Donald Trump made another of his usual daily headlines this weekend. The headlines read: Trump, Defending His Sanity, Says He’s a ‘Very Stable Genius’.
A president of the United States needing to assert that he is “a very stable” genius. Meaning: he is not as unstable nor as stupid as the rest of the world believes him to be…..
He might be a genius in his own right. After all, as a newcomer he did defeat that other Democratic female genius, the former wonder woman of politics. What is at issue is the term “stable”.
Richard Nixon once famously declared to a Sam Donaldson question: “I am Not a Crook“, months before he was forced to resign.
Even Warren G. Harding, wherever he is now, is probably shocked at all this.
Abe Lincoln can’t believe how such a gaggle of aspiring Social Darwinist jungle-dweller quasi-Nazis have taken over “his” party. How the worst and least bright have floated to the top of “his” party in recent years, just in time to manipulate their new extremely insecure leader.
The no-nonsense Teddy Roosevelt, rightly known as a true patriot, would look at all this going on with “his” party, and very likely end up having his name headlined in a murder-suicide crime case. Dying twice is the same as dying once, he would argue.
Dwight Eisenhower? Ike would start planning a new D-Day for this weekend. Target? Camp David (as he named the presidential retreat), the new Normandie (or Normandy, if you prefer)…..
Stay tuned: unfortunately there’s more. The fun has just begun, I’m afraid…..
M. Haider Ghuloum
“A future train station in Jerusalem near the sacred Western Wall will bear the name of President Donald Trump, Israel’s minister of transportation said Wednesday, calling it an honor bestowed in response to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. “The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and I decided to name the train station that leads to it after president Trump — following his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel,” Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said in a statement, according to the Jerusalem Post…….”
First- a bit of history: at the beginning of Islam, the small community of Muslims used to pray facing Jerusalem, not Mecca. They did that for some years. At that time Mecca was controlled by pagan Arabs who worshiped idols and statues that lined up the Kaaba. After the Muslims conquered Mecca and its people converted, it became the direction toward which Muslims prayed. Yet Muslims kept their political capital in Madinah (the Prophet did not trust the new Umayyad converts who dominated in Mecca). All that was, of course, long before they conquered Jerusalem and built the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the Caliph Omar.
There is one place outside the USA where Donald Trump is actually popular. The same place Barack Obama was so unpopular: Israel. Then there are a couple of remote places where the populace sees a combination of orange face and orange hair and opines support for their owner. Pockets of Oceania, some former East European allies of the German Reich, pockets in India, etc..
Media report a frenzy in Israel of naming and renaming places and streets after Donald J Trump. In addition to the Western Wall Train Station, there are street-name changes and other renaming. One street used to be Salah-Eldin (Saladin) Street; it is becoming Donald J Trump Street (DonaldTrumpStrasse). That last one probably makes sense, given that the name Saladin is controversial to both sides in the context of the occupied territories: he retook Jerusalem from its last Crusader rulers.
Now I have asked my secret cynical correspondent in the third (and lower) leg of the Middle East tripartite alliance, Saudi Arabia, if there are any similar moves to rename a street or housing development or even a mosque after Donald J Trump. He claims there is no such move, yet. But he hinted that it is likely Trump and Ted Nugent and Sean Hannity may become star attractions at the next Jenadriya Festival (an annual Saudi Desert Hootenanny event).
M. Haider Ghuloum
The Roman Emperor Caligula ruled for about four years. He was quite an erratic fellow, to such an extent that he once reportedly allegedly opened an imperial brothel in Rome. The brothel was allegedly staffed by the wives, daughters, and even mothers of the Roman senators. So, Caligula basically pimped the patrician (aristocratic) women of Rome, the women folks of his Roman Senate.
It is not clear to me if it was only the women folks of the senators of his own Republican Party (there was a party in Rome dedicated to restoring the old Republic to its status of pre-Julius Caesar times) or of all the senate of Rome. Oddly, Caligula (born Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus) had a wife named Milonia Caesonia!
Caligula was eventually assassinated by some enraged patricians of his own class. He was assassinated during some public games in the Coliseum. He was succeeded by his uncle Claudius.
