Monday, May 16, 2011

Saudi Arabia: the mother of all Arab tyrannies and all Islamic fundamentalism

There is a quite interesting article at The Independent by laureated English journalist Robert Fisk, which is being reproduced once and again through the Internet because it touches a central issue of the Arab Revolution: Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is the most totalitarian dictatorship in the whole World without doubt. Worse: it is a most obsolete kind of dictatorship: hereditary absolute theocratic patriarchal misogynist polygynous monarchy, which has imposed a state of Islamist terror since the early 19th century, not only in its own territory but all around as much as possible: Pakistan, Al Qaeda, the Algerian Islamist terror... all are product of Saudi machinations, let's face it. 

But, the same that the USA (and with it all NATO) bow before the economic and power-mongering might of Israel, they also bow to Saudi Arabia. In fact, the Washington-Tel Aviv-Riyadh triangle is the core alliance, not always explicit, of the so-called Middle East: an imperialist alliance against democracy and secularism in the Arab World and other areas of Muslim tradition.

But you better read the original thing by Fisk, right?

An Spanish translation can be read here for instance.


  1. He forgot to mention that is was O.K. to go after Libya because the Saudi's hate Quaddafi. Something about him trying to assassinate their King, or some such.

    What a fun loving bunch!

    The House of Saud is a collapse waiting to happen.

  2. Re. Gaddafi: indeed. Though there are also interests in removing China from the area and paying less royalties to the Libyan state (or whatever is left) for the oil.

    As for Saudia collapsing, I think we do not need to wait for debt-caused implosion, that the Arab Revolution will eventually and soon reach the country. This is a process that knows no borders and neither Israel nor Saudia (nor Syria, nor whatever else) can hide. However it's not necessarily a process that will succeed automatically. But it will succeed eventually, no doubt.

  3. Always good reading something by Fisk.

    Have you read his last one? Here is the link. Excellent.

  4. It was already known even before Obama was elected that he was Zionist Lobby fiasco (Petras dubbed him "the first Jewish President" - in the Zionist sense of the word "Jewish"). And his silence, right after election, on the Gaza genocide confirmed it.

    I do not expect anything from Obama but at least I hoped for some Clinton-style less extremely obvious boot-licking of the corporations and other dark power. But not even that. I'm not sure if Obama is a fiasco or if that the Presidency of the USA is. We may be in a situation of Empire without Emperor in fact (and by that I do not mean parliamentary democracy but mere outright oligarchy).

    Sometimes I have the impression that the last US presidents (since Ford maybe) are not more than figureheads, not more powerful and much less assertive than UN secretary generals.

  5. Luis, you mention Saudi Arabia as a source of Islamic fundamentalism, good. But why don't you also mention another source of Islamic fundamentalism, namely, Muslim immigrants in the West? Today, the biggest threat to the Western World is not Saudi Arabia, America or Israel, but the ever growing number of Muslim immigrants in the West. If one day Muslims seize power in the West, the collapse of the Western civilization may follow. The future of the West may be Islamic theocracy. So the indigenous Western people might be forced to convert to Islam or pay the jizya and obey the restrictions on non-Muslims. In such a bleak future, the rise and eventual world domination of China would be much more inevitable.

  6. I do not see Muslim immigrants as a thret, no more than the Opus Dei for sure.

    I just demand, in Europe as elsewhere that all religions are non-issues, that secularism rules and religious speculation and rituals become a private matter. I think that "Muslim" immigrant in the West, specially second generation ones, who are raised in our irreligious societies, are a tool in the quest for World secularization and agnosticism.

    I'm sure that it is much more likely for Muslims to become atheists (and even more secularists) than for atheists and agnostics to become Muslims. In all matters but holy war and vegetative growth we have assured victory. So we just need to deactivate these.

    Whatever the case, it's not within any kind of realistic possibility that Muslims become majority in any European country (other than Turkey and maybe Kosovo) any time soon. Not even Bosnia (where Bosniaks are only a pluralilty and many are atheist/agnostic anyhow) nor even Albania, maybe the most atheist nation in Europe today - in dispute with Spain for the first rank.

    But it is true that the Muslim world is quite underdeveloped in what regards to secularism, with some notable exceptions (Turkey specially). Not because of laws and such but because people still believe in religious nonsense in most cases.

    That's very worrisome because even in the USA that is improving quite fast, as far as I know. When I lived there, I being atheist was kinda anomalous for them: for them going to church and believing in "God" was something as natural as for Omanis... but for me it was already obsolete.

    It's just a matter of time until every society becomes effectively atheist. However the meantime may of course bring some stupid nonsense, like Khomeini or the Talibans.

