Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘fatwa

“One hundred fallacies on the Middle East (ME)”by Fred Halliday

Posted on October 22, 2008 and written in March 200

I read this book in Arabic and translated it as accurately as I could. I will try to enumerate as concisely as feasible what the author Fred Haliday considers as the 100 fallacies on the Middle East.

Most of the explanations are less than half a page of small format, so I would consider these fallacies as work in progress and sometimes indeterminate for lack of development, except the basic notion that we are no different than many underdeveloped people.

1.  The Middle East (ME) is backward; the coded terminologies used in the modern States should be understood differently in that region; three pages;

2.  The people in the ME lack the sense of humour; three pages;

3.  The current wars in the ME are extensions to previous wars; less than a page;

4.  The part of history that interests the ME is in the past; less than half a page;

5.  Social conduct could be explained through the particularities of each country; half a page;

6.  Specific European States have special relationship with the Arab World;

7.  The Arabs are desert people;

8.  The antagonism of the Arabs toward “colonial implanted” Israel is a continuation to the European anti-semitism attitude; barely a page;

9.  Since Arabs and Jews are both “semites” (whatever that means) then their enmity is different from the European racist behavior; one page;

10.  The Mossad (Israel CIA type) had previous warnings of the 9/11 attack and informed the Jews not to go to work on that day; half a page;

11.  The media coverage of the Arab World increased drastically with the launching of “Al-Jazeera” channel; one page;

12.  There is one Formal Arabic language spoken in the Arab world; less than a page; (actually, people in each State communicate in their slangs that are Not rooted in Arabic)

13.  The language of the Koran has displaced all the spoken languages in the ME; (The biggest fallacy of all)

14.  The Modern Hebrew language is a rejuvenated version of the Tora;

15.  The Kurds are one people and speak one language; one page;

16.  Variations in slangs are a good yardstick to differentiate nationalities; one page;

17.  A set of laws extracted from Islam govern the politics in the ME; half a page;

18.  The West had exhibited hostility toward Islam centuries ago; one page;

19.  We are witnessing an era where the struggle among cultures is displacing international relations; one page;

20.  Islamophobia is resultant from the switching from the communist threat to another scapegoat; half a page;

21.  The policies in the ME were the fruit of coordinated strategies by the West; half a page;

22.  The dilemma of the ME can be explained by the negative implications of the struggle with Israel on its democracy and social change; barely a page;

23.  The States of governance can be explained by the despotic Eastern or Asiatic traditions build around old fashion structures; half a page;

24. The ME societies seem immune to external transformations and whatever reforms are undertaken is purely nominal; half a page;

25.  The backward economic and political institutions in the ME can be explained by the policies of the West to plunder oil in the most convenient manners; title longer than explanation;

26.  Oil was the cause of modern conflicts in this region; half a page;

27.  The US and Gread Britain invaded Iraq for its rich reserves in oil; half a page;

28.  Iraq was invaded because Saddam had vast inventories of weapons of mass destruction; one page;

29.  It is feasible to reduce the reliance on the Gulf oil by developing the oil fields in Khasakistan, Azerbijan and the Kazween Sea; one page;

30.  The sources of fresh water will be the next struggle in the ME; one page;

31.  We can be fairly sure of the data produced in the oil industry concerning the ME even though there is lack of confidence in the data for everything else; barely a page and a half;

32.  The problem of the ME in this era of globalization can be summarized in the fact that this region has been alienated from the World Economy and needs further linkage; one page;

33.  The state of affairs in the ME must be explained through the impact of traditional values and its failure to mesh with the international laws; half a page;

34.  The ME is witnessing the emergence of civil society since the 90’s due to globalization; one page;

35.  Saudi Kingdom and Kuwait have feudal systems; one page;

36.  The ME States are supported by the outside powers while maintaining despotic systems internally, without any consideration for the people’s movements; half a page;

37.  There are no classes in the ME according to the definition of Marxism, which might have explained this region; one page;

38. Islam does not separate State from religion as understood by the West; one page;

39. We must view the economic performance in the ME as related to the religious laws; one page;

40.  The resolution of our problems can be solved by applying the “economics of Islam”; barely one page;

41.  The Islamic bank system is experiencing resurgence which forbit the believers taking interest on their deposits; a page and a half;

42.  We can explain the roots of the despotic States in the ME to the constant interference of the Western powers; half a page;

43. “Do not blame Arafat”; a page and a half;

44.  The Gulf Cooperation Council was created in 1981 to strengthen the complementarity among the Gulf States; half a page;

45.  The US encouraged Saddam to invade Kuwait in 1990, through its representative April Gillepsy; one page;

46.  “Peace” returned to Lebanon after the Taif agreement in 1989; less than half a page;

47.  It is possible to divide the States in the ME between the legitimate and deep rooted States from the created ones by the colonialists; half a page;

48.  The ME was divided among 20 States without the consent of the Arabs who explained these divisions by the policy of “Scater and Rule” adopted by the West; a page and a half;

49.  The Western policy in the Arab Gulf is based on Winston Churchil’s principle “Feed the Arabs and let the Persians go hungry”; less than half a page;

50.  We could interpret the policies of the States around the Caucasus and the Kazwin Sea as an extension of the “Big Game” that was played out in the 19th century by the powerful neighboring countries; half a page;

51. The ME is among the developing countries that suffered most from the “Cold War”; half a page;

52.  The Soviet Union conquered Afghanistan in 1979 in order to reach the warm Indian Ocean; barely a page;

53.  The Islamic Moujahideen defeated the Soviets in the eighties; one page;

54.  The lawlessness and disorganization that spread in Afghanistan in the nineties was due to the lack of interest of the West in that region, after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops; one page;

