about yourself. You seem to be one wasting your little grey cells to trash, false premises, by filling up your brain with all sorts of false ideas. That’s how Seinfeld tends to ruin many otherwise smart people, you know.

Posted by CommonSensLogic | Report as abusive
 

By the way, drjay319:

Seinfeld by no means reflect everyday American life that I knew before it came on, not among people I know or grew up with, or work with. In fact, we looked upon Seinfeld with disbelief and disdain and horror because it makes young people feel hip and cool to engage in attitudes that many Americans, from many diverse backgrounds and cultures, still find deplorable.

Americans called the folks generation X, the first generation of spoiled youngsters who were more selfish than any other American values. I personally still cannot accept Seinfeld to be able to persist as mainstream American values, though he broke through some barriers.

Those from outside who see Seinfeld as reflecting American values are quite misguided, including some American kids who were too young to have the critical thinking and analytical skills to see through the absurdity and pitfalls of Seinfeld. That’s why Seinfeld quit so called “at the top”. In fact, con-artists know better to quit before the bad side effects come surfacing left and right.

Posted by jo5319 | Report as abusive
 

@janeallen
I am simply an observer and I am definitely not looking for votes. I have no appetite for imposters like the Bonapart or the “yes,we can” man, nor have any patience to persuade others of my opinion.
I have not learnt to argue but to explain my views. Have you a question?
We are just watching the drama which is being played by the last Pharoha of Egypt, whose downfall is likely to have serious repercussios for the USA foreign policy in the middle east.

@commonsensLogic

Do us a favour, change your title to nonsense instead. Janeallen could provide you the statistics about USA debts to Saudi’s and the chinese! Why should I be jealous of the country, perhaps a little angry about Madof who has left many in Europe in ruins.
Have a nice day.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

CommonSensLogic,

Thanks for setting me straight on the Good Samaritan Law, but the same thing could have been said without frothing at the mouth.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

KP Singh said:

> No one will care about the 2005 incident now.

This is a British investigation. They won’t have the same priorities as the Americans. I think this opens up another uncomfortable front for the Pakistan government. Too many PR fires to put out…

> Right now the juicy matter is about the American diplomat who is in Pakistan’s custody for killing two people. There will be some bargain deal done to exchange the American for some goodies.

Surprisingly, I’m with the Pakistanis on this one. The whole Raymond Davis episode seems very fishy. There was almost certainly some spy stuff going on, and things went wrong. I would really like to see the Pakistanis stand up to the Americans and investigate this fully, rather than back down meekly and hand him over because of his “diplomatic immunity”.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

This is who Raymond Allen Davis actually is:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/lahore-sho oting-raymond-davis-american-official-in volved-shooting/story?id=12785027

a ‘Technical Adviser’ With Special Forces Experience Involved in Apparent Self-Defense Killing. Davis runs Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC based out of Florida (http://hyperion-protective.com/index.ht ml). US is claiming diplomatic immunity and Pakistan’s stand is; the matter is sujudice in court. Foreign office Islamabad has not clarified the status of Raymond as a diplomat as of yet. This matter is a PR disaster and big blow to Ambassador Munter and his wife Dr. Marilyn’s ‘Tikka’ diplomacy, appearing on TV with discussions with students, having breakfast of traditional dishes in Lahore. As if Pak-America relations were not strained enough, this appears to add to the tension. If Pakistan does not release him, ties with US will be strained. If he is allowed to get away, anti-American public sentiment will further boil. Among all, it is important to look into the case of these private contractors who are heavily paid and employed in large numbers by the Pentagon and DoD in Washington. Most of the times in Iraq and Afgahnistan they have behaved like trigger happy thugs. Lets not forget the backup called in was an SUV which overran and killed another motorcyclist, that consulate SUV along with driver is still not in custody. Also that Raymond’s car was fitted with GPS devices and satelitte navigation system (apparently) and had fake license plates. This case reveals the modus operandi of these private security contractors.

