Talking Points 3rd of October

Hello, it’s Kate with you today. We’re back from Ireland and you can see photos from the trip on Flickr and a video about Tuesday’s WHYS with TN2020 in Belfast here on youtube. So if you saw the US vice-presidential debate or followed the live reaction here on the WHYS blog, who do you think ‘won’?

Will in Canada thinks “Biden won hands down. (Palin) tripped and was on script but that was it. Biden was the guy I always knew he would be – open warm and genuine!”

and Jonathan on the blog thinks it was “better than the presidential debate”

This article thinks the debate was a showcase for “folksiness versus experience” and the debate generate lots of interest in the blogosphere, for example on the Huffington Post.  This blogger wants to see a similar forum in India. Do you think these one-to-one debates are a valuable tool for choosing candidates? Would you like to see this in your country?

And India has entered into a deal to trade nuclear fuel with the US. It allows India to expand its nuclear power industry without signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty along with other nations. Pakistan is demanding similar treatment, but this US blogger doesn’t think Pakistan should get a similar deal. Should India be allowed to bypass normal rules on nuclear proliferation?

The internet communications company Skype has been revealing user’s info to the Chinese government. Skype said it had always been open about the filtering of data by Chinese partners but when should trading win over human rights?

Lastly, thanks to Jessica, Mike and Kelsie for moderating a busy blog.

59 Responses to “Talking Points 3rd of October”

  1. 1 Jessica in NYC
    October 2, 2008 at 19:11

    Here a couple of articles making the rounds in media:
    ‘No advantage’ for Irish bankers
    Police chief quits after months of pressure
    Indian ban on smoking in public

    Any thoughts?

  2. 2 Julie P
    October 2, 2008 at 19:18

    New Zealand is committed to cutting emmissions, one way is to reduce farts and burps from cows and sheep. A fart tax is being considered.


  3. October 2, 2008 at 19:34

    Sir Iain Blair’s resignation was long overdue after allegations of persecuting Tarique Ghaffur which culminated in him (Tarique) being relieved of his duties.!

  4. October 2, 2008 at 19:35

    @ Bail Out

    I keep hearing about how small businesses NEED credit so that they can meet their payrolls. I had a small business for fifteen years, and I never needed to borrow to pay my payroll. I would have thought I was failing… I would have been failing, if I needed to borrow to just keep going.

  5. 5 Dan
    October 2, 2008 at 19:42

    Here we are coming to the end of the the “Holy” month of Ramadan and as predictable as the sun coming up in the East, Muslims in Iraq went on a rampage of murder and bombings. Mosques were not spared telling the world that that they do not respect their own religion. Why should anyone have respect for what Muslims do not even revere?

    Many think that I am too extreme but I am NOT politically correct and I also understand what Radical Islam wants for the civilized world. I take umbrage at the cute sayings from the Koran that WHYS Muslims exchange but never condemn what Islam has become.

    As we saw in Tienanmen Square where one brave man stood against tanks one brave person can face tyranny down. I do not pretend to be as brave as that man in China but I will stand against Muslim tyranny along with many others but sadly there are no Muslims who will stand us.

    Judaism gave us the Law. Christianity gave us compassion. Together they give us Justice. What does Islam give us other than death and destruction and Fascism?

  6. 7 Robert
    October 2, 2008 at 19:55


    Although Blair’s departure is long over due I think this was not done correctly.

    Elected officials should not be able to pressure senior civil servants (which the police chief is one) out of positions. The job of the civil service is to maintain the functioning of the country, not to be the servants of politicians. Removing those that have underperformed is the job of the civil service through its own procedures. Politics should not be allowed to interfere. Otherwise what is to stop senior officials in the police etc becoming like politicians and chasing targets and headlines, rather than functioning efficiently.

  7. 8 Roberto
    October 2, 2008 at 20:22

    RE “”I had a small business for fifteen years, and I never needed to borrow to pay my payroll””

    ——- These are risky high stakes ventures where “growth” doesn’t match income who need to borrow.

    Consider the restaurant. Goes back a few thousand of years, so you’d think they’d have figured out how to do it. Yet I understand 90% of all restaurants opened fail within a couple of years. Very expensive to open, operate, and close a restaurant, yet the proliferation continues, which makes me think it’s in the accounting and writeoffs where the “credit” is skimmed off the top before vanishing.

