jeudi 30 décembre 2010


By: Khairi Janbek.

I recently walked down memory lane
Come hold my hand and ease the pain
Only your presence will keep me sane
A glimpse of your face I consider a gain.

For sorrow I know not a system how to train
It is a condition that defies always the brain
Self-flaggelation with or without a cane
One touche from you and all my tears will wane.

Longing is always a blot which leaves a stain
Erase it with your presence simple and plane
How can my humble heart be considered vain
For you are his sovereign, where you always reign

samedi 25 décembre 2010


By: Khairi Janbek

Without you my life hangs by a thread
In your presence I lay the roses bed
Your absence is the thorny crown on my head
The truth is you plucked me from among the dead

I await the light which on me you shed
It's living in the shadow which I always dread
Not my ego which needs always to be fed
My heart and soul need your love instead

Who knows where all this is going to head
Our story neither the wise nor fools have read
A heart like mine which so profusely has bled
Because towards you only the Gods dared to tread.

jeudi 23 décembre 2010


By : Khairi Janbek.

Let no Maji incense smell
Neither a church toll its bell
Nor a Mullah his trade peddle and sell
If what's in my heart I cannot tell

I neither crave heaven nor fear hell
I plucked you like pearl from a vast shell
Not a devil, neither a demon, nor an angel that fell
take me into your heart for all doubts to dispell

Your love is so deep, deeper than a mountain well
When graced by your look to the seventh heaven I propel
I am totally taken by you, and completely under your spell
Accept this humble lover, and cure the soul of an eternal rebel.

lundi 20 décembre 2010



Hanging on a thread between yes and nay
Searching for you is like a needle in the hay
When will I ever put my head to rest when I lay
If I keep searching for directions to find your way

In my heart and whole being you always stay
All I need now in my reality to have the same I pray
My union with you remains the most cherished day
Haven't I after all offered my whole existence on a tray?

My blood is not enough for you my life I pay
To which side the pendulum will swing for miserable and gay
Without you I am sinking with feet in clay
Your absence is the sharp sword which will slay.

dimanche 19 décembre 2010



I marvel at the point of your creation
When I know the path to you is my destination
Take me into your fold without procastination
In your loving heart is my eternal salvation

My steps towards you are never made in hesitation
When my aim in life is the unity of hearts' realization
Crossed the Rubicon, and the point of no return, seeking elation
Without you what's life, if not an an existence in desperation

What started of as my desire for pure temptation
Awaiting your appearance, your presence, in anticipation
When it dawned on me a bolt from the sky, the real revelation
That you are my soul, my heart, and my ever eternal inspiration

How can my heart be killed if not through cruel isolation
taking it out and burrying it, in the deepest foundation
Take away from it, the hope, the future and the simple expectation
What on earth will be left for it, in terms of any compensation

Loving you forever is my complete preoccupation
My spirit seeks yours for merging in total annihalation
I am posessive about you, like a martyr dying for his nation
How can such love be handled, when in continuous formulation.

samedi 18 décembre 2010

Palestinian-Israeli Peace : Painting by Numbers.


As someone whose interest in political matters has become cursory at best, I still wonder sometimes; in the manner of old habits dying hard, how the current Obama administration is still trying to put old wine in new bottles, or perhaps, new wine in old bottles.

For a start 1) The concept of bridging the gaps between the Palestinians and the Israelis is rediculous from the start. As the old adage goes " In peace time bridges get trampled upon, and in times of war; they get blown up". 2) The Obama administration must show bluntly; both the Palestinians and the Israelis, that the US strategic interests are not always one and the same as those of Israel, though the baggage of the last 50 years or so, shows otherwise. There are some pundits in the US whom keep trying to convey the mnessage that Israel may well be hurting the US strategic interests in the region, but the case up till now, shows a continuity in convergence of interests. 3) Regarding Jerusalem, the Obama administration should shift its vision of talking in terms of real estate; I mean the sub-prime crisis should call the point home (just joking), and make Israel understand that, the holy zone in the city, cannot be administred by one religious authority to the exclusion of others. The Wadi Araba Agreement stipulates so, and Israel must stick to the letter of this agreement.

4) The Obama administration wishes to involve the Arab world in trying to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. One is positive that the majority of the Arab countries would want to be involved in reviving the possibilities of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but at the same time, they would want to be sure about the levels of committment of the US to the peace process, and the viability of the plan of action; which till now still seems nebulous, even in the minds of the most optimistic Arabs. 5) President Obama needs the Arabs in his adminsitration's plans to pressurise Iran over its nuclear programme. As Wikileaks documents show, many of the Arabs are also sharing the Washington administration's concerns over the issue, at times even worse concerns. Here also, the Arab allies of the US are not sure of the level of American committment and its next move against Iran. They would not want naturally ; unless I am mistaken totally, to be left in the lurch against Iran if or when the US reaches a compromise with Tehran. I don't know if politcis is the art of the possible any longer, but in this department Mr. Netanyahu can play a great role if he just attempts to open his mind a little, to the notion of give and take. He started his life as a New York businessman, so the notion should come natural to him, yet he is acting like someone who is owning a farm. Mind you maybe he is becoming just another Middle East leader.

6) washington talks about democracy and democratisation in the Arab world, yet at the same time, it totally disregards the notion of Arab public opinion and prefers to have push-button decisions made at the top to be filtered down to the bottom of the political power pyramid in the Arab countries. And still there are Americans whom say, why do they hate us?. Sure American money is poured into many Arab countries, and plenty of political support is given to many others, but at the end of the day, for the Arab people, they only hear about wealth which they cannot relate to.