PS
While here the role of US diplomatic mission in Islamabad and consulates in other cities is commendable, together with USAID, USEFP etc agencies they have been doing constructive work. Entire diplomatic community face challenges in Pakistan under current security situation. Hopefully this matter gets resolved and justice is done. The govt. should provide fool proof security and prevent criminals etc to attack diplomats. Also the diplomats should be ensured to enter the country with proper status and stick to their job of diplomacy. That is my opinion of this incident.

@ Ganesh
Just FYI there are no phone boxes around Rawalpindi.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Rex;”We are just watching the drama which is being played by the last Pharoha of Egypt”

-Did you watch how armed gangs were unleashed on peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square? Cairo has been the venue of running street battles, the country’s future is being fought for in the streets. Lets hope it does not damage the country, people topple the stubborn dictator. I am shocked how the world is not racheting up the pressure on the old man to go. Bravo to the warriors of freedom, one can’t stop admiring the courage. I sense they are heading for a showdown on Friday, but at this point no one can predict how it will play out. Either the Mubarak regime will outlive the protests till september, or on the other hand 30 years of anger and frustration will further fuel the protests and similar scenes will be repeated across other cities. The sooner Egypt calms dowm the better it will be for them to get back to work.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh: “This is a British investigation. They won’t have the same priorities as the Americans. I think this opens up another uncomfortable front for the Pakistan government. Too many PR fires to put out”

Look at where Mumbai attack investigation is. This one had the highest level of publicity in the world media and Pakistan was caught red handed. Yet the chief of LeT is walking around freely and having dinner with military generals. Other than some Indians, the world has forgotten about Mumbai attacks and moved on, waiting for the next big one somewhere else. Britain cannot do a thing. They might cut a little bit of their economic aid for sometime which no one will care about. Their pride will hurt more when Pakistan makes more nukes than they have and push them down the rank.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk: “As if Pak-America relations were not strained enough, this appears to add to the tension. If Pakistan does not release him, ties with US will be strained. If he is allowed to get away, anti-American public sentiment will further boil.”

Is there any information on who those two guys were who were shot dead by this American? Were they really thieves or came to kidnap him at gun point? Do they belong to any militant organization? After seeing Daniel Pearl’s disappearance and murder, it is possible this American sensed something of that nature and reacted. No one will know. If the American gets sentenced, it will hurt US-Pakistan ties like you have said. if he gets pardoned, then the radicals will rise against that. It is a difficult situation indeed.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh:
Was there a milk mustache?
Thanks. I’ll make sure I wipe it off before any formal occasion.

Posted by CommonSensLogic | Report as abusive
 

Don’t worry CommonSensLogic.
I think I saw Seinfeld with a milk mustache at the White House.

I thought you were blunt, but “right on” with Rex Minor.
jo5319 and mortal1 thought he’d alienate 100% Americans and 100% moderate Muslims and practically all mankind.

Rex Minor alienated me 250%. And even if he had not, I do not see how American debt has any common sensical or logical reason to counter your logical points. Rex Minor is delusional that I would submit facts related to American debts to support his argument against yours.

You have a good point about Americans’ complaint that the Middle East keeps erupting in violence for thousands of years, long before America was born. In recent decades, the Middle East has dragged the world into unfair problems, whether it’s exporting terrorism, or stopping the peaceful trade of oil, certainly more than its fair share. Any Middle Eastern country embroiled in conflict must first look into the mirror and ask itself or themselves, how each of them had contributed to this brutal history and the current status quo before any of them points fingers overseas to scapegoat anyone.

If one analyzes how Rex Minor forced the irrelevant issue of American debt into his argument against yours, the only way to explain it, is that he believes that might makes right. That’s quite opposite to basic American democracy, where the weakest and the poorest each have one vote, just like the richest and strongest.

When America helped Europe free itself from the Nazis, and discovered horrific scenes at the concentration, Americans were like Good Samaritans, doing our best. Unlike Britain and other European countries, America has never established colonies in Africa or the Middle East. Europe cannot represent themselves as bystanders Good Samaritans because they had ruled in the Middle East and had the duty to make a fair and orderly transfer of power. America— just good Samaritans.

