Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 2012

Syria: Fundamental and pragmatic discussions during and after the Assad regime…Part 1

The first part focuses on the fundamental social and geopolitical conditions of Syria and the Syrian people. The next article will approach pragmatically how the problems in Syria could be resolved, during and after the Assad regime…

1. Syria is Not determined by mountain chains and desert borders.  Syria is its rivers: The Euphrates, Tigre, Al Assay, Litany, and the Jordan rivers.  It is on the shores of these rivers and the Mediterranean Sea that the earliest known urban City-States (by the hundred) conglomerated and traded with one another and the outside world.

2. Syria is Arabic. Hundreds of tribes from the Arabic Peninsula settled Syria, many centuries before Islam was disseminated by prophet Muhammad.  These tribes were mostly Christians, the kind of sects labelled “heretics” by the Orthodox Church of Byzantium.  Many of these tribes were persecuted and they fled to high mountain chains, or retreated temporarily to the desert borders, and fled to the Persian empire (beyond the eastern shores of the Euphrates) in order to sustain their customs and traditions.

3. Those “Arabic/Syrian” tribes converted to Islam, an almost identical religion as theirs, and were the backbone of the “Arabic/Moslem” armies that vanquished Byzantium and swiftly expanded eastward to crush the Iranian Empire…

4. The two Arabic Empires of the Omayyad dynasty in Damascus and the western Arab empire located in Andalusia (Spain) confirmed the Arabic nature of Syria and spread the knowledge of sciences, medicine, cosmology and philosophy for over one thousand years, as the dominant civilization in the Mediterranean Sea basin and in Central Asia…

5. Arabic is not just the latest add-on to the Syrian civilization and identity: Arabic is what gave Syria its lasting and defining identity and sovereignty, and the Arabic language was “modernized”, made legible, and acquired its universal appeal thanks to the Syrian people. The current Arabic language is fundamentally Syrian, and its ancestor language is the Aramaic and later called Syriac…

6. Syria, including Lebanon and Palestine, is the hotbed of interactions among the three “monolithic” religions (Judaism, Christian and Islam). Without the presence of these 3 religions in Syria, Syria will be lost as a special entity in the Middle-East, an entity of the convergence of their very similar customs and traditions for thousands of years…

7. Most of the ancient myths, mentioned in Bibles and archaeological documents, originated from Syria, in this rich land of the earliest urban civilization…

8. Syria is the land where most of the persecuted religious sects, fleeing the oppression of the dominant religions of the periods, settled on the mountain chains and eked out a harsh living, raising goats and occasionally looting nearby urban centers… These minorities were ever ready to side with revolts against the pseudo central powers in Damascus, Baghdad, and occasionally Aleppo…Time to deal with minorities as essential in the fabric of the Syrian community

9. Almost all “Warrior Empires” originating in Central Asia, northern Iran, and northern Turkey…loosely occupied Syria, appointing military governors in the conquered provinces, just to collect the tax…The majority of the urban dwellers accommodated with the invaders, traded economically and culturally, and eventually transferred their culture to the warrior empires.  It the Syrian people, craftsmen, architects, artisans, and skilled workers who built the temples, palaces, schools, the infrastructure…in the lands of the invaders.  The archaeological findings in the warrior empires are the jobs of the Syrian people…

And Workers are no longer uprooted and strangers to their communities…?

There is this line of thought (Simone Weil) that says:

“Fundamentally, when workers revolt it is subsequent to the recognition that, for those many years working at a particular factory, they are still casted out of the real community of men, a feeling of being uprooted and strangers to the community, not being admitted in the real existence…”

The shift from the condition of being exploited to feeling oppressed is due to the workers realizing that they had not been admitted in the community where they spent most of their healthy years among…

The more the Gravity of accumulated miseries and injustices degrades man’s quest for universal truths of fair appreciation and just acknowledgment of a job well done, the more the worker feels uprooted, legs flapping in the void…

This article is an attempt of offering conditions that may give the workers the full extent of their worth and self-confidence, and waking up happily ready to face up to a long day of work.