  7. But of course, if, everything else equal, I have to choose between a theocracy of any sort, be it Muslim or Christian or Jewish or... and Chinese sociological atheism, I have no doubt: long live Mao!

    I'm willing to learn Chinese and whatever before getting my genitals peeled off or seeing children brainwashed with nonsense about a revealed "God" that does not exist at all.

    But I do not see any serious threat from Muslims at the moment: because they can't convince almost anyone. They are like a large bunch of Jehovah Witnesses, bound to lose their children to agnosticism and unable to gain almost any convert.

    That's why Islamism is such a perfect foe: because it cannot ever win, so fanatic and irrational it is. It may have some appeal where it's rooted but elsewhere is like green men from Mars.

  8. That's why Islamism is such a perfect foe: because it cannot ever win, so fanatic and irrational it is. It may have some appeal where it's rooted but elsewhere is like green men from Mars.

    But so it was also in the 7th century, but eventually it grew to be one of the world's leading religions. How did that happen? Mostly through oppression of course, just as in the spread of Christianity. If Muslims seize power in the West, the same process may relauch.

    BTW, I suggest you to rely more on statistics than on wishful thinking.

  9. Oh, c'mon! The 7th century was the Middle Ages, almost Antiquity! That was the period, the only period in humankind, when monotheistic religions expanded, typically in a very intolerant and violent form. Islam really expanded in the wake of Christianity but also of several expansive drives by other Jewish sects (what we know now as Judaism more or less), who gained adepts in much of West Asia, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa.

    But that's pre-Modern! Since Modernity was founded and specially since Capitalism replaced Feudalism, and even more since education became widespread and the working class began messing around, religion is in decline, specially monotheistic dogmatic sects.

    I'll tell you a (voiced) secret: Capitalism decodes... everything. Capitalism is unable to create ethics or politics or anything stable: it uses and corrupts everything like some sort of devil... religion or whatever else is for Capitalism just soemthing to use to make reproduce itself by concentrating power in the hands of the greedy.

    It is a "Satan" but it's fulfills a role of destroying all what is not genuine enough. In its wake only raw humankind, if anything, removed from all beliefs and all the junk accumulated through history will remain.

    Believing than any faith will survive this "quake" is wishful thinking: faith is done, all faiths. For whatever they still exist, they will be used and manipulated, corrupted and abused for the benefit of a few greedy and power-mongering manipulators. Just like with whatever other ideal that is not to restore Humankind (Humanism).

    Humanism survives and prevails because it instinctively anticipates and understands all that corruption and manipulation and pointlessness of faith, placing the only hope and power in Humankind, which is arising naked, "as God made it", if you wish, after the storm of corruption and destruction of all codes.

    In the end only the Human code, the genetic code, remains. That's largely why I am interested in anthropology and prehistory: because that's our only reference after all.

  10. I said "mostly through oppression". Actually it was an understatement, as without violence Christianity and Islam would quickly die out or remain marginal. Modern age people are not immune to same or similar kinds of religious violence. The only barrier in front of Islam is that Muslims in the West do not have the right tools and conditions yet to seize power, but that may change in the not very distant future.

    You said that when Islam appeared it was almost Antiquity. Actually Antiquity is much better than the Middle Ages in terms of religious plurality and freedom. So there is a regression here. The world regressed then, why not today and in the future?

  11. I think that the difference is that it will go in the other direction: what we are watching in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, etc. is that "Muslims" (most "Muslims" I know in person are something like atheist in fact) are like everybody else: they want freedom, jobs, human rights.

    The exact expression of these concepts may vary a bit (for me it may mean the right to nudism and elsewhere it may mean the right to wrap oneself from head to toes, and that's a conflict) but the essentials are the same.

    As I said there is not any likelihood of Muslims, much less "true Muslims" of five prayers per day, no beer, etc. becoming majority in any Western Country any time in the foreseable future. And anyhow, the majority in states like Dubai are non-Muslim and that changes little because it's not so easy for newcomers to gain civil rights, much less political power. Would that happen it'd be like in Israel: with all the imperial and financial might behind, not just with mere numbers.

    Bu even by numbers, Muslims are just small minorities and will remain so, both in Europe and Worldwide. I'm totally sure about that. In fact I'd bet that in 100 years, they are also minorities in most "Muslim" countries.

    "The world regressed then, why not today and in the future?"

    That's a good question but, why would you believe in "God" if you have education, science, etc. You'd really need daily miracles for all to see... and no "God" ever did that, other than Mother Nature...

    Just having a preacher ranting, a crowd ritualizing together... is not good anymore.