    I worked in the stockroom of a high tech firm that had millions of dollars of hardware on the shelves. I was hired as a temp, and much to my surprise found out everyone there including the manager was a temp. Also figured out this was the place where a high profile arrest was made of a “heroin addict” who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars of hardware to sell to fuel his habit.

    A few days later came a knock at one of the side doors to the storeroom. I’d assumed the door was locked and went to go unlock it and lo and behold, the door hardware was busted and the door could be pushed or pulled open by a small child. The place wasn’t secure. I’m guessing the company was skimming insurance claims. The also operated a church on the top level and the whole of management was stocked with family members only.

    I’m guessing their books were veeerily interesting. The company president was a black haired woman who would’ve sent off the wicked witch of the east like a scalded cat if they ever got sight of each other. I doubt Hitler struck so much fear as she commanded. Chamber of commerce made her business”person” of the year.

  8. 9 Jack Hughes
    October 2, 2008 at 21:04

    Rod Liddle over at the Times wrote about the PC-PC Blair:

    Some people see it as ironic that the most politically correct copper this country has ever seen should face his biggest crisis on an issue of, uh, being politically incorrect.

    …the more politically correct an organisation – the more prone to that poisonous oxymoron “positive discrimination” – the more likely it is to be staffed at the top exclusively by self-flagellating white liberals who think that none of this stuff applies to them. And you can’t get any more politically correct, on paper, than the Met and the BBC.


  9. October 2, 2008 at 21:11

    McCain Quits Michigan

    two articles: one Detroit Free Press, one Politico via Yahoo News

    McCain giving up on Michigan race (freep)

    McCain pulling out of Michigan (politico)

  10. October 2, 2008 at 21:25


    Wow that’s big election news imho!

    Re: Palin!

  11. October 2, 2008 at 21:27

    I’ll bet those in Michigan love McCain now LOL

  12. 13 Robert
    October 2, 2008 at 21:39

    McCain and Michigan

    Tactical voting and electioneering is the name of the game today. Political parties in the UK effectively give up constituencies that they know they have no chance winning, ignoring those they are bound to win and focusing effort in those swing seats.

    The Liberal Democrats are very good at at this and have achieved a position in Westminster that is perhaps a little more than their share of the vote would suggest they should have.

  13. 14 Julie P
    October 2, 2008 at 21:43

    Will, the wolverines are wearing lipstick to celebrate.

  14. October 2, 2008 at 21:48

    @ McCain giving up on Michigan race

    “stand up stand up”
    “stand up for your right”
    “stand up stand up”
    “don’t give up the fight”

  15. 16 Pangolin-California
    October 2, 2008 at 22:01

    @ Portlandmike~ re: Payroll on the credit tab.

    That’s something that has had me completely baffled too. If a business is in the habit of putting the payroll on the credit card the business will end up in the same jam that the kid who relies on paycheck loans to get through the month. Eventually the interest charges on all that borrowing will put you down. How a business with no cash reserves is worthy of credit is something that I don’t understand either.

    Of course. That could explain why the whole mess is crashing. Somebody swapped econ 101 with the bad idea hall of fame.

  16. 17 Jonathan
    October 2, 2008 at 22:01


    So all that “guessing” and “assuming” leads us to…. where? The only facts I could make out were that the president of a company won an awarded from the Chamber of Commerce, and you think she was ugly. And they didn’t lock the door. I apologize if I’ve missed your point.

    It’s risky ventures that innovate and transform the world and produce growth, or, if you must, “growth.” If nobody took risks, we’d all be vey much poorer. A world of safety and stagnation wouldn’t be a healthy, happy, or prosperous place. (I was going to say “We’d all be bankers,” but that doesn’t seem the right metaphor just now.)

    If you’re looking for criminals, you’ll find them behind the doors of a couple of million American houses that they bought by lying on their mortgage applications, collectively bringing the world economy to its knees. I haven’t heard anyone even suggest prosecuting them.

  17. 18 Robert
    October 2, 2008 at 22:11

    How the times have changed.

