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What the U.S was thinking

So what was the U.S thinking when it decided to invade Iraq and "liberate" the Iraqi people?
Well "it" wasn't thinking of whether or not it was the "right" thing to do (at least from a policy/political/end result perspective, ignoring for once the humanitarian aspect, which of course does not figure in the politics of the global hegemon). Contrary to what some argue, the U.S insistence on invading Iraq was not informed by scholars who had studied the Middle East. Rather, it was the exact opposite. The invasion was planned and only when it came to marketing it was there a resort to "scholars" (emphasis on quotation marks). But who exactly were those "scholars"?

For starters, Bernard Lewis, who is described as "one of the world's pre-eminent experts on the Middle East." He is the author of the famous (the word that should be used is notorious, really, but it shows the kind of "scholarship" that is valued in "the West") "The roots of Muslim rage", which I think all of you (especially so my Arab and Muslim readers) should read to get an idea of the "expertise" that is being spewed in academia, and especially so in the White [Man's] House.

Speaking of "expertise", the other day I was at T-Marbuta (a coffee shop) and I saw a girl holding a book she had bought only a few minutes before entering the shop. She was talking with her friends about how good it's supposed to be. So what book was it, you will ask? It was a book by another self-proclaimed (and hailed as an expert in some academic circles) Hezb Allah "expert", Judith Palmer Harik. On my old blog I dedicated an entire post (more than enough) to this book and its academic "merits". I recommend that if you were thinking about buying this book you would not base your decision on the write-ups on the amazon website, but rather on a very basic and short write-up as this.

But back to the point, the point about the "scholars" who allegedly informed Bush & co. on the merits of going to war against Iraq. Actually, before I continue with that, I must point out that when I was in Canada I took part in almost weekly protests against the war on Iraq. They were interesting, often violent (especially as the crowds lessened and the "protestor families", i.e. mom, dad, children, went home). They were also very diverse, and not just an "Arab protest" as some made it to be. There were activist groups from all over the spectrum, Jewish groups, and many Americans also. But the most interesting was the "Arab" component of the protest. I actually talked with many of them, and they were not only Iraqis but also Jordanians, etc. I wanted to know what it is that really pushed them to protest against the war, was it only the horror of war, or was it more than that? In other words, was there a politics behind it? I discovered that there indeed, in most cases, was. And this politics was not one of anti-Americanism (although in this case it manifested itself as such) or anti-imperialism. It was rather one that was based on sectarian affiliations. Ironically, it was the non-Iraqi components in the "Arab camp" of the protests that showed a sectarian reasoning. In fact the Iraqis I spoke to manifested a solid Iraqi nationalist perspective, and not a pro-Saddam one at that. They were very much outspoken against the crimes of Saddam, but at the same time condemned the sanctions that had resulted in millions of deaths, without weakening Saddam's grip over Iraq. Some had family in Iraq, others did not. But it was interesting to see the dynamics of the Arab politics in the 'diaspora', and how sectarian affiliation was associated with the war by the non-Iraqis, contrary to what one would have expected, especially in light of the sectarian violence plaguing Iraq today. I used to ask the Iraqi activists what they thought was the best approach to helping Iraq both from the woes brought about by Saddam and the American invasion, and they were rather unsure how to answer. They were rather torn, and did not express their positions positively, but rather negatively, in other words they did not say what they thought the best solution would be, but what would not be a solution. They were actually stuck between a rock and a hard place, and were outspoken against attempts to paint their protest of the American invasion as a pro-Saddam one, given that people (including non-Iraqi Arabs) viewed Iraq's predicament with either black or white goggles, which has become the norm all the more since 2003.

