July 11, 2007

Feeling Pessimistic

Bush to name Muslim nations envoy | BBC News

This is a rather old news story that I had bookmarked with the intent of writing about at some point, but I never got around to it. As far as I know, this envoy has not yet been named, but it will be interesting to see who they pick, and what their selection criteria are. If the administration's pick for UN ambassador is any indication, the job will go to a terribly unqualified political sellout with no understanding of the Muslim world whatsoever.

It's rather simple, Mr. Bush, that if you want to "improve relations" with the Muslim world, stop invading our countries and torturing our people. No amount of political posturing will change our minds.

On a related note, how much relevance does the Organization of the Islamic Conference have in the Muslim world? I don't know much about them, but the name has been coming up much more often of late. In principle, it sounds like a very noble organization, but do they actually matter to the Muslim governments in the world? Do their positions hold any weight?

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Australia 'has Iraq oil interest' | BBC News

This has already been written about in other blogs I read; it amounts to a nearly open admission of the motivations of the Australian government in deploying troops to Iraq. The news, while not really "news" to most people, has been discussed at length on numerous on-line forums. I absolutely hate on-line news discussion forums, as the maturity of the dialogue on them is usually atrocious, but I still often read them to get a feel for what the "general public" thinks about these matters.

On one such site, I read the following comment which I found extremely disturbing:
For those who think that oil isn't worth going to war over, spend one day without using any petroleum based products. No plastics, no lubricants, no gasoline. You'll have to walk everywhere, but make sure there's no plastic in your shoes. Make sure your clothes are 100% cotton -- no polyester please. You can cook your food only if you have an electric stove and your local power plant isn't oil or natural gas. Gas water heater? No hot showers for you (no cold one either if your shower head is plastic), which is ok because you can't use soap. You can't drive to work, nor can you ride a bicycle (plastics and lubricants again). No computers, no phones, no TV, no electricity.

Everything we have depends on oil. Going to war for oil means going to war to defend our way of life.

I don't know how mainstream this sort of view is, but it is one of the first times that I have heard someone defending the war for exactly those reasons that we deem it illegitimate. Typically, defence of the war in these types of forums comes from people who are still under the delusion that we're spreading democracy in the Middle East. It's not uncommon to find this sort of defence rife with spelling mistakes, vulgarity, superfluous exclamation points, and at least one comment about how "dumb leftists just don't get it". This was perhaps the first time that I read someone clearly articulating why they believe in the war without resorting to childish name-calling and label-dropping. And yet, the complete disregard of human life in this is frightening. The idea that the war is justified to defend your own way of life, with absolutely no consideration for the thousands of lives you're destroying in the process? Absolutely sickening. Such displays of complete indifference to human suffering frays whatever little faith I have left in humanity.


  1. As far as the OIC goes, from what I remember from Pakistan Studies, it's done a lot in terms of economic aid within it's members. Politically I don't think it's particularly strong.

    Regarding the second paragraph. hmm. That depends entirely on where your loyalty lies. Whether it lies with your race (black, white, yellow, brown), your nation (i.e. a geographic locus), your religion/sect or humanity itself. It is very very seldom people think in terms of humanity surprisingly enough. Vegans tend to up it a notch by sympathizing with all living things. Tech. they probably find it beyond awful that we kill animals merely because we feel we're superior to them and according to most scientific evidence and various religious manifestos feel its perfectly ok to use them for sustenance.

    Im not a vegan and I dont condone killing people. Consequently I suppose my loyalty lies with humanity and I believe (more like ignore policy) that animals are edible. As to why I wrote this... its difficult to explain consequently Im going to leave it open ended. :)

  2. You will always find some nuts thinking this way. There have always been such people, and will be.

    However, the Last Day hasn't arrived yet means we have good people around too, Mash'Allah.

  3. Saira: What kind of economic aid does OIC provide? Do they provide the funding for relief work?

    Regarding your spiel about vegans, well ... I suppose it makes sense.

    Manas: The funny thing about such nuts is that these are the ones who will also repeat slogans about how the "terrorists are trying to destroy our freedoms" and that they "have no regard for human life, they just want to kill and torture." Yet they would tolerate, even encourage, the same actions to satisfy their own imperious and gluttonous desires.

    But there are good people out there as well, as you said. Most people I've met around the world are not so shallow.

  4. I think relief work as well. But even under normal circumstances they provide funding for development programs. I believe there is some sort of Islamic Bank as well similar to the Asian Development Bank.