    Something characteristic of today's World is also lack of leaders and what they used to mean: even where traditional leadership is still institutionally strong like in Russia it's clearly weaker than it'd have been under Stalin or the Tsars. We leave in a World where people challenge whole armies barehanded knowing that if they are killed, their suffering will be known almost instantly everywhere and not hidden as used to be the case. Institutional terror is less and less likely to happen, much less to succeed.

    Still there are lots of challenges but I'm very hopeful.

  12. Also in the past a rumor of a miracle was as good as a true miracle (if that ever happened). Authority was important and could reinforce beliefs easily...

    Today even video-evidence would be challenge: science defeats faith.

  13. As I said there is not any likelihood of Muslims, much less "true Muslims" of five prayers per day, no beer, etc. becoming majority in any Western Country any time in the foreseable future.

    Did I mention becoming majority as a precondition for Muslims to seize power in a Western country? No. In fact, Muslims, and also Christians, have always seized power wherever they have when they were a minority in the total population. Look at the Islamic Arab conquests and the later Islamic Turkic conquests; in both cases the invaders were much smaller in numbers than the invaded, but they seized powered and then converted the overwhelming majority of the invaded to Islam. So numbers aren't so important; what really matters is controlling the army, and the rest will follow.

    These past experiences tell us that the Western World should be more worried about Muslim immigrants, as even in the minority position they can be very dangerous for the future of the Western civilization.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. The overwhelming majority not believing in miracles or being atheists is not so important when the Muslim minority rule over them.

  17. I do not think minorities can seize power anymore: you need legitimacy and "God" will not provide it (not anymore), only a majority can.

    You don't seem to realize how in the past "God" justified anything (feudal mindset) but today it justifies nothing at all.

    As they say in the Amazon rainforest: "God is great but the jungle is greater".

    Reality is stubborn and "God" is powerless.

    You are indeed right about sects seizing power in the past as minorities but that is not possible anymore: they would be challenged every minute until they collapse. Where on Earth does that happen anymore?

    "... the Western World should be more worried about Muslim immigrants"...

    I'm worried that they do not immediately become atheists and that they do not behave normally in inter-gender relations. But I'm sure we'll fix that with patience.

    Anyhow, there's nothing we can do other than struggle for a secular society every day, against Islam as against Christianity, right? As long as society needs science, "God" will be weak.

    In truth, I do not know what you're talking about: you seem to be trapped in the farce of the "clash of civilizations", which is nothing but a bit of a cultural shock, more in the Muslim than in the Western side of the equation.

    I am of course unhappy about the persistance of (fanatic) religion today, but I know it's in clear decline and that the decline will be sharper as democracy and culture advance.

    The only option for fanaticism would be to recreate the Middle Ages... but that's impossible. So they are just zombies.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. I think your leftist and political correctist ideological leanings make you misevalute Muslims. The clash of civilizations is not a farce but the statement of the obvious.

  20. Islam is as dead as Christianity: they are two faces of the same thing (Judaism in expansion) and one can't survive without the other. Only slight differences in tempo.

    100 or even 50 years ago, also nobody could believe here that Basques or Spaniards would become so massively agnostic. But it happened.

    Wait till the Iranian regime is deposed: Iranians today are largely agnostic too: too much of anything can only cause indigestion.

    There's no clash of civilizations: West Asia, North Africa and Europe are all the same civilization, accidentally split by religious sectarianism to be overcome now. Maybe there's some "clash" with China/East Asia? I do not think so either: I eat fairly well with chopsticks.

    Is it my dialectic materialism ("leftism") or is it your idealism ("rightism") what is wrong? What is wrong when facts and ideas clash?

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Is it my dialectic materialism ("leftism") or is it your idealism ("rightism") what is wrong? What is wrong when facts and ideas clash?

    This is the typical leftist reply. Leftists, when invited by rightists to be realist, usually respond by claiming that they are the realists and rightists are the idealists/non-realists without providing any proof for why this is so.

  25. Well, whatever. We have leftist reply going on in action, not just here but also in the "Muslim" World as far as I can see: people is not claiming to be ruled by yet another autocratic and theocratic Khalifa, like those of Bahrain, but they want democracy, human rights, civil rights and social conquests. They are just like us and that is what we and they learned with the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, etc.

    It's the same only global revolution up to a point actually: we all want the same freedom and social justice: we are all humans, we are all workers.

  26. It's the same only global revolution up to a point actually: we all want the same freedom and social justice: we are all humans, we are all workers.

    Good luck finding a realistic person who will buy your unrealistic and politically correctist ideas.


Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Comment moderation before publishing is... ON