Articles, Opinions & Views: Jerusalem - don’t expect Muslim potentates to really care - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Death or Glory
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“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Jerusalem - don’t expect Muslim potentates to really care - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, December 11, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | ‘Nobody wants peace in Middle East because peace is disruptive to entrenched interests.’ “I was only the more anxious to make Jerusalem a city like the others, where several races and several beliefs could live in peace; but I was wrong to forget that in any combat between fanaticism and common sense, the latter has rarely the upper hand.” ― Marguerite Yourcenar, ‘Memoirs of Hadrian’
This outrage of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from Muslim leaders the world over is manufactured at best. They are thumping their chest (or so it seems) and their misguided allies are warning of dire consequences of peace talks in the Middle East coming to a halt. Nobody wants peace in the Middle East because peace is disruptive to entrenched interests. The Trump administration (or maybe just Trump) had dispatched son-in-law Jared Kushner (who looks and behaves like an extra from the science fiction movie ‘Gattaca’) to broker a deal between the Palestinians and Israelis. In typical Trump hyperbole, it was touted as the deal of the century. 
Jewish Wars
In an interview, Trump (photo) gave to Israeli media as reported in the Washington Post, he said - “We are currently in a process that has been going on for a long time. Decades. A lot of people think that it can’t be done. And a lot of smart people around me claim that you can’t reach an agreement. I don’t agree. I think we can reach an agreement and that we need to reach an agreement.”
As usual, reality hit the Trump administration and if the report in the New York Times is credible, this deal of the century included the possibility of “direct payment to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president [which he declined]” and of course, Saudi threats of pressing for his resignation and replacement of someone who would accept the lopsided deal favouring the Israelis and promoted by the House of Saud.
The most convincing rationale for this turn in US foreign policy comes from Shibley Telhami writing for the Brookings Institute – ‘Why is Trump undoing decades of US policy on Jerusalem?’ - in a nutshell - “That the Trump administration has already given up on its ‘deal of the century’ and is looking for ways to pin the blame on someone else.”

About the only thing that Bersatu supreme council member Rais Hussin gets right in his article is that the House of Saud is close with the Trump administration and that the Umno grand poohbah has again put himself in a compromising position with US foreign and domestic policy. Too bad the demographic that matters most to Umno will never be aware of this and any other of his missteps.
Shadi Hamid another Brookings writer, writing for the Atlantic – ‘The Jerusalem announcement won't really hurt America's Arab alliances’ - accurately points out that the House of Saud could have drawn a red line for this but chose not to. The House of Saud, like every other Islamic front in the Middle East, is too busy making deals of their own with Trump Inc and the reality is that the Palestinian issue, which at one time always gained traction with mobs chaffing under Islamic rule, is slowly becoming irrelevant because Muslim populations everywhere are straining under the yoke of theocratic rule.
Nothing to lose
Two points from the Atlantic article are worth considering:
1. “Why would an Islamic state (Saudi Arabia) - one still governed by a strict interpretation of Islamic law - be so seemingly at ease with such an openly Islamophobic government (US)? Wouldn’t Trump’s incitement against Muslims in early morning tweets give them pause? Thinking as much would make the mistake of assuming that Muslim-majority countries, even ones historically associated with Islam, are in any real sense ‘pro-Muslim’. They aren’t.”
2. “If only there were Arab governments that were confident, cared about actual Muslims, and could reflect and convey the frustration that no doubt many Arabs will be feeling in the days and weeks ahead. That Arab world, as we’ve been reminded this week, does not exist.”

Meanwhile, Palestinians who actually live in the tragedy that various power groups attempt to exploit, have a dispirited view of this move. To get a better understanding of how some Palestinians who actually live there think, read the article in Haaretz – ‘Palestinians voice despair over Trump’s Jerusalem decision:
Nothing left to lose’ - "For most Palestinians living in Jerusalem, Trump’s words pose little to no threat, as they’ve got nothing left to lose: It’s not as if before Trump delivered his speech, there were plans to set up a real Palestine with Al Quds, as Jerusalem is called in Arabic, as its capital. Over the years, despair at the prospect of a viable peace solution and the feeling of abandonment by the Palestinian leadership, Arab world and international community have become ingrained in the residents of East Jerusalem."
Muslim potentates always use issues like these to divert the attention of their subjects from the very real issues they face. Nowhere is this clearer than in a relatively stable Muslim democracy like Malaysia, where the Jerusalem issue has become another flash point for opposition Muslim leaders to clash with the current Umno regime in an attempt to burnish their Islamic credentials.

PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang called on all Muslims despite their divergent views to protest outside the US embassy because Jerusalem was apparently the focal point of Muslim unity and in typical Muslim Malaysian fashion called the act a “provocation”. The real question is, why hasn’t Hadi Awang called on all Muslims despite their divergent views to protest against a culture of corruption that has become the norm in Malaysia?
Meanwhile, DAP leader Lim Guan Eng wants Prime Minister Najib Razak to convey “the Malaysian people’s concerns over Trump’s actions to the US government.” Really? Malaysian people’s? I get that pandering to the Muslim vote is important, but please do not lump all Malaysians in this charade. There are many different perspectives on this issue even within the Muslim community here in Malaysia. The plight of the Palestinians is more than just a religious issue, and to further official narratives just to appease people who probably subscribe to racial and religious supremacist values is hypocrisy at its finest. I do not subscribe to the idea that we become “Malaysians” when foreign Muslim problems are played up locally to galvanise the Muslim communities and to project a facade of religious and ethnic solidarity.
The Jerusalem issue is just another way for Muslim potentates to tell their subjects to look here when they should be looking anywhere but where they are directed.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:42 AM  

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