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  #161  
Old 10-08-2004, 10:48 PM
Safaa Batin's Avatar
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regarding your reply to Balqis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
You make yourself out to be a dependency theorist when it suits you (ie blaming the west for the underdevelopment of the third world), but then change theories when it suits you as well. More later.
sorry in advance if i did not see that ,that i may be wrong, but I think it was me not she who blamed the 1st world for the problems of the third world. just to be sure before imputing others of having dual criteria.
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  #162  
Old 10-09-2004, 03:23 AM
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LOL I guess that's the idea. Really, it's ludicrous what people will believe, but they are free to form their opinion on the "facts" of course

What's ludicrous is your apologetic attempt to draw correlations between Abdullah 's despotic regime and strategies deployed by Peter the Great in a completely different, smaller world -- strategies that didn't work in the long run, by the way. Indeed, if they had worked then it is doubtful that Russian Revolution would have taken place. If you check your history books you will see that the fall of the Romanovs began long before Nicholas II came on the scene. He just failed to see the writing on the wall.


Rather than development, Abdullah's policies of 'muzzling the masses' & the RFs lifestyle will only lead to a rise in the radicalization of the the population a la Saudi Arabia (at least they have oil $$ to buy acquisence with). He is following the same trajectory as the Shah (Unlike the Shah's oil money, he has the American $$). Just like the Shah and Saddam were dumped by the US, so will the JRF when they are no longer needed.

The authorities throw people in prison and maybe the wrong person gets tortured, but this sends a powerful message to dangerous troublemakers who would otherwise run rampant.

The wrong person gets tortured?!?! People aren't 'mistakingly' tortured. It is never acceptable , especially if a leader purportedly wants his nation to become a part of the 'developed world'. Again, this kind of 'developmental Stalinism' approach doesn't work. Development includes a respect for human rights. People or "troublemakers", as you term them, are tortured in Jordan for disagreeing with the regime or speaking out against its policies. He's not building a very good political culture. People you term "troublemakers" are rampant because the regime is so repressive. Indeed, not only does his regime have his own citizens tortured, but foreignors have also been tortured on the behest of the US (Abdullah's benefactor, just like they were the Shah's). This was the case with case of Maher Arar, a Canadian. Turns out he was innocent.

In short, you can make excuses for him and his regime all you want, but most intelligent, informed people see him for the despot he is.
Rather than disenfranchise or use strong-armed tactics with large, potentially influential segments of the population (eg. Islamists), he needs to bring them into the political process and co-opt them.
Much like in India's Congress Party co-opted disperate groups in order to sustain the country's democracy. It's necessary for long term stability and sustainable developoment. In order for development and modernization to take place there has to be a political culture of participants who feel they have a stake in the country's future. Not repressed subjects

Development doesn't come from impressing Western socialites with ones jackets and designer Georg Jensens silverware (which cost tens of thousands and is verifiable, btw). Rather, it comes from an independent, educated, and motivated citizenry. Thus Abdullah's regime has to reconcile its alleged desire to develop with it's desire to maintain control, which, unlike real development and modernization, only requires obedience and subordination from the populace. Even country's like China are realizing this.
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  #163  
Old 10-09-2004, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safaa Batin
regarding your reply to Balqis


sorry in advance if i did not see that ,that i may be wrong, but I think it was me not she who blamed the 1st world for the problems of the third world. just to be sure before imputing others of having dual criteria.
I do apologize. You're right, it was you. The other individual was the one who claimed that Western states are all "oligarchies", lol. Your arguments are so similar that I attributed the wrong comments to the wrong person. Again, sorry.
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  #164  
Old 10-09-2004, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safaa Batin
I hate this phrase, because it is used in wrong way, if we think in that way then the word "rumor" will not exist.

yes there is no smoke without fire (depending on my poor knowledge in chemistry) but there are rumors without real source.
It depends on how and when the phrase is deployed. In this case the "no smoke without fire" phrase is wholly appropriate as there is unequivocal evidence of their lifestlye. That is, it's not just a "rumour" that they live extravagantly.
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  #165  
Old 10-09-2004, 03:40 AM
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yes, very very soft, if you have a plain piece of gold try to curve it, it does not curve .. i tried.

Well, with all do respect, it must not be pure 24K gold or you must not be very strong. It's one of the most pliable metals, and even more so when it's melted. I'm wearing a ring right now,a nd I can twist & shape it with two fingers.

i looked at the golden shoes thread the article was saying:


will she be walking carrying 1500 grams ( about 3 pounds ) on her feet ??


