Monday, March 16, 2015

John Kerry Respects Fatwas

While Washington and the mainstream media flies into paroxysms of rage over Sen. Tom Cotton’s open letter to the ayatollahs, John Kerry is flying around the world singing the praise of “fatwas.”

When trying to explain why he felt he could trust the ayatollahs to respect an agreement with the United States, Kerry explained that the Supreme Leader of Iran—note the respect—had issued a fatwa in which he said that he did not want to acquire nuclear weapons.

There, that solves the problem. Don't you think?

It should have been major news. It was not.

Kerry said this:

As you all know, Iran says it doesn’t want a nuclear weapon, and that is a very welcome statement that the Supreme Leader has, in fact, incorporated into a fatwa. And we have great respect – great respect – for the religious importance of a fatwa. 

And they’re worrying about Sen. Cotton.

William Kristol exposes Kerry’s pathetic naivete:

Given the history of fatwas issued by Iranian leaders in the past, Kerry's "great respect ... for the religious importance of a fatwa" seems curious. The most notorious of these fatwas was issued in 1989 and called for the death of Salman Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses. Although various reports have surfaced over the years regarding the status of that fatwa, as recently as last month a senior Iranian cleric affirmed that it is still in effect. Other fatwas over the years have called for things as varied as the death of Jerry Falwell to prohibitions against members of the opposite sex chatting online.

Secretary Kerry's reference to the "religious importance" of Iran's purported anti-nuclear fatwa seems particularly significant given the vehemence with which Kerry and President Obama deny any connection between the Islamic State and true Islam. Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran as the White House and State Department routinely refer to it, is the most significant state sponsor of terror in the world according to the State Department and has been on the list for over 30 years. Yet the Obama administration exhibits no reticence when it comes to ascribing "religious importance" to a fatwa issued by those in Iran who claim to represent Islam.

Need we mention that fatwas can be lifted by the stroke of an ayatollah’s pen.

The administration’s conspicuously reverential attitude towards Ayatollah Khamenei and all things Islamic contrasts markedly with its contempt for Israel and its prime minister.


Ares Olympus said...

Punditry is so much fun. I should someday aspire to this noble art.

As Reagan said "Trust but verify". Or was that a Russian translation?,_but_verify

Unless we want to live in a world where the biggest bombs solves all arguments, we need some pathway to trust.

Of course if you have no trust in your heart you're going to find a way to twist everything your rivals say and do as proof of their duplicity.

Oh, well, at least we got the biggest bombs on our side.

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. Slightly related, I found this article interesting, questioning the statistical modern decline of violence.

I've also questioned Picker's conclusions, although I welcome for perspective against the human mind's cherry picking.

But the future is still an open question, and I have to accept it is likely someday someone is going to find a means and justification for a nuclear attack, and I accept we're all responsible for that, whether the answer is to keep the nuclear club small, or to reduce how much we threaten the world with our stockpiles.

Perhaps Iran's access to nuclear weapons is our biggest threat?

I'm still waiting for every country in the nuclear club to explain clearly on what grounds such weapons will be used.

If North Korea nukes south Korea, do we nuke North Korea? If Pakistan nukes India? If India nukes Pakistan?

And if Iran nukes Israel in 2028 after the U.S. invades for regime-change, do we strike back with nukes?

These strategies are very unclear to me. And so far we're just talking countries, and not nationless terrorists who happen to gain access sometime in the next 50 years.

I saw this animation recently, and had no idea how many nuclear tests were going on as I grew up.

So as long as nuclear weapons exist, I can't put a lot of faith that violence is decreasing.

Anyway, I don't think its constructive to insult Secretary of State John Kerry's judgments.

Maybe he is a haircut in search of a brain, but maybe that's how all of us look compared to the magnitude of challenges facing humanity's next decade.

It gets to be amazing we have any security at all in this life.

I tend to think the Neocon Republicans are just bluster and won't get another chance to prove their nation building skills.

America is one more economic crisis from an isolationist president, and Iran will then do as it pleases I guess, whatever the chickenhawks want.

Sam L. said...

Ares, drop the veiled words and say what you really mean without pussyfooting.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L. said.. Ares, drop the veiled words and say what you really mean without pussyfooting.

You mean like calling for nuclear disarmament for the world?

But do we really want a world where only Israel has nuclear weapons, because they won't admit they have them?
United States 1945 1992 1,054 7,650

Russia 1949 1990 715 8,420

United Kingdom 1952 1991 45 225

France 1960 1996 210 300

China 1964 1996 45 240

India 1974 1998 6 80-100

Pakistan 1998 1998 6 90-110

North Korea 2006 2013 3 Fewer than 10

Israel No confirmed test No confirmed test No confirmed test 80

Iran No confirmed test No confirmed test No confirmed test 0

Kaiser Derden (aka TDL) said...

Ares ... seems like you've got the snarkiness of a pundit down pat ...

I suppose a world without nukes, or guns or knives or apparently, sharp sticks is the only one that can have decreasing violence ...

you are a shut in right ? I mean given all the dangers in the world how could you possibly go out ...

Dennis said...

Kaiser, Every time I read your comment it brings a smile and a hearty laugh. Simply stated.
When I was young I was not smart enough to know I was not smart enough. I think someone has not reached that point yet.
It always strikes me as interesting that the more education and experience in life I get the more I realize how little I know. That is wisdom I guess.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Kaiser Derden @March 16, 2015 at 12:47 PM:

Kaiser Derden, meet Ares Olympus. You see, Kaiser, Ares is the frequent commenter on this blog who ridicules people for their conclusions, while being so "open-minded" and intelligent that he offers no conclusions of his own. A perpetual critic! Fun! I'll let you two chat and sort things out, as I've given up on engaging with Ares. Just don't be surprised when he describes every counter you offer as a "strawman argument," followed by the signature Wikipedia reference because you're too dumb to know what a strawman is. Enjoy! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Sam L. @March 16, 2015 at 11:28 AM:

Please refer to my comment to Kaiser Derden above.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I wonder if Secretary Kerry respects the fatwa that remains in place for the killing of Salman Rushdie.