Rex Minor’s answer to you reveals his undelying(maybe even subconscious) value that the rich and the strong can rampage, rather than the American belief that the man with the highest moral ground and truth will win the final argument.

What came through in his argument against yours, is that his philosophy is equivalent to the philosophy of pirates, gangters, no less.

I do think Rex Minor is an embodiment of nonsense( not yours) because of a few psychiatric trait.
First, delusional that I would defend him. Delusions can be a trait of early schizophrenia.

Second, certainly narcissistic, because he imagines himself running for a political office to avoid answering how unreasonable his statements are. He fails to recognize that a pre-requisite to exercising one’s democratic right as an ordinary citizen is to be able to explain one’s stance logically, and persuasively to one’s representative, senator, or congressman. Rather than recognizing that his belief of being unfairly oppressed is due to his inability to conduct a civil discourse or follow others’ logic and reasoning, he imagined himself to be so superior that he did not need to adhere to common rules of being responsible, civil, or reasonable.
This self-grandiose personality trait can make him prone to become manic or schizophrenic, if he is not careful.

Third, he displays a trait called “flight of ideas” in psychiatry. While others are engaging in logical discusion, he takes a word, and work on the idea in a completely tangential way, with reckless disregard of how his argument had been counteracted fairly and squarely. And he pretended that he had answered to the opposing viewpoint!!!

Flight of ideas is a symptom of early schizoprenia.
Word of caution for you, Rex, if you do not want to work on your communication skills in a class for persuasion, you might find it more helpful to see a psychiatrist. Being unable to find others who readily share your view can be stressful, frustrating, and can aggravate your symptoms.

Your problems have nothing to do with whether America is doing well economically or not. Stop fooling yourself. If you just can’t drop that idea, remind yourself that
America is still richer than the next 2 richest countries combined in worth.

Best wishes.

Posted by Janeallen | Report as abusive
 

@”America is still richer than the next 2 richest countries combined in worth.”
Posted by Janeallen

It’s actually richer than the next 3 richest countries combined (I’m assuming that you’re talking about nominal GDP here).

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@janeallen
If you write your thoughts in english language, do not ignore that it is a Germanic language based on logic, common sense and mathematics. So how come you measure your alienation by 250%. 250 out of 100? Go back to the school and improve your knowledge of statistics! Please let us not degrade the level of debate.

The western civilisation, morals and ethics are the imports from the middle east which were embodied in Christianity and Islam!

Let me also disturb your grand vision of the USA. USA is the only imperial colonialist power in the world which has basedhis foreign policy on lies, says Chaves, not my words. Today America has established military bases inmany parts of the world, from middle east to Afghanistan and from Europe to Japan, South Korea and beyond.

. American military was part of the allied resistance against the german Third Reich and not the only smaritans in the battle aginst the tyrant. It was also the Russian military units which for the first time discovered the concentration camps!
For your info, America has never won a war on its own, o’k they did manage to defeat the American Idians and panamanians on their own, so do not go into delusion. It is unhealthy. It is also not only American belief, but a universal awareness that the man with the highest moral ground and truth will win the final argument and the conflict.

I do not feel or have claimed that I am unfairly oppessed?

The rest of your rhetoric is larifari and a diversion. Also please refrain from personal attacks and use of foul language, just stay within the rulers of Reuters, otherwise I shall be obliged to report your post as abusive!!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

100% alienated means every reader is either annoyed or feels it’s a waste of time to read your post any more.

250% alienated means you managed to make the reader not read your posts any more, and furthermore, take an opposite stance than yours. You’ve turned off or significantly decreased another person’s sympathy for the cause you had argued for.

I hope this verbal explanation dispel any ambiguity posed by the numerical scale. Professional opinions are intended for your benefit, sincerely. In fact, under some circumstances, to be truthful is a professional obligation.
Honesty with the best intention is by no means in appropriate.
Best of luck, sincerely.