Suppose a worker:

1. Is trained to fabricate and assemble an entire object or product by himself, using all the facilities available in the factory, giving the worker this feeling of owning the product, a work of art, a very talented worker…

2. Is trained later to “find destination” (sell) his products by connecting and communicating with clients…

Basically, the worker is trained to be an independent “subcontractor” in the factory…

Suppose that 5 workers were trained identically, and working as subcontractor, using the same facilities.

Suppose that each one of these trained workers can produce a single object per day.

Do you think that the 5 workers will be able to generate 5 objects per day, trying to share the same equipments and machineries?

Suppose that the 5 workers are encouraged to work as a Team: meeting every day, discussing, scheduling their working day, managing their efforts…

Do you think that this team has the opportunity to produce more than 5 objects per day?

If not, then synergy is lacking in the team efforts, and the workers must be trained to cooperate and function as a team. Figuring out who is the most talented and skilled in producing parts of the product, finding out the bottlenecks in the entire operation…

The team may decide not to follow all the suggested idea of the training course: They are free to reflect on their own, pick and choose, and decide on what works and what would not work within their environment…

Suppose the team is extended enough budget to decide on updating equipments and replacing non-performing bottleneck machines, hiring assistant on part-time basis…

For example: The team has this option to re-design the product, make it safer, easier to use, requiring fewer parts, faster to manufacture certain parts…and they need the assistant of a designer to draw the object, an engineer to study the feasibility of the re-designed product, an experimental analyst to collect data on what the clients want, need, and prefer…

The team has the option to hire from inside the institution or selecting their assistants from outside the mother company…They are independent contractors…

Do you think that production will increase far beyond the initial single subcontractor situation?

The owner of the factory started the training program and extended the facilities for the worker to produce quality products, because the worker feels that he owns this product and any defect is his own responsibility and has to pay the price for a buckled product…

Do you think that this alternative beats the top-down systems where the worker has to obey and follows the planned, scheduled…work procedures? Obeying managers who never worked on the floor and are disconnected from the workers’ environment and state of mind?

There are many businesses trading in products that can be manufactured by trained workers, if training sessions are available, and do not need a masters or Ph.D level of knowledge…and the worker can feel an integral part of the community…

Suppose the team is to manufacture a refrigerator. The team knows the defects and malfunctioning of refrigerators, and can repair the object better than any other repairman: The team has the full facility and means to even fabricate a simple part not available in the market, and deliver a functioning repaired refrigerator with guarantees…

Would you agree that this team of 5 workers:

1. Would feel integrated in the community?

2. Feeling wholesome and worthy skilled workers of great utility to the community?

3. Will be waking up ready to go to work and feel of value to the community, and be valued by the community as a productive member, sharing the ups and downs of a community’s sustainable life?

Note: For clients, all the products are the same if they satisfy the purpose, and the price is right…But for the independent worker, ever product has its individuality, a piece of art: The worker can remember the particular difficulties, aches, and pains that this product generated within a particular mood environment…

Of Peasants and Soldiers: Solitary life, myths, mystics, famine, wars…

I often stumble in literature on this regurgitated characterization of peasants and soldiers: such as “They are historically and psychologically similar groups, in deep affinity and congruence. I read that the trade of manipulating arms and the trade of cultivating the land are complementary, universal, and charged with representative values, myths, stories…”

So many romantic and general descriptions that refuse to account for the context, period, age range of the persons…

For example, you read on peasants:

1. They have a hard labor that leaves physical scars…

2. Their work schedule is not fixed…

3. They cannot enjoy vacation time…

4. They are mobilized at any moment notice…

5. They have strong corporate spirits…

6. They live under very constraining heritage…

7. Their job is psychologically solitary… and on

Do you think rice-paddy growers who work 360 days a year and have to wake up before sun up, can be classified as peasants compared to those who barely work a semester in total, just sawing and harvesting, and receiving lavish State subsidies?

