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Germany Built a Road in Southern Afghanistan Without Any Insurgent Attack

A dpa wire report published by m&c:
A 4.5-kilometre road, Germany's largest reconstruction project in southern Afghanistan, has been completed without incident in the restive province of Kandahar, a German official said Tuesday. The constructions was finished in three months without any interference from insurgents, said Hans-Hermann Dube, regional director of GTZ International Services of the German government-owned Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit, which works on international projects aimed at political, economic, ecological and social development.
More about German aid in southern Afghanistan from Reliefweb:
The Federal Foreign Office is making available EUR 163,000 to Caritas International for emergency aid. The German aid organization is working together with a local partner to supply 20,000 internally displaced persons in Kandahar with food and sanitary products. Moreover, health advisors are providing emergency medical care. Fighting in southern Afghanistan have meant that some 120,000 have fled their homes since autumn 2006 and sought refugee in the town of Kandahar where several families often live together in cramped and unhygienic conditions. At the start of the year, the Federal Foreign Office made available EUR 500,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for protection and aid, also in the south of the country.
Is this sufficient to solve Afghanistan's problems? Of course not, but it contradicts the frequent complains that Germany is ignoring southern Afghanistan due to the security threats. Besides, this small example contradicts the claim that reconstruction is not possible due to the insurgency.

An Interesting article in the German daily Taz ("Auf Afghanistan hoeren") argues that the West should listen to suggestions from Afghans and for instance points out that President Karsai wants to talk to the insurgents rather than just shoot at them. The article also claims that the United States does not like his national reconciliation program and amnesty laws. (Is that true?)

The International Crisis Group writes that the growing insurgency is attracting increasing attention, but that's not the only problem: Long-term efforts to build the solid governmental institutions are faltering.

Endnote: Dan Drezner: "Why suicide terrorism is different in Afghanistan."

UPDATE: "
German Aid Worker Killed in Afghanistan," reports the Guardian:
Gunmen killed a German aid worker and robbed his three Afghan colleagues Thursday in northern Afghanistan, while a suicide bomber targeting a NATO convoy wounded five civilians in the country's south. (...) The four workers for the aid group German Agro Action were traveling in two vehicles when two gunmen stopped them outside the village of Mirza Wolang in Sari Pul province, said Sari Pul Deputy Gov. Qamarudin Shikeb. "They took them out of their cars, searched and robbed the Afghans and took the German a short distance away, killing him with two bullets,'' Shikeb said.

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pen Name on :

We (Iran) have built a 100 KM road to Herat without insurgent attacks. We are now building a rail link to that city.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

@ pen Name: Great. Do you have a link to an English source? Or to an article regarding Iranian aid for Afghanistan in general? @ All: I am sure other nations have also built some roads as well in Southern Afghanistan, but I don't have any sources. Please post links here.

pen Name on :

As you requested: [url]http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2006/12/27/iran-exploits-new-opportunities-to-spread-its-influence-in-afghanistan.html[/url] No state since WWII had received as many refugees both in absolute and relative numbers than the Islamic Republic of Iran. Considering the size of our economy our aid to Afghanistan has been more generous than yours.

pen Name on :

Note that our aide to Afghanistan, compared to the size of our economy, exceeds yours. Note that we have accepted more refugees, in absolute terms, over the last 30 years than any other country in the world. We helped people while you (EU & US) funded and helped Saddam Hussein in his War against Iran.

2020 on :

Of course the Taliban wouldn't interfere, they have been great road builders themselves when they established the logistic system for poppy trade in the nineties. The day might come when the road build by Germany will be of use for them ...again.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Thank you for the link, Pen Name. Very interesting. I will quote from that article in a new post next week. This post has an update. Aid worker killed in Northern Afghanistan. It's not as stable as many claim. And Germany apparently is not as welcome as many claim...