Posted by Janeallen | Report as abusive
 

@Umairpk
it is a battle of the good versus the evil! Whatever the otcome, the Egyptian youth is demonstratig that despite living for thirty years in one of the ruthless police state, their spirits have remained free and thei fear was a delusion. DIGNITY is leading this struggle and worldwide media deserves to be the first in the world to have conveyed young people aspiration in most of the middle east. Democracy, freedom and dignity are the slogans of our time, the paranoia of the delusionary monsters is no longer actual and all democrtic countries have put in their support behind this unique development in the muslim majority countries. We should applaud the media and recommend them for the Noble prize!! They are being mishandled and are still reporting the events to the world!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Guys,

Rex minor posts are stream of pure selfishness even when he poses as some sort of analyst of world trends. He has only one interest – the food, safety and money of people who follow Islam. He divides the world in to those he believes are antoganistic to Muslims – America, ISrael, UK , India and those that are not. He has pure vitriol for the former and case by case praise for the latter as it suits him. He has no universal morals or universal values – its pretty obvious from his comments on blasphemy laws.Its funny he accuses of Indian posters as selfish.

And I did not understand what was the point of this article by Myra – I did not gain any further understanding about future of Egypt other than that Muslim brotherhood and Egyptiam army are players there – something that can be deduced by looking at any news article. Did anybody get anything ?

Posted by kiran123 | Report as abusive
 

Rex Minor to Janeallen: “Also please refrain from personal attacks and use of foul language, just stay within the rulers of Reuters, otherwise I shall be obliged to report your post as abusive!!

Trying to bully the newcomers, eh? Going by your own criteria, most of your posts should be reported as abusive since they contain personal attacks at some level. For once, try practising what you preach!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

@Rex:

@Let me also disturb your grand vision of the USA. USA is the only imperial colonialist power in the world which has basedhis foreign policy on lies, says Chaves, not my words. Today America has established military bases inmany parts of the world, from middle east to Afghanistan and from Europe to Japan, South Korea and beyond.”
***I have a simple question for you. Are you anti-American?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

Mortal1:
It had crossed my mind to report Rex as abusive too, even before he lashed out at Janeallen.
And Rex’s posts weren’t even remotely funny!

Posted by CommonSensLogic | Report as abusive
 

Rex:

In respectable studies of history, colonies are governed by a viceroy, or governor who is appointed by the colonial or imperial power. No democratic elections are allowed to choose their leader or formulate their laws or constitution.

The United States have never held an imperial colony, like Britain controlled India, for example.

Before United States station troops in Japan and German, both those countries had been ruining themselves by repeatedly and aggressively invading their neighboring countries. Germany started WWI and WWII in Europe. Japan was Hitler’s official allies in its invasion and brutal rule in many parts of Asia.

Under the military influence of the United States, Germany and Japan elected their own Prime Minister. And by being forced to stop invading their neighbors, they both were able to emerge as two of the strongest economies. To call Germany or Japan colonies of United States, and comparing the situation with Imperialistic colonialization would be gross distortion of history.

Using these accepted international definitions of terms, I invited you to scrutinize every other claim of American colonialism. If you think logically, objectively, then you would inevitably ask what are the motives of the person who made such defamatory claims.

Think critically, examine many of the claims you guys place on this forum! If you are objective, you should find yourself quite embarrassed about being misled so easily by folks well known to be demagogues.

Posted by jo5319 | Report as abusive
 

@”@Let me also disturb your grand vision of the USA. USA is the only imperial colonialist power in the world which has basedhis foreign policy on lies, says Chaves, not my words” Posted by pakistan

Who cares about what Hugo Chavez says? The guy is a well known human rights violator & has lost credibility in the eyes of his own people, the countries in his region & the world at large. I know he’s a poster boy (along with Ahmedinejad) for America haters, the world over but sorry, no one takes him seriously anymore.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Rex minor: You term the Indians who disagree with you & are critical of you, as the “Indian mob”, so what would you call the above posters who are critical of you? “the Global mob”?

