Love of Country
[3/18/2017 2:11:01 PM]
AMMONNEWS - By Abduulillah - What makes a certain people love their country while others cannot or will not? It seems strange to me that a person cannot love the place he was born or the country that has afforded him and his family for decades if not centuries a place to call home and a people to love and be a part of.
As I travel the globe for business, I am always struck by the fact that in many very prosperous nations love of country comes without any reservation. They seem to love it even when the leaders chosen do not represent their political views or in some cases are tyrants.
Yet; for some reason in many of the Middle-East countries that I get a chance to visit, and in my own, the indigenous peoples seem to always curse it for some reason or another.
Is this because we generally do not like where we live? Is this because we have had a long history of non-representative governments where we can have an actually stake in our own affairs? Or is it just the way we are?
Note, that this observation is not limited to the poor of these Middle-East nations, but also the rich who reside and have been afforded such wealth. Yes the same rich who control 97% of the country’s total wealth! They seem to grumble the loudest and in many cases do not spend that much time in country to actually suffer from whatever they seem to be howling about.
Let me tell you, when I go west say to America or England or Germany, I hear the same grumbling about this political leadership in their own countries. They call them names, they even have the gall in some cases to actually call them bad names to their faces or on television or on social media or elsewhere. They however, NEVER EVER, say bad things about their nation. They always seem to love it unequivocally without reservation or shame. They stand up when their flag is raised. They sing their anthem enthusiastically; they pay their taxes even though they feel them onerous at times or unnecessary,moreover, what astonishes me, they say and do this even when they despise their leadership.
After they spill their vitriol out about this leader or another that presently rules over them, they always add,“Although I cannot stand that such and such; I hope and pray they succeed in making this country great”. Yes they pray for the best. They don’t curse their nation, they surely don’t ask God to bring it down or curse it under their breath, but always ask for God to raise it up and even pray of the leader they do not like to guide him or her to raise their nation state above all others.
This occurs even in some countries that have harsher laws and taxes than we do and even under tyrannical rule. Look at North Korea for instance; we all know what they have to deal with on a day to day basis. Yet they seem to be able to manufacture and have their own industrial base and work hard. They have been able under very dire conditions and under heavy sanction to be able to make their country strong. When it comes time to standing and singing their nations anthem they seem happy to do it without reservation or shame. They love their country. Yes some are fleeing to South Korea but in both countries the average person wants reconciliation between each other and all view the Korean peninsula as one nation.
Why not us I ask? Why can we not love our country so stridently no matter what may. Why can we not sing our anthem and love each other as much as they do? Why do we always seem to curse our country and then trash it? Why do our rich who made their fortuneshere run abroad to spend it or worse to steal it from the coffers of our own nation and run? When I ask the average person these questions they always seem to have some gripe not only with the life they have but with anything under the sun that happened to them today. They always seem to blame it on their nations and leadership. They even fault each other. Worse than that they never pray for guidance for their leadership but their down fall.
I don’t get it! How can anyone pray for their country to be left in chaos? How can they not pray for guidance, how can they not pray for betterment and even work towards this? Why do we even need a leadership to tell us to clean or streets and not throw trash in them. Why do we have to steal from our nation either by not showing up on time to work or just stealing from its coffers or industries?
Don’t we understand that God in heaven hears our prayers and sees how we treat our nations and each other? Yes he hears and withholds his bounty from us because we ask him to. We don’t ask for betterment and guidance for our leadership, we don’t ask to make our country great, in fact we ask for the opposite. How in heaven can we ever get any reprieve if we don’t clean our own selves up first and always ask the best for our country and act upon it? Why can we not stand up each morning and salute our flag and pledge allegiance to our country? Why can we not teach our children to love it by showing them how much we love it? Maybe one day they will grow up and love it even more and God will increase our bounty because we and they will be working for it.
Please don’t get me wrong here, we do need a few things changed, such as what Adam Smith articulated approximately 250 years earlier; “little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.” That it is clear; prosperous countries specifically establish and embrace institutions that protect property rights, individual rights and profits and have laws that don’t work against free information, incentives and innovation as well as free trade, but mostly that they encourage peaceful social order.
That being said, I don’t feel it gives us the right to steal our countries wealth, or bash our country or trash it along the way because we feel it has not gotten to the levels we believe it should politically or socially. We need to love it even more, and work to make it better. Our leadership cannot do it all by themselves, they need us to carry the water back from the well so we can all drink. Can they and should they carry the banner ahead of us and even pave the way to make it easier? You bet they should, but it’s our country and we need to love it, by showing it, by praying for it repeatedly and for guidance, for no people can get ahead when they don’t try to in their hearts and act on it with their own handsfirst.
May God Bless Jordan and its People.