    Checking my email tonight and instead of the normal “you’ve been pre selected for credit card/loan/mortgage” I instead recieved “Robert do you qualify for an IVA” (IVA’s are a structured way of going into bankruptcy in the UK). It comes to something when they start advertising how to go bankrupt!

  18. 19 Jonathan
    October 2, 2008 at 22:14

    It makes strategic sense to concentrate on states that are (a) important, (b) contested, and (c) winnable, but this should be done skillfully and invisibly to avoid appearing weak.

    I see we’re under instruction on this page to “discuss non-US-election issues,” but the only alternative we’ve been given is a page on the vice-presidential debate. Hmmmm. I hope our gracious hosts won’t think we’re ignoring their request; they didn’t provide the means to comply.

  19. October 2, 2008 at 22:24

    @ mods: header needs to be fixed; it is only Thursday

    Farting Cows
    Julie P
    October 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm
    New Zealand is committed to cutting emmissions, one way is to reduce farts and burps from cows and sheep. A fart tax is being considered.


    Julie, they fart as much as they do because of the junk food that we give them to cause them to produce obsene amounts of milk. Of course, we keep them in something of a constant state of pregnancy, as well.

    It isn't as if cow's milk is any good for you, anyway.

  20. 21 Pangolin-California
    October 2, 2008 at 22:27

    @ Sheep emit methane~ If those New Zealand farmers increased the carbon in their soils by one or two percent they would more than make up for the methane emissions of the ruminants. Here’s a report in the New Zealand Herald that talks up a scheme to microwave forest waste to charcoal and bury it in soils.

    Here’s the Wiki page on biochar for anybody who’s interested in doing a little home carbon sequestration. It can be a little messy grinding and burying charcoal but the improvement to soils is truly a wonder to behold.

  21. 22 Kelsie in Houston
    October 2, 2008 at 22:27

    Hello all:
    Marketwatch warns that “fears of recession” have driven the Dow to its lowest point in three years. Are we still “fearing” a recession, or already in one?

    The Weekly Standard is pressing for “unlimited FDIC insurance.” Any thoughts?

    The British ambassador to the United States, in a leaked letter, has called Senator Barack Obama “aloof” and “decidedly liberal.” True or not?

    A new treatment for opiate addiction from an Israeli medical professional?

    First the “writer’s strike,” now labor woes strike India’s Bollywood:

  22. 23 Jonathan
    October 2, 2008 at 22:31

    LOL @ lipstick on a wolverine

  23. 24 Julie P
    October 2, 2008 at 22:41


    I put the article up as something of a joke. I thought it is foolish.

  24. October 2, 2008 at 22:53

    Hi my Precious Dan in the US, the perfect anti-Islamic WHYSer… How are you doing today ?! Here’s the link to the ‘Baghdad shaken by suicide bombers’ story : news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7647722.stm. BTW Dan, I can totally understand why you are totally unable to feel sorry for those innocent victims being senselessly murdered during the Eid holiday, it’s because they’re Muslims, and you do hate Islam and all Muslims in general with passion don’t you ?! Hatred is an illness Dan, and as a future doctor it’s illnesses that I am interested in the most… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  25. 26 Jonathan
    October 2, 2008 at 22:55


    They’re eating grass, as cows should. Although the corn-fed ones are much tastier.

  26. 27 steve
    October 2, 2008 at 22:58

    Wow, looks like Europe is going to move to the far right again. With the success of in Austria of a far right party taking advantage of anti-immigrant policies.

  27. 28 Jonathan
    October 2, 2008 at 23:20


    Hey, we need you on the “VP debate” page!

  28. 29 Robert
    October 2, 2008 at 23:20


    Most things are cyclical including politics. Or maybe politics just follows the general cycle of the economy. Look at Britain. The left managed to bring the country to its knees in the late 70’s and we shifted to the right. Then the recession of the 90’s shifted us back left. This crisis now will shift us back to the right.

    The problems with the economy along either side to attach its rhetoric and spin to people basic fears of being able to provide for themselves . Currently the right use immigration by saying ,”your jobs are under threat by these foreigners” etc. 10 years ago the left were using slogans like “your health service is under threat”.

    Should a shift to the left or right worry people. Not really so long as democracy and fundamental human rights are protected. Once you lose those then you get Hitler again.