55.  We might interpret the interest of the Soviet for the Gulf in the seventies to its diminishing oil production; one page;

56.  The Palestinian Resistance Movement under Arafat was a tool that the Soviet used during the Cold War to acquire a strong presence in the ME; a page and a half;

57.  The Iranian revolution was the work of the the Soviet, the British BBC, the Afghanistani Mullas and the traders in the bazars; one page;

58.  The Shah of Iran was deposed in 1979 after the USA decided that he is no longer of good use to her interest in the region; one page;

59.  Israel received a critical aid from the US in the 1967 war in order to convey a strong message to al the Soviet allies at that time such as Indonisia, Ghana, Algeria and Greece; half a page;

60.  Egypt waged the 1973 war against Israel with the total support of the Soviet as a counter attack for the 1967 defeat and from which the Soviet managed to win the revolutions in Ethiopia (1974), Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, and Angola (1975), Afghanistan, Iran, and Nicaragua (1979); title longer than text;

61.  The Arabs used oil as a weapon in the seventies to support the Palestinian cause; one page;

62.  The 70,000 strong Egyptian army deployed by Jamal Abdel Nasser lost the war in Yemen (1962-1967); barely a page;

63.  The ME armies offered modern elite men in the fifties and sixties; half a page;

64.  The military coups that ended the Royal families in many States freed the people from political despotism; half a page;

65.  The Iraqi Baath Party was a radical and anti-imperialist movement; half a page;

66.  The ME people did not show any affinity to communism because of the “atheistic nature” of Marxism; a page and a half;

67.  Zionism or the establishment of a Jewish State in the ME was a Western strategy to partition the Arab and Islamic World; half a page;

68.  The Arab States created a Palestinian Idendity to pressure Israel; one page;

69.  Israel was established as “Light to the Nations”; one page and a half;

70.  Israel is Not a colonial or expansionist State; one page and a half;

71.  The Balfour pledge to establish a Jewish homeland in 1917 was a consequence of the pressures that the British Jews affected on its government to support Zionism; title longer than text;

72.  Zionism in 1897 did not intend to establish a Jewish State; half a page;

73.  The goals of the nationalist movements in Azerbijan and Kurdistan in the fourties were to seceed from Iran; one page;

74.  We need to recognize the importance of “Laurence of Arabia” for the consequences that befell the ME after the First World War; one page;

75. The Western States were against a stable and independent Turkey and they fomented separatist movements such as the Cypriote, Greek, Armenian, and Kurdish; one page;

76.  The Islamic World is adopting a political structure that was built during the prophet Mohammad and his Rashidine successors; title longer than text;

77.  We can understand the modern political and social evolutions in the ME through the ancient struggles such as the Median (Furse), Adnan, Kahtan, Sunna, Shia, the White tribes, and the Green tribes; half a page;

78.  The people and States in this region are still fighting ancient wars that are thousand of years old; half a page;

79.  Christianity, Islam and Jewdaism are considered “religions of peace” based on their Holy teachings; half a page;

80.  A second concept considers these three religions as “religions of war”; half a page;

81.  We can interpret the behavior of the ME States and their people by referring to a set of ancient holy stricptures verses; half a page;

82.  Ancient scriptures, considered as written by God, legitimize the contemporary political and social aspirations in governance and national identity; title longer than text;

83. We cannot logically consider the Land or the written words in the srciptures as holy; half a page;

84.  Jerusalem was for centuries a holy city for the three main religions in the ME and should have a separate status, or a variation that is related to historical legitimacy; one page;

85.  It is possible for laws extracted from divine scriptures to form clear basis and a workable one with modern laws; one page;

86.  The issue with Islam is that it needs reform; one page and a half;

87.  For religious reasons, the Muslims have hard time accepting or accommodating non-muslim governance; half a page;

88.  Islam is the religion of the desert; half a page;

89. Islam forbids alcoholic beverages; one page;

90.  Women must put the veil and cover their hair; a page and a half;

91.  The original religions and those interpreted in the right way provide equality to both gender and sometime a higher status to women; half a page;

92.  The Arab conquest of Iran in the seventh century imposed a religion not compatible with the one practiced in Iran; one page;

93.  The whole Arabian Peninsula before Islam was renowned to be typically backward and referred to as “Jahiliya”; one page (Actually, Jahel means someone who was Not exposed to the Bible)

94. Historical facts concerning Jesus are extracted from the four Evangiles; one page;

95. A Jewish State, according to the Tora, cannot admit living in a non-Jewish land; half a page;

96. The Bahai doctrine, created in Iran in the mid 19th century, is not religious but a political movement and thus, should not be given religious privileges in the ME; one page;

97.  Komeini made a “Fatwa” against Selman Rushdi in 1989 for his novel “The Satanic Verses”; three pages;

98.  A resolution for the cultural and civilization struggle could be found within the “religious dialogue” framework; one page;

99.  A new ME is about to be created in this century; a page and a half;

100. Force is the only means that the ME people comprehend; one page.

Note: There are a number of common expressions used lately by the media such as Arabicide, containment, the Akond of Swat, Bin Liner, Groupthink, slam dunk case, mouvance, Deobandi, towelhead, refusenik,

silver bullet, steganography, sexed-up information, cakewalk campaign, ground zero, corkscrew journalism, muscled behavior, imperial hubris, grief gap, fakhabochik or vahabochik (related to the Wahhabit sect of Saudi Kingdom),

mochila bomba, posse, smoking Saddam out, cojones, great game, brigade 005, blowback agents, Castle Catholic, West Brit, the Red Sea Terror Triangle, trenes de la muerte, Of ME appearance (OMEA), Operation Enduring Freedom, pundit or pandita and so on.