I know I have raised many issues which I think they are faulty. I haven't provided one iota of an attempted solution. Well, because I think the last time I attempted to talk about a solution, I ended up here in Paris as a consequence.

samedi 11 décembre 2010



Between heaven and hell, I have often strolled
In a life which in it, nothing was ever bold.
When the devil bargained, for my heart to be sold
Your love was revealed to me, and I was forward called

In all the fury of hell, I'd still be always cold
The only warmth I have, is in your hands which I hold
I have heard many words of wisdom, both new and old
As well as words of affection, praise, as well as scold

But I shall remain determined, to break the last mold
Even if my life unravels, and my end begins to unfold
In our hearts the Almighty, endless love he has doled
His loving words to us, are the last things to be told.

jeudi 2 décembre 2010



You pass once on life's way
Anyone wise will have that to say
Hoping for miracles you kneel and pray
Instead stretch your arms and grab the day

No matter how in your mind you sway
You're part of me and that's how you stay
If even you want to take my life away
Do it but keep my demons at bay

I accept all the laws you lay
if with my blood I have to pay
All the emotions so that you may
My heart you never ever betray.

lundi 29 novembre 2010

For you My Desdemona.

By: Khairi Janbek.

I seek neither a country nor a nation
Just to love in your constellation
Being far is my utmost deprivation
For one who is seeking unification.

is there in hell any salvation?
Or in heaven any demnation?
For me to know where is the demarcation?.
You'll always be my life and its negation.

Peoples' success is counted in numeration
My love for you is the real felicitation
Loosing means puts people in degradation
But not seeing you puts me terpidation.

samedi 27 novembre 2010


By : Khairi Janbek

I went to hell and came back
On the way I have lost my track
When Desdemoan appeared from a crack
Put my name with her's on a plaque

She picked me up from the whole pack
saving me altogether from Dante's hack
At a time Moravia's poetry painted in black
When Love at the Time of the Cholera sat on the rack

Seeking my solace in Uncle Tom's shack
In Desdemona's love I shall take all flack
My body and soul already in her sack
If she forgives those words fill of tack.

jeudi 25 novembre 2010


By: Khairi janbek

Woo to the heart and its plight
When it marvels at Desdemona's sight
To the seventh heaven it takes a flight
Where reason and heart never fight

You pull my heart like a shaking kite
Which fears a tumble from the rising height
Your close embrace that holds me tight
Brings the sunshine in the middle of the night

Lovers and drunkards mix dawn with twilight
Even when God's lights are shimmering bright
To have you is totake life and have a bite
For angels settle and demons feel the fright.

mercredi 24 novembre 2010


BY : Khairi Janbek.

I broke some wood to light a flame
When Khayyam sat drinking with his dame
Who can deny sa'adi's genius fame
Or Ferdossi's eternal language game.

Hallaj's unity with God was the declared aim
Where Rumi's Dervishes whirl in his name
Shamsi Tabriz taught them all just the same
The vicious wild beast within how to tame

Rabbi'a destroyed the idols of shame
Craving heaven and fearing hell as to blame
To be tormented with love is why I came
You are the love of my life, don't leave me lame.

jeudi 21 octobre 2010


I suppose so long as we don’t talk in terms of the alleged Churchillian dictum of “ feed the Arabs, starve the Persians”, anything we all say is passable.

The problem with Iran is not really in whether this regime stays or is overthrown by outside machinations or internal revolution, rather, with the manner Iran has defined its national strategic interest, and the manner it will continue to do so.

For the first time, the world; especially the superpowers, witness a new phenomenon in which a Near Eastern country, actually defines its national strategic interest beyond the circumference of its neighbourhood. The closest any country from the region came to doing that, was Hashemite Iraq, when late prime minister Nuri al Saeed defined Iraq’s national interest extending to the borders of the Soviet Union. Even Nasser’s United Arab Republic did not come close to the ambitious definition of Iran regarding its national interest.

Therefore, in this respect one believes that, Iran is truly a new phenomenon on the international scene, moreover, it is acting with the pretensions of not only a regional power, but also a super-power. It is not only a Gulf power, but actually is also a Mediterranean power now, with an arch that envelopes all the oil rich Arab states within its Shiite Crescent, threatening at the same time the national security of Jordan, Egypt and Israel, and with potential capability to expand its influence to the “Stans” of the ex-Soviet Union, as well as Afghanistan.

A regime with such an extension and influence, is not likely to give up such gains merely because others wish that to happen. Also, it is a folly to think that the current regime in Iran will be willing to negotiate its nuclear programme, which is essentially, the leitmotif of the status of a super-power. In addition, any regime which potentially replaces the current one, will not give up on the gains made by the current regime, nor will negotiate its nuclear programme. Therefore, the only two options for the US are, either accept Iran as a partner, and build its foreign policy on the basis of such realism, or, go to war against Iran and hit it hard, to make it impossible for Iran to pick the pieces of power after that, and even, make it more impossible for any replacement of the current regime to be able to contemplate any such current pretensions.