FYI: (They say ancient Rome did not have WWE Wrestling)
Mohamed Haider Ghuloum
“AS THE governor of Mecca, Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud has been able to compensate for earlier failings. He came to his role in 2007 from Asir province, where his plans to erect modern tower blocks in the city of Abha were largely unfulfilled. He successfully erased Abha’s quaint old town, with its beehive houses made of wattle, only to replace them with squat breeze-block bungalows. Not a high-rise was to be seen. Now, on top of what was Mecca’s old city of lattice balconies and riwaq arches, the prince has overseen the Middle East’s largest development project. Skyscrapers soar above Islam’s holiest place, dwarfing the granite Kaaba far below. Diggers flatten hills that were once dotted with the homes of the Prophet’s wives, companions and first caliphs……….. two 50-floor towers on the site of the third caliph’s house. Such is the pace that for a time the holy city’s logo was a bulldozer…………”
This travesty, nay this crime, has been going on for some years. Islamic monuments from the home of Prophet Mohammed to the homes of his wives to the homes of Omar and Ali and other Sahaba have been razed to build malls, parking lots and luxury hotel apartments. Royal Saudi greed conspires with Wahhabi Salafi doctrine that opposes all types of monuments. To destroy the history of Islam, in the Birthplace of Islam.
It is not new, it’s been going on for years while Western powers that blasted the Taliban and ISIS for destroying ancient monuments remain silent. Aiding and abetting the desecration of history. I have posted often on this sad and outrageous issue. Here are a few of my older posts on this topic:
The Wahhabi War on History Continues: Now the Grave of the Prophet……..
Biblical Monuments, Islamic Monuments………
Cultural Dichotomy: Destroying Islamic Monuments, Funding Ancient Roman Restoration……
Breaking News: Prince of Mecca Receives Mayor of Mecca, Holy Town is Doomed……….
Destroyers of Islamic Heritage, Looters of Mecca………
Birthplace of Islam: Where Dogma and Greed Face History…………
Buying the Soul of Britain, Raping the History of Islam, Sacking Mecca……………
M. Haider Ghuloum
“Zoroastrianism is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. It was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago. For 1000 years Zoroastrianism was one of the most powerful religions in the world. It was the official religion of Persia (Iran) from 600 BCE to 650 CE. It is now one of the world’s smallest religions………… Zoroastrians believe there is one God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord) and He created the world. Zoroastrians are not fire-worshippers, as some Westerners wrongly believe. Zoroastrians believe that the elements are pure and that fire represents God’s light or wisdom. Ahura Mazda revealed the truth through the Prophet, Zoroaster. Zoroastrians traditionally pray several times a day. Zoroastrians worship communally in a Fire Temple or Agiary. The Zoroastrian book of Holy Scriptures is called The Avesta…………….”
Arabs traditionally called them Majous (as in the Westernized Magi), probably after their priests, especially in the early years of the Muslim conquest. The conversion to Islam started under the second Caliph Omar I whose dedicated free-spirited desert fighters defeated the Sassanid (or Sasanian) dynasty surprisingly easily.
Because of their traditional symbolic fire rituals, Arabs and others have simplistically held throughout history that Zoroastrians were “fire worshippers”. That is equivalent to claiming Catholics worship statues or gargoyles (as in Notre Dame de Paris and other places).
During periods of regional political tension some Arabs, usually Salafi extremists on the Gulf, still call all Iranians, even the Muslims among them, Majous. They are a recognized but historically discouraged religion in theocratic Iran, and like Jews they hold one seat in Parliament. Nowadays especially the term is used quite frequently politically in Salafi ethnic propaganda campaigns and in social media, sometimes referring also to Shi’as, including many Arab Shi’as who don’t even speak Persian. Overlooking the fact that pre-Islamic Peninsula Arabs were mostly free pagans who worshiped chosen idols, and that ancient Egyptians worshiped their incestuous kings (Pharaohs) who usually married their own sisters.
Some aspects of their ancient religion are intriguing:
It is monotheistic (one supreme God-creator; one symbolic evil) – they worship several times a day – they have a book of Holy Scriptures (Avesta) – their God conveyed the truth to an ethnic Prophet (Zoroaster or Zarathustra), who was Persian rather than the usual Semite (Jewish or Arab)……..
Hint, hint, hint…………
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Libya, or some version of it, used to be a Roman province way back when. It was liberated by Arab Muslims in the seventh century AD, along with Egypt and the rest of North Africa. Ever since, Europeans have been trying to get back in, not just into Libya, but also the rest of North Africa (the Arab Maghreb). Come to think of it, Europeans have been trying to get into any vacuum to the south of their continent. The Americans were also forced to get involved during the early years of the Republic, under John Adams and Jefferson. During the wilder days of Barbary Coast (not the one in San Francisco, the one in North Africa). Hence the U.S. Marines on the “Shores of Tripoli“.
1911: Italy invaded Libya with with a view to expanding her African “empire”, like the French and British. Benito Mussolini later became dictator of Italy. He had read somewhere that Libya used to be a Roman province. He escalated the fight against the natives in order to secure the occupation, killing many thousands. During WWII, the Germans also entered the place in support of their Italian allies against the British who were entrenched in Egypt.