Imaginary Certitudes and Legitimacies (May 6, 2009)

The US republican notion of Capitalism is plainly discredited but established by US forced infusion with multiple pre-emptive wars around the globe.

Communism was discredited since 1989.

The doctrine of the Christian religion was discredited since the French Revolution in 1787 and a century before that. Still, religion cannot be eradicated from the spirit of the masses.  The power of the Christian religion is that nowadays you don’t need to apply or fear to be ex-communicated whether you are a believer or not or whether your opinions are not compatible with the predominant ideology. 

Religions, mainly religious sects dominated by a hierarchy of clerics, exercises its legitimacy once it combines the doctrines of “communism” for equal opportunities and the aspiration for independence against a usurper. 

That is what extremist Islam has managed to package its ideology; an ideology targeting the poor and disinherited who were deprived of dignity and were humiliated by the Western colonial powers.

Let me resume my previous article on “Misleading Legitimacies“. 

Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt managed to capture legitimacy in the emotions and spirit of the “Arab” populations as the leader of the Arab World by politically defeating the joint military attack by Britain, France, and Israel in 1956 to recapture the Suez Canal, though was militarily defeated. 

The Arab populations were satisfied that their crushed dignity for over 5 centuries was re-emerging among the nations (the western nations). 

Even the crushing military defeat by tiny Zionist Israel in 1967 maintained Gamal Abdel Nasser as the legitimate leader and most of the Arab State leaders converged to him to resolve their conflicts with their neighbors or within their State.

After the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser (The Raiyess) in 1970 the goal of Arab leaders was to re-capture Arab legitimacy. 

The successor of the (Rayess) in Egypt was Sadate who needed to rely on the legitimacy of the “Muslim Brotherhood” to strengthen his power and thus proclaimed to be “The First of the Believers (among Muslims)”. 

All the Arab leaders realized that “legitimacy” resides in convincing victories against common enemies to the “Arabs”, or mainly any western nation and Israel the closest geographically. 

The initial victory in 1973 on the Sinai front against Israel was cancelled out by bedding with the USA.

Sadate with his “My Dear Friend Henry (Kissinger)” was hated by most Arabs and no one shed a tear when he was assassinated.

Dictator Saddam Hussein enjoyed potentials in a literate population, large army, and natural resources. He jumped at the occasion when the USA encouraged him to invade Iran of Khomeini. 

This time, the enemy was the Persians who had re-captured lands that the Arab and Ottoman Empires had secured centuries ago and called “Arabstan” or Khuzestan.

After 8 years of mutual slaughtering in the battle field, Saddam Hussein redirected his military activities to its neighboring “Arab” State of Kuwait and was vanquished by the USA, the arch enemy of the Arabs.  Saddam lost his legitimacy. 

Saudi Kingdom successive monarchs endeavored to gain legitimacy in the Arab World through building thousands of mosques, appointing clerics who favored the Wahhabi sect (misleading the Sunni sect as being Sunni itself), and lavishing petro-dollars for settling conflicts among the Arab States. 

Saudi Arabia has been working for the long term by proselytizing their conservative extremist Wahhabi sect among the Sunni Muslims and gaining legitimacy by proclaiming that they are the “Servitors or Guardians of the Holy Kaaba and Medina (al Haramain)”

The progress in Europe was established indirectly by a centralized Papal spiritual authority.  

Ironically, this spiritual centralization was acquired when the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine supposedly converted to Christianity. 

Christianity could have evolved without any serious centralization if it was not ordered by the Roman ideological system of centralized power

Hundreds of Christian sects existed in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece, and throughout the Roman Empire before the year 325 and they were persecuted as “heretics” after the conclave of Nicaea in 325

Papal Rome vigorously hindered progress and change for a long period (about 1,000 years) but once society expressed its willingness for change, then it followed suit and even staunchly maintained the changes and supported them against any refracting bishop or religious Christian sects.  

Centralized Papal Rome was a counterbalance to the tyranny of temporary authorities who had to compromise and rectify policies that challenged the dignity and well being of the poor citizens.  

Islam had no such centralized spiritual authority: it viewed with suspicion any kinds of religious centralization. It didn’t appreciate mediators between the believer and his God. 

Thus, the political sultans and sovereigns dominated the religious spiritual power. In most instances, the monarch grabbed the legitimacy of Caliph. The counterbalance to tyranny lacked in the Muslim world and any recognized cleric, ordered by a sultan, could proclaim a “fatwa” or an injunction for the people to obey as a religious obligation.  You could have several “fatwas” concurrently injuncting opposing orders.

The problem in Islam is not in the source or the Koran but the free interpretations of any monarch or leader at any period.  There are no stable and steady spiritual legitimacy in any interpretations that can be changed or neglected at other periods.

The author Amine Maaluf recounts this story:

A Muslim woman applies in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) for a private club that would allow Muslim women to meet and maybe share common hot baths in sauna and Jacuzzi (hammam). A week later the municipality rejected the application on the ground that the local Muslim cleric (Imam) had an objection to the club.” If the woman was European would the municipality ask the opinion of a Christian cleric? It would certainly not. 