At the same time, what is the status of the institution of Velyati-Faqih in all this?. I don’t think anyone can seriously think that, a change of regime, or the current regime would change its nature, so long as the leadership of Veli-Faqih remains as the main arbiter in Iranian politics. However, the Mullah vs. Mullah conflict which is still going on in Iran, indicates that the position is no longer held as, sacrosanct any longer. As a matter of fact, and one is making a wild bet on this, I dare say that Ayattullah Khamina’I is most likely to be the last office holder in this institutions, because Iran will gradually slip into a military and security controlled regime, with a religious veneer only. Even any potential replacement, I don’t think will be different to the character which the current regime has evolved.


BY: Khairi Janbek

As a Jordanian citizen amidst having to jump hurdles, and avoid puddles in order to go through the daily routine of living; semi-successfully, one gets moments of respite for reflection on broad issue. You may share some of those reflections. So for instance :

In our country, we have I suppose, highly qualified officials and functionaries. Yet, at the same time, all their talents and education stumble at the first hurdle when they utter to you the word “prohibited”. It is really the easiest thing in the world to say that something is prohibited, because it provides the official with the convenient excuse, of not having to think about finding solutions to circumvent a problem for the convenience of the citizen. I mean if prohibitions only take a word to enforce, then any elementary school child can utter or write the word, without any training or qualifications. So, why are we bothering to train and qualify our officials, if a child with the simplest elementary education can say the same thing with the same precaution?.
That takes me to the next sequence of reflection, having mentioned the word education. We boast over two scores of universities, and schools even in the remotest areas of the Kingdom, making us perhaps the highest university per capita in the world. Yet, we are still searching for a role for education. No fear, suddenly we have discovered that education is supposed to make the Jordanian citizen, a lover of the middle ground and hater of all shades of extremism, as if the world terrorists are not aware of education and are not themselves educated. Why did we build all those universities and schools if they were not teaching the “right stuff” in the first place?. What is desperately needed is the creation of centers of learning and specialization in European and American affairs in our country, otherwise how can we conduct negotiations and consistent dialogue, when from our side of civilization, the interlocutors have minimal information about the “western” history of ideas, politics, and current affairs?.
Then what about reflecting on the idea of national identity?. One has gathered, from various conversations, and reading various local articles and newspaper columns, that we are really not sure what we are. Every now and then, someone steps in to define us in Jordan. Half of our writers, thinkers and intellectuals agree with the definition, while the other half go their own way and decide to counter-define us according to their own taste. Maybe under such circumstances, it would be prudent for Jordanians to hold a general dialogue among each other, because the only parties whom are talking to all Jordanians are actually the foreign embassies.
And last but not least, one keeps hearing the heartening, yet not all together wise old folks tale, that we should persevere and sacrifice now, so that the future generations can have better times and less problems. I am sorry, but only a fool would persevere and sacrifice, in the name of a future that he/she has no clue about, let alone guarantee that they will be alive at its dawn, to see the future generations having fun.

lundi 18 octobre 2010

Democracy and US.

By: Khairi janbek

The democratic way of political life is not an easy one, but, you don’t need me to tell you that its’ rewards are great. Although, no form of government is simpler than autocratic dictatorship; yet all history stands as a record of the abuse of power so concentrated. So, democracy requires from its citizens a level of political intelligence, experience, maturity, public spirit, self-restraint, and demands the exercise of ingenuity in finding solutions to problems, in addition to the development of a political machinery appropriate for the desirability of freedom, responsibility and efficiency.
We have to understand that, the strength of democracy is that its’ way of life fosters and encourages these aforementioned qualities. One is not really writing to expound on the virtues of democracy, rather hoping to remind our officialdom, that only with such a catalogue of virtues, the Jordanian citizen can appreciate the need for experimentation in attempting to find solutions to the many current problems we have, without having to feel as if being treated as a specimen in an experimental laboratory.
Unfortunately, each time the term democracy is mentioned in our midst, lectures, speeches and conferences are organized by our officialdom to tell us that, education is the lynchpin of democracy. In other words once we are educated then we are democratic. I am sorry, but really, much more than education is required for the cultivation of democratic attitudes, because democracy has also requirements from the government and not only from the citizen.
Undoubtedly, democracy flourishes best, where there is a feeling of economic well-being and security. A person whom lives under conditions of potential civil strife or violence, is all too likely to consider order, even if brought about by a strong dictatorship, much preferable to the uncertainty and potential risks of a freer society. Likewise, the person whom suffers from grinding poverty, and the anxieties of unemployment, finds it difficult to be detached and reasonable in his/her opinion, to weigh judiciously the fate of the whole country, when their own children go hungry. Life teaches all, that desire for human dignity does not cease even under conditions of misery and discrimination, therefore, the citizen is concerned with the system which provides purposes and results, rather than the technical means of accomplishing them. It always requires a technocrat to plan and build a scheme, but it is the citizen whom knows better than anyone else, whether the government is satisfying them or not.
Therefore, it becomes very dangerous for the future of our democracy, when the government decides not to listen to the people. It will send the message then, that it is becoming ruthless in its assessment of the political incapacity of the people, and is becoming more and more credulous in its willingness to attribute supernatural qualities of wisdom and integrity to the higher echelons of the state and administration; regressing thus, to a totalitarian type of a discourse.
There is an old political wisdom which says that, in a democracy “what is not prohibited; is permissible”, while in a totalitarian system “what is not prohibited; is compulsory”. We only seek the permissible.

samedi 16 octobre 2010

By ; Khairi Janbek

Geography and Stereotyping.