Back to our respectable "scholars" who cheered for the Iraq war (and are now in hiding or are busy preparing the cheerleading-party for yet another of America's "necessary" wars [of libration, don't forget]), the second scholar who apparently "informed" the U.S was Fouad Ajami, whom Sa'id would have referred to, had he been alive, as the "Orientalized Oriental". I was reading a most impressive piece by Zachary Lockman the other day, titled "Critique from the Right: The Neo-conservative Assault on Middle East Studies". Lockman points out that
Ajami's pronouncements, like those of Bernard Lewis, were solicited and cited by high officials of the Bush administration. For example, in an August 2002 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars laying out the case for war against Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime, Vice President Dick Cheney declared that, "as for the reaction in the Arab street, the Middle East expert Professor Fuad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy in the same way throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans."
This is not only ironic, it is doubly and triply ironic! Notice the naming, "Veterans of Foreign Wars"; foreign wars of what? Of course, liberation, spreading "civilization", enlightening the "barbarians", and so on and so forth. This is pure Orientalism. The enlightened, civilized Americans, and why not also the Israelis, are out to spread civilization, and the latter have in fact made the desert bloom in a land without a people for a people without a land... This has "necessitated" the "removal" of the ungrateful "barbarians", who have opposed attempts to benefit them in an irrational, violent manner. Of course, these barbarians are void of feelings, loyalties, nationalism, etc. These are "complex" things that the undeveloped, irrational Arab (and why not Muslim) mind cannot comprehend. So the Arabs and Muslims should watch the "only democracy in the Middle East" (which in some speeches by U.S officials, faces stiff competition from the "fledgling" democracies in Egypt, yes, the same Egypt that has been ruled by Mubarak for, um, how many years, I lost track, and of course "the Siniora government" - previously it used to be "Lebanon") practice its democratic values of "detaining" (not kidnapping) diplomats and elected politicians (and even offer them the chance at appearing in kangaroo courts, very very civilized indeed, as opposed to "kidnapping" soldiers by Hezb Allah - that's the true face of the barbarian Arab, kidnapping soldiers, because diplomats in occupied territories and 15-year-old kids in another country's territory are detained, but soldiers are kidnapped, and the former does not seem to be a violation of sovereignty or an uncivilized act, but rather an "enlightening" act meant to spread the Israeli values, and thus no war is justified, no "smart" bombs can be quickly shipped to Lebanon or the Palestinians; quite the contrary, the aid package to besieged Israel must be increased. Yes yes.). All this while Israel devours dunam after dunam of Palestinian land, starves millions of people to death, all for the "crime" of electing Hamas in democratic elections. But wait, Israel is indeed practicing what the U.S was out to practice in Iraq: liberating the Iraqi people, first by starving them, then by bombing them, then, in case of failure, putting the blame on the ungrateful, irrational Arabs. Only difference, of course, Saddam was indeed a dictator, and a valid tool in the hands of the U.S at one time, whereas Hamas, which has been elected democratically (though I am by no means a fan of overuse/abuse of the term/concept!) has refused (thus far; I would not rule out the Fatahization of Hamas, it is very much possible, but I would say, in the long run rather than the short run) to become a puppet of the U.S at the expense of its people.

Of course, since the "Middle East expert", and the undeniable representative of the "Arab street", Basra and Baghdad included, Fouad Ajami "predicted" the aftermath of liberation, the U.S of invasion of Iraq can now be perfectly justified. That Fouad Ajami was not more than a representative of himself, is lost on the neo-conservatives. But then again, Ajami was/is not, as I said, more than a tool for the justification of already-laid plans, i.e. America's "foreign wars". In Ajami's case, he is of special use in swaying public opinion in the "media war". Is, not was, because the neo-conservatives are especially artful at concealing and even twisting their own words and "predictions", and as always, the public is more than receptive (especially given that the media is largely under the control of the neo-conservative establishment) to what it is told. The average individual, not to say American (since I do not think this is a specifically American phenomenon, although by all means it is especially acute in the U.S) does not dig, and does not care enough to dig into the immense scholarly material which debunks all the neo-conservative-imperialist, and of course Orientalist cliches about "the Arabs", "the Muslims", and the other lucky subjects of America's "foreign wars". But even then, this does not mean that the neo-conservatives (this is a loose terminology since I cannot possibly repeatedly list all the others that do not necessarily fall under the neo-conservative camp but which cooperate with it and share its objectives) are not fighting tooth and nail the academic establishment that has, especially of late (arguably in a post-Sa'idian milieu), been liberated from the one-sided, hegemonic discourse, especially on the Middle East. But again, this also does not mean that all that counters the neo-conservative agenda and discourse is void of the assumptions that Orientalists have adopted for so long. Indeed, most are full of these assumptions, to varying degrees of course. Take Lisa Anderson, of Columbia University, for example. A while back, I told a number of people that Anderson's view was typically "liberal". I was asked how it was so. What I meant to say, when I mentioned "liberal", was not a mere opposition to "liberalism" (although I am in fact opposed to liberalism), but rather a reference to the U.S "liberal" perspective and approach, which, albeit often challenging the hardcore realist perspective, does not seem to represent different ends, but only different means to the same end. In the end, "democratization" figures highly in the liberal approach, and indeed in Anderson's own writings. While I appreciate the theoretical and scholarly perspectives in democratization theory, I cannot help but view the "democratization" interest and agenda (because all scholars do have agendas, whether they are aware of it or not, whether they like to admit it or not) with a dose of skepticism, dislike, and harsh criticism. The very idea, after all, of "the Arabs" or "the Muslims" being in need of "democratization", is quite offensive. This does not, of course, mean that the Arab predicament is particularly democratic at the moment. However, the idea that people would be claiming to know better than the Arabs or Muslims themselves, what is best for them, is quite unappealing to me, and is, if not an actively Orientalist approach, nevertheless a remnant of such thinking.

