Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Metaphysics of Violence and Terror

[First Draft]

Metaphysics of Violence and Terror 
Ali Asghar Kazemi[1]
April 2011

Just very recently, amidst the fateful crisis in Libya, the embattled Libyan dictator Qaddafi warned the NATO forces that soon he will mobilize an army of invisible “Jinns”[2] to confront the infidel intruders to a Muslim land.  It is not known what the reaction of NATO commanders in the field was, but eventually Qaddafi was quite serious about his metaphysical assertion when he ordered his forces to slaughter opposition groups.
Throughout the history of mankind, political rulers joint with spiritual leaders have used and abused the supernatural beliefs and metaphysical forces in order to establish their power and solidify their grip over the minds and bodies of  people. Religious wars of the past, inquisition trials, torture, prison and other cruel punishments are considered as clear manifestations of the influence of the outer-world in the daily life of people.
Terror and violence are terms that have existed all along with the development human society from primitive times to the present.  In prehistoric era to the advent of men’s primeval civilization, violence was part of daily life in the “state of nature” which was a product of  pure human instinct for survival. Gradually, before reason became as the ground foundation for “civil society”, religion and metaphysics dominated the realm of knowledge of the world and its various sophisticated phenomenon. Thenceforth, violence became inseparable parts of religious rituals that still today are being observed as a sacred duty in some religions.[3]
What are the principal causes of these acts of terror and violence that seem to be inseparable part of human societies? The main argument in this paper is that violence, terror and atrocities such as September 11 events, suicide attacks and other mass killings, executions and the likes, should be explained and understood only within the purview of “metaphysical paradigm” and not necessarily   through conventional rational approaches. ...Read More

See pdf file

[1] Ali Asghar Kazemi is Former Dean and currently Professor of Law and International Relations at the ‎‎Faculty of Law and Political Science - Post-Graduate Program, IAU, Science and Research Branch. ‎‎Tehran- Iran. Dr. Kazemi is a graduate of the French Naval Academy and The United States Naval Post-Graduate School, Monterrey Calif. He holds PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Medford, Mass. USA.

[2] In the Islamic tradition, Jinn is a spirit that can take on various human and animal forms and makes mischievous use of its supernatural powers. Jinns are mentioned in the Quran like a zillion times. They even have a surah to themselves. (Suratul Jinn). They use to reveal to the Prophet Muhammad in times he needed help against his enemies. Sometimes, they even carry him to their world to teach whole clan of them.

[3] Scarifying various animals (instead of human beings in the past) during religious rituals and manifestations can be indeed considered a form of systematic violence still practiced in certain societies.

* Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and International Relations in Tehran-Iran. Students, researchers, academic institutions, media or any party interested in using all or parts ‎of this article are welcomed to do so with the condition of giving full attribution to the author and the ‎Middle East Academic Forum. ©All Copy Rights Reserved.‎

Thursday, April 14, 2011

“Is this Me this Glorious Peacock?”

“Is this Me this Glorious Peacock?”
( Pondering on Iran's Economic Reform)

A.    A.  Kazemi

این منم طاووس علیین شده         زیر بالم این جهان رنگین شده؟

When Mr. Ahmadinejad’s old car was auctioned for more than two million dollars and later his jacket was sold for over $50’000 in an strange public sale for charitable purposes, some critiques observed that he would  better  sell his socks and underwear for the sake of   saving his economic reform plan!
Indeed, Ahmadinejad is a clever but naïve man who lives with his raw illusions and ideals rooted in his limited world view. Nonetheless, he is a peculiar phenomenon who happens to occupy a high position that entails the fate of a nation in the long history of this land of marvel called Iran! His recurrent eccentric and pompous claims to take in hand the management of the world stems from an inner drive for self-importance that should be excavated through his past. His way of running the business of the country is a reflection of this malaise.
As I said elsewhere in my previous comments, “the implementation of the economic reform plans needs a number of prerequisites without which chances for its failure are very high.” It is necessary and important to reiterate here what I summarized about   those preconditions in the in that article:

  • “ A favorable domestic environment paving the way for people  bearing eventual economic hardship created due to inflation and price adjustments after the abolition of subsidies on energy and consumers goods;
  • People confidence on the capacity, honesty and competence of the government.  This factor  has been under serious strains, especially after the alleged fraud and unconvinced presidential elections of 2009;
  •  A favorable international environment which facilitates foreign investments and transfer of technology. This dimension is seriously damaged due to the nuclear crisis  which has deprived Iran from all transactions  with the rest of the world through the adoption of four UN Security Council resolutions devising economic sanctions against Iran;
  •  A realistic understanding of the world’s rules of the game and a rational decision about friends and foes with a view to promote national interests in all circumstances and making Iran less vulnerable to outside threats;
  • Transparency and truthfulness on all aspects regarding economic reform and sincere cooperation with the parliament with respect to the gradual implementation of the plan.”
While the initial steps of the reform plan package is underway, recent bills for gas and electricity shocked people dreadfully and protests against government are spreading around the country. People are only wondering how they could survive the galloping inflation that is being injected to the society.
On the other side, officials are announcing that monetary reform is underway and soon we will be witnessing four zeros being removed from national currency. This means another terrible psychological shock to the besieged people. In fact, it seems that somebody in the government (perhaps the glorious peacock) is prescribing “shock-therapy” for curing economic malaise in the country.
As I mentioned earlier, the accomplishment of an unprecedented national plan for structural changes encompass strategic, social, cultural, political, psychological and human factors as well.  Handling the above requisites at present Iran seems rather difficult. Since, in this circumstance, people seem not prepared to sacrifice their short and long-run interests in situations that require devotion, dedication and support for those who have no true sympathy for them and their causes.
Rising gold price in recent days is a good indication of people’s fear of diminishing their purchasing power on a daily basis, which makes them to rush to the gold market to exchange their assets to this precious metal and other robust foreign currencies.
People have learned by experience during the past years that they should not rely much on government officials whose promises,    actions and intentions are not always genuine. This stems from lack of transparency and accountability which in turn gives way to rumors and negative information propagated by opposition groups inside and outside the country.
As an odd remedy to this negative development, just recently police forces have staged a coordinated raid to private residences in various quarters in Tehran and other cities for destroying satellite dishes and confiscating related equipment on the rooftops. This is pursuant to a rather old law, almost dormant for several years, forbidding such utensils for households’ uses. This means that people should only watch and listen to official broadcast which are merely tasked to publicizing the outstanding achievements of the sanctified government.
Meanwhile, according to the World Bank predictions, Iran will experience a zero percent economic growth rate in 2011; this actually means a negative growth for the current year if population increase is subtracted from the equation.
In order to move toward achieving the reform plan in its all aspects, the “charming peacock” should open his wide eyes on the realities of domestic affairs as well as of what is going on in the tumultuous region around our country.  The government as a whole has to convince people of its good intention and its capacity to cope with adverse impact of economic reform on people’s daily life.
Attracting people’s confidence and avoiding tension with neighbors and the rest of the world is a must for the achievement of economic reform plan that is key factor for peace and stability,  development of the country and well-being of the people./

* Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and -International Relations in Tehran-Iran. Students, researchers, academic institutions, media or any party interested in using all or parts ‎of this article are welcomed to do so with the condition of giving full attribution to the author and the ‎Middle East Academic Forum. ©All Copy Rights Reserved.‎

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Iran Should Avoid Tension in the Persian Gulf