What is it about stereotypes?. Take me for example, when I was younger, I got introduced to the names of the countries of the world; not through geography lessons, rather through my intense interest in soccer. Therefore, the news worthiness of one country or another; at least as far as I was concerned, was very much related to their soccer performance in world championships, or how well they faired playing against Brazil. In this sense, GDP, GNP, dictatorships, democracies, were all concepts beyond the reach of my evaluation of the potentials of any country in the world. What mattered at the time, was the names of goal scorers and brilliant goalkeepers.
I am sure that those nations wanted to be assessed by the usual socio-economic and political indicators, but as far as yours sincerely was concerned, every single person regardless of age and sex from the countries of the world, was judged in soccer standards. Therefore, a person from Germany; irrespective of how they felt about the game of soccer, even if they hated it, to me, he/she must be a brilliant player. The same went for any individual from Brazil, or anyone from Italy. In any case, those were the days of heavily censored mass media organs in our part of the world, and the only news worthy items that entered our living rooms, were those related to soccer.
However, as time went on, and in the age of breaking news, my geographical information developed according to the lines of war, death and destruction. For instance, I started hearing about Chechenia. I never knew before that Bosnia excited anyone outside the books of history and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. I had hardly heard of Afghanistan let alone Tora Bora and the Panjir Valley, after all soccer was not a big thing in those areas. Who had heard about Rwanda and the Tutsis and Hutus until they decided to massacre each other, then of course Banda Ache came into the news, and made me wonder who was dreaming about its independence all the time, in our part of the world !!. In essence, war and destruction has brought in many nations to every household through the news, and very far away places into our living rooms.
However, just as the Soccer nations of my childhood may have wanted to be heard of through their other achievements, I am positive that the peoples of those war-torn countries wish to be known also with achievements other than, their ability of blood letting. But I think, my stereotyping and that of many others like myself, can take away from such nations their achievements as well as their humanity. I must admit, each time I meet someone from a war-torn country, it is his/hers potential violence that comes first to my mind, and not the fact that one is meeting another human being, whom wants the same safety and security which I am blessed with in my country. I am afraid, for me now, it is mass murderers that symbolize nations, in as much as Pele symbolized the nations of my childhood. I suppose, I have to thank again the mass media organs which report nothing but, statistics about war, death and destruction.
But, what can the mass media do, when we seem to be pleased with what they cater on their programme menus?. The next step of stereotyping for this century will be, crew-cut and short skirt/tight trousers, and the meaning of sporting a beard and wearing a veil.

Long Term Arab Strategy?.

If we ask ourselves, what would be in common between the national security of Palestine and that of Mauritania, and we ask ourselves also, what would be in common between the national security of Morocco and that of Oman for instance, it would not be difficult to conclude that a common Arab national security arrangement, is nothing more than an emotional concept based on folkloric aspects, than a real issue based on practical concerns. One is neither criticizing all the proposed efforts aiming at a common Arab national security arrangement, nor reflecting on the countless signed and sealed Arab common defense agreements on the shelves of the Arab League, but rather one is attempting to find a shred of any reason, for the persistence of the myth that there is a real Arab common national security concern.
The fact that the Iranians have proposed a non-aggression pact with the Gulf Arab states, and the preference of those states as well as many others beyond, for security arrangements with the USA, is a blunt indication that the myth of Arab common security concern exists only in the minds of those, whom propagate it constantly. So would that mean, it is the end for this myth?. One certainly hopes so, because unless the Arab people start debunking this myth, we shall find it impossible to get alternative and real proposals for a functional Arab national security order.
However, having said all that, why would any Arab country want to enter into a regional security arrangement with other Arab countries, when an alliance with the USA is actually on offer?. Mind you, it must be said while attempting to answer this particular question under the heightened state of tension between the USA and Iran, that if the USA decides to withdraw militarily for one reason or another, from the Gulf zone, or manages to create a modus vivendi with Iran by reaching an amicable arrangement over the Iranian nuclear programme, what would be the position of the Gulf Arab states having rejected a rapproachement with Iran?. Or what happens if the current political status quo in the Arab Gulf states becomes dispensable for the USA and even not part of its immediate priorities?.
I am sure that, such a question is on the mind of the various Arab leaders, and they must have taken it into consideration when defining the national security policies of their individual Arab countries, but what seems difficult to break, is the mold of Arab strategic short-term thinking. Of course this short-term thinking has always been justified by the criterion that, everything in the Arab world develops very quickly, making it thus difficult for the Arab leaders to develop long-term strategies, and for short-termism to be inevitable. But by the same token, this one and the same, criterion should be a strong enough reason, for the Arab leaders to master the destiny of their own region, for it is after all, the hope of every Arab individual to see Arab leaders plan for the future of Arab generations, and not only for the duration of their own rule. Therefore, common Arab national security concerns cannot be defined essentially, without long-term Arab strategic planning.

jeudi 14 octobre 2010


By: Khairi Janbek

There was a time, when the overwheliming majority in the Arab eorld considered themselves Muslim. There si now a small minority of extremists claiming Islam to themselves and proclaining all other Muslims to be apostates. There was a time when the worst insult that could be directed against anyone in the Arab, world was the accusation of being an agent of the CIA. Now the CIA is orgabnising the security forces and agencies of many countries in the Arab and Islamic worlds. There was a time in the Arab world when the greatest sin ever was to talk to israel, but now, the whole Arab region and beyond, are trying are trying to find the slightest excuse in order to talk to Israe.