Zyme on :

@ Pen Name Before you get off your high horse again, please choose a real name. The first Iranian I ever met had a name I could hardly pronounce, now the second one I like even less. @ Jorg "And Germany apparently is not as welcome as many claim..." How welcome can foreign armies be? What do you think how welcome the allies were in 1946 among the germans? - Although they might actually have built even more roads :D

pen Name on :

I do not believe that you can pronounce my real name - just like the rest of the Western World most of you are too lazy and too arrogant to bother to learn to pronounce correctly the names of non-Western people - this all too common. As for my "high horse" I am stating the facts as I see them.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Try us. If you tell me how to pronounce your name, I will to my best to learn it.

Zyme on :

You donīt really like Europeans huh?

pen Name on :

I watched you guys support Saddam Hussein - you gave him money, weapons, chemical weapons precursors etc. to kill us better. You supported him in the rape of Chemical Weapons Treaty - a major international instrument of disarmament that had been in effect for 70 years prior to your endorsement of its violation by Iraq. One of you, UK, with US help, sidelined our complaint to UNSC - that is why we do not have much use for UNSC or UN. UK (together with US) was instrumental in killing Democracy in Iran in 1953. Outside of Iran: One of you, France, was complicit in genocide in Rwanda and later helped its perpetrators escape and offered them military protection. You, together with US, attacked Yugoslavia [An unofficial NATO ally during the Cold War] over Kosovo and thus went against the foundation of the Peace of Westphalia. Now, you want to breakup that country further by using UN. 60 percent of your population, in my judgment, thinks of itself as morally superior to the rest of mankind (even to US). Some of them, in fact, believe that they are more fully human than their parents and grand-parents. Well I find you to be full of delusions about yourselves, your place in the world, pursuing at times a Jacobin Policy and at other times a callous Realpolitik Policy. And of course, all your policies, to yourselves, is inspired by benevolence and humanitarianism. Again, I am not opposed to your domestic policies - I think EU is quite a pleasant place and I wish you all the best in your EU integration project. Nor do I have any objection if you guys tried, in a respectful and humble manner, to help us avoid the mistakes of the European Policy. What I strenuously would object to is your sense of being better than us and being able to do good in the world and using your power to try to coerce us in pursuit of your fantasies. As an Iranian, I saw you do Evil in Iran-Iraq War. As a Serb, I saw you doing Evil in Kosovo War As a Tutsi, I saw you doing Evil in Rwandan Genocide. You consider yourselves idealists – to me, on the other hand, you are people with very dangerous delusions.

Pat Patterson on :

Considering that Yugoslavia shared a border and ethnic background with the Russians in the Soviet Union merely describing them as an "unofficial NATO all[y]" is farfetched. The Peace of Westphalia only relevance today is in academia. The treaty was signed over 350 years ago and the only original signatory still in existence is the Dutch Republic. The only other place this construct is discussed seriously is in jihadists circle who argue that this old system of nation-states, free to kill its own citizens but not the citizens of its neighbors, is doomed to be replaced by a new caliphate. Which appears to be a system that allows the rulers of this new Garden of Eden the divine right to kill its own citizens and the citizens of other countries with impunity and no restraint. Neither Iran or Iraq signed the Geneva Protocols(1928) but merely acceded and reserved the right to use these weapons against any enemy state that either had or threatened their use. Even then the Protocol banned the use of CW but not the production, purchase or storage. Thus the minute amount of precursors sold by the US via 2nd party to Iraq did not violate the law. Was the US stupid to supply any weapons to Iraq? Of course! But retaliation for the Embassy seizures and the fear of the spread of Iranian totalitarianism and fanaticism were the main reason for that misguided support. The negotiations for the current Chemical Weapons Treaty didn't even begin until after the Iran/Iraq war was over. It didn't become ratified and began to be upheld until after 1997. The West has always, via a free press and debate generally always acknowledged its mistakes, especially the spectacular ones. But the constant victimhood of the Middle East is amazing in that every evil is because of the West. The idea that somehow, without the interference of the West, the Arab and Muslim world will no longer kill each other over oil or theology. No one in the West forced Iraq to attack Iran nor to use chemical weapons. Just as no one in the West encouraged Iran to use poorly trained and poorly armed teenage conscripts to attack out of trenches with neither air or artillery cover. No one in the West told the Serbs to massacre Muslims in Bosnia or Kosovo, but the West did indeed stop the massacres. Unlike their fellow believers who basically did nothing except watch Egyptian soaps or buy thoroughbreds. But in Rwanda the legacy of the struggle between competing colonial powers, Belgium, France and Germany contributed mightily to the murderous antipathy the Hutus and Tutsis had toward each other. Except again, except for some unproven charges against the French this war and massacre was primarily native to the area.