Promoting the culture of acceptance
[3/7/2017 4:03:02 AM]
AMMONNEWS - By Marwan Alshammari - In their book “Culture matters: how values shape human progress” Lawrence Harrison and Samuel Huntington talk about culture and its effect on human progress.
They compare Ghana and South Korea, two countries that had the same economic indicators in the 1960s, but by the time their book was written, South Korea had become one of the greatest economic powers in the world whereas Ghana was still suffering.
The authors built upon another piece of research that was conducted by Harrison and published in a book titled “Underdevelopment is a state of mind: the Latin American case”, in which the author argued that the culture in Latin American countries was a major obstacle to making true progress.
In part, culture becomes a hurdle to true progress when a substantial deviation from its spirit occurs due to poor or biased interpretations of its core values, norms and beliefs.
Such deviation also occurs due to narrow mindedness and inability to be flexible.
Why do such limitations represent a problematic issue that hinders true progress at all levels?
The answer needs too much elaboration, but it is important to shed light on few implications of narrow mindedness and the inability to adopt a culture of acceptance.
One major trait of those who believe and embrace a culture of acceptance is the ability to accept criticism, positively respond to it, understand the opponents’ reasoning and acknowledge their comments and concerns as long as they are rational and have solid grounds, the ability to interact, communicate and hold productive discussions with others whose views may be different.
This is a constructive approach that helps both understand problems and handle them.
It is well known that the more diverse the insights the greater the likelihood of getting closer to a more comprehensive and accurate solution to a problem.
Another problem created by the culture of rejection is the lack of self-development and self-evaluation.
This applies to both individuals and entities, such as governments.
This makes it difficult for a collective and collaborative process of political practices, which, again, leads to slow economic and social progress.
A third issue that often surfaces in societies lacking the culture of acceptance is the denial of existing societal problems; such denial makes it difficult for those who have progressive views to influence any kind of reform that aims at addressing those societal issues. Moreover, the deeply rooted culture of rejection plays a significant role in the wellbeing of women and is the reason for the poor acknowledgment of their right to equal treatment in all respects.
Finally, lack of a culture of acceptance may negatively influence the mindset of the youth, feeding their narrow perspectives and encouraging deviant tendencies, which could ultimately lead to desperation and unintended consequences, such as extremism.
I believe that in order for us to build a healthier society, with stronger social and economic foundations, we need to step back and revise our capacity to accept other values, and then make the necessary corrections.
We can only move forward if we get all those who belongs to our nation on board.
We need to accept each other’s perspectives, share common values and goals and make constructive criticism that contributes to the overall welfare of our society.
Citizens, entities, NGOs and civil society organisations need to be transparent about things in order to address them properly.
One important implication of the culture of acceptance is the reinforcement of mutual respect, harmony and understanding, as well as collective responsibility, which are major pillars in building and strengthening the unity of a nation.
The economic progress of any society depends largely on how informed, educated, cooperative and productive the society is.
It is a function of the various inputs and insights that are generated through mutual cooperation between the different components of any society.
Many research findings, literature and scientific inquiries put emphasise the essential building blocks of a well-endowed society, social and economic system, among which constructive criticism.
By accepting criticism, revising views and putting the greater good of the society ahead of one’s own agendas and goals, one establishes a healthy practice that would ultimately lead to better systems, embedded goodness, greater strengths and immunity to extreme thought.
I hope that in the years to come, our education system will focus more on promoting the culture of acceptance, in accordance with our original values and culture, and not only the culture that fits our values, agendas and purposes.
The Thief Of Baghdad, 1940
[3/5/2017 3:14:33 PM]
AMMONNEWS - By Feras Werr - Time never withered away the significance of this beautiful old classic. It’s still regarded by many critics and drama scholars as the iconic birth of an age of special effects that made the production of many movies possible afterwards. In 1940 where even the earliest generation of computers hadn’t begun yet and technology was relying on very basic achievements in various fields of business and commerce, such a movie was a very powerful production in all aspects. It compares back then to our present day high quality productions such as The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings Trilogies. Blue screening was used for the first time in production which greatly helped the team of directors in furnishing the backgrounds of the scenes with the proper visual settings without traveling sometimes to the respective places in the scenario; even different time lapses and ages were made possible by this method. The philosophy and mechanics of fiction film production were more at hand especially after this particular film which was produced in technicolor.
Generally speaking the movie is a beautiful and colourful cultural mix between international actors filming in the UK and then the US (after the breakout of WWII), and an enchanting plot that relates to a past age of our Arabian cultural heritage. Despite being in English and filmed in a western world by non Arabian directors the Film was enriched with an exceptional oriental touch that most probably was the reason for its splendid reception upon its release by the critics and audience. The Arabic names, the clothes, the settings in the city, the geniousness of the plot, and the wealth of imagination used to make it catching for the audience all played a role in its success. Arabia back in the world war era was just an overseas region of the world that the American community knew nothing about; foreign lands that western military only discovered more closely when its armies had to travel for combat with its enemies. Depicting a fictitious story from our cultural heritage inspired by the famous Arabian Nights and presenting it in film was a successful venture which would leave its effect on future dramatic films inspired by A Thousand And One Nights. Disney’s Aladdin directly inspired characters from its heroes. The video game Prince Of Persia may contain elements inspired from this Hollywood production as well.