There was a time when the Arabs, believed in the existence of an entity called the Arab world. Today Arabs would consider it a great achievement if they can go beyond the tribe, as a refernce of identity and loyalty. Moreover, there was a time when the individual Arab state, was the main provider of jobs and opportunities to its own citizenry. Now the Arab state has reliquished this role to the private sector; in the name of privitization.

These are not written fro the purpose of comparison, or in order to make a vlue judgement on the past or the present, but rather to make the point that processes which had taken generations from start to completion in the civilized world, in the Arab world it took more or less a decade. The result?. The individual Arab state and its citizens, are still under a constant headspin, searching for new values. Unfortunately, this erosion; having happened in a very short period of time, managed to morphe many of the Arab values into totally their opposities. Any new values in the making?.

mercredi 13 octobre 2010

Karl Markx and Religion.

By: Khairi Janbek.

When Marx said "Religion is the Opium of the People", he was charcterising religion as a painkilling drug, and shocking as it is still is to many, was eevn more radical in its day. And yet, marx more than condemning religion itself, was actually critiquing the condition of a society that would lead people to it.

What Marx really meant, was that religion functions to pacify the oppressed; and oppression is definitely a moral wrong. religion; he said, reflects what is lacking in society; it is an idealisation of what people aspire to but cannot now enjoy. Social conditions in mid-19th.century Europe had reduced worlers to little better than slaves; the same conditions produced a religion that promised a better world in the afterlife.

Therefore, to him, religion isn't merely a superstition or an illusion. It has a social function : to distract the oppressed from the truth of their oppression. So long as the exploited and downtrodden believe their sufferings will earn them freedom and happiness hereafter, they will think their oppression part of the natural order; a necessary burden rather than something imposed by other men.

This is then what Marx meant by calling religion "opium of the prople": It dulls their pain but at the same time makes them lazy, clouding their perception of reality, and robbbing them of their will to change.

What did marx want?. he wanted the people to open their eyes to the harsh realities of 19th.century bourgeois capitalism. The capitalists were squeezing more and more profit out of the proletariat's labour, and at the same time alianating from self-realisation. What workers deserved, and could have if they arose from their "slumber", was control over their own labour, possession of the value they created through work, and thus, self-esteem, freedom and power.

To that end, marx called for the abolition " of religion as the illusory happiness of the people". he wanted them to demand real happiness, which in Marx's materialist philosophy (which i talked about before) was freedom and fulfillment in this world.

lundi 11 octobre 2010


BY: Khairi Janbek

A lot of people have the wrong idea about Maerx, he didn't think capitalism was something a nation can do without. The materialist dialectic is about the gradual and regular march from oppression to liberty, from feudalism to communism, and capitalism is a necessary step on this path.

Now, by materialism Marx did not mean a lust for possessions. He meant that human attitudes, aspirations, and activities are shaped by material circumstances (such as a geography and economy). As for the dialectical part; Hegel had pictures history as an ongoing and progressive struggle, in which thesis clashes with anti-thesis to produce a better sythesis. Marx like the model, but rejected Hegel's aaumption that, the hisrotical dialectic is guided by ideas or a "Spirit"; ie God.

History does indeed progress through a series of reversals and upheavels, Marx believed, but these are inspired by material circumstances of life, whose base is the economic structure of the time. Economic arrangements determine every form of cultural expression and change; from politics and class to art and religion. Marx called these expressions; Superstructures.

Dialectic arises out of the conflicts inherent in economic systems. In the capitalist system, to take the best known example, there is inevitably and necessarily conflict between those who control the means of production (the bourgoisie) and those who actually produce (the Proletariat). But capitalismis a necessary ddtage of economic development. Sprung from the ruins of feudalism which met its anti-thesis in the development of the bourgeois class, the capitalist system promoted the development of indutrialism and effeciency in production. But the internal conflict between capitalist and worker will lead inevitably to class struggle, with the workers coming out on top. In dialectical terms, the "thesis" of capitalism meets its "antithesis" in an organised proletariat , and from the resulting struggle emerges the "synthesis" of the socialist system.

dimanche 10 octobre 2010

I AM CONDEMNED TO BE FREE. (sartre) Youuuuuppiiieee

By: Khairi janbek.

When someone says to you "its a free country", you know I guess what he/she means. You're generally free to do what you want (which is known as positive freedom), and generally free from persecution for your views (which is known as negaitve freedom). Positive freedom involves choices, while negative freedom involves consequences.

For people whom have those twin freedoms, they can consider themselves lucky. But the important word here is "lucky". If in any event a dictator seizes contro and decides to abolish those freedoms in a second, well, no more freedoms. So what would be left?. is there an essential freedom that can never be taken away from us?.

Well, according to JP Sartre, there is. The answer is yes. But this "yes" is a mixed blessing. Sartre says, to be human is to be absolutely free, to always have the power of choosing. But the one thing we cannot choose, is to renounce choice, or to quote Sartre's paradox " I AM CONDEMNED TO BE FREE". Choosing not to act is still achoice. This is the existential

According to Sartre, all action arises out of nothingness. If you were always directly attuned to the present, unable to escape it, you not only couldn't imagine, but also you couldn't act. The present is just what it is, and unless you consider how things might be different, there's no motive to do anything. Sartre took this point a step further. He said, all our actions are directed at a goal that doesn't exist in the here and now. Our actions, then, being based on nothing, are never necessary either. Goals are things we freely create for ourselves, and along them we create our own values.

Defending My Old Pal Nietzche..Please be Kind.