pen Name on :

Pat Patterson: In fact, it was German companies that supplied the Chemical Weapons precursors and not the United States. It was you guys knowing full well what you were doing. You had to prop up Iraq at any cost and really did not begin to complain until after he attacked Kuwait. France gave loans to Saddam Hussein to buy French Weapons. Italy and US supplied credit. All of these were just tip of the ice-berg. Iran would have defeated Saddam Hussein in 1983 if you and the Arabs had not propped him up. Serbs in Bosnia were 1/3 of the population. Did they have a right to remain citizens of Yugoslavia? But I was not discussing Bosnia. I mentioned Kosovo were you supported Muslim terrorits against a duly constituted legal state authority. And please spare me your EU propaganda about thousands of Kosovars being murdered - you could not find the bodies after that war ended. And you have not said anything that has invalidated my statements; your comments reveal several things: that you do not care more about Justice than Peace - a dangerous delusion, that you think that you are in the (Moral) right, and that you think by admitting mistakes you have some how achieved moral rectitude. I did not imply that West got Iraq to attack us, although many people in Iran are convinced of that. But why did US & UK prevent our case to be heard at UNSC? Nor did I insinuate that our problems are largely due to you guys (in Iran). So I do not know why you made the statements that you have made. I stand by what I have said whcih was rather narrow in scope and well defined. Your reply was one of typical EU propaganda fed to its citizens. I am not surprised though.

Pat Patterson on :

Actually I didn't attempt to invalidate your statements(as they are opinion) but factually most of what you said is nonsense. And since the EU is some 5,000 miles from where I live I found the "propaganda" comment quite funny. In the West I can go into most any library or get on the internet to find reliable sources and opinions that cover the range of thought on any subject. While the East and Middle East , admittedly noticed on the few times I travelled to the Middle East, the old Soviet Union and even some of the modern ex-communist nations, lack unrestricted access to information and often lack the skills neccessary to separate the wheat from the chaff. As an aside I do think its admirable that Iran, regardless of its motives, is helping the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. Unlike some of its other neighbors.

pen Name on :

Bravo for your trips! What a great world-traveller are you - kudos to you. I stand by what I said - I believe my statements have been factual.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"Considering that Yugoslavia shared a border and ethnic background with the Russians in the Soviet Union merely describing them as an "unofficial NATO all[y]" is farfetched." Yugoslavia did not share a border with the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia was a founding member of the non-aligned movement. Thus it is not far-fetched, but IMHO it is wrong to describe Yugoslavia as an "unofficial NATO ally." Despite all NATO bombings, Serbia is since December 2006 a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace. I think Serbia even wants to join NATO and the West. (Please correct me, if I am wrong.) So perhaps, pen Name, you could also get over the Wests's support for Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. Most Iranians seem to be interested in a better relationship with the West. Though, I admit EU or NATO membership is out of the question.