  29. 30 Kelsie in Houston
    October 2, 2008 at 23:28

    German poet Frederich Schiller billed for TV radio and licence fees:

  30. 31 Pangolin-California
    October 3, 2008 at 00:04

    @ Addiction cures~ There are multiple sites on the internet that claim that opiate addiction can be cured with several different herbal preparations. Cocaine and amphetamine addiction is supposedly treatable with these methods also.

    The appropriate Google search strings would be “african root cure addiction” or “amazon vine cure addiction.” As many people in the US and most in the rest of the world have no access to western trained M.D.’s it’s important for appropriate traditional medicines to be tested for efficacy and accurate knowledge spread.

  31. 32 Roberto
    October 3, 2008 at 00:50

    If you’re looking for criminals, you’ll find them behind the doors of a couple of million American houses that they bought by lying on their mortgage applications, collectively bringing the world economy to its knees. I haven’t heard anyone even suggest prosecuting them.

    ——– Getting a little nervous thinking about all them unwashed, uneducated, unintelligent citizens storming your little palace, eh?

    I used to work in an arm of the real estate biz and had to deal with the banks now filling the news. They were scamming us and quite high handed about it. There was built in attempted fraud in that a village idiot could spot a mile away. Since management jumped at every pull of the string and volume was massive, some successful fraud completed daily. Adds up year to year.

    The kind of fraud that typically won’t come out in the wash for most of the properties involved before they turnover ownership in a typical 3-7yr yr cycle, but could prove to be disasterous for some property owners. Just my end of a multitransaction business to the dotted line.

    Anyone applying for even a job these days much less mortgage at any bank or corporation gets an extensive background and credit check done almost instantaneously. There are few secrets jonny, so your claims about blaming Joe and Sue Bilked for the worldwide ponzi disaster is beyond ridicule.

    Right now I have enough credit available to me to drown me if I so indulged, a insane amount. I know a man who declared bankrupcy twice, yet was able to buy a home between bankruptcies that he lost. He died owing thousands of dollars to the credit card industry with offers for more cards flooding in months afterwards. Worked himself into an early grave, but, hey, he had it all….briefly.

    Common criminals in white collars with erasable balance sheets. Shame, shame, shame….

  32. October 3, 2008 at 01:49

    22 Kelsie in Houston October 2, 2008 at 10:27 pm
    The British ambassador to the United States, in a leaked letter, has called Senator Barack Obama “aloof” and “decidedly liberal.” True or not?

    (using my own definition of "conservative" and "liberal")

    You know, the Telegraph’s coverage of the Ashura child zanjir case really sucked. They made errors, and they exaggerated aspects of the story to the detriment of the Shia community involved. I would not be surprised if the paper itself were conservative.

    Obama is a centrist. His ideas about diplomacy and economics are not radical. If you want liberal, look at Kucinich or Boxer or McKinney. Hillary is not liberal. Nancy Pelosi is not liberal. Biden is not liberal. And Obama is not liberal. As far as I am concerned, these guys do not like to push their toes over the centre line.

    24 Julie P October 2, 2008 at 10:41 pm
    I thought it is foolish.


  33. 34 Jonathan
    October 3, 2008 at 06:10


    Friend, your language is rude and your comment is pointless. I’m not “nervous.” I don’t think I have a “little palace.” The paragraph starting “The kind of fraud” is gibberish. The anecdotes about your credit, and some dead guy you “know,” the newsflash that employers and lenders perform credit checks, and your further rambling rumblings about fraud and scam at yet another former job are not especially informative and not at all relevant. (You do have a lot of shady jobs.)

    Simple fact: The economy is collapsing because mortgages are not being paid. When borrowers don’t pay back their loans, banks go bust. It turns out that many of them lied on their mortgage applications, claiming higher income than they actually earned. (Credit checks do not disclose income.) That’s a crime, hence they are criminals.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

  34. 35 Nofal Elias
    October 3, 2008 at 07:20


    I siad this to Steve and I will say this to you as well.

    Hypothetically, I MILIRTARILY occupy USA for any fictitious reason, the first thing I do

    1. Dismantle the security services (Army, Police, FBI … etc).
    2. Create massive of unemployment, so people would be too busy trying to find work to feed their families, or turn them to crimes (kiddnapping , robbering .. etc), as there is no security.
    3. Release all the prisoners.
    4. Re-Do the Black & White Racisum, North & South … etc by using couple of thugs from point 2 to do the dirty work for me.
    5. Put in some puppet goverment to do what I tell them to do.