What this story proves is that, under the good intentions of respecting ethnic minorities, the European are exercising covert apartheid: they are sending the message that minority rights are not covered by the UN declarations which are supposed to be valid for all human kinds. 

The human rights approved by all States within the UN convention are applicable to all regardless of color, religion, sex, or origin. 

What is fundamentally needed is that all States feel that the United Nation is a credible institution that is not dominated by veto power super nations and that it has effective executive power to enforce its human rights proclamations to all world citizens and political concepts.

For once, burning extremist religious hate books makes sense: Damascus

The religious clerics in Syria ordered the burning of the books and manuals of ISIS and Al Nusra found in re-conquered regions, and the countless fatwa that their clerics have been issuing since 2011, particularly the books of Ibn Taymiya, and Al Jawziyat and Wahhab.

Since 1980, Saudi Wahhabi Kingdom has been printing faked Koran and Hadith and distributing them for free in Islamic countries.

In 1979, over 300 extremist Wahhabis have taken over the Kaaba in Mecca for 15 days and proclaimed their leader a Caliph. The Kingdom was teetering on the verge of collapse. A French special team came to tame this revolt.

And Saudi Kingdom that was opening up its society to modern culture was pressured to revert to its former desert-tribal type of customs and traditions and allowed the Wahhabi clerics to guide the values of its messages and teaching to society.

This revolt is very suspicious since the USA demanded that Saudi Kingdom open up its purse to dispatch extremist Muslims to Afghanistan in order to liberate it from the Soviet troops.

Consequently, for 5 decades now, Saudi Kingdom has been creating religious schools (Madrassat) and mosques all over Islamic countries, by the thousands, and appointing its own kinds of preachers.

الأوقاف السورية تحرق كتب ابن تيمية وابن عبد الوهاب

أعلنت وزارة الأوقاف السورية أن دمشق والغوطة الشرقية أصبحت خالية من كافة الكتب الوهابية والفتاوى التي صدرت عن تنظيمي “داعش” و”جبهة النصرة” الإرهابيين.

العالم – سوريا

أعلن مدير مكتب وزير الأوقاف السوري، الدكتور نبيل سليمان، أن دمشق والغوطة الشرقية أصبحت خالية من كافة الكتب الوهابية والفتاوى التي صدرت عن تنظيمي “داعش” و”النصرة” الإرهابيين، وذلك بعد تنفيذ الجولات الميدانية في كل الأماكن والمناطق التي تم تحريرها من قبل وحدات الجيش السوري.

مشيرا إلى أنه تم البحث في كافة المساجد في الغوطة الشرقية التي كان تنظيما “داعش” و”النصرة” الإرهابيان يقومان باستخدامها كمقرات لنشر الفكر الوهابي من خلال نشر فكر ابن تيمية الوهابي، وسواه ممن يدعون للفكر التكفيري.

ولفت الدكتور سليمان إلى العثور في مناطق الغوطة الشرقية التي حررها الجيش السوري منذ أشهر على العديد من المكاتب والمكتبات والمساجد التي تحوي عددا كبيرا من كتب ابن تيمية، حيث قامت وزارة الأوقاف بمصادرتها وحرقها، خوفا من تسرب هذه الكتب وما تحمله من فكر تكفيري وظلامي، إلى المناطق الآمنة في دمشق وغيرها، مؤكدا بأنه منذ عام 2012 تمت مصادرة كافة الكتب التكفيرية لابن تيمية وكتب ابن القيم الجوزية، وكتب قطب، ومنع تداولها في كافة الأراضي السورية.

وكان وزير الأوقاف السوري قد أصدر تعميما يؤكد فيه على تعميم سابق صدر في عام 2012 تم توجيهه إلى مديري وزارة الأوقاف والمفتين والخطباء وأئمة المساجد ومديري المعاهد والثانويات الشرعية ومدراء المعاهد بالطلب منهم التدقيق والتشديد في كافة مكتبات المساجد والمعاهد والمدارس الشرعية، بحثا عن وجود كتب أو كتيبات وهابية أو فتاوى ابن تيمية ومؤلفاته، ومصادرتها فورا، ومنع تداولها في أي مؤسسة دينية،

والتأكيد على خطباء المساجد والمفتين بعدم طرح أي أفكار، أو إصدار أية فتاوى تستند إلى الوهابية، أو إلى فتاوى ابن تيمية الضالة التكفيرية، وأكد التعميم على رفع الصفة الدينية على كل من يخالف هذا القرار وإحالته إلى القضاء.

وتتعرض سوريا منذ نحو 8 سنوات لحرب ضد “جماعات العنف التكفيري” التي تمارس القتل، وتنشر التكفير في آن معا، حيث شكلت “القاعدة” مجموعات إرهابية مسلحة تحت مسميات عدة، تحمل في طياتها أهدافا مختلفة، أهمها الوصول إلى السلطة لبناء الدولة وفق رؤيتها التكفيرية.

وعمد تنظيما “داعش” و”النصرة” الإرهابيان اللذان سيطرا خلال السنوات الماضية على أكثر من نصف مساحة سوريا، إلى إلغاء مناهج التعليم والتربية، واستبدالها بمناهج وهابية ضمن سياسة واستراتيجية مدروسة تركز على الأطفال لتنشئتهم على الفكر التكفيري، وبالتالي خلق أجيال بأكملها تعتقد بمعتقداتهم وتدين بتعاليمهم، ويستند معظم هذه المناهج على أفكار وفتاوى ابن تيمية وأفكار وتعاليم محمد بن عبد الوهاب.