By : khairi janbek (kj)

" ......have you heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly, I seek God ! I seek God!. As many of those who do not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Whither is God he cried. I shall tell you. We have killed God killed him- you and I. All of us are murderers. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him." (Friedrich Nietzche. The gay Science, section 125. 1882 .

Now before you jump on your high horses in the eternal Arab way, and start foaming in the mouth, count to five and listen for a change. Just as Shakespeare didn't say "To be or Not To be"; for he wrote it and Hamlet said it, Nitzche did say "God is did" it was a madman who said it. While it is true that Nitzche dies at 45 as madman, yet, there is a big diffrence between life and philosophy.

So what does the madman mean?. Not that there are unbelievers in the world, for that is always true, nor to that effect that God doesn't exist. For if "God is dead" then he must have once been alive, which is in itself rather paradoxical, since if God were ever alive, He, being eternal, could never actually die.

So the madman doesn't speak of the God of the believers, whom always was and always will be, but rather, of what God represented and meant to his culture. This God was a shared belief in God, and it is such a belief that, in 19th century Europe, was expiring. Where once God stood; at the centre of knowledge and meaning, there was then a void. Science and philosophy treated God as irrelevant, and once again, man became the measure of all things.

samedi 2 octobre 2010

In and out of the marital bed : Seeing Sex in renaissance Europe.

By : khairi janbek.

In her work; In and Out of the marital bed : Seeing Sex in Renaissance Europe, Diane Wolfthal says that, art historians are often reluctant to confront the sexual content of imagery in paintings. In Renaissance paintings, to outline the spatial topography of sexuality, the work's structure lists discrete sites : The bed, the dressing area, the window, the bath, and the street.

Whereas in the paintings, the marital bed was often linked to both anxiety and chaste sexuality, the dressing area was often became a setting for erotic images whose real subject is sexual desire. The window was associated with courtship, carnival, and prostitution; the bath was ofetn the site most often identified with voyeurism, and the street was associated with temptation and sin.

religious themes often concealed sexual innuendos to allow cardinals and princes to hang "risque" paintings in their homes. Coded visual annotations, such as falcons as well as the much paraded image of Jupiter; yearning for a youthful and beautiful ganymede, were used to hide images of homosexual desire.

can you look at a renaissance painting the same way again?.

Britain tried to Dupe the Jews.

By: khairi janbek.

New reserach as revealed by the American historian Prof. Jonathan Schneer, in his work " The Balfour Declaration : The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict", says that, while promising the Jews a homeland in Palestine in 1917, the British were secretely negotiating to offer the territory back to the Ottomans.

The then British Prime Minister Lloyd George, issued his key secret instructions to his chief negotiator with the Ottoman officials; Basil Zaharoff, on january 9th. 1918; unknown to historians till now " It is agreed that in the vent of a free passage through the dardanelles being opened to British submarines and of favourable opportunity being afforded to them to torpedo the warships "Gokben" misspelled (Goeben) and breslau and to return through the Dardanelles, the sum of $5,ooo,ooo will be paid. (sic. both ships are German).

It is agreed that in the vent of all Turkish troops in palestine and on the Hejaz Railway [in Arabia] being withdrawn north of the railway line from Haifa to Deraa, a sum of $2,ooo,ooo will be paid and the following guarantees be give : 1) The Turkish forces will not be molested while carrying out the withdrawal. 2) Palestine will not be annexed or incorporated in the British Empire.".

But the, with Russia quitting the war after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Ottomans sensed possible German victory and terminated the discussions in Switzerlan.

dimanche 26 septembre 2010

Towards a New World Order.

By : khairi janbek.

Taking a general view of international relations as they have developed from ancient times to this day, it is very easy to see that such relations form a continuous chain of conflicts, wars, and bloodshed, which has claimed heavy tolls on human lives-not to mention the destruction of material and cultural values. Therefore, the question arises if whether it is still possible to humanise international relations. I mean the question is not really a simple one, because the idea of" humanitarian' is inseparable from the notions of morality and faith.

Today, the moral side of the activity of states on the international arena cannot but cause extreme anxiety. We have to confess that, estrangement from universal human values and from the principles of humanism has always been inherent in the foreign policy of states, making thus, inter-state relations heavily dependent on the notion of balance of forces. So, all that is availbale now, is the reductionism in relations between states, into levels of brinkmanship, and the brandishment of all sorts of weapons of mass destruction.

The nature of the confrontation is indicative of the absence of the international will, to seek alternative ways of developing relations among states in order to settle vital issues for the continued existence of our world. Clearly, new opportunities have opened up today to establish fruitful cooperation amanog states, with the full realisation, of greater inter-dependence among them. Therefore and in this context, it should be inadmissible to contaminate the sphere of cooperation, with cultural differences, as well as use and abuse culture in order to build up tension and mistrust in relations between states.

This in turn, pre-supposes a change in definition when it comes to the concept of foreign policy. Meaning basically; the renunciation of outsated ideas, cultural stereotypes and myths that have outlived their time. It will involve the common rejection of imposing on the world; one's own exclusive values and ways of thinking, while calling in the same vein the recognition of the pluralistic nature of the world, and the freedom of every people to take the road of its own choice for development.

In essence, a paradign shift from the notion of balance of power to a balnce of mutual interests is urgently required for the basis of inter-relations among states.

samedi 25 septembre 2010

Freedom: A Slavery of Choice?.

By: khairi janbek.