    Walla, the Americans goverment will beg me to stay to keep the security, and keep them in power.

    Please note, I am NOT saying this what is happening in Iraq, but that what I would do if I occupy USA, i.e my own MASTER PLAN.

  35. 36 Nofal Elias
    October 3, 2008 at 07:40


    To continue on my Master Plan, I would say to UN, I am staying until the job is done (how long is the piece of string – I define the job to suite me ).
    Then I say, look Americans killing Americans, or Christains killing Christains, or Christains killing Jews or Black killing White … etc

    Well anything I want to keep the chaos on to stay there as long as I want to.

    Again I am not saying this is what US is doing Iraq, is just my master plan.

  36. 37 Pangolin-California
    October 3, 2008 at 10:29

    @ Nofal~ I’m shocked! Next you are going to suggest that a cabal of prominent right wing politicians and oil executives held secret meetings to plan the invasion and occupation of a sovereign country to improve their personal financial positions.

    Then you’ll tell me that these guys were so arrogant they went so far as to publish a book describing exactly how they planned to destabilize the Persian Gulf region and they called the book something innocent like “The Project for the New American Century.”http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm

    Then you’ll be telling me that Iraqi oil is being diverted to Saudi Arabia to prop up global oil markets in a pipeline that Saddam built to get oil past Iranian missiles. As if American mercenaries controlled the shipping terminals and the pipelines weren’t metered.

    Ha, ha, ha……….

  37. 38 Pangolin-California
    October 3, 2008 at 10:32

    Nofal~ If you are an Iraqi IN Iraq I would suggest you get a healthier hobby. Too much speculation can be bad for the heart.

  38. 39 Nofal Elias
    October 3, 2008 at 12:26


    Is that the best comment you can come up with?

  39. 40 Dan
    October 3, 2008 at 13:35

    How sad for you to be unable to feel anything for those innocents Muslims murdered in Iraq this week.
    Additionally I would have thought you were more loyal to Islam rather than see Mosques defiled.
    I hope that you recover soon and regain your compassion for the dead and disdain for the Muslim murderers.

  40. 41 Roberto
    October 3, 2008 at 14:25

    RE “”Friend, your language is rude””

    —— Oh , me being rude to the food dude from San Fran?

    Heavens to Betsy!

    Not even the republicans are defending these predatory finance industry criminals, but very sweet of you to ignobly make the effort.

    Gonna be an ol’ fashioned pumpkin stomp and witch hunt brewin’ up in this, an extended Halloween season running into the next couple years.

    Ahhhh, let the good times roll.

  41. 42 Peter
    October 3, 2008 at 14:39

    Many Lecturers in Nigeria are corrupt.A student have to pay money to earn a mark.

  42. 43 Alec Paterson
    October 3, 2008 at 14:43


    Muslims killing Muslims is now a common feature of the Eid holidays, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. I would not say that Dan hates Muslims. The problem is Islam itself, as a highly detailed political doctrine. This political doctrine includes what being “nice and moderate” to kafirs really means.
    All Muslims believe that there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet. Simple, but it demands that Muslims follow the Koran and the perfect pattern of Mohammed’s words and deeds (his Sunna). The Sunna is found in the Hadith (Traditions of Mohammed) and the Sira (Mohammed’s biography). Islam is a process, not just a name. Both the Koran and the Sira, Mohammed’s life, show a process of starting off with civility, then demanding and next moving to violence as Islam grows stronger.
    Mohammed preached the religion of Islam in Mecca for 13 years and gained 150 followers. He went to Medina and became a politician and warrior in jihad. In 10 years he conquered all of Arabia and died without an enemy left standing. Just as there are two Korans, there are two Mohammeds. Islam is dualistic in its nature. Islamic doctrine says that moderation consists of patterning your life after Mohammed’s perfect example and living by the Koran. By this standard of moderation, Osama bin Laden is a moderate Muslim. Osama follows the example of Mohammed, the warrior jihadist, and the later Medinan Koran. The Koran has two parts and the second part is about politics and jihad. A jihadist is a moderate Muslim.
    Any comments?

