Sunday, October 31, 2004

Name of this blog

Physicist Jacques Distler has a blog, titled Musings, which I visit regularly. However, I had a column, with the same title, Musings sometime ago, (thanks to Rajan Parrikar!) on the South Asian Women's Forum. So I don't think I need back away from this name.

In any case, the readers of this blog if any are likely very different from those of Distler's blog.


Lumo said...

This is the simplest way for me to reply to your comment.

It's fine if you post comments under my articles, but the purpose of this space is to allow comments about the actual content of the article, not just postings that try to humiliate the author.

Of course, the owner of the blog has the strength to delete unwanted comments.

Your text suggests that you not only have not read my reply, but you have not even read Osama's speech itself - because your comments are unrelated to the relevant topics such as the Lebanon War.

There is one more obvious reason to know that you have not read my text: every other sentence of your comment starts "if you think ABC then [you're stupid]". All the topics ABC are discussed in my text, and you could have known that I think one half of the ABCs and not the other half.

Finally, I was not asking you about recommended literature. If you think that you understand politics better than me, try to write something intelligent about it yourself, instead of just ridiculing others.

Arun said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Arun said...

Previous attempt removed for bad HTML. Second try:

The previous comment needs some explanation. I had commented on Lubos Motl's Reply to Osama bin Laden ( found here ), and it offended him so much that he deleted the comment!

I'll repeat the reading recommendations here: To understand what Osama bin Laden is about, find and read the voluminous writings of Sayyid Qutb. Some of them are available on the web. To understand how terrorist networks are formed and what it will take to defeat them, read Marc Sageman's "Understanding Terrorist Networks".

My criticisms were general ones, but perhaps if they were specific, they might have been better received. But the essay is full of mistakes. Just one, for instance, OBL said : "We have not found it difficult to deal with the Bush administration in light of the resemblance it bears to the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half of which are ruled by the sons of kings and presidents."

LM's reply "This sentence implies that you don't like those Arab regimes that resemble the American ones. In other words, you don't like the idea of democracy."

Actually, what OBL is saying is - though ostensibly a democratic government, the Bush administration is no different from any Arab government. Any American would say, "There are **no** Arab regimes that resemble America - there are no Arab democracies today." And OBL is saying, "your government resembles our governments in the way it functions, there is no difference."

This is borne out by the next sentence: "Among both types, there are many who are known for their conceit, arrogance, greed, and for taking money dishonestly." and subsequent sentences accusing Bush father and sons of similar behavior. (see MEMRI and MEMRI 2.

While OBL may hate democracy, the implication found by LM is simply not there.