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

jo5319: “Think critically, examine many of the claims you guys place on this forum! If you are objective, you should find yourself quite embarrassed about being misled so easily by folks well known to be demagogues.”

Do you think this guy is reading any of what you are writing? Even if he does, do you think he is comprehending any of it? Trying to tell this guy about the reality is like giving massage to a corpse. Nothing gets in. He has a very warped idea of the world tinted by his Islamic viewpoint. He rejects anything that does not fall along his view. We all have tried to reason with him and like many Pakistanis, he repeats the same thing over and over again. Anyone who tries to reason with him becomes a member of a mob. He is simply filling up the pages of this forum without making any sense most of the time.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

UK is beginning to sense the mistake it made as a colonial power – dividing people by using religion in order to create a military garrison for taking on its imperialistic rival – Russia.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/world/ europe/06britain.html?_r=1&hp

UK is second home for many Pakistanis. Having pampered them for so long, now UK is at the receiving end – facing Islamic terrorism on its own home soil. France is in the same boat. It is a little too late in my opinion to take actions against the radicals growing up as UK citizens. One reaps what he sows. It is UK’s turn to realize what they have done to India. It is unfortunate that the current generation and beyond will pay for the mistakes and blunders committed by their colonial forefathers.

European cultures are as militant as the Islamists are. They do not talk philosophy. They talk rights, equality, democracy, welfare etc only for themselves. They never cared if others burned in that process of having a good life. When their lovely lives are threatened at their own home, they will drop all those values and take to arms without hesitation. Radical Muslims might have found it easier to poke at a spongy country like India. Europe will be a very different story. Driven by pride of the past and arrogance, radials will take on Europe. Their exit from Afghanistan soon will be considered and declared as their defeat and victory for Allah’s soldiers. Just watch. These people do not stop with an enemy retreating. They get encouraged to harass them further and take war into their homelands. It is only the beginning. The US and Europe have a price to pay for having manipulated this monster and used it to their advantage. Now it is their turn to face it. It is not only them who is facing it. Their allies are facing it already. Pakistan’s burning at the hands of the extremists is the tell-tale sign of what is coming ahead for the Western world.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@jo5319
Quid Verba audiam, Cum facta Videam!
Audiatur et altera pars. Odi profanum vulcas et arceo.
Have a word with Germans and Japanese!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rexy

No need to use languages other than English. You don’t make sense anyways. Another waste of Network Data

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

Rex:

Don’t be worried about the mob, we are very well capable to rebuttal them.

KPSingh:
Your use of the terms “Islamists” “Islamic terrorism” radicals etc are foolish. You don’t even know what you are talking about, please in this day and age of communication and information technology don’t be ignorant and become victim of neocon propaganda. Watch this documentary ‘The power of nightmares’ by Adam Curtis , it is the corrupt politician that is scaring you from radicals militants etc;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk1WkmioQ vA

I really feel very sorry for misguided people like you who feed on conspiracy theories and live in a paranoid world. In Britian the Muslim population is vibrant, affluent and Pakistani origin citizens have done well in various fields and significantly contributed to their community. Same is the story of other ethnic muslims, elswhere in Europe too, be it France or Germany. Many times muslims there face a lot of issues, despite trying their best to assimilate, despite the challenges they have been successful in business, as enterpreneurs, in public services etc. Right wing Dutch politician like Geert Wilders have been a know hate mangerer against Musllims inciting violence through his acts. similarly many other radical British groups are there too, France bans burqa, Switzerland bans minerates of Mosques etc.