You read on the soldiers:

1. They are poorly paid and ready to be sacrificed…

2. They come from the humblest of classes in remote rural regions…

3. They acquire a conscious of altruistic spirit…

4. They are mostly disinterested in society exotic pleasures…

Do you think a simple soldier who bear all the brunt of prosecuting a war is the same as an “Officer Soldier” who refuses to bear his responsibilities on errors he committed and keep putting the blame on subordinates, and never ceases to give orders, left and right…?

I find these descriptions originating from the logic of wild imaginations and too general to be of any value.

If these two trading groups were that similar, why history is charged with “warrior” Empires and urban setting civilizations? The poor people in warrior empires could hardly cultivate their arid and harsh lands, and they were easily hoarded into invading armies to loot the richer peasants and well-settled people…

These characterizations of similarity between the peasant life style and the soldier are wishful thinking: the modern States wanted the similarity to be true, for their vested capitalist interests… And there is nothing similar between the two trade historically.

For example, literature wants to demonstrate that an expanding nation or empire in antiquity reserved lands for their military officers after serving a number of years.  The Romans inherited the tradition of Carthage by lavishing lands at the limits of conquered lands to officers who served 20 years, so that a kind of colony is established to protect the borders…

Is an officer a peasant? Is the officer a simple soldier to take as example? Officers were recruited from the elite and noble classes to lead the City-States, and “manage the slaves” to death…Officers were never raised to high grades if the soldier was of a poor peasant family…

It is in this 19th century colonial expansion by the western European nations that peasants were recruited and sent to the colonies, after serving a few years in the military, in order to execute the utopia plans and programs of the thinking bureaucrats in foreign “barbaric” lands: Geometric parcels, designed as modern spaces, irrigation facilities…

Do you think an “agricultural person” owning vast fertile lands is a peasant? Shouldn’t he be labelled as “harvester operator” for his professional trade?  Shouldn’t he be classified as an upper Middle-Class person with all the subsidies he receives from Federal and State governments, in order for the State to keep its agricultural exporting monopoly in the developing nations and drive small peasants out of their lands and into the miseries of urban setting…?

Do you know of any soldier returning from the “war front” exhibiting a desire to return to rural regions, except if they are suffering from extreme trauma, and desiring to lick their wounds in isolation?  Most of them returning or “released” soldiers prefer to sit on side walks in urban cities, beg for a livelihood, and build a “camouflaged” shack from leftover construction materials found in the neighborhood, to suit their military camouflage vest and pants and the environment…

The motto of youth is: “Give me the wide horizon or give me death“, and not many will stay and engage in working the land if the slightest opportunity materializes as a possibility.  Many die before they ever had a glimpse of any horizon, and most of them delay the return to the farm after they fail in eking a living in urban centers…Why? I think it is their subconscious telling them: “Even your family will be disappointed if you gave up so easily and returned home so soon…It demonstrate a weak character…”

The modern States have harvested the sons of peasants in holocaust global wars, outside their frontiers, and relied profusely on the lower middle-class citizens to inflate the ranks for the body counts, fodder to preemptive imperialist war-machine, the “invisible” new citizens, too turbulent to control efficiently, and too many to be of any use to the capitalist structure…wars that never benefited the little people…

Note: Title of post and inspiration was inspired from a chapter n the French book “Les Sites Paysagers de la Memoire du Liban” by Raja Choueiri

Is the US starting the inevitable retreat from the Middle East? And Israel reaction…

THE murder of four Americans in Libya and mob assaults on the United States’ embassies across the Muslim world this month have reminded many of the year 1979, when radical Islamists seized the American mission in Tehran.
There, too, extremists running wild after the fall of a pro-American tyrant had found a cheap way of empowering themselves.

PANKAJ MISHRA published on September 23, 2012 under “America’s Inevitable Retreat From the Middle East”

“The obsession with radical Islam misses a more meaningful analogy for the current state of siege in the Middle East and Afghanistan: the helicopters hovering above the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon in 1975 as North Vietnamese tanks rolled into the city.

That hasty departure ended America’s long and costly involvement in Indochina, which, like the Middle East today, the United States had inherited from defunct European empires.

