Qifa Nabki Comments

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Updated: 7 hours 37 min ago

Comment on Of Maps and Men by Mustap

Sat, 2014-08-16 02:04

This is also off topic but relevant,

If you care about Gaza or Palestine, or about broader peace for that matter, you can contribute by signing this Thank You petition to President Obama for doing what no other President in the US history has ever done: placing arms deliveries to Israel on hold because of recent events,

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/301/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16310

These people are looking for at least 18000 signatures

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Mustap

Sat, 2014-08-16 00:32

This piece of news is apparently off topic, but careful analysis will reveal it goes to the very heart of the discussion (hint hint Maverick @2:00 AM above)

It has just been revealed that the arrested owner of the site of so-called “Brigade of A7hrar Ahlu Sunnah – Baalbek” is an HA operative.

If you’re not aware what this so-called brigade is, it recently made threats to all Christians of the Bekaa that they will be targeted with ISIS-like punishments.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Ray

Sat, 2014-08-16 00:12

This conversation is super enlightening.

Two Thumbs Up !

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Ray

Fri, 2014-08-15 23:34

Amusing ? How French of you :)

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Qifa Nabki

Fri, 2014-08-15 22:38

AIG said

“Take the Iraq example, isn’t it likely that if a Kurdish enclave would have been created by the British, that the Kurds would have suffered much less and perhaps even had succeeded in building a well functioning state? For the Kurds it is quite clear that the issue of borders was and is THE problem.”

I agree, but here we are dealing with apples and oranges. The Kurds speak a different language. To use the nomenclature of the European case, they constitute a different “nation”, a different “ethnic group”, etc. The other Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, and Jews of Iraq spoke the same language. This difference cannot be obviated, as it is one of the defining features of ethno-nationalism.

“We don’t have much data to work with but clearly, the more homogeneous a state is in our region the more it is likely to succeed or the more it is likely to avoid civil strife.”

What I’m suggesting to you is that it’s very difficult to measure homogeneity when the element that is being isolated for comparison is changing. For the Iraqi dissidents and revolutionaries agitating for a state before WWI, the important binary was Arab-vs-Turk, not Sunni-vs-Shiite. Different tokens of identity take on political salience at different times. Things that are not politically salient today may be tremendously disruptive in a society 20 years from now.

To become a great basketball center you need to be tall but you also need to practice a lot. Both are necessary conditions. Yes, you can argue that you just need to practice and that there were a few smaller centers that made it into the NBA. But you should agree, that your chances of making it, no matter how much you practice are much, much smaller. The Sykes-Picot borders made the Arab states “short” as per this analogy. It made developing an open and trust based society very, very difficult. You are telling them they just didn’t “practice” enough.”

Ethnic/linguistic/religious diversity is the norm among countries in the world, not the exception. The average Arab country — when compared with India, Indonesia, China, Brazil, and countless other countries — has far less linguistic, religious, and ethnic diversity. To understand why many Arab states have failed on many indexes of human development, we have to look at something other than the ethnicity issue.

Look, to me, having a sustainable political and economic basis is both the “being tall” part of your analogy and the “training hard”. Having a homogenous population, however that is defined, is something else, like maybe having a cautious personality that makes you averse to risk taking. In most cases, that’s a good thing, because it means that you’re not going to get into a motorcycle accident and ruin your career. But sometimes, especially if the game itself begins to change because of external factors (new players, new rules, new economic pressures new markets, etc) being averse to risk-taking might not be such a great thing. Maybe it means that you can’t land a big endorsement deal, you’re viewed as having no personality, you won’t try some radical new training plan that all the other players are experimenting with. You get the idea…

This is an amusing conversation.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Mustap

Fri, 2014-08-15 22:16

Next challenge and this one is specifically for the Zios, regarding their presumptuous knowledge about intersectarian affiliations in Lebanon:

You Zios who have no verifiable connections to these lands of ours, what do you know about the statistics of inter-sectarian marriages in Lebanon?

Maronite-Sunni
Maronite-Shiite
Shiite-Sunni
Sunni-Druze
Shiite-Druze
Orthodox-Maronite
Orthodox Shiite
Orthodox-Sunni
Orthodox-Druze
Armenian-All the above

We may also extend this challenge to the immediate nearby Arab states.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Samer Nasser

Fri, 2014-08-15 21:06

Yes, my asinine, little grasshoppers! There was never anything cultural to work with at all! It was all tenuously created very late in the game out of thin air, under constant and dire threat of civil war! Yes! Yes, indeed! :)

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Bad Vilbel

Fri, 2014-08-15 20:30

AIG said:
You are trying to argue that different groups such Jews and Arabs or Maronite and Shia felt some kind of affiliation because they resided in the same historical geographic areas such as “Iraq”, “Syria”, “Lebanon” or “Palestine”. You may find an example here and there, but in the majority of cases that is just not true. Calling an area “Lebanon” or “Israel” or “Iraq” or “Syria” does not create national cohesion between groups in that area. It just leads to civil wars.

I’m gonna have to agree with this. At the end of the day, complex theories and discussions aside, it really does come down to this, doesn’t it.

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by Mustap

Fri, 2014-08-15 20:29

Not a single nation in the modern world was created out of thin air. And that statement remains true even if you go back centuries in time.

But let’s just concentrate at the most recent century or so. I challenge anyone including the Zios to give one example of such nation created ex-nihilo. But please leave Israel aside for now, because such thesis (ex-nihilism) obviously fits the Zio narrative.

In the case of Israel if you insist that this is the only way to create a nation, and as such gives a Zio the right to do so, then the Zio nation is fake based on universal empirical evidence. In other words your so-called Zio nation will be the odd black sheep in the herd.

I like pragmatic theories for what they’re worth. :)

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Comment on Of Maps and Men by AIG

Fri, 2014-08-15 20:00

QN,

Take the Iraq example, isn’t it likely that if a Kurdish enclave would have been created by the British, that the Kurds would have suffered much less and perhaps even had succeeded in building a well functioning state? For the Kurds it is quite clear that the issue of borders was and is THE problem.

“To me, the necessary ingredient for success is a viable political system and economic development; issues of borders and minorities and ethnic homogeneity are secondary.”

I believe that both ingredients are necessary.What you don’t want to acknowledge is that political and economical development are so much easier with natural borders and homogeneity. In fact, one leads to the other. We don’t have much data to work with but clearly, the more homogeneous a state is in our region the more it is likely to succeed or the more it is likely to avoid civil strife. Arab societies faced huge challenges anyway modernizing. Add to that the artificial borders and you were stacking the odds against them.

To become a great basketball center you need to be tall but you also need to practice a lot. Both are necessary conditions. Yes, you can argue that you just need to practice and that there were a few smaller centers that made it into the NBA. But you should agree, that your chances of making it, no matter how much you practice are much, much smaller. The Sykes-Picot borders made the Arab states “short” as per this analogy. It made developing an open and trust based society very, very difficult. You are telling them they just didn’t “practice” enough.

Categories: Comments