This subject is the most difficult to tackle, because it stretches the intellect of the best thinkers, let alone that of a humble pretender and novice like yours sincerely. Therefore, Please try to understand that I gave it my best shot, though my best shot may well not be good enough.

In most of our judgements about people we assume that, in some sense they chose freely to do what they did, or to believe what they do. We punish, condemn, or blame individuals for making certain choices, and decisions, and insist that they ought to have done something else, and if they had they would then be deserving of rewards and praise.

At the same time that we conduct ourselves morally and legally on the basis that human beings are free agents, and can make decisions of their own free will, we are being more and more aware that this sort of assumption is very wrong, because individuals are often more victims of cirsumstance and determinations beyond their control, than responsible agents.

The problem of judging the extent to which our so-called voluntary choices and actions really are voluntary, in the sense of being completely free, becomes even more difficult to decide when we know that we make the choices that we must make according to the factors which have influenced our development.

So, in order to to be morally responsible for some action, you must take that action freely. For example, if you see me drowning in alake and you are tied to a tree on the ground and cannot free yourself, then you are not morally to blame for not rescuing me. Likewise, if you are brainwashed, and ordered to commit a crime, you are arguably not responsible for committing that crime, because your freedom was impaired.

On the one hand, the world is deterministic. Therefore, given the way the world has been in the past and the pyhysical laws that govern it, there is only one way the future can be. Consider that also applies to your personal actions. At the moment just before you perform some action, given the way the world has been in the past and given the physical laws of the universe. there is only one possible outcome. Right now, it is physically determined what you will do at every moment in the future.

Does determinism of this sort erase moral responsibility?. If you commit some morally bad action, could you plead that the physical laws and past history of the universe were so configured that there was no alternative?

If you believe that free will and determinism are incompatible, then you must deny determinism or deny moral responsibility. If you deny determinism, then you have to believe that there is genuine causal indeterminism in the world, introduced by free agents like us; and the future history world is left indeterminate by the natiral laws, and we determine it through our actions. if you deny moral responsibility, you must hold that the world is deterministic and that therefore we lack free will. I would say personally, we are deterministically free agents. In other words, we are choiceless in the fact of having a choice.

vendredi 24 septembre 2010

Quasi-Democracy and Public Opinion.

By: khairi janbek

usually, democratically elected governments are very sensitive about public opinion polls, because simply they indicate where the government stands, as far as the people are concenrd, and what policies are likely to make it popular or otherwise, in the eyes of the electorate; if of course, it intends to stay in power or run for re-election.

In quasi-democracies however, an appointed government does not really have to listen to the opinions of the people, but rather worry about implementing its policies without reproach from the leaders appointing it, with the least interference of the window- dressing parliament. Therefore, public opinion polls under such circumstances, albeit representing the mood of the people, at the end of the day are nothing more than an exercise in self-whipping or at best, a process of venting popular frustration when required.

So where does this issue leave the question of democracy between the demand curve of the people and the supply curve of the government in the political marketplace of a quasi-democratic country?. One can only assume, that governments under such conditions hope that at one point, the people will not be able to distinguish between what they are fed; food or statistics!!.

jeudi 23 septembre 2010

Terrorism and Rationality.

By: khairi janbek.

As a phenomenon, terrorism has actually existed throughout history. from the anti-Roman Jewish Sicaris, to teh Assassins of the Olf man of the Mountain, from the act of terror which precipitated the First World war, to the 9/11 attacks on the US. One can argue that, the success of a terror attack lies in the fact that it is an irrational act. In other words, terrorism is an irrational phenomenon and can afford to be so. While on the flip side of the coin, no state or country involved in fighting terrorism, can afford to be irrational, without actually committing itself to acts of state terrorism.

Therefore, the war against terror attempts to utilise rational methods in order to fight irrational ones, giving the impression that, there is np balance in this equation since rationality and irrationality are incompatible. But what can those countries achieve; while fighting terrorism, if they don't resort themselves to irrational methods?.

As we delve deeper into the issue, we find definitions of the terrorism phenomenon, actually reflecting the priorites and particular interests of the specific organs behind them. for instance, the US Department of Defense defines terrorism as " The unlawful use of, or threatened use of force, or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological obejectives". While the UN General Assembly's definition of aggression, provided an important caveat for " Peoples under colonial and racist regimes or other forms of alien domination, to seek support" in their struggle for self-determiantion.

So where do we draw the line between terrorists being criminals, lunatics, nihilists, or simply political actors of a particular type, and people who struggle to liberate themselves from foreign oppression and exploitation, with the right ot use all methods at their disposal; including force?. I suppose, which side of the fence the individual is standing on, determines where to draw the line.

If we look at the dictum "No prohibition without definition", This picture does not become in any sense , a theoretical challenge to the international community, but rather a blunt reality that must be dealt with urgently, in order to dry up the swamps of terror, where its incubators emerge on daily basis.

mercredi 22 septembre 2010

Religion, Civilization, and Dialogue.

By: khairi janbek

Examining the overall religious scenario, one cannot fail to notice that, in religion there seems to prevail a paradoxical situation today. In general, religion is losing its grip in some areas, and simultaneously tightening it in different areas. In some sections of society; in almost all religions, ther seems to be a powerful swing back in the direction of dogmas with medieval rigidity and intolerance of opposition.