The Thief Of Baghdad is about Prince Ahmad who gets ousted from power by the cunningness of his advisor and evil sorcerer Jaafar. The story scenes begin after a stray blind man arrives from sea into a prosperous area of Baghdad. The man begins to beg for alms when he grabs the attention of Jaafar who was passing by the area. Jaafar orders one of his loyal servants to summon him to his palace. Shortly afterwards the man is showed into the palace and we see him engaging in conversation with the palace servants. The man compelled by the occassion begins recounting the hardship he saw lately in his life announcing that he is a prince...a flashback begins telling the viewers what happened with Ahmad.
After sending Ahmad to prison Jaafar assumes power of his province. There bounded by the misfortunes and bitterness of his misery he meets Abu, a thief, who helps him escape in the hopes of retribution. While fleeing from the wake of the guards that Jaafar sends after them their destiny takes them to Basra where they cross the path of the princess of the lands by coincidence. Under extreme security till she gets betrothed to a suitor by her father she is deprived of many social privileges among which is not to bee seen by the locals and commoners of her city. Ahmed falls for her from the first sight and vows to break into her quarters in the royal palace to see her again. After a successful attempt aided by Abu he manages to introduce himself to her. Feelings grow in their hearts for each other and very soon Ahmed speaks to Abu about his will to delay their departure from Basra. We then see Jaafar as a competitor suitor for the princess. As the princesse’s father is fond of toys he arrives to Basra with an array of presents to gain his favor in hopes of marrying his daughter. Nevertheless the princess refuses and eventually Jaafar finds out that Ahmad is the reason. As she seeks asylum in Samar Kand after her farther agrees to Jaafar’s terms the guards in the palace tell her farther about her sudden disappearance. They also find Ahmed and Abu in the palace. At a moment of frustration and anger Jaafar casts a spell on Ahmad and Abu. The spell blinds Ahmad and turns Abu into a dog.
The flash back stops here and we are returned to Ahmad’s present times. One of the servants tells Ahmad that the princess he is seeking is ill at their palace. He asks to see her and at that moment she recovers from her illness. The servant ushers Ahmad out of the palace while the princess gets kidnaped by Jaafar. Eventually the princess surrenders to Jaafar’s will to embrace her when she finds out from Jaafar that this is the only way to heal Ahmad her love. At that point Abu is spared from the spell and returns to his human form and Ahmad’s sight is restored. However upon pursuing the princess at sea Jaafar summons a mighty sea gale by his magical powers accompanied by a thunderstorm and very soon the storm tears their unity apart. Abu gets stranded on a beach in a remote area and Ahmad finds himself in a foreign land.
Abu passes many obstacles before uniting with Ahmed. With the help of a genie whom he releases from a small bottle he travels to a far away land and snatches a magical crystal ball to see where his friend is. He then asks the genie to unite him with his friend, but a sudden brawl parts them again sending Ahmad back to Baghdad. Afterwards fate brings Abu to the throne of an enchanted land where the leader grants him a flying rug to Baghdad. There he finds Ahmad in the proper time before his execution. There they overcome their powerful adversary and Ahmad finds his way back to his rightful throne and gets reunited with his love.
This film was the produce of a big team of directors and producers. The reference books accredited Alexander Korda as the director and member of the directing team. The rest of the directors are Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, Tim Whelan, Zoltan Korda, and William Cameron Menzies. The screen play was written by Miles Malleson. The film was produced by London Films and distributed by United Artists UK/USA. The film starred Conrad Veidt, Sabu, John Justin, June Duprez, and Rex Ingram. Being a very old production any drama criticism for it would be useless and purposeless. But for the sake of professional ethics I had a couple of points that I hope will help drama pioneers pay more attention to facts rather than Hollywood-ising or stereotyping some details. The clothes of the sailors were by far totally different from what was worn by the actual Arabian sailors. Shorts that seemed like long cloths that only covered the waist of the sailors were definitely not an option for sailing back then. The name Abu which was the name of Ahmad’s friend is only the first word of a compounded very common nickname used to call the male parent in any Arabian family. Abu is usually connected with the name of the first born in any Arabian family. What was also noticeable was that the princess doesn’t have a name in the production. Even the references on the internet render her nameless. It would have been a powerful asset for such a big production if the heroine had a clear name. However compared to even the Later cartoon Alladin by Disney and later similar productions in Hollywood and Even the Middle East this movie towers as a hulk due to the special effects that were created especially for the film. They were done so professionally that they served their purpose really well. The miniature cities done to make the genie tower in height were convincing and the scenes were Abu interacted with the giant were very thrilling and beautifully designed. This is a cinema worthy of respect. Korda set out to create a movie fantasy from the wildest depths of imagination and story telling and did an excellent job at it. This is why he gained the respect of the audiences for many generation after. No wonder this movie is still well respected by the biggest cinema figures and institution in the USA and world wide.