ويعد ابن تيمية الذي عاش في القرن الثالث عشر الميلادي من أخطر أئمة الفتنة الذين نشروا الفكر المتطرف والإرهابي في الأمة الإسلامية من تكفير المسلمين وغير المسلمين، واستحلال دمائهم وحرماتهم لمجرد الاختلاف على أبسط المسائل في أداء العبادات.

وتتناقل الجماعات الإرهابية والمتطرفة مؤلفاته وفتاويه، وصولا إلى تنظيمي “داعش” و”النصرة” الإرهابيين، اللذين سفكا باسم هذا الفكر وبالاعتماد على فتاويه دماء مئات الآلاف من الأبرياء، مستخدمين أبشع طرق التعذيب والقتل وقطع الرؤوس وحرق الأحياء.

 

 

What is the commonly accepted definition of “breakout time”?

Finally, the 6 + 1 powers that own nuclear arsenals reached an agreement with Iran. For the next 10 years, Iran will be unable to produce a nuclear bomb, even if the regime changes.

If Iran didn’t abide by the fatwa of its imam Khamenei to ban the production of nuclear bombs, Iran could have had one long time ago.

This is the time required to produce enough weapons-grade uranium (WGU) for one nuclear weapon.

To produce WGU, uranium needs to be enriched (e.g., with centrifuges) to more than 90% of its fissile isotope U-235.

The amount of WGU required for one weapon is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as about 27 kg of uranium. This amount is often called a “significant quantity” (SQ).

What is Iran’s current breakout time?

Natural uranium has only 0.7 percent of the isotope U-235, and the effort required to enrich it to one SQ of WGU is about 5,000 Separative Work Units (SWUs).

Iran currently has about 9,000 functioning first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, with another 9,000 not in operation. The IR-1s installed in the Natanz and Fordow facilities have been performing at an average per unit rate of 0.75 to 1 SWU per year.

Using the 1 SWU/year performance of the latest IR-1 model, the breakout time with 9,000 machines using a natural uranium feed would be six to seven months.

However, Iran also has substantial stocks of 3.5% enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) that can be used as an alternative feed, shrinking the breakout time to three months.

If Iran brought online its other nearly 9,000 IR-1s, breakout time would be about three months with natural uranium feedstock and four to six weeks with 3.5 percent UF6 feedstock.

Iran has also developed the more advanced IR-2m centrifuge, rated at 5 SWU/year. If the 1,000 IR-2ms installed at Natanz were used in conjunction with all 18,000 IR-1s, the respective breakout times would be cut by a third.

According to media accounts, the proposed nuclear agreement would lower the number of operating centrifuges to around 6,500. In that circumstance, what would Iran’s breakout time be?

Using IR-1s with natural uranium as a feed, the breakout time for 6,500 centrifuges would be about nine months.

A crucial question will be how much 3.5 percent enriched UF6 will remain in Iran. Yet even if UF6 stocks are reduced from their current 7.5-8 tons to 500 kg, a breakout time of between seven and eight months would still be possible given the program’s enrichment capabilities with natural uranium feed.

Since these breakout times are less than the goals set by the U.S. administration, it is important to know what parameters Washington used for its estimates.

The administration says that one of the main achievements of an agreement would be to increase breakout time to at least a year. What else would have to be in the agreement to reach that goal?

The maximum allowed breakout time should be viewed as a combination of detection time and action time — that is, the time required to get Iran back in compliance with the agreement.

Both of these times are difficult to estimate precisely because administrative delays and efforts to resolve disagreements could easily take several months.

How long is the detection time?

Detection time depends on Iran’s actions.

If Tehran does not try to conceal what it is doing, the IAEA would detect a violation fairly quickly — in the worst case perhaps two weeks. The agency would then confirm the finding with Iranian authorities, and the IAEA Board of Governors would need another one or two weeks to take any formal action such as referring the issue to the UN Security Council. This would leave a reasonable amount of time for the international community to act.

Yet if Iran tries to conceal what it is doing, much longer detection times are likely.

As indicated in past IAEA reports, environmental samples play a pivotal role in confirming violations. Due to the large number of samples involved and the meticulous analytical process, the results would not be available for at least two months. And if samples show higher enrichment, additional samples have to be taken and analyzed.

Although the second set of samples would certainly be fast-tracked, it is unrealistic to expect that process and subsequent clarifications by Iran to take less than another month. This would leave the international community with only three or four months to act, an extremely short time.

There are also plausible scenarios of misunderstandings or even differing interpretations of what constitutes a breach of the agreement. In such situations, Iran could drag the process out for many months.

Iran might also pursue a “creep-out” strategy, such as by slowly increasing its inventory of 3.5 percent UF6. This has already taken place under the interim Joint Plan of Action.

When the JPOA was concluded in November 2013, Iran’s 3.5 percent UF6 stock should have been below 7.5 tons; any additional material existing or newly produced should have been converted to oxides. Yet none of the IAEA reports released since then indicate that the stock has been below that amount.

This demonstrates the need for the United States and its partners to maintain vigilance in getting Iran to comply with an agreement and not allowing it to widen the envelope of what is permitted.

The most difficult task is to detect a “sneak-out” violation in which Iran uses clandestine nuclear facilities. This scenario has several variants, including the possibility of an entirely separate, unreported enrichment cycle anywhere along the chain from uranium mining to enrichment. This scenario cannot be excluded because the IAEA has still not been permitted to verify the completeness of Tehran’s declarations on nuclear materials and facilities.