On a side note, I wonder, was Dick Cheney a bit confused about the "Arabism" of Afghanistan, or was it a mere comparison of "cheerful welcome" for the liberators who had embarked on liberating the people from the same dictators that they armed and supported in previous "foreign wars", ones that they did not send soldiers to fight in, but rather used the "ungrateful" natives, or the barbaric Arabs and the "Jihadis" to do the dirty job of fighting the Soviets...)? I am not sure.

However, Cheney was indeed accurate with his comparison of Afghanistan and Iraq (albeit not in its content). The voices of cheering from Kabul, Basra, and Baghdad, must be quite deafening. You may now pay your sincerest respects for the expertise of Bernard Lewis (not so incidentally also a denier of the Armenian Holocaust) at 609-258 4280 (inquire about extension to Mr. Lewis's office), Fouad Ajami at 202-663 5677, and Daniel Pipes at 215-546 5406 or meqmef at aol dot com.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by Angry Anarchist @ 3/08/2007 05:51:00 PM,

19 Comments:

At March 8, 2007 at 10:38 PM, Blogger Sham said...

i haven't finished reading the post, but it's very much falls into a research i intend to do on Anglo-Saxon scholars in the American Universities in the Middle East.

It is interesting enough that Chomsky remarks at his visit at Madine Theater that you "Lebanese" should not be scared of Bush but of the American "intellectuals" that legalizing his voice in the American society and media.

i'll finish reading the post tomorrow, am too sick to do so now..

BTW, i am interested in your Anarchy theory..do you recommend some authors to me? was Derrida an anarchist?

 
At March 8, 2007 at 11:05 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

Hey :P
Yes that is a very interesting topic to research. In fact, I think the American universities in the M.E are plagued with such scholars: some of them are quite blatantly racist towards the people they are living amongst and quite supremacist in their views. I have had experience with some of them, in particular one who was disgustingly aggressive and disrespectful.

I think more than the academic institutions the media is the heart of legitimation for the U.S policies. The average American does not really read the research of scholars in universities, the average American did not read the report on the Israeli lobby by Mearsheimer et al, but the average American knows about it based on the way the media portrayed it...

Academia USED to be the primary tool for legitimation of policies, in my opinion it no longer is, at least not to the extent that the media is. Its impact and influence is restricted nowadays to the academic circle and at most to the incoming generations of scholars, i.e. students in training. Emphasis has shifted away from academic consumption and towards mass communications consumption. Foucault's assertion that knowledge leads to power has arguably become quite irrelevant in the age of mass media (and therefore mass deception and myth-perpetuation). Today, media control leads to power.
Of course, in a sense Foucault's assertion would still apply, in that the knowledge-acquisition by the public, real knowledge that is, will definitely empower it vis-a-vis those who hold the reins of power.

Derrida was a deconstructionist, not an anarchist.

I recommend that you read Proudhon's and Bakunin's works. Their writings are really the basic readings that anyone interested in anarchism must do.

 
At March 9, 2007 at 4:55 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

yes it was a mistake to invade Iraq...

Saddam should have been left in charge...

 
At March 9, 2007 at 4:59 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

you also state:

All this while Israel devours dunam after dunam of Palestinian land, starves millions of people to death, all for the "crime" of electing Hamas in democratic elections.

now if it was only so...

MILLIONS of palestinians starve to DEATH?

Such a wet dream...

I guess those GREEN HOUSES could not GROW FOOD?