  43. 44 Tonye (Atlanta, Georgia)
    October 3, 2008 at 16:16

    This interview on NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’, broadcast yesterday, is highly informative about things going on with Iran, the Mid-East and beyond.
    It ties into all our present concerns with the upcoming elections, and the global economic environment.
    Hopefully I’m not violating any protocol by posting this link, but I think Word Have Your Say listeners worldwide will gain a lot from what is discussed.


  44. 45 Dinka Alpayo Aliap, s . sudanese student in Kampala
    October 3, 2008 at 16:23

    On INDIA. If China, Russia, USA ,British even Iran had possess a nuclear weapons’ why of India? if we talks in terms of Nuclear Weapons we have already got enough of them so INDIANS owned weapons could not makes world a dangerous place neither making her a better place.A man is born free and should also live free.

  45. 46 Nikitas
    October 3, 2008 at 16:29

    I’m always outraged when representatives of the US government praise their nations pledge to the reduction of CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases; especially when that government representative is a Republican.

    Shame on Palin for staking claim to her party’s support of the environment, nothing could be further from the truth. She praised the massive Alaskan pipeline project as a good thing for the continent. However this exact project is a hot topic in Canadian politics; a nation set to vote on October 14th. The supernatural province of British Columbia will be ripped to shreds so that a pipeline to feed the infinite hunger of America’s energy demands can be met. Guilt simply does not exist in the American political conscience. Another example? IRAQ!

  46. 47 Malok ,Kartoum
    October 3, 2008 at 17:00

    Reply to Mr. DAN. Muslims wage a war of JIHAD against BLACK PEOPLE of sudan in 1995-6 when Sadaam Hussien sent his jihadist troops to killed every one they came accross but were crashed into what the remember now in 1997 with their bigger jets ,tanks artilaries and their Allah blessing. As i said that, Muslim have one think in common to kills a non-muslim is not a crimes and ALLAH shouldnot punish you about it but killing another muslims is a punishable crime that should resulted in going to heel, according to my consideration its just a dog who is bitting its own tail as a GOD punishment for what they did in midleast and Africa but iam sorry for that because of innocent people dying over there.Iam Christians by religions and iam ready to joint any new CRUSADE MOVEMENT to show those who are calling themselves Alqaeda that they are Minority in this planet . SUKUREN JIDEN.

  47. 48 Nofal Elias
    October 3, 2008 at 17:02

    @ Pangolin

    I wouldn’t DEAR to suggest the war against Iraq was planned well before 9/11 and it was because of Iraq is the second largest oil reserve in the world (98 years+).
    George W Bush has some love to the Iraqi people and wanted to free them from the dictator Saddam, so he had to invent this WMD so he could justify invading the country.
    Gerorge W Bush love the Iraqies so much, he doesn’t want to leave the country, and he is going to share his love with McCain.
    All the countries in the region are very demcratic and they don’t have dictators at all except Iraq, so he came and rescued the Iraqies, thank you Mr Bush … NOT.

  48. 49 Nofal Elias
    October 3, 2008 at 17:18

    I am very impressed with Tesla motors 100% electric, 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, burns no oil, 244 miles per charge and pennies per mile,
    well that is impressive “www.teslamotors.com”.

    All the money that the company makes will put back in research to go to the next stage, to make the car’s roof solar panel.

    My point is instead of giving the $700bn to the muti millionaires bankers to bail the out, i.e money down the drain. This money should go in supporting companies the like of Tesla.

    Porsche is making electric cars based on the Cayman to compete with Tesla.

