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Re: The End Of America's Prestige

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  • james tan
    From: swmaerske Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: The End Of America s
    Message 1 of 2 , May 4, 2002
      From: "swmaerske" <SWMirsky@...>
      Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: The End Of America's Prestige
      Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 03:01:15 -0000

      I guess there's not much more to be said Mr. Nunis. You've made your
      intractable position abundantly clear. No compromise, no Israel and
      now, no more America if you can help it.

      I am well aware of the Islamic Golden Age which you spoke about so
      glowingly earlier on. As the poster below, whom you have kindly
      brought to us here, notes, people didn't know at the time when they
      had graduated from Ancient Times to the Dark Ages. Similarly, we
      don't really know where we are now either. However, much as people
      like yourself seem to yearn for an end to American ascendancy, I
      doubt very much whether you know where we are in the march of history
      anymore than the rest of us.

      Indeed, there was an Islamic Golden Age and it was far ahead of the
      Europeans in its day. But the West long ago eclipsed Islamic
      civilization (just as, some day, other civilizations will eclipse the
      West). And, in truth, the West with its values and institutions are
      still at the apex of history despite the carping of those who hate us.

      From where I stand it seems to me that many Muslims (and some others,
      of course) want desperately to reverse this perceived Western
      ascendancy and seize on any factor they can to justify and support
      this hope and belief. Muslims who espouse the beliefs and values you
      have enunciated here seem, especially, to carry a deep resentment
      against the West, and America in particular. America and the West are
      where they believe Islam should be because Islam, after all, is God's
      religion and God can't be wrong. If he seemed to be, then the
      foundation on which Islam's non-secular concept of civilization is
      built would also founder.

      So, if Islam is not yet where it should be, it must be about to re-
      ascend. The problem, on this view, is the West. And, of course,
      America. This very non-Islamic Western civilization is still here,
      still strong, still dynamic. So what is the choice? Muslims can
      either embrace Western ideas or deny them and, if denying them, then
      they must either walk away from them and try to build up their own
      alternative culture and civilization or seek to bring down the West.

      I think that people who espouse your views have opted for this last
      choice, to try to destroy the civilization whose existence seems an
      insult to their own views and beliefs.

      The truth is, there can be no compromise with those who won't
      compromise and now I think I understand Mr. Sharon a little better
      than I did before. We have tried mightily on this forum to find
      common ground. And it has all been swept away, despite some
      encouraging discussions we've had, when you announced that there is
      no way you would ever acquiesce to an Israel, even one which shared
      the territory of Palestine with the Arab inhabitants of that land.

      You have said you would settle for a non-sectarian Palestinian state
      which did not diffferentiate among its citizens and I thought we had
      some commonality of interest there. But I think now that this
      arrangement would only work for you if there were a Muslim Arab
      majority since you have attacked secularism and declared that only
      Muslim law can dominate. If so, then the idea of a purely secular
      state in Palestine does not fly. It is nothing but another ruse to
      eliminate Israel and replace it with a state structured on Islamic
      law, a state ruled by and mainly for Muslims.

      I am saddened by the realization that there is no common ground to be
      found with you and those who think like you. You are plainly not
      ready to share this world, and I d do not just mean with Israelis and
      so-called Zionists. You are clearly not ready to share this world
      with anyone who does not subscribe to your religious vision. I am
      again reminded of the mullah in Pakistan who, when asked by a
      reporter, what could George Bush do to avoid further conflict with
      the Taliban and al Qaeda (before the removal of the Taliban, of
      course), replied smugly that he must convert to Islam.

      I must tell you that though Islam had its Golden Age way back when,
      that time is now gone and we live in a very different world today.
      Whose Golden Age is it now? I suspect this is the West's Golden Age
      (though only time will tell, of course). And I am not sure why that
      should be such a problem for you. Every nation has its day and every
      land its era. Some day the West will be supplanted, just as Islam
      was. It's no big deal. History and mankind move on. But those who try
      to hold it back, those who begrudge the progress of others are not
      the ones who make history. They are the ones ultimately left behind.
      You bemoaned the fact that so much of the Muslim world is backward
      today. Have you ever stopped to think why that might be and what
      might be the cause? Perhaps it's not the existence of the mean old
      West at all. Perhaps Islam has become its own worst enemy.