A sneak-out could also involve both declared and undeclared facilities. For instance, Iran could produce low-enriched UF6 in a known facility and then take that material to a smaller undeclared location to produce WGU. Therefore, it is important that the IAEA be empowered to not only verify the completeness of Iran’s inventory of nuclear material, but also establish as a baseline the total number and location of centrifuges inside the country.

If an agreement does achieve a one-year breakout warning time, is it possible to know whether this buffer could be maintained over the life of the deal?

What would change that?

Perhaps the most important factor is the research and development on more advanced centrifuges such as IR-5 or IR-8. Making such machines operational on a semi-industrial scale would likely take at least three years. If they are ten to twenty times more efficient than the current IR-1 centrifuges as estimated, the breakout times would be much reduced.

Warning time could also be shortened if the IAEA is not allowed to fully exercise rigorous monitoring and verification procedures. These range from routine inspections to so-called “anytime, anyplace inspections” and full access to component manufacturing facilities, as well as efforts to follow the procurement of certain dual-use materials and equipment to confirm their end use.

Can centrifuges be used to enrich material other than uranium?

Media reports indicate that some of the centrifuges in Fordow will be dedicated to producing isotopes for medical and industrial use. A similar process is already in use at enrichment facilities in Europe and Russia. A key question will be which kind of stable isotopes will be produced.

If the centrifuges are reconfigured to produce, say, xenon isotopes, the machines could be converted back to enrich uranium fairly easily. Yet if they are used to produce zinc or molybdenum isotopes, contamination could hamper any later attempts to resume production of nuclear-grade materials.

What is the international community’s past experience with predictions of breakout time?

History shows surprises. The Russian centrifuge program went for years without detection despite tremendous intelligence efforts.

The Iraqi and Libyan programs were not immediately detected, and South Africa, which manufactured nuclear weapons, ended up destroying its program before the IAEA saw it.

The Syrian reactor in al-Kibar also came a bit out of the blue, as did North Korea’s advanced centrifuge plant.

There is always the element of the unknown or the uncertain that adds to the risk equation.

Iran has talented engineers and the necessary financial resources, and its nuclear infrastructure is much larger than what it actually needs. Therefore, a monitoring scheme that is merely “good enough” will not guarantee success in preventing Iran from breaking out and achieving a nuclear weapons capability.

Olli Heinonen is a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a former deputy director-general for safeguards at the IAEA.

Together with Washington Institute fellow Simon Henderson, he coauthored the recently updated Policy Focus Nuclear Iran: A Glossary of Terms, a joint publication of the Institute and the Belfer Center.

Asad Ghsoub shared this link on FB this March 29, 2015

Breakout time can be as short as 3-4 weeks

With reports that Washington and its partners may reach a nuclear accord with Iran in the coming days, a former senior IAEA safeguards official answers the most pressing questions about Tehran’s program…
washingtoninstitute.org

What alternatives as a mullah or local minor mufti issues a “fatwa”?

In the book “Three cups of tea“, Greg Mortenson had this mission of building primary schools for girls in North Pakistan through the Central Asia Institute that Dr. Jean Hoerni established the foundation and allocated one million dollars to pursue its long-term mission.

After Greg managed to construct the first school in the village of Korphe in the province of Baltistan, many local and minor mullahs in the neighboring towns tried to through a fatwa at Greg (to force Greg from never to set foot again in these provinces) on the ground that a non-Moslem foreigners is not allowed to build schools for girls.

The real reason behind these fatwas was to blackmail the Institution to pay off for every school being constructed.

What alternatives do foreign NGO and for non-profit organizations can opt for when a mullah or local minor mufti issues a “fatwa”?

In the beginning, the team of Pakistanis aiding in the projects, and particularly the professional accountant Ghulam Parvis, tried to circumvent this hardship by communicating with the various local nurmadhar (chief) of villages and their religious clerics so that they appease the concerned mullah.

The next step was to get the highest cleric in the province to get involved.

The third step was to ask the council of ayatollahs in Qom (Iran) to deliver their opinion on the issue.

The fourth phase, and the most efficient in the long-term, is confront the fatwa with a counter appeal to the religious legal court (based on the Shari3a) to decide on the fatwa. This venue takes at least more than 3 years to come to bring an answer, but this alternative forces the contending mullah to get overwhelmed with frequent demands of proofs and documentation and personal presence to the court.

For example, Greg contacted the highest cleric Sayed Abbas (a graduate from the Shiaa religious university of Najaf in Iraq) and satisfied many urgent demands of this clerics, like bringing potable water to villages suffering from high infantile death rate due to drinking bad water, and caring for refugee camps for Pakistani people fleeing from the borders with India during the nasty Kashmir conflict.

Sayed Abbas also asked that Qom intervene and the opinion arrived in a red velvet box, stating that Qom is in favor of the work Greg is conducting, since Islam encourage benevolent Zakat for the poor and the less favored people…

This opinion discouraged future bad mullahs, but the current fatwas were opposed in religious legal court.

Note 1: Greg discovered that the male graduates left their villages to larger towns and cities, but the girl graduates returned to their village after finishing their professional education. Consequently, the institute redirected the mission to give priority to girls in the constructed schools. With this focus, the rate of girls in schools increased by 10% every year.

Note 2: Most of the graduate girls preferred to pursue medical studies, like Jahan, Tahira, and Shakeela… Women frequently died in giving birth and the infantile mortality rate was pretty steep in these mountainous regions, where families lived inside a single room for over 6 months…

Note 3: If interested of the story from the start https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/how-three-cups-of-tea-generated-80-schools-for-little-girls-in-north-pakistan/

Discredited certitude?

