Friday, October 21, 2005

Polymorphic polyclones 

Separation of Church and State? -- Never! The founding fathers would intend no such thing:
The political system of the Islamic Republic of Iran is at once fiendishly complex and extremely simple. Most of the Iranians I met preferred to stress the complexity. The country has at least two governments at any one time: a semi-democratic formal state structure, now headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and a religious-ideological command structure headed by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. There are numerous shifting formal and informal power centers, including political parties in parliament, ministries, rich religious foundations, the Revolutionary Guards, and the multimillion-man Basij militia, whose mobilization helped Ahmadinejad to get elected. There are also backroom ethnic or regional mafias, and numerous competing intelligence, security, and police agencies—eighteen of them according to one recent count. No wonder Iranian political scientists reach for terms like "polyarchy," "elective oligarchy," "semi-democracy," or "neopatrimonialism."

Yet the longer I was there, the more strongly I felt that the essence of this regime remains quite simple. At its core, the Islamic Republic is still an ideological dictatorship. Its central organizing principle can be summarized in four sentences: (1) There is only one God and Muhammad is his Prophet. (2) God knows best what is good for men and women. (3) The Islamic clergy, and especially the most learned among them, the jurists qualified to interpret Islamic law, know best what God wants. (4) In case of dispute among learned jurists, the Supreme Leader decides.

[From:] Soldiers of the Hidden Imam
By Timothy Garton Ash - Volume 52, Number 17 -November 3, 2005 (New York Review of Books)

Well I'll be dipped in polydactyl shit if that-all don't sit a little to close to home these days. A splash'a white-out here, a few backspacings there, and it reads like a brief description of you-all know what-all. (Like for instance, the 2004 Texas GOP party platform. Or worse case scenario yet to come: the 2008 GOP national party platform.)

President Cheney, meet Judge Roy Moore, America's new Supreme Leader. Commandant Rumsveld, for God and Country and Corporation, prepare our multibillion-dollar militia for the imminent invasion of Polynesia!



Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augered the earth and some said they'd heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang. Out of that whirlwind no voice spoke and the pilgrim lying in his broken bones may cry out and in his anguish he may rage, but rage at what? And if the dried and blackened shell of him is found among the sands by travelers to come yet who can discover the engine of his ruin? ~ Cormac McCarthy Blood Meridian

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