Southeast Asia had no natural resources to tempt the United States and no ally like Israel to defend. But it appeared to be at the front line of the worldwide battle against Communism, and American policy makers had unsuccessfully tried both proxy despots and military firepower to make the locals advance their strategic interests.

The violent protests provoked by the film “Innocence of Muslims” will soon subside, and American embassies will return to normal business. But the symbolic import of the violence, which included a Taliban assault on one of the most highly secured American bases in Afghanistan, is unmistakable.

The drama of waning American power is being re-enacted in the Middle East and South Asia after two futile wars and the collapse or weakening of pro-American regimes.

In Afghanistan, local soldiers and policemen have killed their Western trainers, and demonstrations have erupted there and also in Pakistan against American drone strikes and reported desecration of the Koran.

This surge in historically rooted hatred and distrust of powerful Western invaders, meddler and remote controllers has come yet again as a shock to many American policy makers and commentators, who have promptly retreated into a lazy “they hate our freedoms” narrative.

It is as though the United States, lulled by such ideological foils as Nazism and Communism into an exalted notion of its moral power and mission, missed the central event of the 20th century: the steady, and often violent, political awakening of people who had been exposed for decades to the sharp edges of Western power.

This strange oversight explains why American policy makers kept missing their chances for peaceful post-imperial settlements in Asia.

As early as 1919, Ho Chi Minh, dressed in a morning suit and armed with quotations from the Declaration of Independence, had tried to petition President Woodrow Wilson for an end to French rule over Indochina. Minh did not get anywhere with Wilson.

Indian, Egyptian, Iranian, Palestinian,  Syrian, and Turkish nationalists hoping for the liberal internationalist president Wilson to promulgate a new “morality” in global affairs were similarly disappointed.

None of these anti-imperialists would have bothered if they had known that Wilson, a Southerner fond of jokes about “darkies,” believed in maintaining “white civilization and its domination over the world.” Franklin D. Roosevelt was only slightly more conciliatory when, in 1940, he proposed to mollify the dispossessed Palestinian Arabs with a “little baksheesh.

Roosevelt changed his mind after meeting the Saudi leader Ibn Saud and learning of oil’s importance to the postwar American economy. But the cold war, and America’s obsession with the chimera of monolithic Communism, again obscured the unstoppable momentum of decolonization, which was fueled by an intense desire among humiliated people for equality and dignity in a world controlled by a small minority of white men.

Ho Chi Minh’s post-World War II appeals for assistance to another American president — Harry S. Truman — again went unanswered; and Ho, who had worked with American intelligence agents during the war, was ostracized as a dangerous Communist. But many people in Asia saw that it was only a matter of time before the Vietnamese ended foreign domination of their country.

For the world had entered a new “revolutionary age,” as the American critic Irving Howe wrote in 1954, in which the intense longing for change among millions of politicized people in Asia was the dominant force. Howe warned: “Whoever gains control of them, whether in legitimate or distorted forms, will triumph.”

This mass longing for political transformation was repressed longer by cold war despotism in the Arab world; it has now exploded, profoundly damaging America’s ability to dictate events there.

It is not just extremist Salafis who think Americans always have malevolent intentions: the Egyptian anti-Islamist demonstrators who pelted Hillary Rodham Clinton’s motorcade in Alexandria with rotten eggs in July were convinced that America was making shady deals with the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
And few people in the Muslim world have missed the Israeli prime minister’s blatant manipulation of American politics for the sake of a preemptive assault on Iran.

There is little doubt that years of disorder lie ahead in the Middle East as different factions try to gain control. The murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in Libya, the one American success story of the Arab Spring, is an early sign of the chaos to come; it also points to the unpredictable consequences likely to follow any Western intervention in Syria — or Iran.

As in Southeast Asia in 1975, the limits of both American firepower and diplomacy have been exposed. Financial leverage, or baksheesh, can work only up to a point with leaders struggling to control the bewilderingly diverse and ferocious energies unleashed by the Arab Spring.

Although it’s politically unpalatable to mention it during an election campaign, the case for a strategic American retreat from the Middle East and Afghanistan has rarely been more compelling. It’s especially strong as growing energy independence reduces America’s burden for policing the region, and its supposed ally, Israel, shows alarming signs of turning into a loose cannon.

