Commenter Profile

An Open Letter To President Obama – Miko Peled/Desertpeace

January 14, 2016 6:35 am
What did J. Blankfort say about this?

History of Islam – Caspian Report Series

January 13, 2016 6:41 pm
. Taxi, I don't think there was any "final" episode on Islam since the last episode on Ali was the 4th in a series of 4 episodes on the Rashidun Caliphs. The 4th episode ends with the death of Ali in 661 AD and the one that follows couldn't be the final episode in the history of Islam as the last of the Caliphs was the Ottoman one that ended in 1924 Also, I stopped receiving the message that the final episode was blocked by Youtube because some may consider it offensive. Must be a mistake by the publisher of the series unless there is another reason behind that statement. .

State of the Union Address 2016, Plus Republican Response

January 13, 2016 8:10 pm
There's no doubting that Obama is a great orator, but from an Arab point of view, he turned into a big disappointment especially after having raised their hopes so high in his Cairo speech, another in a long line of US presidents that didn't care about the Palestinians. The one to follow Obama whether Republican or Democrat would not be different.

William Engdahl Explains the Past, Present and Future of the War in Syria

January 12, 2016 6:45 pm
Hi, Bintbiba. The Russians aren't angels either.  Even RT has to be carefully screened,. Remember the old days of the USSR and Pravda with its never ending propaganda? I'm guessing that some of those USSR people are still around. Some would say that the RT reporting is influenced by Russia being on the Syrian regime's side in the same way some would say Jazeera reflects the Gulf's view of things so there's no side that's either right or wrong all of the time. Like you, I feel bad for what's happening all over the Middle East but we have to recognize that some of the blame falls on the people. You surely remember the famous quote rightfully or wrongfully attributed to a great lady: "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." It's an easy out to blame everything on the "dictators".
January 12, 2016 3:04 pm
Madaya is under Syrian government siege but it's the Isis/Nusra terrorists inside it that are the reason behind the siege and it is they that are preventing the people from getting out, not the government. The UN is saying that 400 people are in need of urgent medical help but not much is being said about starving people. Absent from western media is that the Syrian government had sent food several months back into Madaya but that the terrorists had seized it and sold it to the townspeople at exorbitant prices. I'm not a fan of the Syrian government but I'm also not a fan of lies being told about it such as the bogus gassing of civilians story which was proven false. Reportage by RT that describe the bogus photos used to get one's blood boiling https://www.rt.com/news/328609-syria-besieged-madaya-exclusive/.  
January 12, 2016 4:04 am
Taxi, speaking of Syria, you're not saying much about this week's current Western fraud on Madaya, Syria. Biafra-starvation type photos that have been making the rounds on social media showing skin and bones Syrians dying of starvation because of the war with Western media in on the campaign to spread this supposedly sad news. Yesterday 40 UN trucks loaded with help rolled into Madaya and were met by thousands of people from the city's population of 40,000 and each one looked more plump than the other but all claiming to have been surviving on grass for 6 months. They probably believe that if they repeat the lie, they would get extra rations from the UN. It turned out that the dozens of photos of starving people being shown everywhere were bogus, taken 3 years ago in Irak or elsewhere or simply doctored up like the one of the 8-year old girl from Tyre, Lebanon, in perfect and radiant health that ;learned from her classmates that her photo was on TV and FB as one of the starving kids of Madaya. Every trick in the book has been used against Syria but this one is really low. CNN journalists are almost crying when reporting on this. It's a big fraud eventhough some of the residents in Madaya are in a bad shape after the 6-month siege of the city by ISIS    