Pat Patterson on :

Ah, hoisted on a petard of my own demand for accuracy. My notes show that I intended to say that "Yugoslavia shared a border with the Warsaw Pact and an ethnic background with the Russsians." But then again that's what the Preview thingy is supposed to catch. Weren't Cuba and the PRC also a members of the Non-Aligned Movement?

pen Name on :

The fact remains that you attacked a country that did not mean any harm to you, did not seek a war with you, and was trying to supress an illegal terrorist group under the guise of humanitarian intervention. This I find totally objectionable - a Jacobin policy that is a threat to the doctrine of sovereignity of states. If you want to throw that away within EU I cannot care less. But kindly refrain from trying to shove it down our throats; we will resist it by any and all means. Not just in Iran but NAM and others. And Yugoslavia was always prepared for an invasion from the East - read some more.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"Well I find you to be full of delusions about yourselves, your place in the world, pursuing at times a Jacobin Policy and at other times a callous Realpolitik Policy." And how do you describe Iran's support for Hezbollah and Hamas? And how do you call Iran's meddling in Germany? German court implicates Iran leaders in '92 killings: [url]http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9704/10/germany.iran/[/url] Germany has not responded by assassinating anyone in Iran after 1992. We can play tit for tat for ages: "In response to a controversial plaque unveiled in Berlin last week, Tehran plans to post signs accusing Germany of supplying Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war." [url]http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,1184162,00.html[/url] Or we are pragmatic and find a compromise to improve our relationship.

pen Name on :

Iran helped the Shia when your buddies the Israelis were machine-gunning women and children in Lebanon. When your US friend was arming Israel to kill more Muslims. Iran's relationship with the Shia of South Lebanon goes back 400 years. Iran was not about to let the Shia become yet another helpless victim of your Israeli friends [the people who routinely shoot Palestinian medics]. My point, throughout these postings, has been to take strong exception to your benevolent self-image. I have no problem with you stating that you have political objectives that you wish to pursue. Then you are just like everyone else in the world - a player in this zero-sum game that is called international politics. But nothing more - no humanitarianism, no peace, no justice, no nothig except Macht.

pen Name on :

Iran did not assasinate German citizen in Germany. I do not condone the assasination of politicians, even those with whom I disagree. Undoubtedly, Iran has made many mistakes but those were only harmful to her and her own citizen and not to EU or EU citizens.

pen Name on :

Correction: Meant to say "manner, to help us avoid the mistakes of the European History" rather than "manner, to help us avoid the mistakes of the European Policy". Sorry about that!

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"to help us avoid the mistakes of the European History" What help do you want to get?

JW-Atlantic Review on :

@ Pen Name BTW: I just remembered that you said Iran would cause all kinds of trouble in Iraq, if the West would bomb Iran. (Or even in the case of full economic sanctions? I can't remember exactly what you said.) Anyway, today there was an op-ed in the German paper Der Tagesspiegel saying that the West could cause trouble in Iran as well. [b]Iran has a huge Azeri minority...[/b] Just wanted to report about it since we are playing hard ball and exchange threats... I hope, the US and the EU on the one and Iran on the other hand can improve the relationship. [b]There is a lot to gain from better cooperation, but we will all lose from a confrontation. [/b] I hear what you say about the West supporting Iraq in the war against Iran, but our governments are playing hard ball right now. It's all about interests and threats. Let's face it: You can convince our current governments to feel bad about the support of our past governments for Saddam. The West is not going to give any extra points to Iran, because the Iranian people and economy suffered a lot in the Iran-Iraq war.

Zyme on :

"There is a lot to gain from better cooperation, but we will all lose from a confrontation." Exactly.

pen Name on :

You chose the path of confrontation not us. And we are still cooperating with you in drug interdiction. I think it is better for Iran to make a deal with drug smugglers and let them use the Iranian territory for the transhipment of drugs to EU. You see, over the last 10 years we have lost 3000 men fighting drug smugglers - I do not see why Iranians should die to help EU any longer. What is in it for us? No hard feelings eh? Just a tit for tat, you sanction us and we stop fighting drug smugglers on your behalf. Yes, I know, there is drug addiction problem in Iran as well - which means that we should structure our relationship wih the smugglers so that they would refrain from selling drugs in our territory and we would let me go unmolested.

pen Name on :