When Warping the Truth into Realities based on Untruths is Common among the Arrogant
[2/14/2017 4:14:43 PM]
AMMONNEWS - By Abdulillah - We are seeing the straying from truth is common amongst nations and leaders today. Itseems to roll off the tongue with little or no consequence to being offended or even aroused when caught and faced with the facts.
The fact of the matter is that being called a liar seems to roll off their backs as if they were ducks in water. This unabashed arrogance seems to be what we are going to face in the future.
A few years back during the Bush Administration, when faced with the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and when the version of history being peddled as fact by the neo-conservative cabal,who werecalling to arms and nation building imperialism, an anonymous Bush official stated, with much arrogance, when questioned by academics, journalists and others about their positions; "That’s not the way the world really works anymore…. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.
And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
What’s compelling about this statement, is the opening “That’s not the way the world really works anymore”; fast forward to today, where lying seems to be part of the repertoire of today’s policy makers. Forget about the truth… lie, in fact its incumbent upon you to lie or fabricate “alternative facts” or untruths to uphold a wrong position, many of which have little or no consequence to national security.
Many will argue this was common before as well, and I would argue it may have been used however there was some serious consequences to being caught, where-as today it is celebrated both by the person telling it and those who believe it.
Why is this of concern you may state? Well it is of concern because such actions will result into complete lack of trust in the institutions of the state and those that run it. The ordinary citizen will eventually develop an immunity and not be offended by the lying, while the ignorant will believe it and the entire government will be looked upon as a joke led by jokers; where nothing will be believed, and the institutions will wither away where everyone will be following his own truths and chaos ensues.
We are told and in many cases we later find out that Governments lie, they have done so before and will do so again. Many intellectuals will state as times governments need to lie when it is morally right to do so. Some academics will state that citizens need not judge their leaders by the “truthfulness of what is being said and more on the outcomes of their policies”. This argument stems originally from Machiavelli who stated:
…a prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honor his word when it places him at a disadvantage and when the reasons for which he made his promise no longer exist. If all men were good, this precept would not be good; but because men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to them (Machiavelli (1981) pp.99-100).He further states "But one must know how to colour one’s actions and to be a great liar and deceiver" Machiavelli does not see the political leader who lies as a bad person or even against the interests of the people. He continues to state in the same sentence above "Men are so simple, and so much as creatures of circumstance, that the deceiver will always find someone ready to be deceived" (p.100).
It is further argued by some academics, that in politics absolute truth does not exist. That’s it’s a healthier policy to have half-truths/les, spins, rhetoric, or take positions that hide the truth then having one (1) Big Fat Lie or One Single Truth. The argument for this is that there can never be ONE CORRECT LIE or SINGLE TRUTH and none can exist, “where one person or party has a monopoly on one single truth or claim that with them or him lies the one authentic truth”. This they find scarier than say a bunch of ½ truths or lies. That governments are not set up like courts of law” where we swear to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. That politics “is not the arena in which absolute truth is the goal…but is made up of promises about the future, and we don’t know what truth of the future is going to be”.
They further argue that if politicians were to always tell the truth to the public then in cases where the withholding the truth is more necessary, say as when defending a nation at time of war or when citizens lives are at stake, it may be necessary to withhold or even tell a lie.
Listen, I understand the nuances of rhetoric, I also understand the nuances of semi-truths when it comes to national security and life and death. But I do not understand outright lying now or ever or that no braking system needs to exist as say in Machiavellian world. I find it defeatist to believe that lying is ever right. It is as easy to state in matters of security that this question or concern is a matter of national security and will be handled as such, until such time that it can be revealed to the public in its entirety.
It is also wise NOT to be the only one withholding the truth or the consequences of the truth. That in all national policies or matters of security, the people’s representatives, and the judiciary must have a roll in its adherence or justification thereby creating a braking system for outright lying that maybe very detrimental in the long run.
Lying begets more lying, eventually leading to deterioration of government rule, and in more serious cases, vast harm can be inflicted upon a society, such as in Nazi Germany and the old USSR where the one big fat lie was told and told again until it was believed, and when questioned the questioners were hunted down, thrown into jails to rot or murdered.