One presumes it will weigh less once it's been melted and 'worked with'. And I have shoes that way far more than 3 pounds. Besides, I doubt that -- if she has them -- she will be wearing them everyday.
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  #166  
Old 10-09-2004, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
What's ludicrous is your apologetic attempt to draw correlations between Abdullah 's despotic regime and strategies deployed by Peter the Great in a completely different, smaller world
The correlations are strong and the isomorphism is factual. Both Peter and Abdullah were given the divine mission of modernising a backward and isolated country during a period of rapid globalization. For Peter, he was handed an underdeveloped nation administered by ineffectual traditionalists and culturally dominated by the Greek orthodox church. For Abdullah, he was handed an underdeveloped nation administered by ineffectual bureaucratic institutions and culturally controlled by hardline Muslim orthodoxy. Both men were put in a position where the survival of their nation was dependant on a new and dynamic relationship with western powers. In both cases, the traditional dogmatists within the country created obstacles that only a despotic control of society could overcome. Without the will and vision of the leader, no progress would be possible and the country would be destined to fall back into the past at a time when embracing the future is the only means of survival.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
-- strategies that didn't work in the long run, by the way. Indeed, if they had worked then it is doubtful that Russian Revolution would have taken place. f you check your history books you will see that the fall of the Romanovs began long before Nicholas II came on the scene. He just failed to see the writing on the wall.
This part of the comparison is invalid because of the reasons you stated above, ie. the different circumstances between the two situations. In any case, Peter's reforms did create a completely successful world empire for at least the first century of the Romanovs. What would be the result if Abdullah's vision for Jordan were given a full century to flower and flourish? Would it not create a completely new transformative momentum for Arab society in general and open doors of progress we cannot even imagine? But let us be more realistic and precise to the current crisis. All King Abdullah needs is a decade of solid rule to put in place his vision and have it take root in the minds of a new generation of young Jordanians thirsty for knowledge and hungry for progress. And we both know that the interests of the west are such that this decade of Hashemite rule is guaranteed. Whether things go wonderfully or terribly in the surrounding countries (Iraq for the obvious example) Jordan's key importance to the west will only increase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
Rather than development, Abdullah's policies of 'muzzling the masses' & the RFs lifestyle will only lead to a rise in the radicalization of the the population a la Saudi Arabia (at least they have oil $$ to buy acquisence with). He is following the same trajectory as the Shah (Unlike the Shah's oil money, he has the American $$). Just like the Shah and Saddam were dumped by the US, so will the JRF when they are no longer needed.
This point is irrelevant because the west in general and the United States specifically are absolutely in need of a strong modernising globally minded monarch in the region who will be on their side. It is a perfect symbiosis, one that no amount of radical unrest will be allowed to threaten. Comparison to the Shah and Saudi Arabia is equally irrelevant because the black gold is not going to be the most important issue or resource. The world's oil reserves are on a ticking clock of depletion and once they're gone (within the next 15-20 yrs) the US and the west will need other allies with whom different relations exist. King Abdullah's vision of high technology, global economic moderation, and cultural interdependency will be the new gold of the post oil era. He is young, forward-thinking, charismatic, and open to new evolutionary changes, which we all know are coming and will be impacting our societies, and so, the fact that Jordan's value to the west is not limited to oil, ensures the King Abdullah will have a leading role in shaping the 21st century for the Middle East and the west.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
The wrong person gets tortured?!?! People aren't 'mistakingly' tortured. It is never acceptable , especially if a leader purportedly wants his nation to become a part of the 'developed world'. Again, this kind of 'developmental Stalinism' approach doesn't work. Development includes a respect for human rights.
Sometimes the threat and, yes the implimentation of torture, are the only ways of intimidating radicals into submission. If the King did not eminate an aura of instant, total, and ruthless suppression, his regime would be toppled by Islamifascists and chaos-sowing thugs. Jordan is not a pretty place and in order to meet the demands of history within the limited time frame available, Abdullah needs to stamp out resistance with no compromises. Your analogy to Stalin is not correct because Communism was destined to fail and the people who objected to Stalin's regime were on the right side of history. Those who object to Abdullah's vision, just like those who resisted Peter the Great, are on the wrong side of history and for the good of his country and the world extreme measures are necessary. The alternative is for the King to hand over the country to the mullahs and/or Al Qaeda.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
People in Jordan are tortured for disagreeing with the regime or speaking out against its policies. People you term "troublemakers" are rampant because the regime is so repressive.
Those who speak out against the King undermine his authority and threaten the survival of the nation. Western notions of free speech do not apply in a repressive Arab culture. At this point western liberal democracy is not only unwise for Jordan, but would in fact be deadly. Again I refer you to Peter the Great, who personally chopped the heads off the Red Guard and their administrators who conspired against him. The action shocked western sensibilities, but guess what? After that there were no successful revolutions against his reforms and Russia entered a golden age of progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