Unregulated capitalism (liberal capitalism) is plainly discredited; communism was discredited way before 1989; the doctrine of the Christian religion was discredited since the French Revolution in 1787 ; Islam was discredited less than a century after the Prophet’s death,  but can religion be eradicated from the spirit of the masses?

The power of current religions is that you don’t need to apply to any religious sect for fear of being  ex-communicated, whether you are a believer or not, or whether your opinions are not compatible with the predominant ideology. (Radical sects still kill those who change religions)

Religion exercises its legitimacy once it combines the doctrines of “communism or socialism” for equal opportunities and the aspiration for independence against a usurper of our wishes.  That is how extremist Islam has managed to package its ideology: an ideology targeting the poor and the disinherited who were deprived of dignity and were humiliated by the western powers.

The progress in Europe was established indirectly by a centralized Papal spiritual authority.   Ironically, this spiritual centralization was acquired when the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine supposedly converted to Christianity.

Christianity could have evolved without any serious centralization if it was not ordered by the Roman ideological system of centralized power.

Hundreds of Christian sects existed in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece, and throughout the Roman Empire before the year 325:  They were persecuted as “heretics” after the conclave of Nicaea (current Turkey) in 325 and several other conclaves within the century.

Papal Rome vigorously hindered progress and any changes  for nine centuries, but once society expressed its willingness for change then it followed suit and even staunchly maintained the changes and supported them against any refracting bishops or religious Christian sects.

Centralized Papal Rome was a counterbalance to the tyranny of temporary authorities who had to compromise and rectify policies that challenged the dignity and well-being of the poor citizens.

Islam had no such centralized spiritual authority:  Islam viewed with suspicion any kinds of religious centralization: Islam didn’t appreciate mediators between the believer and his God.

Thus, the political sultans and sovereigns dominated the religious spiritual power.  In most instances the monarch grabbed the legitimacy of caliph. The counterbalance to tyranny lacked in the Moslem world:  Any recognized cleric, ordered by a sultan, could proclaim a “fatwa” (an injunction for the people to obey) as a religious obligation.  You could have several “fatwas” concurrently expressing injunction of opposite orders.

The problem in Islam is not in the source or the Koran, but the free interpretations of any monarch or leader at any period.  There are no stable and steady spiritual legitimacy in any interpretations that can be changed or neglected at other periods.

The author Amine Maaluf recounts this story.  A Moslem woman applies in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) for a private club that would allow Moslem women to meet and maybe share common hot baths along with sauna and Jacuzzi (hammam).

A week later, the municipality rejected the application on ground that the local Moslem cleric (Imam) had an objection to the club”.   If the woman was European would the municipality ask the opinion of a Christian cleric? It would certainly not.

What this story proves is that, under the good intentions of respecting ethnic minorities, the European are exercising covert apartheid: They are sending the message that minority rights are not covered by the UN declarations which are supposed to be valid for all human kinds.  The human rights approved by all States within the UN convention are applicable to all regardless of color, religion, sex, or origin.

What is fundamentally needed is that all States feel that the United Nation is a credible institution that is not dominated by veto power of Super Nations and that it has effective executive power to enforce its human rights proclamations to all world citizens and political concepts.

Let me resume my previous article on “Misleading Legitimacies“.

Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt managed to capture legitimacy in the emotions and spirit of the Arab populations as the leader of the Arab World by politically defeating the joint military attack by Britain, France, and Israel in 1956 to recapture the Suez Canal.  The Arab populations were satisfied that their crushed dignity for over 5 centuries was re-emerging among the nations (the western nations).

Even the crushing military defeat by tiny Zionist Israel in 1967 maintained Gamal Abdel Nasser as the legitimate leader, and most of the Arab State leaders converged to him to help resolve their conflicts with their neighbors or within their State.

Abdel Nasser resurrected the spirit but failed in his social promises, and of freeing the Arabic minds from oppression and dominant central government doctrines.

After the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser (The Raiyess) in 1970, the goal of Arab leaders was to re-capture Arab legitimacy.  The successor of the (Raiyess) in Egypt was Sadat who needed to rely on the legitimacy of the “Moslem Brotherhood” to strengthen his power and thus proclaimed to be “The First of the Believers (among Moslems)”.

All the Arab leaders realized that legitimacy reside in convincing victories against common enemies to the “Arabs”, or mainly any western nation and Israel as the closest geographically.  The initial victory in 1973 on the Sinai front against Israel was cancelled out by bedding with the USA and “My Dear Friend Henry (Kissinger)”.   Sadat was hated by most Arabs and no one shed a tear when he was assassinated.

Dictator Saddam Hussein enjoyed many potentials in Iraq: literate population, large army, and natural resources. He jumped at the occasion when the USA encouraged him to invade Iran of Khomeini in 1980.

This time, the enemy was the Persians who had re-captured lands that the Arab and Ottoman Empires had secured centuries ago and was called “Arabstan” or Khuzistan. After 8 years of mutual slaughtering in the battle field that resulted in over one million of victims, Saddam Hussein reverted to its neighboring “Arab” State of Kuwait and invaded it in 1990.  Saddam was vanquished by the USA (the arch-enemy of the Arab spirit) and a coalition of European and Arab armies.  Saddam lost his legitimacy.