I guess the reports of TONS of AMMO being brought into gaza are more important than FOOD?

the boy who cried wolf....

 
At March 9, 2007 at 6:18 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

The boy who cried wolf is the one who uses and abuses the Jewish Holocaust to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the continuous crimes against the Palestinians, Lebanese, etc.

But I see you are implying that the Palestinians are uncivilized, they are lazy, etc., all the stereotypes that the Zionists perpetuate about their enemies, all the while CRYING WOLF about "anti-Semitism". Because some forms of racism are terrible, others are justified, and not racism at all.

Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally), the "green houses" in Gaza were used by some 8000 (tops) settlers, who consumed some of the produce and exported the other. I guess your implication is that feeding 8000 people is the same as feeding 1.5 million people, and exporting the produce by Palestinians is as easy as exporting the produce by the settlers. Sorry I guess it is not Israel that controls virtually all of Gaza Strip's life lines to the world!

Break free of your racism! The more you continue in the path you have adopted, the more you will be giving ammunition to the extremists amongst the "other" side! But I suppose this is what you seek most of all, because it sustains your victimization discourse!

 
At March 9, 2007 at 6:22 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

By the way, no one gave the U.S or Israel the mandate to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam or the Lebanese people from Hezb Allah (!!!!) respectively.

So spare us everything, both your bombs, and your subsequent whining about the losses in your soldiers' lives -- the same soldiers who are "kidnapped" and not CAPTURED.

 
At March 10, 2007 at 6:19 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

nice off topic response...

The boy who cried wolf is the one who uses and abuses the Jewish Holocaust to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the continuous crimes against the Palestinians, Lebanese, etc.

I dont...

but, there are MORE arabs INSIDE current israel than were ever displaced by it's creation, and 500,000 JEWS and their decendants were thrown out of the 21 arab nations of the world, far greater than any "palestinian refugee and property issue"

more bullshit: But I see you are implying that the Palestinians are uncivilized, they are lazy, etc.,

LAZY? oh no, they just love to murder more than they like to farm...

stated: Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally), the "green houses" in Gaza were used by some 8000 (tops) settlers, who consumed some of the produce and exported the other. I guess your implication is that feeding 8000 people is the same as feeding 1.5 million people.

ok, let's look at this, the greenhouses were a gift to the palestinians from american and israeli jews(13 million dollars) employeed 3000 palestinians and exported 350,000,000 dollars a year in produce. So why did the palestinians loot them and destroy them?


stated: and exporting the produce by Palestinians is as easy as exporting the produce by the settlers. Sorry I guess it is not Israel that controls virtually all of Gaza Strip's life lines to the world!

and yet, GAZANS can import weapons, rockets, build bunkers, launch attacks and yet cant GROW acucumber or export it. UNLESS you are blind there are 100's of trucks a DAY passing in and out of gaza with food and medicine. there are international borders in rafah unless the palestinians blow them up or shoot at the EU supervisors.. always an excuse of why the palestinians are so pathetic...

so back to the main point...

the fake nationalistic group that now calls it'sself "palestinians" are impodent, incompetent and blood thirsty...

yes they want to murder jews rather than BUILD a country...

so starve, BY YOUR OWN HAND...

try a sand sandwich...

or maybe... grill a few kassams...

yep that's the ticket, filet of kassam...

yummie

 
At March 11, 2007 at 5:57 PM, Anonymous Compulsive Reader said...

You needn't argue with your enemy, just label him as such and move on. what is "occupation" is a Zionist hack and nothing more. But, he/she should be your answer to "What the US was thinking". Namely, outright, fanatical racism. That's all there was to it. I live in America, and the academic veneer is very, very, VERY thin regarding how it makes it's decisions. The man talks to God, and God says "nuke them sand-niggers". And, amazingly, 50% of Americans were thinking the same things! But, slowly, surely, those racists are being shut up by the failure of what they have started becomes clearer to people that are too busy shopping to be troubled with critical thought.

America today is probably the most anti-intellectual it has ever been in my lifetime. That must always be kept in mind when talking about the last 10 years of it's existence. There are SOOOO many stupid churches being built everywhere, and so few new schools, and the barriers to higher education keep getting higher, and any kind of intellectual job has been or will be shipped out of the country,the new dark age will be upon us very soon.

 
At March 13, 2007 at 12:01 PM, Blogger MarxistFromLebanon said...