  49. October 3, 2008 at 17:31

    Hi Lubna
    Reyr October 2, 2008 at 10:53 pm
    I appreciate your sympathy for Iraqis, Muslims – whether Shi’ite or Sunnis and Kurds, and Armenians, but is the issue in Baghdad purely religious? I don’t think so. The problem is this insistence that US should remain permanently in Iraq. If that is the case, Washington is courting trouble. Iraq is not Vietnam and if Arabs don’t want permanent US presence, surely it is up to them.
    @ Alec Paterson
    I think you have a mistaken image of Islam. Many Muslims are sophisticated. Some of the adepts are popular authors, conversant with Christian and Jewish liturgy and philosophy. At a certain juncture, Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophies merge.
    Radicalism, fundamentalism, and eccentricity must be discouraged, I agree, but Muslims are not the only culprits.
    The issue of Islam has taken a political twist since Afghanistan, Pakistan, Britain and US are now negotiating with Taleban.
    Iranians are neither Arabs nor Semitic, but simply caught up in the web of prelates and the trash and drivel that they deliver every day form the pulpit. No wonder their influence is on the decline. The sooner we return to a civil agenda the better. The notion of personality cult and image worship is exaggerated by Shiites and should be discouraged. There is a thick shroud of discontent and unhappiness over Iranian youngsters, specifically because prelates forbid them wearing, eating and saying what they want. Iraq and Muslims everywhere must beware not to fall into the same trap and become prey to tyranny.

  50. 51 Nofal Elias
    October 3, 2008 at 17:56


    I am Iraqi Christian, how comes we never had any problems between Suni , Shia, and Christians before the invasion in 2003. I have loads of muslims friends and never asked them if they were Suni or Shia, becuase it never mattered.
    If you say Saddam was Suni lead goverment, I can tell you are 100% wrong, because the famous 52 deck of cards, the most wanted Saddam’s goverment men, 36 of them are Shia and 1 is Christian.
    Read my opnion to Dan above why this religous sactartians happened after the invasion in 2003.

    I always say Logic and Poltics don’t get on well.

  51. 52 Cavan Mejias from Tobago
    October 3, 2008 at 18:33

    So where will the hammer and sickle be placed? Above or below the US presidential Seal?

  52. 53 Alec Paterson
    October 3, 2008 at 23:22

    Nofal Elias,

    Of course there were problems before 2003. The Shia and Kurds were discriminated, brutilised, suppressed and put to death in their thousands by the Sunni tyrant Saddam and his predecessors. Of course you get a number of quislings supporting a dictatorship. Manorite Christians in Damascus were massacred in 1860 The Copts of Egypt have suffered discrimination, and have to request permission of the government to build and repair churches.

    Being a Christian, you must be aware that Christians are historically an indigenous communitiy that have been in what is now Iraq nearly since the time of Christ, several centuries before Islam came to the region. The majority of them I understand are Chaldean Christians,an ancient religious group affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. There are also Assyrian Christians.

    The Arab Nationalist movement, which was ostensibly secular and fostered by many Arab Christians as a result; they thought it would ensure them a place in the Middle East. But from its beginnings, secular Arab Nationalism suffered from severe contradictions because of the close identification of Islam with the Arab nation.
    Consider the case of the founder of the Ba’ath Party, Michel Aflaq. Aflaq was an Orthodox Christian, but he converted to Islam and urged other Christians to do so, saying, “Islam is Arab Nationalism”
    Many Christians in the Arab world are emigrating because of Islamic pressure.

  53. 54 Alec Paterson
    October 3, 2008 at 23:48

    Akbar Javadi,
    Islamic achievements in the fields of art, literature, science, medicine, etc. in no way refute the fact that Islam is intrinsically violent. Roman and Greek civilizations produced many great achievements in these fields as well, but also cultivated powerful traditions of violence. While giving the world the brilliance of Virgil and Horace, Rome was also a home to gladiatorial combat, the slaughter of Christians, and, at times, rampant militarism.

    Furthermore, the achievements of Islamic civilization are pretty modest given its 1300 year history when compared to Western, Hindu, or Confucian civilizations. Many Islamic achievements were in fact the result of non-Muslims living within the Islamic Empire or of recent converts to Islam. One of the greatest Islamic thinkers, Averroes, ran afoul of Islamic orthodoxy through his study of non-Islamic (Greek) philosophy and his preference for Western modes of thought. Once the dhimmi populations of the Empire dwindled toward the middle of the second millennium AD, Islam began its social and cultural “decline.”