I pray that we do not follow this warped logic that lying in the political arena is justified, especially when they are not done to avert some graver evil, and where the good consequences outweigh the bad consequences …that “the end justified the means”. I cannot believe that morality in politics can be ignored. That State secrets or public security should be used to cover up lies committed. That in every case one needs not to lie and in every case when it comes to national security it must be justified by not only the administrative branch, but the legislative and judicial branches of government as a braking system, to limit the amount of damage that could occur to the public, and even then, silence is better than half-truths or lying.
God Bless Jordan and its People
When Putin and Trump meet
[1/28/2017 12:12:59 PM]
AMMONNEWS - By Jonathan Power - The great flaw in former US president Barack Obama’s record was his policy towards Russia.
Going against everything he had said and written about before he became president, one action after another antagonised the Russians: his early proclamation that he wanted Georgia and Ukraine in NATO, his de facto coalition of convenience for a crucial couple of days with the anti-democratic, anti-Russian, neo-fascist demonstrators in Ukraine, the further expansion of NATO, despite an earlier promise not to, made by president H.W. Bush to the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and his inability to cooperate with the Russians and Iranians over Syria.
No wonder the Russians are reported to be delirious that Donald Trump is now president, a man who said nice things about Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
If the two meet sometime soon, maybe there will be an end to this unnecessary hostility.
The Moscow-Washington relationship is the most important political issue in the world and this may well be the last chance to get it right.
Russia and the US have never fought each other in the 200 years of their relationship.
Russia aided the North during the Civil War and sent warships to prevent England and France from supporting the confederacy.
During the world wars the two were close allies.
However, they came close to catastrophic war during the Cold War, when Russia armed Cuba with nuclear weapons.
This will never happen again. It chilled the blood down to zero on both sides.
But one can imagine limited armed clashes on the Estonian-Russian border, nuclear sabre rattling, a more intimate alliance between China and Russia, an urge to sabotage, as was done during the Cold War, any diplomacy or interventions made by the other and a continuation of both countries keeping their long-range nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert.
Under H.W. Bush, post-Cold War relations got off to a good start.
Nevertheless, the US treated Russia as a defeated nation that could be taken advantage of.
Unlike with Germany, Japan and Eastern Europe, there was no effort to help get the Soviet Union and then Russia on to its economic feet.
In September 2000, a congressional report blamed president Bill Clinton’s Russian policy as leading to the nation’s total economic collapse in 1998.
In 2001, president George W. Bush announced that the US would withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
When Georgia began its war with South Ossetia and Russia, the US sided with Georgia.
Seventy per cent of Russians held a favourable view of the US when Clinton took office in 1993, but by 2000 it had gone down to 37 per cent. Now it is down to single digits.
Winston Churchill’s observation that “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” is totally wrong.
Any nation on earth would have been riled if it were treated the way Russia was.
The Russians are an intensely patriotic, cultured and religious people. Indeed, one can say they are in aggregate, in terms of classical music, ballet, opera, literature, architecture and painting, the most cultured nation in the world.
Almost 75 per cent of all Russians identify themselves as Orthodox Christians, pledged to uphold the same values of helping the poor and turning the other cheek as the other nations of Christendom.
They drink too much and can say stupid things and be overly hot-tempered, but they are not some mysterious, oriental predator.
They are not Tatars of the steppe.
When it comes to foreign policy, they want first and foremost to be left alone with secure borders.
In less than two decades, Russia has been reduced territorially in Europe and the Caucasus to its frontiers of 1600 and in Asia to those of the eighteenth century. Thus, it is highly sensitive to perceived threats to its territorial integrity.
Gorbachev writes many thoughtful articles that are printed in newspapers the world over.
It seems that no one in the Western political elite reads them despite their wisdom and relevance.
He is both a patriot and a good friend of the West.
In one article he wrote: “There is much talk in the United States about rethinking relations with Russia. One thing that should be definitely rethought: the habit of talking to Russia in a condescending way, without regard to its positions and interests.”
If Trump goes into this meeting with Putin thinking his bullying tactics will be as successful as they have been in his business life, he will come a cropper.
He needs to do most of the listening and most of the compromising.
If he plays it right, he can get the Russians out of Ukraine, restore good economic interaction, get significant cuts in nuclear weapons and get a cooperative solution to putting Syria back on its feet and combating Daesh.
But does Trump have the character to do that?
The Perpetrators of Gossip and Fallacy
[1/6/2017 5:05:06 PM]
AMMONNEWS - By Abdulillah - When is ones concern about his well-being founded? Well it is founded when you know you have an adversary wanting to instill harm, willing to use whatever means he has in his power to either hurt you physically, mentally or besmirch your good name or cast doubt about your integrity, views, etc.. by fostering lies and gossip that is not true.
That is exactly how nations work against each other as well. It matters not how they go about this, be it in private (i.e, spying), be it in waging actual warfare, or by simply passing fake news about you.