On the other hand, USA gives total liberty and freedom to all faiths, a country based on multiculturalism. See where the USA stands, and good for David Cameroon, Britain will go to dogs when multiculturalism finishes. Britain for whitees and kick out everyone else following a different culture religion or having different skin color. I call this RACISM! and racism has no place in civilized society.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Punjabiyaar:”No need to use languages other than English. You don’t make sense anyways. Another waste of Network Data”

-Wow sardar ji is very tech savvy, let me just add, network data’s right word should be bandwidth. so you must state bandwidth. Don’t think it is just you who makes sense and others don’t. It is people like you who are utter non-sense.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

PS

Just to add, David Cameroon is doing nothing new, it is part of anti-Muslim wave sweeping largely in Europe, the Swedish political party is becoming anti-Muslim. While Carla Sarkozy is a super model, President Sarkozy bans burqa in France thinking all Muslim women covering themselves are oppressed, Switzerland is scared of Mosque minerates and so on, in the name of freedom of expression, Denmark allowed controversial anti-Islam cartoon to be printed in newspapers, etc. Geert Wilders in Netherlands has a criminal mentality against Muslims.

In the end, we the people are just people and it is the politician (crook) politician that manipulates us for power.

The USA is one shining example where religious freedom, liberty, equal rights and justice, tolerance of other faiths is part of society. That is why it is a super power and that is why I think it might remain a super power for quite a while. The people, the regular folks are never at fault or evil. It is the radical few, and the corrupt power hungry politicians who manipulate, and some ignorant fools who fall prey to them.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

KPSingh

It is a sincere request to please watch “The power of nightmares” and know that there is no such thing as Islamist, or Islamic terrorism, its all non-sense created to scare you into submission. Refuse it, become engaged, and be aware. It will be a pity of you live like a fearsome person scared from shadows and non-existant threats.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

*It will be a pity of you live like a *FEARFUL* person scared from shadows and non-existant threats.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

“Wow sardar ji is very tech savvy, let me just add, network data’s right word should be bandwidth. so you must state bandwidth. Don’t think it is just you who makes sense and others don’t. It is people like you who are utter non-sense.”

–Posted by Umairpk

Umair I meant Rex (now you also) is wasting Network and Data both. I know what bandwidth is and just about every other term in detail which made internet happen and running it now.

But everybody here is not in IT, Just trying to use generally understandable language not some Mumbo Jumbo in Rex’s ancient cult language. May be you can provide us the translation of Rex’s comment in question coz you are from same Great tribe under attack from Neocon Zionist, Jews, Hindus, Blackwater, Crusaders, Templars, Martians, UFOs, Oracles, Chinese Chequers and specially from Black Ninjas dressed like little school girls.

It Must be hard to live when so many conspiracies are hatched against you. May be your Murshad (Guru) Zaid Hamid should be next prime minister of Pakistan. Only he can save Pakistan, No body else.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
What makes you think I am Sikh, But its not only you who have this Narrow vision, almost Pakistanis think Indian Punjab means Sikh and India means Hindu. This tell me about your understanding of this region.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

Punjabiyaar:”It Must be hard to live when so many conspiracies are hatched against you. May be your Murshad (Guru) Zaid Hamid should be next prime minister of Pakistan. Only he can save Pakistan,”

-wow,w,ww wait wait, Zaid Hamid would be the last crack pot I would listen to. I am fairly liberal by Pakistani standards and not a fan of either Zakir Naik or Zaid Hamid, almost NEVER listen to them, never.
And I am from Pakistani punjab, so we are pUnjabi brothers. So cool down bro and don’t attack others including Rex Minor.

Enjoy this clip showing the colorful and cute Egypt revolution.

Mubarak Gone Mad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7eNEYrl1 5w

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

here is 1` more

Protesters in Tahrir Square break into song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahCwBBndl VY&feature=player_embedded

Would Love to be part of this colorful revolution.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk wrote
“there is no such thing as Islamist, or Islamic terrorism, its all non-sense created to scare you into submission”

==

Thanks for the burst of fiction there…instead of wasting time in Reuters blog you should consider writing fiction…you seem to be good at it……

Also …your support for Egyptian protesters sounds very hollow….Hosni Mubarak is an armyman who usurped power illegally…just like the pak military dictators…If you support them, the equivalent of that would be pakistanis rioting and rampaging the houses and properties of current and ex-generals of pak army who have plundered and ruined the country.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

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