To the ignorant What is occupation (and stupid as well)....

By the end of the second year liberation of Iraq, the casualties of civilians beat the entire number butchered by Saddam Hussein's regime. Getting rid of Saddam is one thing, annhilating Iraq is another.

Second, US invaded for Mass Destruction, suddenly they turn out to be promoting democracy at the expense of over 600 million butchered.

Third, Israelis are the last to judge since they built a racist nation by expelling a whole people from their homes.

Fourth, you can't judge relatively between the 1930s and now in number of Arabs since we got the population birth multiplier, if anything, there are more palestinians outside Palestine, then yes it is true, so don't you dare to justify Israel as the too goody good and neglect its butchery side as well.

What a sore loser, and a jackass.

Hasta La Victoria Siempre

 
At March 13, 2007 at 1:25 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

Well I do not mind debating with my ideological enemies, but when racism poses as a legitimate ideology that is what I have problems with. That's when it's time to hand them over to the folks at A.R.A. for some nice rehabilitation. ;) After all, it's their specialization. ;)

 
At March 14, 2007 at 11:50 AM, Blogger bech said...

hello anarchorev,

I agree with what you say on Harik. But Harik's work is still better than others, maybe accidentally enough.
Harik's obsession was to show that Hizbullah was not a terrorist organization. well, the goal in itself is an academically shallow one. fine. but at least she focused on certain social practices initiated by the party. Of course her theorization of political affiliation, culture, and motivation, is almost funny (the funniest work is her survey of opinion on affiliation done in 1992 or so and how she conceptualizes 'religiosity', but then again unintendedly she finds interesting stuff such as how christans were already voting for hizbullah in the Bekaa etc.). But basically her work is more of a journalistic one

Now on your previous post in mideastpolitics, I don't undestand why would harik in a book on Hizbullah have to elaborate on Sabra and Chatila? Without diminishing of the horrific outcomes of the massacres it may be out of the subject to dwell on it in this context. or maybe you did not express yourself more clearly.

 
At March 14, 2007 at 8:30 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

Bech, Harik tried to show what HezbAllah has tried to do to change the image of a terrorist organization that it has come to be associated with.
It is not with her objective that I have a problem. It is with the unfactual information, and the generally non-academic nature of the work. Contrast it with Nizar Hamzeh's In the Path of HezbAllah... this man has done some serious work on HezbAllah, although a bit awkward in some instances.

The link to the Sabra and Shatila is not out of context. It is exactly within the context. It shows exactly the kind of work that Harik's book is. That error was not a 'typo', it was a factual error. Anyone who claims to have produced scholarly material, worthy of being published, and cited as an 'expert study', cannot afford to make such a mistake. Sorry, but that's the way things go. You do not make such a mistake on such a key event. It is not as if the event was of secondary importance and is not widely talked about. It was one of the most significant events in the the Lebanese civil war. And it highly probable that anyone who writes wrong information on it, is not qualified to write a book worthy of being published (but then, scholarly book publishing has, like everything else, just become a business nothing more nothing less). Any and all of her work must be viewed with skepticism, and closely examined (if one is to read it) for factual mistakes. Nothing personal against her, really.

I presume you are referring to "Between Islam and the System: Sources and Implications of Popular Support for Lebanon's Hizballah"

 
At March 14, 2007 at 9:24 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Why doesn't Amal Saad-Ghorayeb qualify as a serious scholar of Hizbollah?

 
At March 15, 2007 at 1:12 AM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

Actually Peter, Saad-Ghorayeb's work is pretty good!

 
At March 15, 2007 at 11:04 AM, Blogger bech said...

anarchorev i have to severely disagree. i think Saa-ghorayeb and Hamzeh are overly-simplistic for several reasons:
1- relying on what the hizbullah dudes say to confirm that 'this is how hizbullah is'. this is called let's say the phenomenological fallacy
2- buying into the clash of civilization thesis
3- in the case of Saad-Ghorayeb, conceptualizing a monolithic 'shi'a community'
4- in the case of Hamzeh, making a-historical accounts of ideology

At least Harik do not fall in these traps (I pointed to Harik's limitations earlier).

Re Sabra Chatila it is not that she makes a mistake, it is just that she does not elaborate on the dynamics of the massacre, something i would say is outside the scope of her book. I'm not trying to say she's a more 'serious' academic. we agree on that. I'm just saying that elaborating on S C is irrelevant in this context. but yes all in all her work is more journalistic.