In the old days it’s used to be done by creating false news stories placed strategically in the countries news-papers, radio, or television and editorials and commentary by its staff. Most of those newspapers were not local papers of the target country, but those of the perpetrating country. Things started to change when news wires started to establish themselves. These wire agencies were where most newspapers, radio, television got their material to publish stories. Most wires services were legitimate, because not confirming stories and putting them on the wire to be picked up by their clients, meant they could be sued for slander, or even just expelled from the country where these false stories were aimed at. This meant losing business and money. This kept false stories to a minimum and in fact when things did slip by and stories were rejected, retractions were immediately issued.
Not long ago we started getting 24 hour news, first with CNN, followed by many others where we were and are still bombarded with TV news stories, with pictures from helicopters, war trenches, and even camera’s glued to participants helmets, bodies etc… to the point of ad nauseum.
Presently, we have internet service. With this service, anyone with a keyboard/phone/camera could easily post a story to his web page, Instagram, Face-book, Twitter, you name it account. These services do not police themselves much, as they were initially meant for social communication, where some individuals, most of whom I like to refer to as “Voyeur’s”, troll sites of others looking to pass gossip, or even to post their own gossip or prevarication.
Here many innocent people fall prey to these trolls and evil people. Some of these are so evil such as the practice of some men in our society who have issues with their wives, and in having these issues, are passing on pictures meant for their eyes only to the public so they can besmirch their reputations and win civil cases against them in later court proceedings. This practice has gotten so bad as to have some government agencies issue warnings to women and individuals not to post any pictures or writing about themselves, specifically those which have sexual content. Why anyone would post some pictures or sexual content on the internet is beyond me, but it is obviously ignorance of how the system works and education in our public channels, schools about social media is very necessary.
How we as a society have slipped so low is beyond me. But in truth this was done long before the advent of the internet, it just was not so easily done. It was more word of mouth or in the form of verbal gossip, or in paper print, where culprits can be easily caught and punished.
The above practices are typically one individual against another, or a small group against another. Today, we are seeing the expansion of this evil behavior. You have all probably read about fake news, yes fake news, this is where internet web sites, social media accounts, and individuals are set up by governments to pass along fake news about even the most trivial of issues.
The old word for this behavior was “propaganda”; however, today it is used more to instill discourse amongst the public, countries institutions, and in some cases even in its selection of leadership.
According to a paper written by Mr. Jay Black called the Semantics of Ethics of Propaganda, “the term propaganda, when it was first used in the sociological sense by the Roman Catholic Church, was to the spreading of ideas that would not occur naturally, but only via a cultivated or artificial generation. In 1622, the Vatican established the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, or “Congregation for thePropaganda of Faith,” to harmonize the content and teaching of faith in its missions and consolidate its power. As Combs and Nimmomaintained (1993, p. 201), this early form of propaganda was considered by the Church to be a moral endeavor.” Not so much anymore!
He continues to state in the same paper “Over time the term took on more negative connotations; in a semantic sense, propaganda became value laden, and in an ethical sense, it was seen as immoral. In 1842W. T. Brande, writing in the Dictionary of Science, Literatureand Art, called propaganda something “applied to modern political language as a term of reproach to secret associations for the spread of opinions and principles which are viewed by most governments with horror and aversion”.
Russia and the US are having a diplomatic spat about this very thing now, with Russia being accused of hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) web site, stealing emails and giving them to WikiLeaks in an effort to sway the US Election results towards the new president elect Mr. Trump. US intelligence agencies are confirming this and now a diplomatic ‘tit for tat’, ‘you did it he did it’ is taking place with some serious consequences between both countries.
Now most of the educated would say, fake news about countries can easily be dispelled with the country being attacked simply by issuing a notice to all the news agencies that this is disinformation. They would be correct, but today many young individuals or even innocent or ignorant people believe that if it is posted on the web it must be the truth no matter what it says. Some nefarious people have been so good at this that you can type in a web query about a subject and believe it actually came from a credible source or entity which it never did.
If you still don’t believe this, try reading about the son of the new USA President Elects National Security Advisor’s son (Michael G. Flynn) whom earlier this month had to be fired from the transition teams staff of the US President Elect for continuing to pass on false news about a pizza shop in Washington DC being used for sexual traffickingwhom the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton supposedly patronized. In fact he kept posting after the election with this story including many other lies on twitter, that it was very hard to keep a straight face about his lies by the transition team, and when the clamor got to a very high pitch about his lying and continued lying, he was jettisoned off the team.
In history classes we were taught that Hitler in his “Mein Kampf” argued that the most convincing propaganda is to appeal to the “feelings of the public rather than their reasoning ability” to repeat any false statement enough times and people will believe it while using words like “right and wrong, love and hate”. Such rhetoric can be convincing to the ignorant or innocent, especially those who feel they have been marginalized or believe that their status has been lowered to accommodate someone they find not worthy of that status or position.