      --- In WisdomForum@y..., "Sayf Uddeen Fariis @ Terence Kenneth John
      Nunis" <terence_nunis@p...> wrote:
      > Interesting analysis.
      > The End Of America's Prestige
      > Wednesday, April 24 2002 @ 03:07 PM GMT
      > By Charley Reese
      > http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20020424150706692
      > A friend of mine once told a college class that nobody ever woke up
      in 476 A.D. (the date historians define as the fall of the Roman
      Empire) and said, "Gosh, I'm in the Dark Ages."
      > His point is plain enough. Transitions happen gradually, and the
      people who live through them never realize what is happening. So it
      is with Americans. We are living in the ruins of a once-great
      republic. Now an empire utterly devoid of moral authority, the United
      States has nothing left but its military power and its capacity to
      consume on credit.
      > Where the world's great leaders will come from in the future, I
      don't know, but they will not be Americans. Look at the Republican
      and Democratic parties and their top leaders. Mediocrity in full
      bloom. Weak men with ambition but no principles. They are devious
      men, skilled at concealing their personal ambition in patriotic or
      compassionate rhetoric, depending on which constituency they are
      trying to bamboozle at the moment.
      > I said earlier that Colin Powell's trip to the Middle East would
      answer the question of who determines American foreign policy:
      America's elected leaders, or Israel and its powerful American lobby.
      The answer is Israel.
      > Powell has disgraced himself. He did the ritual moaning and
      groaning about six Israelis killed by a suicide bomber but said
      nothing about the hundreds of innocent Palestinians killed by the
      Israelis. As of this writing, he has not even bothered to tour the
      devastated cities. He has not gone to Bethlehem to see the gratuitous
      and malicious damage to the civilian infrastructure. He has not gone
      to Jenin to smell the decomposing bodies buried under the rubble. He
      has not uttered a single word of public criticism of Israel, while
      Amnesty International, the United Nations Human Rights Commission and
      even Israeli human-rights groups have leveled blistering criticism at
      Israel's beastly policy and actions.
      > Instead, he acted as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's errand
      boy by hopping over to Lebanon and Syria to ask them to restrain
      Hezbollah. I wish I could have been Lebanon's president long enough
      to tell him off.
      > I would have said to Powell: "Where were you and the United States
      when for more than 20 years Israel illegally occupied Lebanese
      territory in open defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions? You
      never said one word; you never lifted one finger to force the
      Israelis out. And now, you have the gall to demand of me that I
      chastise Hezbollah, whose brave young men did what you should have
      done - drove the Israelis out of Lebanon. If you cannot see the
      hypocrisy in your visit and in your request, then I truly pity you.
      Good day, sir."
      > The Syrian president should have told him the same thing, for the
      United States has never done one thing to persuade the Israelis to
      stop their illegal occupation of the Golan Heights.
      > Robert Fisk, the great correspondent of The Independent in London,
      wrote recently: "Mr. Powell's weakness, his failure of nerve, his
      cowardice are now likely to set off an Israeli-Palestinian war even
      more terrible than what we have witnessed so far. ... Thanks to Mr.
      Powell, President Bush and Mr. Sharon, America's credibility has been
      shattered. Israel, it turns out, does indeed run U.S. policy in the
      region. The Secretary of State sings from the Israeli songbook."
      > The repercussions of this will be unpleasant for the American
      people. One day, God willing, the American people will wake up and
      realize what a painful price has been exacted for allowing their
      politicians to sell their souls to the Israeli lobby. I have to give
      the Israeli lobby credit. They recognized the souls weren't worth
      much and bought them on the cheap.
      > We had a president once who vowed to make the world safe for
      democracy. We now have one who is busily making the world unsafe for
      Americans and who doesn't have a clue as to how ridiculous he now
      appears in the eyes of the world.
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