A brief look at ancient Middle Eastern history

January 11, 2016 8:58 pm
 "... repressive jewish law..." Hard to distinguish if the Jewish law was repressive or if Moslem rulers used it repressively. According to the video, it was the latter because over the centuries, the borrowed Jewish laws were used more repressively to comply with the rulers' mentalities, which put the religion in a regressive gear. Nothing in the Jewish law nor in the Quran about the obligation to wear the veil, a custom that predated Islam to safeguard the womenfolk, especially good-looking ones, from marauding tribesmen. The only thing actually dictated was modesty. On the subject of hair covering, the Jews also had man-problems oaboutwomenfolk's hair being covered or uncovered and the obligation for some like the Hassidim  to cut their hair and wear wigs. Interesting essay on the subject: http://www.bibleandjewishstudies.net/articles/haircovering.htm  
January 12, 2016 4:43 am
Yes, Taxi, he was but the messenger and never pretended otherwise. His cousin Ali is somewhat more revered than he is by a group because they view him as a prophet as well as a messenger whereas Muhammad was only a messenger. Things turned to worse when the Jews refused to accept Muhammad as the last of the messengers sent by God, along with some business dealing that also turned bad at just about the same time. 
January 12, 2016 1:58 pm
Taxi, I said he was revered "by a group", and it is comprised of Shia extremists that considered him a reincarnation of a divinity equal to God. They even refused to accept his death, firmly believing that he was created from light and is the long awaited "Mahdi" whose eventual return would restore justice and order in the world. These extremist sects are grouped within the Ghulat Shia sects, such as the Druze, Alawis, Zaydis and a dozen others that have since become extinct, and having nothing to do with the main body of Shias that are actually against them. The Sunni extremists such as ISIS believe that all the Shia share the same apostasy with the Ghulat people and hate them all with a passion. Interestingly, Ali was elected as the 4th Caliph of the 4 "righteously guided" Rashidun Caliphs, by his own followers (Shia't-Ali , or the followers of Ali) and hence the term "Shia") and not by the council of representatives of Moslems at large. He was a pious man and contrary to his 3 predecessors, he had no interest in politics or fighting and was most probably relieved when he was twice passed for the caliphate as he swore allegiance to the first 2  Caliphs (Abou-Bakr and Umar) but he opposed the third of Uthman , an Umayyad. It was rumoured he had participated in his assassination. Ali was himself assassinated in 661 AD by a Kharitjite This date permanently sealed the schism between the Shia and Sunni.
January 11, 2016 4:54 am
One point I picked up, I think it was during Umar's reign, there was no punishment described in the Quran for adultery so the newly formed council of learned ones went to the Law of Moses in which the punishment for adultery was stoning so it was decided that by association since Moses was recognized in Islam, his law on stoning would come into effect for Moslems. There were many similar instances when laws were incorporated from Jewish laws and over the centuries, these laws became abusive and regressive, Separating men from women during prayer was also a Jewish thing but the Moslems took to several levels above and started applying to almost everything to separate women from men.  I guess the rule preventing women from driving cars is rooted somewhere in that dark past. Actually, at the time of the prophet and his immediate successors, women had equal standing with men, preached sermons, served in war efforts and actually participated  in the fighting alongside men. One of them, a wife of the prophet, Aisha, raised and led a huge army and fought Ali's army. Over the years and centuries that followed, this marked equality between men and women regressed, not through anything written in the Quran or in the religion itself but through the rulers that changed the rules as they went along.
January 11, 2016 3:59 am
Great videos, Taxi, but actually simply appetizers for the real story that followed in the connected 4 subsequent videos by the same author. The 4 videos cover the first 30 years of tumultuous rule by the 4 successors of the prophet after his death, Abou Bakr, Umar, Uthman and finally Ali and described how Moslems during these 30 short years went from being simply a religion to a socio-political entity that created the first welfare state, that gave the conquered people total freedom of action and worship and lower taxes than what their Byzantine and Sassanid predecessors had been imposing. Most interestingly, is the final installment on the life and rule of Ali during which a group split from the main body of Islam and were in fact the first terrorists, having assassinated Ali and laid the groundwork of a separate state within the state that recruited new terrorists. The similarities between those terrorizing separatists known as the Kharijites ( meanng those that left) and today's ISIS are both amazing and spooky. This is where ISIS is coming from. I suggest you begin with the first of 4 on the first Caliph Abu Bakr that will give you the beginnings on which today's Islam is based. I picked up a few points from these 4 videos that I was not aware of until now. Great historical series.