    What is your thoughts on the following:-

    One of the common elements to all Islamic schools of thought is jihad, understood as the obligation of the Ummah to conquer and subdue the world in the name of Allah and rule it under Sharia law. The four Sunni Madhhabs (schools of fiqh [Islamic religious jurisprudence]) — Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali — all agree that there is a collective obligation on Muslims to make war on the rest of the world. Furthermore, even the schools of thought outside Sunni orthodoxy, including Sufism and the Jafari (Shia) school, agree on the necessity of jihad. When it comes to matters of jihad, the different schools disagree on such questions as whether infidels must first be asked to convert to Islam before hostilities may begin (Osama bin Laden asked America to convert before Al-Qaeda’s attacks).

  54. 55 Nofal Elias
    October 4, 2008 at 01:25

    You are kidding me
    After the first Gulf war, few thousands, not far, from the south tried to rebel against Saddam, thinking he is weak but with the help from US, Saddam managed to kill them all.

    It doesnt mean that Suni were against Shia, read the history before you jump to conclusion.
    as I said Saddam’s goverment was Bathist party and was not baised of Shia or Suni.

    Did you read what I said about the 52 deck of cards.Read the above.

  55. 56 Nofal Elias
    October 4, 2008 at 01:30


    I assure you who ever told you the Arab Christains immigrating becausr tehy were mis trated in their countries are totall lies, just to seek better life, is more or less econimic migrarents, rather tah political once.

    Come on read my comment to Dan above and you will understand.

  56. October 4, 2008 at 08:27

    Hi Alec Paterson
    Fanatics and fundamentalists let their imagination get the better of them.
    Christianity has developed into the mould of civilized society – after its feuds with Henry VIII in England and the purges of the high church in France in 1789. The Inquisitions in the Middle Ages took their toll of practicing Jews, faint-hearted Christians and probably some Muslims.
    Radical Islam or radical anything, usually traceable to poverty, must be discouraged. The issue of Jihad must be taken with a pinch of salt, but there again, prelates must make a living.
    From my personal viewpoint, men of faith are currently producing dazzling pieces of scholarship which surpass anything politicians and academics are able to write. Beware the new era clearly belongs to them, whatever their denomination, creed or belief.

  57. 58 Alec Paterson
    October 4, 2008 at 16:16

    Nofal ,

    Who are you kidding! Saddam was a Sunni, you don’t forget your allegience. As he didn’t forget his Tikrit clansmen. While Saddam Hussein was in power, his household staff, including his food-tasters, were largely comprised of Christians. He did this not because he was a wise and tolerant man, but because he was cunning, and knew that alone of all the groups in Iraq, it was the Christians who were most helpless, and would be no threat to his regime ­ they needed him, he did not need them. No doubt the Iraqi Christians, as dhimmis, will continue to be craven in the protective mimicry of some of the attitudes that you adopt. You ignore the Christian businessmen assassinated in Basra, or in the Sunni isosceles or more accurately scalene triangle, where the last eight Christian families living in Ramadi saw the men killed, the women seized, the children forcibly Islamized. Thebombing of churches and the killing of Archbishop, Paolos Faraj Rahho. The Christians are going the same way as the Jews of Iraq

    Don’t give this nonsense about economic migrants. It is well documented, and confirmed by the people themselves, that Christian populations are persecuted and suffer discrimination.

  58. 59 Bryan
    October 4, 2008 at 18:40

    It strikes me that Saddam’s employment of a few Shias as his henchmen was a cunning move designed to make it more difficult to organise against him on sectarian lines. Tarq Aziz, who held the position of deputy prime minister and also foreign minister, is a Christian, currently on trial for the murder of Iraqi merchants.

    I recall that Aziz visited the Vatican in February 2003 to try to stop the war. At a news conference in there he was asked a question by an Israeli journalist but refused to respond. He wouldn’t talk to an Israeli, even though urged to do so by an official at the conference.

    But that’s an aside. To claim that Christians in the Arab world are not under attack is absurd. I recall the savage murders of Christians in Baghdad and the destruction of their churches. Christian Copts in Egypt are routinely brutalised and Christian Palestinians are murdered in Gaza and their churches destroyed, and Bethlehem’s Christian community is a shadow of its former self. Christians there said exactly the same thing Nofal has just said – that they leave for economic reasons and not because of persecution by Muslims – and of course they didn’t miss the opportunity to blame the “occupation.”

    This is nonsense. Christians throughout the Muslim world are being persecuted on a daily basis by their Muslim compatriots – followers of the most intolerant religion on earth.

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