Indeed, not only does his regime have his own citizens tortured, but foreignors have also been tortured on the behest of the US (Abdullah's benefactor, just like they were the Shah's). This was the case with case of Maher Arar, a Canadian. Turns out he was innocent.
It doesn't matter if he was innocent. What matters is people fear the King's authority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
In short, you can make excuses for him and his regime all you want, but most intelligent, informed people see him for the despot he is.
Rather than disenfranchise or use strong-armed tactics with large, potentially influential segments of the population (eg. Islamists), he needs to bring them into the political process and co-opt them. Much like in India's Congress Party co-opted disperate groups in order to sustain the country's democracy. It's necessary for long term stability and sustainable developoment.
This type of indoctrination of Islamist radicals cannot be achieved with the current generation. The Islamists currently on the scene in Jordan need to be marginalised, censured, imprisoned, or killed. The next generation of young Jordanians will be able to enjoy the King's reforms and embrace new possibilities, undreamt of previously, but only if the reforms are allowed to take root. In the end, young people want opportunity not dogma, they want to enjoy their lives rather than go out in a blaze of glory for a lost cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
Development doesn't come from impressing Western socialites with ones jackets and designer Georg Jensens silverware (which cost tens of thousands and is verifiable, btw).
King Abdullah has done a great deal of impressing in the west based on his policies. For example he was quoted as an authority by Senator Kerry during the second presidential debate in the US. The King is respected, valued, and listened to by the western powers. And, even though his wisdom and vision are the important issue now, he only has the prestige because he, and especially Queen Rania, have dazzled and mesmerized the western leaders. And so it doesn't matter about the silverware. That's just a bunch of nonsense meant to distract us from the main issues. Only people who are dying to find a reason to critizise the King and Queen care about this trivia, because they can't critizise the real substantive aspects. This is true of all the supposed extravagances and excesses that you love to bring up. It all means nothing in the end because the fact remains that King Abdullah is leading his country and the region into a new world order that breaks from all the traditions that your assumptions are so dependant on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean.~
Rather, it comes from an independent, educated, and motivated citizenry. Thus Abdullah's regime has to reconcile its alleged desire to develop with it's desire to maintain control, which, unlike real development and modernization, only requires obedience and subordination from the populace. Even country's like China are realizing this.
King Abdullah is creating the enlightened citizenry that Jordan is destined to possess, but it isn't just going to appear because naive utopians wish it could exist. It can only come into being under the firm controlled guidance of a strong enlightened leader. Jordan is not China. It is a unique culture currently held hostage to outdated traditionalists who have no interest in change and, without Abdullah's guidance, would continue to brainwash future generations into a gleeful self righteous march backwards toward annihilation. The only real development possible for Jordan, just like for early 1700's Russia, will be an evolutionary leap that drags the people kicking and screaming into the modern world.
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  #167  
Old 10-09-2004, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balqis
King Abdullah is creating the enlightened citizenry that Jordan is destined to possess, but it isn't just going to appear because naive utopians wish it could exist. It can only come into being under the firm controlled guidance of a strong enlightened leader. Jordan is not China. It is a unique culture currently held hostage to outdated traditionalists who have no interest in change and, without Abdullah's guidance, would continue to brainwash future generations into a gleeful self righteous march backwards toward annihilation. The only real development possible for Jordan, just like for early 1700's Russia, will be an evolutionary leap that drags the people kicking and screaming into the modern world.
Can I please add my two cents to this discussion. I really really do hope that K. Abdullah succeeds in all that he trying to do for Jordan as the consequences of failure or God forbid overthrow of his regime could mean such an upheal not just for Jordan, but for the region and the even. I just wish though that K. Abdullah and his cohorts would occasionally have the grace to admit that they are building on an insfrastructure that was put in over several years by his father, and actually by his much maligned uncle. I am including a quote from a Thomas Friedman article in yesterday's IHT

"
When did Jordan begin privatizing and deregulating its economy and upgrading its education system? In 1989 - after oil prices had slumped and the Arab oil states cut off Jordan's subsidies. In 1999, before Jordan signed its U.S. free-trade accord, its exports to America totaled $13 million.

This year, Jordan will export more than $1 billion of goods to the U.S. In the wake of King Abdullah II's reforms, Jordan's economy is growing at an annual rate of over 7 percent, the government is installing computers and broadband Internet links in every school, and it will soon require anyone who wants to study Islamic law and become a mosque preacher to first get a B.A. in something else, so mosque leaders won't just come from those who can't do anything else. "


1989 was when P. Hassan was in charge of the educational, civic and ecnomical development of Jordan. And the requirement that preachers should have a previous non theological qualification was the raison d'etre behind P. Hassan's creation of the Al AlBait Post Graduate University, which was removed from his supervison in 1999 - made into a liberal university, to its cost, and is now being taken back to its original focus. Computers were first introduced into the country by P. Hassan's Royal Scientific Society and were part of the 10 year Educational Reform plan that was also cancelled and restarted in 2000. A touch of modesty and a little less hubris would not go amiss ! :(
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