It however becomes very dangerous when used to demean, disenfranchise another human being or to topple or change the views of the masses against their government.
Hyperbole is the word for it now a-days. Take a small situation be it right or wrong and inflate it with false news or accusations’, hit repeat and watch it grow into civil unrest. Almost every imperial power tyrant or megalomaniac has used this procedure to justify his existence, his desire to aggrandize, or simply to rip off the people or diminish another.
According to E.D. Martin who along with James Warburg tried to explain the difference between education and propaganda stated the following “Education aims at independence of judgment. Propaganda offers ready-made opinions for the unthinking herd. Education and propaganda are directly opposed both in aim and methods."
So to my brothers and sisters does this mean we go about censoring? I say no, because as James Warburg states “the purpose of propaganda is to mobilize certain of man’s emotions in such a way that they will dominate the reason- not necessarily with evil design”.
The way we win is by teaching and education. Teaching that certain things said need to be corroborated by reliable sources, and by education of the people to reason when what is said or written can be right or wrong. It is to avoid repeating what they know little about, or putting something that can be used against themselves believing that they are secure, or it will never be used against them” Mostly; it is always by enjoining what is good and leaving what is evil.
As every Muslim knows and is taught in the Quran the following verses: (English translation):
"Why do not the believing men and women, whenever such [a rumor] is heard, think the best of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”? ... When you take it up with your tongues, uttering with your mouths something of which you have no knowledge, you deem it a light matter. Where-as in the sight of God it is an awful thing!" (Quran 24: 12-15).
"Oh you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done (Quran 49:6).
"Oh you who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others; it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former). Nor let some women laugh at others; it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former). Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames. Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed. And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. Oh you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin. And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it...But fear Allah. For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful" (Quran 49:11-12).
“"If they hear gossip, they walk away" (Quran 28:55).
And every Christian knows and is taught from the Bible the following verses (English Translations):
Proverbs 20:19 says, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.”
Proverbs 26:30 says, “For lack of wood the fires goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.”
Leviticus 19:16 says “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.”
Knowing the above,one must be careful with what is being said or written. Educate yourselves, if you don’t know ask the most knowledgeable, or refrain from repeating what you are not familiar with. We are people of the truth and love to be known for this. So let’s all make sure we continue speaking it, admonishing those who are out to propagate false news or gossip, and always challenging what is said for its veracity, knowing that evil exists is some people hearts.
God Bless Jordan and its People.
Trump and The Cabal
[12/1/2016 2:42:24 PM]
AMMONNEWS - By Abduulillah - So now that we are all have been made aware, and after almost every pundit in the world has commented on Mr. Trump; the new President elect of the United States, what more can someone else offer you might ask. Well I am going to try but I would like to take a different tract of thought here.
Let me first start by stating he has been elected, but NOT for the world but for a Country. Granted his election is NOT without concerns on the parts of many from his misogynistic views, his paranoia that everyone else is out to get him, or the country as a whole, so much so that he must go on the attack by making up stories regardless of truth or there veracity, to his many other flaws.
I want to avoid this because to be honest most elections go this way anymore. This type of electioneering has been gaining in popularity over time. Especially since the advent of Television where those who are running for president have to look good (see Kennedy verses Nixon), and if they don’t, they must learn to raise a few eye brows or be marginalized. They must say and do outrageous things. This is more real now with social media having a large following along with its many Trolls and Pundits, but this is for another column not this one.
Trump; assuming this new recount underway by the Libertarian Party Candidate Jill Stein who has now recently been joined by the Hilary team comes up short, which many are predicting,will take office early next year.
Outside of Mr. Trump, to put it kindly, being a novice in the political arena, he does come with something that has gained popularity on the World stage lately, and that is anti-globalism coupled with anti-elitism and ultra-nationalism. Yet the funny thing is he is an elitist (kind of hypocritical if you ask me).
Some might argue that he just is not the best person to carry this torch forward. I must somewhat disagree with this argument, because in my opinion sometimes a fresh look is good,as long as the person elected is smart to notice, and react accordingly in a methodical way, giving valid reasons for or against each of their policies.
Leaders have to be lead, but they must have consensus for lack of a good word. Sometimes they may not get this from their electorate, however, if they are on the right side of a moral argument they may get away with not having consensus and history has shown this time and again. An example of this is President Lincoln and his desire to end slavery. He however was punished later by losing his life to those who felt he had gone too far.
Some leaders get consensus readily by playing to their electorate’s fears, and then acted upon it. Look at Hitler he got the consensus of his people ...not at first, but later they pretty much all went along with him. Now look at Jimmy Carter a very smart and moral President who looked for consensus in everything, that he could not please anyone, except those of higher learning who understood the nuances of his decision making.