GO ahead and try with Azeris. It just indicates the depth of your ignorance of our socialogy; that we are a country of Shia for the Shia. Modern Iran exists because of Azeri Shia - Mr. Khamenei is an Azeri.

pen Name on :

As I stated earlier: I wanted to prick your baloon of lofty benevolence and humanitarianism. I do not wish to convince or otherwise cause the governments of various EU states to feel bad so that Iran can get something out of them. We do not expect anything from you - you are US Lite; no more, no less. You are there to clean-up after US or else get US to do the dirty work for you. As far as cooperation you had your chance during the Khatami period. I think you will go on along with US and continue to sanctions us. I think your sanctions will not be effective. From Chinese border to the Mediterranian Sea you only have a single functioning state - the Islamic Republic of Iran. Accept us teh way we are or leave us alone.

Zyme on :

You really got to calm down, man. Just look at the present situation, isnīt Iran in quite a nice position right now? Most of the influence the americans lose in your regions is directly aquired by your own nation. There is little reason to be uncontent right now. And donīt be so harsh to Europe: It is our nations after all that insist on ruling out military options against your country. While the iranian nuclear programme is very unsettling, we have made clear that it is not worth going to war with you and risking the growth of world economy by setting this vital region even more on fire. Regarding our "delusions": Not every european believes we are on a moral mission when interfering in international matters. Did it ever come to your mind that we might simply pursue our interests? You know, it is easier to find support among other nations for such a procedure by accentuating moral motives that might also play a role. It is not our job to make the world a "better place", but to make sure our offspring will have at least the same amount of opportunities we have today. Selling weaponry to other countries does not make us responsible for their warfare. Be honest: If no weapons would have been around, you guys would have killed each other with sticks and rocks as well.

pen Name on :

The position that my country is currently would have been achieved in 1983 had certain well-known states not chosen Saddam Hussein as their champion. I am not at all unsatisfied with the present situation of Iran - Lord has worked in his inscrutable way and had our enemies destroyed by our opponents. I do not have any problems with Realpolitik or competition in the International arena. I only object too this I-am-better-than-thou attitude of the European people and states. If US so choses, she will attack us, not you, not China, not Russia, not India will do anything substantal to oppose it. That US has not attacked on US has nothing to do with EU. I am not asking to make the world a better place but you did not have to subsidize Saddam Hussein.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"I only object too this I-am-better-than-thou attitude of the European people and states." Could you please give an example of a statement expressing superiority over Iranians? "That US has not attacked on US has nothing to do with EU." You mean attack on Iran? Yeah, I agree, there are many other reasons, why the US has not attacked Iran yet. a) No urgency or need, b) trouble in Iraq etc. If (!) the US wanted to go to war with Iran, even Britain (and Poland) would not support the US. In fact there was some speculation, that Blair is planning to pull out the British troops from Southern Iran, so that Britain would not end up in a war with Iran, which could start "by accident" based on the US-Iranian controversy over alleged arms shipments to Shiites in Iraq. "I am not asking to make the world a better place but you did not have to subsidize Saddam Hussein." I agree. It was a horrible mistake. In fact, I do not fully understand why we supported Saddam. I thought Saddam received plenty of arms and other support from the Soviets. Though, apparently for some reason, the Iranian theocracy was considered more of a threat than an Iraq supported by the Soviets...? Hm, I guess, Western support for Saddam was supposed to make Iraq more of Western ally than a Soviet ally? Could anyone refresh my memory here, please.