Saudi Arabia’s successive monarchs endeavored to gain legitimacy in the Arab World through building thousands of mosques, appointing clerics who favored the Wahhabi sect, and lavishing petro-dollars for settling conflicts among the Arab States.  Saudi Arabia has been working for the long-term by proselytizing their conservative extremist Wahhabi sect among the Sunni Moslems and gaining legitimacy by proclaiming that they are the “Servitors or Guardians of the Holy Kaaba and Medina (al Haramine)”.

Imaginary Certitudes (May 6, 2009)

 

 

The US republican notion of capitalism is plainly discredited; communism was discredited since 1989; the doctrine of the Christian religion was discredited since the French Revolution in 1787 and a century before that but religion cannot be eradicated from the spirit of the masses.  The power of religion is that you don’t need to apply or fear to be ex-communicated whether you are a believer or not or whether your opinions are not compatible with the predominant ideology.  Religion exercises its legitimacy once it combines the doctrines of “communism” for equal opportunities and the aspiration for independence against a usurper.  That is what extremist Islam has managed to package its ideology; an ideology targeting the poor and disinherited who were deprived of dignity and were humiliated by the western powers.

Let me resume my previous article on “Misleading Legitimacies“.  Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt managed to capture legitimacy in the emotions and spirit of the Arab populations as the leader of the Arab World by politically defeating the joint military attack by Britain, France, and Israel in 1956 to recapture the Suez Canal.  The Arab populations were satisfied that their crushed dignity for over 5 centuries was re-emerging among the nations (the western nations).  Even the crushing military defeat by tiny Zionist Israel in 1967 maintained Gamal Abdel Nasser as the legitimate leader and most of the Arab State leaders converged to him to resolving their conflicts with their neighbors or within their State.

After the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser (The Raiyess) in 1970 the goal of Arab leaders was to re-capture Arab legitimacy.  The successor of the (Raiyess) in Egypt was Sadate who needed to rely on the legitimacy of the “Moslem Brotherhood” to strengthen his power and thus proclaimed to be “The First of the Believers (among Moslems)”.  All the Arab leaders realized that legitimacy reside in convincing victories against common enemies to the “Arabs”, or mainly any western nation and Israel the closest geographically.  The initial victory in 1973 on the Sinai front against Israel was cancelled out by bedding with the USA and “My Dear Friend Henry (Kissinger)” Sadate was hated by most Arabs and no one shed a tear when he was assassinated.

Dictator Saddam Hussein enjoyed potentials in literate population, large army, and natural resources; he jumped at the occasion when the USA encouraged him to invade Iran of Khomeini.  This time, the enemy was the Persians who had re-captured lands that the Arab and Ottoman Empires had secured centuries ago and called “Arabstan” or Khuzestan. After 8 years of mutual slaughtering in the battle field Saddam Hussein reverted to its neighboring “Arab” State of Kuwait and was vanquished by the USA, the arch enemy of the Arabs.  Saddam lost his legitimacy. 

Saudi Arabia’s successive monarchs endeavored to gain legitimacy in the Arab World through building thousands of mosques, appointing clerics who favored the Wahhabit sect, and lavishing petro-dollars for settling conflicts among the Arab States.  Saudi Arabia has been working for the long term by proselytizing their conservative extremist Wahhabit sect among the Sunni Moslems and gaining legitimacy by proclaiming that they are the “Servitors or Guardians of the Holy Kaaba and Medina (al Haramine)”

 

The progress in Europe was established indirectly by a centralized Papal spiritual authority.   Ironically, this spiritual centralization was acquired when the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine supposedly converted to Christianity.  Christianity could have evolved without any serious centralization if it was not ordered by the Roman ideological system of centralized power.  Hundreds of Christian sects existed in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece, and throughout the Roman Empire before the year 325; they were persecuted as “heretics” after the conclave of Nicee in 325.  Papal Rome hindered progress and change vigorously for long period but once society expressed its willingness for change then it followed suit and even staunchly maintained the changes and supported them against any refracting bishop or religious Christian sects.  Centralized Papal Rome was a counterbalance to the tyranny of temporary authorities who had to compromise and rectify policies that challenged the dignity and well being of the poor citizens.  

Islam had no such centralized spiritual authority; it viewed with suspicion any kinds of religious centralization; it didn’t appreciate mediators between the believer and his God.  Thus, the political sultans and sovereigns dominated the religious spiritual power; in most instances the monarch grabbed the legitimacy of caliph. Thus, the counterbalance to tyranny lacked in the Moslem world and any recognized cleric, ordered by a sultan, could proclaim a “fatwa” or an injunction for the people to obey as a religious obligation.  You could have several “fatwas” concurrently injuncting opposing orders.

The problem in Islam is not in the source or the Koran but the free interpretations of any monarch or leader at any period.  There are no stable and steady spiritual legitimacy in any interpretations that can be changed or neglected at other periods.

 

The author Amine Maaluf recounts this story” A Moslem woman applies in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) for a private club that would allow Moslem women to meet and maybe share common hot baths with sauna and Jacuzzi (hammam). A week later the municipality rejected the application on ground that the local Moslem cleric (Imam) had an objection to the club” If the woman was European would the municipality ask the opinion of a Christian cleric? It would certainly not. 

What this story proves is that, under the good intentions of respecting ethnic minorities, the European are exercising covert apartheid; they are sending the message that minority rights are not covered by the UN declarations which are supposed to be valid for all human kinds.  The human rights approved by all States within the UN convention are applicable to all regardless of color, religion, sex, or origin.  What is fundamentally needed is that all States feel that the United Nation is a credible institution that is not dominated by veto power super nations and that it has effective executive power to enforce its human rights proclamations to all world citizens and political concepts.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2021
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