Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sufi support for legislation opposing an American attack on Iran

"Sufi support for legislation opposing an American attack on Iran" by Dr. Alan Godlas (based on and including an announcement issued via email by authors at www.justforeignpolicy.org ). (Now including active links!)


Anyone interested in Sufism should read and act on the advice below (concerning the importance of opposing the Bush administrations' efforts to attack Iran) in general because Sufis --and Muslims as a whole, since the vast majority of Sufis are Muslims-- oppose actions that will result in the deaths of innocent people. More specific reasons are as follows:

1) There are a lot of Sufis and a majority of innocent (and U.S. loving) people in Iran who would die if the U.S. attacked Iran,

2) probably at least some of my students (who have studied Sufism) and a lot of innocent Americans who are going to go into (or are currently in) the American armed forces might die in such a war in Iran;

3) a lot of Sufis, sympathizers to Sufism, and innocent people in Israel might die in a retaliatory Iranian attack on Israel, which would be very likely if any Iranian military capabilities survived the initial American onslaught; which survival is a distinct possibility, given the difficulty in completely eliminating all Iranians' military capabilities--as seen by the difficulty the U.S. has experienced in eliminating all opposition in Iraq;

4) given that a very recent study showed that Iran's so-called nuclear threat to us and Israel is minimal in contrast to the damage that we would create if we attack Iran (See "U.S. Finds Iran Halted Its Nuclear Arms Effort in 2003" --N.Y. Times, Dec. 4, 2007 tinyurl.com/2tlcnw.

So, the message below is an attempt to mobilize support against the Bush administration's desire to attack Iran. It does not appear to exist on the web, on news sites, or in a blog, hence I am posting it here rather than simply posting a url (which I could not find).

-------- Here is the message:

In these final months of the Bush presidency, let's keep up the pressure against war with Iran.

Take action.

Dear Supporter of a Just Foreign Policy,

The Bush administration has forced out a top admiral who had widely been seen as an opponent of attacking Iran. (note 1) Now is the time to work harder against another war.

Last week, an article in Esquire called Admiral William Fallon the Bush administration's primary obstacle to an attack on Iran and an advocate of serious diplomacy.(note 2) His departure raises serious questions about the administration's intentions.

We just spent a month on the road with author Stephen Kinzer talking and meeting about Iran, and we have several ideas of what can be done to step up efforts against war. (note 3) Thanks to the tour, a few Senators and Representatives in Washington see the same urgency we do. Can you help us build momentum for legislation (note 4) introduced last year that would prevent the President from attacking Iran without Congressional authorization?

www.justforeignpolicy.org/involved/nowaroniran.html

We met personally with Senator John Kerry last week, and he reaffirmed his active support for this legislation. Senator Hillary Clinton, in a press release following Admiral Fallon's resignation,(note 5) urged support for it.

We will continue working closely with key Members of Congress to get this bill passed. To make this work, it is crucial that your Members hear from you, their constituent.

www.justforeignpolicy.org/involved/nowaroniran.html
Thanks for all you do for a just foreign policy,
Patrick McElwee, Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen and Sebastian Anti
Just Foreign Policy
www.justforeignpolicy.org

References:
1. "Fallon falls: Iran should worry," Gareth Porter, Asia Times, March 13, 2008

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JC13Ak01.html

2. "The Man Between War and Peace," Thomas P.M. Barnett, Esquire, March 5, 2008
http://www.esquire.com/features/fox-fallon

3. The Folly of Attacking Iran Tour was a big success, attracting large audiences and press attention across the country. Thanks to all of you for your support. If you were unable to make it to an event, you can see some of what Stephen Kinzer had to say in his opinion piece that appeared in the Baltimore Sun yesterday:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.iran12mar12,0,5070600.story


4. The bill, introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), carries the bill number S. 759 and is titled, "To prohibit the use of funds for military operations in Iran." The full text is here:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:s.759:


A companion bill, H.R. 3119, has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mark Udall. The full text of that bill is here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:h.r.3119:


5. In a statement released Tuesday, March 11, 2008, Senator Clinton said:
Admiral Fallon was a sensible voice within the Pentagon on the need to have a multi-pronged strategy towards Iran that included support for engaging Iran. Admiral Fallon was a voice of reason in an administration which has used inflammatory rhetoric against Iran. I am asking that the Senate Armed Services Committee hold hearings into the circumstances surrounding his departure. I will also urge my colleagues to join me in supporting Senator Webb's legislation requiring the Administration to come to Congress before taking military action against Iran.

Also the author of the above message notes the following for anyone who writes a letter to the administration:

I would emphasize to the Bush administration, as I have before, that it has no authority to take this nation to war against Iran, and I again urge the Bush administration to pursue diplomacy, including direct talks with Tehran, at its earliest opportunity.

Full text of Senator Clinton's statement is available at:http://clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=294635&&

5 comments:

Tom said...

See video: Why Fallon's Resignation is Frightening Defense Secretary Robert Gates did not have to accept Admiral Fallon's resignation. "The military people think basically that Admiral Fallon was PUSHED OUT" - Mark Thompson Time Magazine National Security Correspondent
Fallon is described as "the one person in the military or Pentagon standing between the White House and war with Iran."