Zyme on :

"I am not asking to make the world a better place" So we are getting closer to the point :) "but you did not have to subsidize Saddam Hussein" Maybe the countries involved did want to have several powers in this region rather than one? It is always easier to deal with smaller powers than with one power dominating a region. "The position that my country is currently would have been achieved in 1983 had certain well-known states not chosen Saddam Hussein as their champion" Well it is not our job to improve your position :) "Lord has worked in his inscrutable way" Please spare us with this nonsense. Letīs discuss rationally instead. "If US so choses, she will attack us, not you, not China, not Russia, not India will do anything substantal to oppose it." I donīt think so. The americans tried it in Iraq, and I think they are realizing this isnīt working. They canīt simply destabilize a region with such important materials for the world economy without having proper support among other powers interested - unless they would be willing to risk another desaster.

pen Name on :

In my opinion, you cannot control the events in the Middle East - those days are gone forever. EU states (and US as well) cannot be string military states, strong economic states, and strong social welfare states at the same time. My recommendation to you is accept Iran the way she is and try to negogiate a deal that can satisfy both sides. -We will never give up our nuclear developments. -We will never (actually cannot ever) be a secular state. -We will never be friends with you or US - but we do not wish to be enemies. -We are willing to accomodate some of your concerns but -We will not, in the foreseeable future, change the orientation of our state to take into account your concerns. I doubt that will ever happen - there is just too much suspicion in Iran regarding foreigners including EU, Russia, Sunni Arabs. -We are willing to learn from you and have trade, cultura, and educational relationships with you but not at the price of our own National Power. If you can have a relaionship with us within the above parameters - Welcome! Else, leave us alone.

Pat Patterson on :

I think Israel, Turkey, India and the semi-resurgent Russia would find the description of them as non-states interesting. Iran's economy is already in trouble with a GDP per capita 1/3 that of Europe and 1/4 that of the US. Almost half of its population lives below the poverty level formulated by UNICEF and UNESCO. It is always the sellers of commodities that suffer during embargos or blockades. Iran's economy will collapse during any kind of serious sanction or blockade unless there is some secret plan for the excess population to carry oil in canteens to China and Japan. If Iran can justify helping its fellow Shia in Lebanon, then by that logic the US can arm Christian groups in Iran or the Turks can arm its fellow Turks in Iran. A justification for violence is dangerous both to the object and the subject of the threat. I'm a little confused by the reference to Jacobin theory as neither the EU or the US use the guillotine anymore to execute nobility. Though after the antics of the Grimaldis many might wish for the blade to be used again.

pen Name on :

There Christian groups in Iran are Chaldeans/Assyrians and Armenians to whom we gave refuge when they were being massacred by Turkey. As for the Shia in South Lebanon - they are not against EU or US - they are against Israel. But, none of this is about logic. This is about power. Go ahead, try to break us. US has been trying to do that for 28 years and never worked and we were weaker then. Please do not waste my time by your attempt at irony with regards to Jacbin policy- if you do not understand me I am not responsible for your rather inadequate level of eduction. As I have said before: accept us the way we are or leave us alone. You have no middle course.

Zyme on :

"your rather inadequate level of eduction" thihihi - this made me smile :) "But, none of this is about logic. This is about power." Partially it is, most of the time. "Go ahead, try to break us. US has been trying to do that for 28 years and never worked and we were weaker then." Now I would like to ask you to do something very important for having interesting discussions: Please remove those bitter emotions when having a discussion. It doesnīt really underscore your arguments and obviously nobody here is so easy to provoke. No country wants to "break" Iran, whatever breaking a country would look like. When foreign governments have such hostile relations, they may try to change the foreign government by various actions. But they rarely want to break an entire country or its population. I guess the only people that would like a country of your region to be literally broken are those muslims with a considerable antipathy towards Israel. "As I have said before: accept us the way we are or leave us alone. You have no middle course." This might have worked in the ancient world, when some explorer discovers your nation and you ask his nation to leave you alone. In the 21st century with a globalized world, you donīt have these options. As soon as countries start trading, they become influenced by each other. For example when clothes of western fashion are exported to Iran, they come into conflict with the current moral stance of your population. While this style comes into conflict, some like them, others do not. While western fashion stylists donīt like traditional clothing of the orient, they might be willing to adopt traditional parts into the clothes sold in your region to reach more consumers. Hence you have a change in positions. "We are willing to learn from you and have trade, cultura, and educational relationships with you" From the very moment these relationships are initiated, both sides are influenced by each other - and the "middle course" begins.