So I don’t look so much at the man and what he says, I look at who he surrounds himself with, as they will be the ones who guide and advise him. So far from what I can tell Mr. Trump’s style is to rely heavily on the people he believes can be his best guide. Nothing wrong with that but one must be able to discern an owl from a weasel as they say.
So based on what I know so far of the people he has selected to advise him, he has failed miserably. He might think he is adding people that will shake up the country and the elites (all so far are elites by the way),however, based on his selections so far he is missing the mark. Too often a President, ends up picking the people who once kowtowed to him and believed it was loyalty, and once they got in they played him like a fiddle to aggrandize their own interests and political thought. (See Bush 2).
Mr. Trump is used to saying “Your Fired” to many; he did it on his reality show on TV and to Mr. Christie lately, but I am not sure he knows or see’s what he is getting into here. He may be smart in business but I doubt he knows the evil in some people’s hearts when they get so close to a seat of power as much as those he has picked.
Each one of his picks appears not just on the surface but through much vetting by outsiders, as people who have one particular reason for wanting this opportunity. Trust me when I say they are just smart enough to have this one reason. It is NOT to follow this man’s lead but to make him follow theirs.
I would say he has already been swayed to their thinking (or as others argue he is actually the one that is leading them! I don’t think he is that smart!). Theseselections have shown through much of their own lives, careers and what they have said or done in the past to be an ultra-right wing fringe group. Motivated by race, and by ultra-Christian right religious thought.
They are not Anti-Zionist, but are Anti-Semitic, making them one dangerous group for the Middle-East as a whole. Yes it means we are going to see more fiddling around with the Middle-East.
We are going to see them marginalize even more than before Arabs. Muslims and Sephardic Jews or Jews who do not agree with their way of thought or anyone who does not want to conform to their ways. They are expansionist of the most imperial kind. See how they find common ground between themselves and several others on the World stage who have expansionist leanings.
They are a throwback to the Manifest Density crowd of the late 1900’s.A Jacksonian view,that saw the American Indian and the Brown Mexican/Spanish as hindering their “providence” over the free development and imperialist expansion of North America and later Central America and the South Pacific. This group was clearly based on racial doctrine of white supremacy, which granted no claims to lands by anyone that did not look or act like they did. Just like a good Zionist today who believe they have both a moral and religious rights over the indigenous population... These too see themselves as John Wilson stated “the master image or figure which frames and sets their true content as the type of Israel as God’s chosen people”.
They cloaked themselves with religious identity failing to see that Christianity itself is a Semitic religion, not exclusive to whites or European identities, but open to all peoples. They claimed the God of Israel would be among them if they fulfilled his “Covenant” that they believed he would have blessed as he blessed the Israelites over the indigenous “heathen” peoples. They forget that The Israelites of old and present were and are Semitic peoples of varying colors from the Arabian Peninsula and Africa and NOT Christian by faith and religious identity. That in fact Abraham the father of the three (3) monotheistic faiths was from Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) and was himself and his progeny from Semitic origins. That’s right they were all a combination of whites, brown or black peoples.
This ought to scare the Jewish populations in America and Israel; even though they are presently being showered with what appears to be adulation and praise, for one day when these wolves have consolidated there power, they will look to make changes to them as well.
To this end, this Group is not new to the World it is actually as old as time itself. It has found a resurgence in the ultra-Christian right again. First you trumpet the idea of nationalism, then after acceptance you continue to race/color differences, followed by religious differences where only “one common faith can be held in reverence”, demonizing the other. Hitler was a perfectionist at this rhetoric.
So now how do we in the Middle-East and specifically Jordan deal with this Administration?
I would say always, with the truth. If they speak of anything that smells of xenophobia or anti-Semitism (yes Arabs are Semites), we must remind ourselves and them that we people will not tolerate this behavior. Not towards us or anyone. Remember who we are and what we represent.
We need to make sure to speak out against anything what smells of imperialism, by them or any others in the world.
Mostly we need not be afraid to speak out against them, we have nothing to fear, for they are weak. They need others xenophobes and racists to do their bidding, and we have ourselves. But mostly because there are more of us in the World then there is of them.
Lastly; and more importantly let’s not owe anyone with racist attitudes any money or favors. We do not need to be tainted by their warped views such that we have to adjust our displeasure with the way they act to satisfy our debt.
I actually do hope Mr. Trump well, but I must caution us all as to what he has surrounded himself with. He may not be a racist himself, but I can assure you others around him are. Maybe he will see that as well and use that your “FIRED” term to those who he see’s straying from his stated desire to make “America Great” without subjugation of the “stranger” or the disenfranchised.
God Bless Jordan and its People