SAM said...

I most certainly agree that such a war should bring thousands of dead, some even in my family. But I do not intent to owe the solution, and this is why I ask you: what is the solution sufi comunity in Iran feels it should give to the new laws about to come out in Iran, where Sufism too would be considered apostasy and sentenced with the capital punishment: death?

I'd like to read your opinion on it. Because if diplomacy was to be a solution, it would have worked by now, and you wouldn't be arrested in Iran for being a Sufi, and you wouldn't have your sacred spots vandalized.

Please, let me know your thoughts, and maybe we could share them with others.

Thank you.

Dr. Alan Godlas said...

Sam,

People --both in relatively non-democratic countries and in countries that have been relatively peacefully democratic for some time-- tend to forget that democracy is an ongoing process that necessitates the difficult combination of both "sabr" (the ability to patiently endure trying circumstances) and the ability to struggle to non-violently change oppressive or unfavorable circumstances. This process, once it gets going after a country declares its independence from outside authority and dictatorial rule, may take hundreds of years to reach a relatively peaceful state in which all groups and the population agree to change positions of power and authority only on a non-violent basis.

SAM said...

Thank you for your answer, Dr. Alan Godlas.

I am, under no circumstance defending a war. Please, let me underline this feeling.

But, my feeling is that we cannot wait for time to do its job, correcting the mistakes foreign and inner oppression do to a nation. Sabr, or patience, is indeed a virtue, but it should come with action, don't you think?

It there are no actions taken by international community, how can we expect solutions?

"One eye may be opened through patience and constancy", we can read in Rumi's Mathnavi. Sabr, indeed, but sabr in order to time be able to fulfill and make our actions complete, actions of persistence and endurance; or, in other words, constancy. Wouldn't you agree?

Dr. Alan Godlas said...

Indeed, sabr must be coupled with a readiness to take appropriate action. But determining when to take it and what kind of action to take is dependent on wisdom; and wisdom is distorted by all kinds of qualities of the ego/nafs, which qualities are means of trying to avoid embracing one's own being, with gratitude, at this moment. World history, however, has largely been the story of relatively ego-based qualities distorting wisdom, which then results in inappropriate actions, such as terrorism, ill-conceived invasions like Iraq, wars like Vietman, etc. One Sufi in a discussion of "hate for God's sake" (bughd lillah) noted that anyone who thinks they are hating anyone or anything for God's sake is deluding themselves unless they are in a station of contentment (rida) with whatever God has willed.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sufi support for legislation opposing an American attack on Iran
"Sufi support for legislation opposing an American attack on Iran" by Dr. Alan Godlas (based on and including an announcement issued via email by authors at www.justforeignpolicy.org ). (Now including active links!)


Anyone interested in Sufism should read and act on the advice below (concerning the importance of opposing the Bush administrations' efforts to attack Iran) in general because Sufis --and Muslims as a whole, since the vast majority of Sufis are Muslims-- oppose actions that will result in the deaths of innocent people. More specific reasons are as follows:

1) There are a lot of Sufis and a majority of innocent (and U.S. loving) people in Iran who would die if the U.S. attacked Iran,

2) probably at least some of my students (who have studied Sufism) and a lot of innocent Americans who are going to go into (or are currently in) the American armed forces might die in such a war in Iran;

3) a lot of Sufis, sympathizers to Sufism, and innocent people in Israel might die in a retaliatory Iranian attack on Israel, which would be very likely if any Iranian military capabilities survived the initial American onslaught; which survival is a distinct possibility, given the difficulty in completely eliminating all Iranians' military capabilities--as seen by the difficulty the U.S. has experienced in eliminating all opposition in Iraq;

4) given that a very recent study showed that Iran's so-called nuclear threat to us and Israel is minimal in contrast to the damage that we would create if we attack Iran (See "U.S. Finds Iran Halted Its Nuclear Arms Effort in 2003" --N.Y. Times, Dec. 4, 2007 tinyurl.com/2tlcnw.

So, the message below is an attempt to mobilize support against the Bush administration's desire to attack Iran. It does not appear to exist on the web, on news sites, or in a blog, hence I am posting it here rather than simply posting a url (which I could not find).

-------- Here is the message:

In these final months of the Bush presidency, let's keep up the pressure against war with Iran.

Take action.

Dear Supporter of a Just Foreign Policy,

The Bush administration has forced out a top admiral who had widely been seen as an opponent of attacking Iran. (note 1) Now is the time to work harder against another war.

Last week, an article in Esquire called Admiral William Fallon the Bush administration's primary obstacle to an attack on Iran and an advocate of serious diplomacy.(note 2) His departure raises serious questions about the administration's intentions.

We just spent a month on the road with author Stephen Kinzer talking and meeting about Iran, and we have several ideas of what can be done to step up efforts against war. (note 3) Thanks to the tour, a few Senators and Representatives in Washington see the same urgency we do. Can you help us build momentum for legislation (note 4) introduced last year that would prevent the President from attacking Iran without Congressional authorization?

www.justforeignpolicy.org/involved/nowaroniran.html

We met personally with Senator John Kerry last week, and he reaffirmed his active support for this legislation. Senator Hillary Clinton, in a press release following Admiral Fallon's resignation,(note 5) urged support for it.