pen Name on :

You are not accepting us the way we are; you are trying to impose your will on us - America's Junior Partner, the Good Cop, the Carrot. We, on the other hand, accept you the way you are even though you are, like Don Juan, are trying to live your lives without God - even though you support and have supported our enemies. I have no objection to trade etc. but I do object to your political projects in the Near East. Iran will resist them. You are either truly ignorant or unaware of the US policies towards us - Clinton explicitly tried to bankrupt us during the 1990s. Your (EU) analysts publish papers discussing target choices inside Iran. You do not and cannot seem to accept us the way we are.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Your comment sounds hypocritical to me: "You are not accepting us the way we are; you are trying to impose your will on us - America's Junior Partner, the Good Cop, the Carrot. We, on the other hand, accept you the way you are even though you are, like Don Juan, are trying to live your lives without God - even though you support and have supported our enemies." Most Europeans believe in God. You just focus on the minority of atheists. You criticize Europeans attitude to religion, although Europeans do not criticize Iranians attitude to religion. And then it is you, who says, that we are not accepting the way you are. Come on. "You are not accepting us the way we are" What does that mean? I really don't know. Europeans sometimes criticize human rights violations, like stoning of women, hanging of gays, the closure of independent newspapers, support for Hezbollah etc. This is always criticism of specific Iranian policies. This is not criticism of your ways of life. Or do you consider the stoning of women (which is increasingly less practicised fortunately) to be part of your cultural identity ("the way we are")?

JW-Atlantic Review on :

@ Pen Name "to help us avoid the mistakes of the European History" What kind of help do you want to get?

pen Name on :

Yes, most Europeans perhaps believe in God in the sense that they may agree that he exists; but just like Don Juan, they want to go on living their lives ignoring him. Iran does not execute men for being homosexuals; they are executed for raping boys. They deserve execution, in my opinion. Human Rights, in the abstract, are used to beat us on the head. What you need to do, is to engage on a persistent and continuous process of dialogue, Iranian jurists and religious scholars to incorporate - per chance - some your ideas about human rights into the corpus of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence. For this dialogue to occur, you first have to accept the validity of the othersides Legal Tradition and approach it from the point of view of mutual respect. That I do not see from you. Even your comments above betray the same arrogant approach that some how you (EU) have got all the answers and we are the poor country fellows who need to study at your feet. There is a institution in iran called the Center for the Dialogue Among Civilizations. It is headed by Mr. Khatami. Perhaps you can start there - like the Goethe Institute in Tehran - and form a 50-year long process of discussion on Law, Western Law, Islamic Law, Principles of Jurisprudence etc. Our scholars can also come to Germany and teach about the relevance of some of our laws to your situation; for example, victim's rights. What I have outlined above is an example of an approach based on mutual respect, mutual dialogue, and humility on both sides which I do not see now. You have one valid point regarding stoning. That is a valid criticism. And in fact, it is not in the Quran. It is in the Islamic Law and there has been efort to remove it - without success yet. But I am hopeful since several years ago we finally succeeded in equlaizing blood money ot Muslims and non-Muslims. Several years ago, Mr. Vajpayee, the Prime Minister of India and the leader of the Hindu Fundamentalist party BJP was in Iran and met with Ayatollah Khamenei. They had no problems - India was not lecturing us on this or that and we did not interfere in ther internal affairs. That is what I meant by mutual acceptance. And, on a personal level, have voiced my criticism of your policies. This staement "to help us avoid the mistakes of the European History" actually was inspired by a comment made by a friend of mine from EU - he stated his regret that EU both at the personal and state levels had failed to help other peoples and states to avoid the sort of mistakes that Europeans made during their history.