What Does Israel Want With the UAE? – Giorgio Cafiero, Daniel Wagner/The National Interest

January 8, 2016 10:12 pm
As reported last October by several publications, this one from al-Manar: http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=234298&cid=31&fromval=1

Russia Destroys The Greater Israel Dream

January 10, 2016 11:28 am
Tony, I answered you and Taxi yesterday but my post seems to have gone straight to Taxi’s junk posts. The Christian and Jewish influence is much more than 70% and most probably picked up from the prophet’s wives of which one was a Christian and one was a Jew, but your knowledge of Islam is sketchy; if you want to disparage this religion, you could at least read more about it than some dramatic quips like the one you posted. This and the many others like it in the Koran are mild in comparison to bits and  pieces in the historical Judaic writings about wiping out whole people beginning by raping all their women and stealing their livestock. A more comprehensive reading of the Koran would help you understand that the relationship between Moslems and non-Moslems had its ups and downs, especially the Jews. There are other passages in Koran that refer to them as God’s chosen people and directs the faithful to do as the Jews did by observing a Sabbath, fasting and celebrating Jewish holy days like the deliverance of Passover and Yom Kippur (that they called Ashura from Asor or tenth), praying twice daily like the Jews while facing the Jewish holy city of Jerusalem. After the first 16 years, the Jews refused to acknowledge Muhammad as their long-awaited leader and between that and some business dealings between them that had soured; the Moslems started distancing themselves from the Jews starting with the daily prayers that were raised to 5 and the shifting of the direction from Jerusalem to Mecca. As time went by, the Jews returned to being good guys and had to be respected since they were “People of the Book”. The annual reflective and atonement Ashura is still celebrated by Sunni Moslems in some parts of the world like Pakistan and elsewhere. Fasting was raised to a full month of Ramadan. As to the compilation of the Koran, this was done about 40 years after the death of the prophet and was taken from separate parts of what became the Koran received by him orally since he was illiterate from the archangel and recited to his followers that transcribed them on parchment and camel skins. What’s dubious is that like the compilation of the New Testament it was decided which parts would be accepted in the final compilation and which would be simply discarded.
January 9, 2016 5:33 am
"Josephus Writings fake…" ( Tony) Some of his writings such as the "testimonium" appear to have been doctored by Flavius, Eusebius and a few hundred scribes along the way but this fake issue pertains to acts by Jesus and not to whether or not he actually existed. You are mixing the two. The stories of Jesus we read today were actually put in hand-written form about 50 years after his death with some of them even later. No doubt some doctoring by the scribes or church fathers happened along the way. Interpolations happened in all the Abrahamic religions so why the picking on Jesus only?
January 9, 2016 10:18 pm
"What do you think of the propositions in these links here, " (Taxi) I think that Joseph Atwill's concept of the Romans having created the Jesus movement to appease the restless natives and save their empire is far fetched. 2 billion Christians in the world wouldn't agree with him either. How was it 400 tears later when their empire really started to crumble that the Romans did not come up with another Jesus-type plot to save it? The first of three wars between Jewish rebels and the Romans happened 30 years after Jesus died. The Jesus story, as recounted, had Jesus acting out various prophecies starting out with the virgin birth, being the son of God, to his entering Jerusalem for Passover riding a donkey and so on as foretold that the messiah would do 700 years earlier by the prophet Isaiah and a dozen other prophets. The actual story is about the crucifixion and resurrection and from these 2 important ending eevents, the story flashed back to the start with the virgin birth, the visit by the magi bearing gifts, the flight to Egypt  and a story  that culminated with the resurrection, which is what this is all about. It's doubtful the Romans made up the whole thing as Atwill is saying. You can say that Jesus capitalized on all these prophecies, but you can't say he did not exist...