A sociable bet Little Richardjohn - 7th post - 31 Aug 2004 11:56
The Time: The end of Ramadan 2005
The Place: The Shat-Al-Arab waterway between Iran and Iraq.
The Protagonists: Ayatollah Khameini and the new Ayatollah Al Sadr of Iraq.
The Event: The Great reconciliation of the two long lost Shia brother-nations. With verses read, kisses exchanged, statues destroyed and a new balance of power heralded for the region.
re: A sociable bet marplot - 247th post - 31 Aug 2004 12:25
You'll be lucky if Iran is still a theocracy by then. There is also good chance Sadr will be dead by then.
re: A sociable bet Little Richardjohn - 9th post - 31 Aug 2004 19:02
Sistrani could well be dead by then for sure. He's lucky to have made it through the last six months.
We all could be dead by then. And yes, the Yanks may well be twp enough to kill Al Sadr and make him a martyr.
In which case it will be his emboldened successor who intermingles beards with his Iranian counterpart.
The bet is still on as far I'm concerned. And with you and me being the only ones to yesorno this question, the odds at the moment are 50-50 or 2-1.
Pretty good odds for a ramshackle dad's army that takes its guns home at night and puts them under the bed with the plumber's tools. Especially when you consider that they're up against the most powerful war machine the world has ever known.
Why you say Iran will not be a theocracy by then is a mystery. Don't be so mysterious. Whaddya know?
re: A sociable bet marplot - 300th post - 31 Aug 2004 19:21
It's not a 50-50. I know what the US military is made of, I also know that they have the full support of the US govt. This is going to be done, losing is not an option. There might be set backs, there always is the unforeseen happenings, but it will be completed.
Iran is ripe for revolution. With two democracies on both it's sides, it will fall.
re: A sociable bet Little Richardjohn - 11th post - 31 Aug 2004 19:42
The fact that you believe that America will triumph militarily, whatever that means, doesn't effect the odds at all. Unless you mean that if Al Sadr wins an election, the American army will prevent him taking power. And even tha wouldn't stop him succeeding Sistrani and carrying out the Grand Shat Al Arab Reconciliation if he wanted to. It might even make that more likely. Unless the US policy is to kill him if he wins the election...
So what exactly is 'Going to be done' and whaddya mean 'ripe for revolution'? It's happening before your eyes.
The bet isn't about who 'wins the war'. It's really about whether the future leader of Iraq will be a western style capitalist or not, and whether he has the imagination and political will to stage such an event and redefine the regional balance of power to his advantage. I think that whoever he is, if he is in a position to trade with Iran, he will be there, Koran in hand, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of defiant Shia faithful. Or will america bomb it as it happens? Is that all they're good for?
The VietCong also knew what the US military was made of.
"he will be killed or captured. It's inevitable."
Was Johmo Kenyatta or Gerry Adams or David Ben Gurion or Nelson Mandela killed? Or any of the other ex-'terrorists' who went on to be political leaders?
Who will kill him? Why? and what do you think would be the consequences?
You seem to believe he's too important to be allowed to live. That makes me even surer that his tactics and methods are spot on.
The Americans, to poach Martin Sheen's line, don't have any METHOD at all.
…’there may be any number of sects or sect leaders to worship rather than any singular being or notion of Islam…’
The danger is of the rejection of the western notion of statehood in favour of the general muslim identity. Any local sectarian difficulties can be ironed out after the immediate problem of Western occupation is solved. Or goes away through lack of money.
If I was an Iraqi with political ambitions, I would be more convinced by the Islamic marketing package on offer than the alien, imposed image of a capitalist Iraq: a sort of mini-Egypt, crawling with fat tourists in shorts.
The unique selling point of the Islamic identity, like that of all serious religions, is the fact that it bestows dignity on the believer regardless of his wealth, providing he is prepared to sacrifice his entire individuality.
Capitalism ONLY grants status if you are rich. (The word 'rich' should be confined to the world of the senses - the smell of Xmas puddings and the like - but it has been hijacked to mean having a lot of money - typical.) Which is why Islam has an international brotherhood and we have organised crime, often involving the politicians who we elect via our sacred democracy.
Communism offered the same internationalism, but it didn't have the advantage of a (generally) common language, it had to abide by the laws of reason and face up to philosophical criticism, and it didn't control the oil reserves of the consumer society it opposed.
Imagine what Communism could have done with the advantages of Islam, and remember what a fuss we made about even that enfeebled form of International conspiracy. Then ask yourself why Al Sadr, or someone indistinguishable from him, shouldn't succeed eventually in running Iraq or at least being in a position to mount the sort of publicity stunt I proposed at the Shat Al Arab. Or are we just arguing about the date and personnel?
Doesn't it remind you a bit of Ghandi's Salt March stunt even just a little bit? [reply] [Complain about this post]