Zyme on :

"We will never (actually cannot ever) be a secular state." And why is that? It is one of the main reasons why Iran is considered to be backward in the western countries.

pen Name on :

"Backward" indeed! I believe that the Western Civ. consists of 3 major traditions: the Legacy of Rome, the Christian Religion, and the Tradition of Personal Liberty of the Ancient Germanic Tribes of Northern Europe. In Muslim countries, the major tradition is Islam. Within Islam, there is no separation between Politics and Religion. The well-known saying of Jesus "Render unto..." laid the foundation of the separation of Church and State in the West. The existence of the other two traditions above helped as well. But we have none of that in Muslim polities. All the existing secular orders (really not secular but anti-Islam) are dictatorships (soft like Tunisia & Jordan - hard like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria] or in which the Armed-Forces have been written into the basic laws of the land. And always leaves a hole in ths souls of the Muslim peoples. Anyway, what is so great about secularism - Hitler & Stalin were secular - so what? In Islam, the theoretical or practical space for the creation of such an order that can also be representative does not exist. The pursuit of a secular and representative Muslim polity is a chimera. Your attitude again betrays that aura of superiority that posits the European History as some how normative of all of Mankind. In fact, you are so allergic to religious people and institutions that you supported brutal military dictatorships in Iraq and Algeria because you could not accpet the Muslim popular social forces. This is a shortcoming of your mentality and world view - in my judgement.

Pat Patterson on :

The sad thing is that the only even partly free state in the Middle East is secular Turkey. If what pen Name argues is true then the question has to follow why does God keep his children in that part of the world in police states and poverty?

Zyme on :

Thats easy Pat: Because his preachers have them under better control :D

penName on :

If you people think that Turkey is ever going to be anything other than a crippled imitation of Europe, you are sadly mistaken. Turkey is not secular in the sense that yu understand - it is anti-Islam. And its barren ethno-linguistic nationalism leaves no room for any one else - Kurds, Armenians, etc.

Zyme on :

"If you people think that Turkey is ever going to be anything other than a crippled imitation of Europe, you are sadly mistaken." Iranians donīt appreciate their former master huh? :)

pen Name on :

Turkey was never ever our master; please read some history before displaying your ignorance; futher shaming yourself. We fought with Ottomans for 400 years just as we did with Byzantium and before that the Romans.

Pat Patterson on :

So the Turks don't go to mosque on Friday? Some of pen Names responses are beginning to sound like a high school text on Western Civ. I truly would like to hear an Iranian point of view, with scholarship, debate and without the chest thumping.

pen Name on :

Pat Patterson: Your poor attempt at rhetoric is no substitute for understanding - unless you have been to Turkey you cannot fathom the depth of that state's antagonism towards Islam.

Pat Patterson on :

It's now official that there will be no attempt at debate from pen Name other than responding that there is secret knowledge. I asked in my last comment for that kind of information but I can see that nothing will be forthcoming. But I can't resist asking who was Mahmud-a Ghaznavi and who were the Seljuqs?

pen Name on :

Mahmud-a Ghaznavi and the Seljuqs have as much to do with Turkey & Iran as Visigoths with Modern Germany and Modern Italy. Iran did not exist at that time. Modern Iran was created by the Shia Azeri Turks in the 16-th Century - the famous Safavids. It was the Safavids that revived the notion of Iran; they gave money to Raconteures to recite the (Perisan Language) Book of Kings all over their realm. Please do not waste my time.

Pat Patterson on :

Fine, propagandize your own history. The Visigoths ended the Roman Empire in 410 AD and another descendent of the Visigoths began the Reconquista in Spain. Fairly important events in the West.

Don S on :

"The Visigoths ended the Roman Empire in 410 AD" Well - a bit later Pat. The official date if the Fall of the Roam Empire in the west is 476 when Odoacer the visigoth overturned the last emperor, a teenager named Romulus Augustus. This after the emperor's father and grey eminence tried to do away with Odoacer.

Pat Patterson on :

I've always been more partial to the period of Stilicho, the Emperor Honorius and Alaric as the end of the Empire and the sack of Rome. But I have no problem with the later date as well.

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