All will not be lost if America scales back its politically volatile presence in the Muslim world. It could one day return, as it has with its former enemy, Vietnam, to a relationship of mutually assured dignity. (Although the recent military buildup in the Pacific — part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” — hints at fresh overestimation of American power in that region.)

Republicans calling for President Obama to “grow” a “big stick” seem to think they live in the world of Teddy Roosevelt. Liberal internationalists arguing for even deeper American engagement with the Middle East inhabit a similar time warp; and both have an exaggerated idea of America’s financial clout after the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s.

It is the world’s newly ascendant nations and awakened people, which will increasingly shape events in the post-Western era, America’s retrenchment is inevitable. The only question is whether it will be as protracted and violent as Europe’s mid-20th century retreat from a newly assertive Asia and Africa.

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on September 24, 2012, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: America’s Inevitable Retreat From the Middle-East

Note: I am convinced that all that aggressive fuss about Iran nuclear program by Israel is the realization that the US has started the disengagement process in this troubled and uncontrollable Middle-East region. Israel thinks that only the US deep involvement in this region will keep US yearly financial and economic support, updated weapons, subsidies, free grants, lavish donations…flowing into Israel to sustain the apartheid system.

Otherwise, Israel will have no choice but to consider policies as part of this region and deal with its people…

Oil is a commodity to be purchased  in the global market and there is no need to secure its flow by military means…

Rob Dubihas illustrated a series of portraits that looks at subculture stereotypes.
A Guide To Recognizing 21st-Century Subcultural Tribes, (posted on Feb. 29, 2012)

In ‘Your Scene Sucks’, Dubi makes fun of ‘Apple Store Indie’, hipsters, rockers, emo, and hip hop kids, and ‘Popcore dorks’

Are you one of these ‘scene’ kids?

The Bazaar is a online, global marketplace to buy and sell art and creative products.

Creatives can choose to use our print-and-ship service to sell art prints around the world, or choose to ship custom products directly to buyers.

Start to sell your creative works, or discover great works.

Note: got the link via Andrew Bossone

Ultra Fuzzy sunglasses: To ultra fussy Orthodox Jews in Israel

The “Decency Patrols” in Israel, similar to the one instituted in Saudi Arabia, are selling for $6 ultra fuzzy sunglasses to ultra fussy Orthodox Jews that blur visions when “indecent girls” cross their paths on the streets…

These ultra glasses, supposedly do not obstruct clear vision a few yards away, but sexy female genders won’t be seen but blurred coming from a little distance away: As the woman is that close, the chaste man won’t have time to react appropriately and experience a hard on, or feeling horny as the girl is progressing toward him…

To be impressed with impure inclinations and sensations forced the ultra orthodox Jews to separate between the sexes: Separate in public buses and transportation means, separate on side walks, separate in public meeting and celebrations…

Posters and notices are plastered on walls exhorting the female genders to wear long loose dresses, closed collar, long sleeves…(I am not sure of open sandals).  Tight Jeans, bra-less chest, shorts, loose hairs…anything that is suggestive…of round behinds and large hips…is banned in certain quarters… Sex is for procreation, and experience of pleasures is not on the menu…

The “Decency Patrols” in Israel sell also visors that block peripheral vision, the worst kind of impure vision: permitting the imagination to run wild on what could have been the sexiest of physical parts… It is dawning on me why domesticated horses and mules wear visors (on the sides): Peripheral vision is pretty dangerous…

The next step is selling decent attires to outsider women, visiting these prehistoric historical sites and quarters..

I heard that the ultra orthodox Jews are planning to domesticate termites: Digging long underground tunnels to hide women from popping into the sun light and disturbing the peace…

A few religious sects have been uncovered in Russia where women and children didn’t see the natural light for 3 decades…A few old men ventured outside to cater for the survival needs…

I bet the ultra orthodox Jews and the Islamic Wahhabi sect of Saudi Arabia are the “happiest” of mankind: The less exposure to sexual excitements the less pain and suffering…


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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