But the works of the other scholars on Hizbullah are no less academic mind you..

 
At March 15, 2007 at 12:09 PM, Blogger the rambler said...

Bech, I haven't read Harik but based on Anarchorev's post, she makes an outright mistake with the following statement: "A four-nation international force, including 1,400 US marines, was dispatched to Beirut immediately after the massacres to take charge of the further deteriorating situation and to organize the evacuation of Palestinian fighters to Tunisia, whose government agreed to accept them.” As we know, the massacre was a direct consequence of the evacuation. This is a factual error & there is a danger in allowing it to go unchecked given that most Harik readers will have no memory of the events. Furthermore, this re-writing, even in error, dilutes the gravity of the massacre: of unarmed children, women & elderly men after all the usual assurances pre-evacuation. Is Harik's reference to Sabra & Shatila not to contextualise the emergence of Hizbullah? If so, & even if not, it is absolutely her academic responsibility to get her facts straight.

 
At March 15, 2007 at 3:06 PM, Blogger Angry Anarchist said...

1- relying on what the hizbullah dudes say to confirm that 'this is how hizbullah is'. this is called let's say the phenomenological fallacy
Arguably, this is not a fallacy, this is in fact an analysis that is based on facts and realities, and not assumptions about intentions. A scholarly work cannot be based on possible intentions. Sure it might actually discuss the possibility of there being hidden intentions and motives, but to base an entire work on what Hezb Allah "really" intended (based on an interpretation by the author, nothing more!) is fallacious, and at best only of value in terms of discussing a certain possibility or argument, and not exploring/writing on Hezb Allah per se.

As for Saad-Ghorayeb's conceptualization of the Shi'a community, I do not think she dismisses diversity within the Shi'ite community, but undeniably, the Shi'a have largely become very active in support of Hezb Allah, and the Iranian revolution really revolutionized the Shi'a community. However, I do not think she makes blanket statements about the Shia as a monolithic bloc as you claim she does, or maybe I must've missed it? The point is, that generalization HAS to be done at some point, but the methodological question is, at WHICH point can one generalize without falling into the trap of delegitimizing or ignoring very valid and legitimate and historical (although not necessarily historic) phenomena?...

Bech, what dynamics are you talking about? It is very clear what happened on that day (of the massacre), very clear... There is no 'dynamics' to elaborate on, there is no revisionism, and cannot be one, when it comes to this event, just as there can be no revisionism on an event of this sort, not because of its scope, but because it is a fact, historical fact, unless you are saying that we do not know what happened 'for sure' (dig into the archives) or that history is 'relative'... it is not.

Also I find the title of her book rather distasteful (I think deliberately so, after all the word 'terrorism' in the title is an immediate seller).... but maybe I'm the only one who thinks that...

 
At March 15, 2007 at 4:54 PM, Blogger bech said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At March 15, 2007 at 4:55 PM, Blogger bech said...

Ok guys let's simplify things.

For the whole Harik questions, yes, she must get her facts straight I agree. Did not know she got THAT wrong. Thought she just omitted to give details on the massacres that's all.

Now for the phenomenological fallacy there are many ways to bypass this. I never said we should study 'intentions', that's even worse! One needs to study practices. Check out for example: Bourdieu, Outline of a theory of Practice, to see where I'm getting at. too log to explain here.

Relying on what elites say about their 'ideology' is replicating the dominant discursive practices of those elites, in academic writing as the legitimate version of social reality, instead of questioning how it came about. How subjects were formed etc. Saad Ghorayeb is master in this. That's why Hizbullah officials love her so much, because she basically delivers exactly what Hizbullah's elite want the people to think. Actually she helps in the creation of the 'hizbullah' subject if such concept can exist.

Hamzeh is lost in his ideological idioms and have no touch with history and how institutions evolve and with it perceptions of the social. reading his book is like reading a scientist having fun with his mathematical equation: if i put 'wilayat el faqih' next to 'jurisprudence' i get 'x' + y = 'nasrallah loves wilayat el faqih. thus hizbullah is attached to 'wilayat el faqih' as a trasncendental reified concept magically attached to another abstract entity (devoid of historical subtleties) that is 'Khomeinist Iran'. hahahahaha..

ok time to go back to work.

 

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