On the moral side, religion is on the retreat; crime is rampant, truth is disappearing fast, equity and the deliverance of justice are on the verge of extiction, social responsibilities to society are being ignored, and selfish individualism is gaining strength in its stead, even in those countries in the world which otherwise claim to be religious.These and many other sopcial eveils may well be considered as signs of decadent society. If moral values in any religion form the life and soul of religion itself, then a progressive strangulation of these values can lead us inevitably to conclude; that while the body of religion is being ressurected, the soul is fast ebbing out of the body. So what we observe in religion today; the so called revival of religion, becomes tantamount to resurrecting dead corpses so that they walk around like zombies.

In other areas, long stagnation and lack of exciting developments, generate negative consequences on the religiously inclined people. Miraculous things which they expect to happen, do not take place. The bizzare phenomenon of supernatural intervention in world events, to change the world to their liking does not materialise. They want to see strange prophecies fulfilled in order to give credence to their faith, yet nothing materialises. Those are the people who provide the cannon fodder to the cults of death and destruction. The urge to escape from the past from the present generates the desire to fill the void in expectations with something new.

Evidently, the world has changed with great speed since September 11th., and even lately with the caricature crisis. Therefore, we must stop and wonder, how it is possible to shift the issue of religion from being a major part of problems between civilizations, to being a major part of the solution to those problems. Hardly anyone among us, even with rudimentary knowledge about the essence of the various religions, would mnot recognise that fact that, the world's great religions are all absed on profound notions of justice, peace and goodwill.

At the sam time, although religion can be viewed as a force for peace, it can also be an incentive to conflict. In fact religion can be idetified as the source in the overwheliming majority of conflicts raging currently in the world. Wihtout seeing while believers prefare conflcit as an option, it may well be impossible to understand the cause of a given conflict, much worse, we cannot even begin to appreciate what religion can or cannot do in order to ameliorate it.

At least in the three Abrahamic faiths, there is authorization to use force by one people against another. But at the same time, they can inspire visionary people to commit themselves to a future of tolerance, justice and peace. Therefore, it is essential, in this day and age, to refelect seriously on the subject of religious partizanship in politics, and work earnestly to transcend the religious dictums which govern political issues.

In a sense, religion should be taken out of the fray, in order to become a source and a vehicle of mediation in conflict limitation or even resolution, as religion plays a very potent role in many societies, and when utilised in the context of honest brokerage and goodwill, it can achieve far better results than conventional diplomacy, which is governed by the rules of expediency.

As for the advocates of inter-faith dialogue, there seems to be a tendency of separating between individual action and the system of faith itself. The separation is usually justified by saying that, it is important to separate both aspects in order to protect the faith, since an incomplete effort, or any mistake will lead up to an incomplete faith. But if we continue to follow this pattern of reasoning, we shall end up afraid for our own respective faiths, mindful about protecting our beliefs, and consequently insecure in our various civilizational outlooks.

What kind of dialogue can be pursued between the faiths, when our main concern becomes the preoccupation with defending our faiths, and justifying or denouncing actions attributed to them?. Afyter all, the term dialogue means the promotion of those values in the various faiths, which contribute to the enhancement of our commonalities, but not a vehicle for defending or explaining our respective faiths.

mardi 21 septembre 2010

This may get you to think.

It has been said before that anyone who gives people the illusion that they are thinking will be loved by them, whereas anyone who actually prompts them to think will be hated by them.

It si very much talked about in universities on how exciting it is to think. One obviously cannot claim that thinking has no excitement or satisfaction, but we really don't think in order to enjoy ourselves, rather in order to understand life, which is troubling and problematic. In other words, we think because we are compelled to. Therefore, while we are thinking we should not need to tell ourselves that we are having fun, but it should be enough to realise that we are behaving with the seriousness, rationality, and discipline that any situation requires of us.

In this context, and under the assumption that our social order depends heavily on tradition and habit (both being resilient to genuine change), Arab society may have an inherent bias against original thoguht. Add to that the urge for modernity, which created the need for quick, reliable information, along with the advent of technology, which made attaining sometimes irrelevant information much easier; we find the Arab mind compelled to look for solutions to its problems, rather than, think of the problems themselves.

Needless to say that, only a few great thinkers and demi-Gods create profound ideas and illuminate reality, and thus guide action and research. But the fact that the most influential thinking is done by a few demi-Gods, does not mean that all others need not think, and that Arabs particularly don't need to think at all. For one thing, the great thinkers do not agree, and often offer different and contradictory ideas. So how can we decide which ideas to accept, if we don't do some thinking of our own?. Furthermore, how do we become willing to commit ourselves to certain ideas, instinctively and unconditionally, knowing only too well that we haven't experienced the minimum of the labor and doubt which has originally gone into creating them?

The history of political thoguht shown how doubt continuously pursues though, and frequently overtakes it. There is no more agreement concerning political truth now, than there was 2,500 years ago, when politcial thought probably took shape. There is even less agreemtn over economic mantras.

Consequently, it is exceedingly necessary for us to try reasoning the ultimate ends, and fundamental assumptions governing our lives. The lack of collective thinking in the Arab world, has produced personalities which manage the various systems, and consider the defficiencies in the systems they manage, as remediable only within the confines of the precription ideas they adhere to. Which opens further the gates of parasitical intellectual appropriation. In the mean time the rest of the citizenry, end up with compulsion, submission, and admission of defeat.

Is it what they prescribe, to be sold as compatible with our nature?. Swallowing policies lock, stock and barrel without any thinking, will never release the energies of the Arab people towards a socially beneficial direction.