Friday, August 01, 2008

"Surging" to a new Middle East

The war in Iraq is all but lost from the daily news, except when another suicide bomber occasionally blows up more innocent by-standers there. Here's a good note from author Joel Rosenberg on the latest trends...

VIOLENCE IN IRAQ CONTINUES TO DROP: Critics proved wrong

Things in the Middle East still seem way too complex to digest to the average person, but this latest trend is encouraging. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of it, we will continue to pray for a mighty movement of God to stabilize the area and bless the people of that region.

Sir Charles

8 comments:

  1. The Middle East is hard to understand.

    Of course that goes both ways:
    These are the orders from the Shah of Persia in the ninteenth century:

    Asr-e Iran releases the content of the letter of Fath Ali Shah, the second king of the Qajar dynasty, to his ambassador to Constantinople concerning outreach to France and England: "First: You must investigate thoroughly and find out how expansive the realm of the Franks is, and if there is a person called the king of the Franks, and in case there is such a person where the capital of his realm is located. Second: How many clans is the realm of the Franks composed of? Are they city dwellers or do they have Bedouins living in tents? And who are their chieftains and grandees? Third: Do your research well and find out if France is one of the Frankish tribes or belongs to a different tribe. Also, the infidel named Bonaparte who calls himself the King of France. Who is he? Fourth: With regard to England do separate research and find out how come they have earned their fame? What tribe do they belong to? Is it true that their isles do not necessitate pastoral migration? And is it true that they mainly feed on fish? If it is so, how come they can come from an island and conquer India? Do also investigation this matter which has troubled our mind and let me rightly comprehend what the relationship between England and London is. Is London a part of England, or is England a part of London? Fifth: See with your eyes what relationship there is between East India Trade Company of which there is much talk and England. Sixth: Do your utmost in investigating all matters related to the New World...."

    Picture what a headache the poor Shah had.

    Not to mention the poor Ambassador

    Sir Jason

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  2. The news about Iraq looks great. I have been praying for Iraq a lot, that they would be able to live in peace and that a great church would spring up and grow and become a huge beacon in the Middle East. In the fifties, Korea was in very similar circumstances. Now, Korea is, arguably, the most Christian country in the world, with 40% fundamental believers.

    Sir John, the hopeful

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  3. I have also been praying that God would vindicate President Bush and silence his accusers. President Truman had an approval rating of about 20% at the end of his presidency but, now, he is regarded as a truly great American. I believe the same will happen for President Bush.

    Sir John, for the defense.

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  4. on "understanding the Middle East"


    http://smallwarsjournal.com/reference/culturalintelligence.php

    Sir Jason

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  5. I think one problem we have long had with "understanding the Middle East" is that many of us don't have an intuitive grasp of what it is like to live in a tribal society governed by a traditional code of honor. A good introduction to that sort of thing might be simply to watch Godfather. Or to read The Steel Bonnets by George Macdonald Fraser.
    The funny thing is, the British seem to have historically had a better grasp of that sort of thing. But during the days of the Empire they were not as blatantly separated from the mass of mankind. I often think Americans have to great a taste for abstraction. For instance the "Great White Queen" and so on was an unusually good propaganda windfall. Asians could not be expected to grasp the fine points of Democratic Ideology unless they went to a western school. But feudal loyalty was near universal.
    Another reason for the English success was simply they had a greater tolerance for failure and could recover more easily. They also had a greater acceptance of the world then modern Americans. That at least has changed. Queen Victoria is dead, and all her pomps of yesterday are one with Nineveh and Tyre.
    In any case, not just an analytical but an intuitive grasp of local culture is needed. And to get that it may be that we need to remember more about our own culture.

    Sir Jason

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  6. Is London a part of England, or is England a part of London?

    That's great, Jason! :-)

    Many here probably wondered the same about Baghdad and Iraq...

    Sir C

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  7. Absolutely on both counts, Sir John.

    Sir C

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  8. As Baghdad was around for ages and Iraq was originally a diplomatic convenience the question of which is a part of which is actually more difficult then it seems.

    Sir Jason

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