We will continue working closely with key Members of Congress to get this bill passed. To make this work, it is crucial that your Members hear from you, their constituent.

www.justforeignpolicy.org/involved/nowaroniran.html
Thanks for all you do for a just foreign policy,
Patrick McElwee, Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen and Sebastian Anti
Just Foreign Policy
www.justforeignpolicy.org

References:
1. "Fallon falls: Iran should worry," Gareth Porter, Asia Times, March 13, 2008

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JC13Ak01.html

2. "The Man Between War and Peace," Thomas P.M. Barnett, Esquire, March 5, 2008
http://www.esquire.com/features/fox-fallon

3. The Folly of Attacking Iran Tour was a big success, attracting large audiences and press attention across the country. Thanks to all of you for your support. If you were unable to make it to an event, you can see some of what Stephen Kinzer had to say in his opinion piece that appeared in the Baltimore Sun yesterday:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.iran12mar12,0,5070600.story


4. The bill, introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), carries the bill number S. 759 and is titled, "To prohibit the use of funds for military operations in Iran." The full text is here:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:s.759:


A companion bill, H.R. 3119, has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mark Udall. The full text of that bill is here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:h.r.3119:


5. In a statement released Tuesday, March 11, 2008, Senator Clinton said:
Admiral Fallon was a sensible voice within the Pentagon on the need to have a multi-pronged strategy towards Iran that included support for engaging Iran. Admiral Fallon was a voice of reason in an administration which has used inflammatory rhetoric against Iran. I am asking that the Senate Armed Services Committee hold hearings into the circumstances surrounding his departure. I will also urge my colleagues to join me in supporting Senator Webb's legislation requiring the Administration to come to Congress before taking military action against Iran.

Also the author of the above message notes the following for anyone who writes a letter to the administration:

I would emphasize to the Bush administration, as I have before, that it has no authority to take this nation to war against Iran, and I again urge the Bush administration to pursue diplomacy, including direct talks with Tehran, at its earliest opportunity.

Full text of Senator Clinton's statement is available at:http://clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=294635&&

5 comments:

Tom said...

See video: Why Fallon's Resignation is Frightening Defense Secretary Robert Gates did not have to accept Admiral Fallon's resignation. "The military people think basically that Admiral Fallon was PUSHED OUT" - Mark Thompson Time Magazine National Security Correspondent
Fallon is described as "the one person in the military or Pentagon standing between the White House and war with Iran."

SAM said...

I most certainly agree that such a war should bring thousands of dead, some even in my family. But I do not intent to owe the solution, and this is why I ask you: what is the solution sufi comunity in Iran feels it should give to the new laws about to come out in Iran, where Sufism too would be considered apostasy and sentenced with the capital punishment: death?

I'd like to read your opinion on it. Because if diplomacy was to be a solution, it would have worked by now, and you wouldn't be arrested in Iran for being a Sufi, and you wouldn't have your sacred spots vandalized.

Please, let me know your thoughts, and maybe we could share them with others.

Thank you.

Dr. Alan Godlas said...

Sam,

People --both in relatively non-democratic countries and in countries that have been relatively peacefully democratic for some time-- tend to forget that democracy is an ongoing process that necessitates the difficult combination of both "sabr" (the ability to patiently endure trying circumstances) and the ability to struggle to non-violently change oppressive or unfavorable circumstances. This process, once it gets going after a country declares its independence from outside authority and dictatorial rule, may take hundreds of years to reach a relatively peaceful state in which all groups and the population agree to change positions of power and authority only on a non-violent basis.

SAM said...

Thank you for your answer, Dr. Alan Godlas.

I am, under no circumstance defending a war. Please, let me underline this feeling.

But, my feeling is that we cannot wait for time to do its job, correcting the mistakes foreign and inner oppression do to a nation. Sabr, or patience, is indeed a virtue, but it should come with action, don't you think?

It there are no actions taken by international community, how can we expect solutions?

"One eye may be opened through patience and constancy", we can read in Rumi's Mathnavi. Sabr, indeed, but sabr in order to time be able to fulfill and make our actions complete, actions of persistence and endurance; or, in other words, constancy. Wouldn't you agree?

Dr. Alan Godlas said...

Indeed, sabr must be coupled with a readiness to take appropriate action. But determining when to take it and what kind of action to take is dependent on wisdom; and wisdom is distorted by all kinds of qualities of the ego/nafs, which qualities are means of trying to avoid embracing one's own being, with gratitude, at this moment. World history, however, has largely been the story of relatively ego-based qualities distorting wisdom, which then results in inappropriate actions, such as terrorism, ill-conceived invasions like Iraq, wars like Vietman, etc. One Sufi in a discussion of "hate for God's sake" (bughd lillah) noted that anyone who thinks they are hating anyone or anything for God's sake is deluding themselves unless they are in a station of contentment (rida) with whatever God has willed.