Iran Should Avoid Tension in the Persian Gulf
Ali Asghar Kazemi
April 13, 2011 

Tension is the last thing we need in the Persian Gulf. While the whole Middle East and Northern Africa is engulfed in a critical crisis situation and almost all states are alarmed for their very survival, the Islamic regime in Iran should avoid entering into verbal disputes with its neighbors that could be escalated to a real conflict.
Recent exchanges of acrimonious statements between mid-level officials in Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and others are ominous signs of rising hostilities in the region. Perhaps Iranians do not really mean to aggravate the situation by their harsh responses to unfriendly words coming from the Persian Gulf states. But, these latter, fearing Iran’s intentions seem to take these threats seriously. Such misapprehension could lead to an unwanted conflict which eventually will usher the doors for non-regional powers to enter in the quarrel.
There is no doubt that for many reasons Western powers will take such occurrence as a good opportunity to straighten their perennial grudge with the Islamic regime once for all. Indeed, as I mentioned elsewhere , the case of Libyan military intervention under the UN Security Council Resolution is a bad sign for this eventuality.
Whether we like it or not, in the eyes of many states in the world, Iran has become a source of threat to the peace and stability in the region and the international community has a duty to contain its ambitions at all costs. Thus far, the Security Council has issued four important resolutions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter devising harsh sanctions against Iran’s nuclear endeavor without much success. Iranian defiance is like a contemptible slap to the face of the United Nations which could have grave consequences.
The heightening of tension between Iran and the Persian Gulf states, if not contained vigilantly, could give a good and legitimate pretext to foreign powers, especially the United States, to seize the opportunity to bring a defiant state to its knees. This could lead to the destruction of important strategic and economic assets of Iran with huge human and material losses.
We hope that high decision makers in Iran avoid escalating the tensions with our neighbors and refrain intermingling in the internal affairs of other states which could create grave consequences at this particular juncture for the fate of the Islamic regime and the future of Iranian people. /

* Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and -International Relations in Tehran-Iran. Students, researchers, academic institutions, media or any party interested in using all or parts ‎of this article are welcomed to do so with the condition of giving full attribution to the author and the ‎Middle East Academic Forum. ©All Copy Rights Reserved.‎

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Wider Implications of Military Intervention in Libya

The Wider Implications of Military Intervention in Libya
Ali Asghar Kazemi
April 6, 2011
       While fighting is still continuing in Libya and the ill-fated Qaddafi is trapped in his own insane decisions to remain in power, the outcome of the military intervention is more or less clear; total destruction and defeat. Indeed, this is the end of an era in Libya and the oppressive rule of a madman who for more than forty long years ridiculed the whole world by his contemptible behavior. Unfortunately, the international community closed eyes on the follies of this lunatic man sitting on a huge reserve of oil in North Africa. Neither the United Nations nor other humanitarian institutions took seriously all the misdeed of this dictator during this long period.
Perhaps, among all the self-claimed rulers in the Arab world, Qaddafi was the most notorious. Since, while completely losing touch with realities, he claimed to be the most open popular leader who should be followed as a model and praised in the whole world. From time to time, , he took conciliatory actions such as paying huge compensation for the Lockerbie plane crash affair and the dismantling of the nuclear project venture, out of extreme necessity for survival. But, he never gave up his ill-wishes in the back of his insane mind.
With the outbreak of crisis in Tunisia, Qaddafi observed that Ben Ali should remain in power despite mass protests against him. Eventually, he never dreamed of having a destiny worst than his counterpart in Tunisia. At least Ben Ali had the guts of giving up the power and leaving the country before huge human and material losses. What Qaddafi has left so far is a devastated country and thousands of victims. At least the next generation in Libya should pay the costs of this sufferance.
Our main purpose here was not to delve into the fate of Libya but rather the wider ramifications of military intervention in the region with explicit UN permission. There is no doubt that the bold and relatively quick action of the UN Security Council in the Libyan case will set an important legal and political precedent on the records of the United Nations for deciding to form a military coalition against  a brutal dictators who wants to remain in power against the will of the people through force. Similar rulers in the region should take this example seriously and do in a way not to fall in the same trap as the Libyan leader did.
We shall continue on this topic in our future comments. /

* Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and -International Relations in Tehran-Iran. Students, researchers, academic institutions, media or any party interested in using all or parts ‎of this article are welcomed to do so with the condition of giving full attribution to the author and ‎The Middle East Academic Forum. ©All Copy Rights Reserved.‎