1943: The Western Allies liberated Libya from the Axis forces in 1943. But they stayed on for a while until invited by Colonel Gaddafi to leave after 1969.
2011: The Western allies, NATO, in conjunction with French pop-philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and David Cameron and Gaddafi’s old pal Tony Blair and Joe Liberman, liberated Libya once again. They took it from Colonel Gaddafi and his family, handed it to the disparate militias and Jihadists who control so much of it now. Remember the Republican political battle cry of recent years “Benghazi, Benghazi“?
2015: NATO and Arab leaders are hankering to liberate Libya again. Especially now that it is being threatened by the ISIS Salafi cutthroats. Will Libya be liberated one more time by the West? Will that be the last time, absolutely the last liberation of Libya, cross my heart and hope to die?
(FYI: Arab leaders can’t liberate Libya or any other place, mainly because you’ve got to have something in order to give it to others).
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Yemen 1962: some military officers staged a coup d’etat against the royal family, the Imamate of Hameediddeen. The new Imam Badr sought refuge in Saudi Arabia. A civil war ensued in Yemen, with some Saudi-supported tribes rising against the new regime, and leftist Egypt under Nasser siding with the officers. Saudis and Jordanians supported the tribes. Egypt sent thousands of troops to Yemen to help the Republican regime. It was a quagmire for the Egyptians, a quagmire the Saudis made sure would make Nasser suffer. Nobody really won that long civil war, and in the end they reached a compromise. The Egyptians left Yemen, but they faced a more difficult and tougher enemy in June 1967.
Yemen 2009: The Saudis briefly forgot their own lesson from the 1960s. They intervened in North Yemen against the Houthis. The best Western weapons that money could buy were essentially defeated by lightly-armed Houthis.
Yemen 2015: during 2014 the Houthis swarmed from their northern stronghold and easily defeated the corrupt Yemeni establishment that was set up and supported by the Gulf GCC, with UN blessing. More recently they have sidelined the president Hadi Al Zombie and the parliament and established new institutions. Now the Gulf GCC are making some political noises. There have even been hints at intervention by GCC. That would be interesting: would they send their imported foreign mercenaries into Yemen? How big a defeat would the Houthis inflict on them? Would the Gulf potentates align with the secessionists (former Marxists) in South Yemen? Would they kiss and make up with their AQAP (Al Qaeda) kin against a common enemy?
Recently, Egyptian media and some Egyptian officials have also been making warning noises about Yemen, in conjunction with GCC complaints about the Houthis. Their worry about possible Iranian inroads is understandable. It is unlikely that the Egyptians are thinking of re-entering Yemen. If they do, it is unlikely that the results would be better than in the 1960s. The Iranians themselves would be making Egyptian-like mistakes if they actually get deeper into Yemen. It would be the first Iranian intervention in Yemen in fifteen centuries, and it would be a big mistake. Yemen has always made a nice quagmire for foreigners.
Regardless of media fear-mongering, nobody is going to close the Bab El-Mandab Strait of the Red Sea, anymore than anybody will close the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. So just leave Yemen for the Yemenis to fight over: it is much safer and cheaper that way. Everybody else, from Iranians to Saudis to Qataris to Egyptians, stay out.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Have Yourself a Merry Little——-> Kenny G. Holiday
“Nepalese migrants building the infrastructure to host the 2022 World Cup have died at a rate of one every two days in 2014 – despite Qatar’s promises to improve their working conditions, the Guardian has learned. The figure excludes deaths of Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi workers, raising fears that if fatalities among all migrants were taken into account the toll would almost certainly be more than one a day. Qatar had vowed to reform the industry after the Guardian exposed the desperate plight of many of its migrant workers last year. The government commissioned an investigation by the international law firm DLA Piper and promised to implement recommendations listed in a report published in May. But human rights organisations have accused Qatar of dragging its feet………….”
If you have seen the old Ten Commandments films of Cecil B. DeMille, either one of them, you’d recognize something here. That was when Charlton Heston rebelled on behalf of the Jewish slaves who were building the Pharaoh’s (Yul Brenner) tomb. The slaves were ancient Jews, including Edward G. Robinson who probably looked ancient at birth, instead of Nepalese, Bengalis, and other South Asians. Many of them died on the job, at least in the Hollywood version of the story. Ditto for the most recent version featuring Big Moses and Little Yahweh.
Now back to earth and our current age. If the figure of one dead every two days is accurate that is suspiciously excessive, to grossly understate the tragedy. And it is only for one nationality of migrant workers, one of several. A crime either by negligence or callousness toward the value of certain lives. With temperatures in the forties Centigrade and in the 120’s Fahrenheit, labor should be curtailed, especially at daytime. Not that the evenings are that much cooler in summer on My Gulf (I bet you didn’t know it is mine and not some king’s or potentate’s).
FYI: there is no Moses on the Persian Gulf, nor is there likely to be one anytime soon. These are not captive forced labor, not until they land in the host country. Besides, if there were a Moses, some Pharaoh would buy him off. If they can buy off governments of big democratic world powers like Britain and France, they can buy off almost anyone.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Have Yourself a Merry Little——-> Kenny G. Holiday
Yesterday I saw the new Exodus film (Exodus: Gods and Kings) at the local complex. I saw the Imax 3D version. Quite different from the two older versions of the story of Moses, including the second Cecil B. DeMille one with Charlton Heston. The basic outlines of the story are the same; that we’ve all read in the Quran and the Bible. The special effects were superior, of course, but probably not superior to the, er, real ancient exodus? The main ‘Egyptian’ characters in the film did not look very ancient-Egyptian, most of them looked more ancient Jewish or Italian. The masses of Jewish slaves in the film looked more Mexican or Yemeni.
One more interesting aspect of the film. God, or Yahweh, is depicted as a little boy. He looks a lot like The Boy in Striped Pajamas, but cleaner and healthier.
I am certain this film will not be seen in theatres in Egypt or in any other Arab country. Once there may have been a remote possibility such film might be seen in parts of Beirut and Tunis, but that is not possible now. The older DeMille version was never allowed in any theatre in the region. Partly because in most Arab countries impersonating a prophet is not allowed: Salafis severely frown upon even the impersonation of people close to the Prophet (the Sahaba who were just ordinary folks with no holiness about them). Another important reason has to do with perceived modern political implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although every Muslim school kid reads the story of Moses and the Exodus in the Quran.
Besides, we can’t have a film showing a bunch of Jewish slaves beating Egyptians, although the Egyptians of those times were pagan king-worshiping sister-marrying types, and were not even Arabs. Bad enough they have been beating on Egyptians and other Arabs, and handily, for sixty-six years now (with one exception in Lebanon and we know who that exception is).
Ours is an extremely sensitive region. Sensitive in some respects but not towards repression and official violence, from Bahrain to Egypt. Other films deemed “sensitive” have been banned in the past, even some that were reportedly filmed in Arab countries. Like Lawrence of Arabia and Cleopatra. Cleopatra? WTF……………..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“Islamic State says its leader has ordered that the organisation start minting gold, silver and copper coins for its own currency, the Islamic dinar. A website affiliated with the militant group said late on Thursday that its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had instructed his followers to start minting the coins to “change the tyrannical monetary system” modelled on western economies that had “enslaved Muslims”. The posting says the order was approved by the group’s shura council, an advisory board………….”
A state is not a state without some monetary unit that acts as a medium of exchange and a store of value (this last one is not completely a joke now). Even a Caliphate needs currency. Even an ersatz Caliphate like the Wahhabi one that has sprouted up for now in Iraq and Syria. So they try to go back in history and pick currency names that are supposed to be “Islamic”. But they are not Islamic. The early Muslims just used the ancient names available from heathen countries.
The Jihadis of this Mosul Caliphate don’t realize, or maybe they choose to ignore, that their minted currency carries coin names from ancient heathen societies. Mainly ancient Rome and Greece and Spain:
- Dinar: Denarius (plural: Denarii) was the currency of Roman Republic from long before Christ, long before Caesar.
- Dirham: Drachma (Draxma) was the currency of Greece before the Euro. It was the Greek currency in ancient times as well.
- Riyal or Rial is almost certainly derived from Spanish ‘Real” meaning Royal. the “Real” was also the old Spanish currency. Of course the Iranian base currency is also the Rial, but I’m not suggesting a currency union with the mullahs.
- As for the “fils“, I have no idea WTF it derives from. Maybe from the Arabic word Muflis, meaning broke or bankrupt. Which would be appropriate for this word.
- At one time not so long ago the Gulf countries used the Indian Rupee as their currency. After Indian independence, a special Gulf Rupee was issued in India just for the Persian Gulf states.
How about picking something from the Old Testament, which Islam agrees with on most things? How about the Shekel? I once suggested in one of my older posts to the GCC they might consider the Shekel (they can call it Shekel 3.0). That was when they were seriously talking about a currency union. It is unlikely to happen now (the union not just the Shekel adoption).
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum