I loved you first: but afterwards your love…

Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda. – Dante
Ogni altra cosa, ogni pensier va fore,
E sol ivi con voi rimansi amore.
– Petrarca

I loved you first: but afterwards your love
    Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
    Which owes the other most? my love was long,
    And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
    Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
    With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
         For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
         Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
[Christina Rossetti]
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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Anon says:

    Salam bro, eagerly awaiting your review of Tom Hollands “In the shadow of the sword”!

    1. Wasalaam. I’ve been so pre-occupied with other matters I simply haven’t had the time yet. I made a start but it’s stalled.I’ve got pages of notes that I need to go over and review first. Inshallah over the course of this week. 🙂

  2. Anon says:

    Been following your twitter, and you mentioned IS has troubling statements & behavior (stance on Shia civilians?). Wondering if you could hash that out in coming posts and/or twitter – btw I’m not a supporter, nor am I a coconut, just trying to look at both sides.

    As for their attacking rebels, I actually have less of a problem than most people. Strategically, thinking IS want to prevent another Northern Alliance (Ahmad Shah Massoud – Afghanistan). Having a cushion near the Turkish border and strategic bits of land would allow a base for the coalition to support – see this http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/05/20/267327/islamist-rebel-leader-walks-back.html . Opportunists (like Zahran Alloush) & secularists (FSA Division 111) supporting this group makes me suspicious;
    From the above Mcclatchy article: His spokesman, Islam Alloush, said the speeches Zahran Alloush had made in Ghouta were for internal consumption, to rally fighters in the face of other, far more radical Islamist forces, such as the Islamic State. “There’s speech for the internal audience and for the external audience,” he said. “The internal speech is devoted to saving our sons from joining the Islamic State.”

    Jordan has also bragged to the media about infiltrating JN: A third strategy of Jordanian intelligence has been to infiltrate radical groups, an approach noticeably more successful with Jabhat al-Nusra. “IS intelligence service is very powerful thanks to the efforts of Abu Ali Anbari,” said Abu Haniya.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/04/jordan-amman-is-nusra-militants-salafi-jihadists.html#ixzz3c66Oz4nE

    The sad thing is that there are sincere people on both sides. Looking forward on your take!

    1. “Been following your twitter,” – there’s still time to repent.

      “…and you mentioned IS has troubling statements & behaviour (stance on Shia civilians?). Wondering if you could hash that out in coming posts and/or twitter – btw I’m not a supporter, nor am I a coconut, just trying to look at both sides.”

      Yes, their stance on Shia civilians is certainly troubling and is at variance with the stance of the leading luminaries of the Sunni schools of thought past and present. I have myriad other gripes with their policies and indeed their overarching attitude towards governance and intra-communal relations but one thing for which I cannot fault them is their uncompromising stance on the imposition of Shariah – their conception of it at any rate.

      As far as the rest of your question vis-à-vis the ongoing hostilities between them and other anti-Assad factions then I am not in a position to comment in any great depth given that I’m not in possession of all the requisite information. However, these are my best guesses:

      (i) I agree with you inasmuch as that their stance towards other rebel factions whilst seemingly characterised by an inexorable sanguinary intransigence should be understood with reference to the 2005 Sahwa movement in Iraq. I agree with you that foreign intelligence agencies (Saudi, Qatari, Jordanian) have infiltrated and wield influence over most of the key rebel factions, including Jabhat an-Nusra. Needless to say a strong, expansionist Sunni Islamic State in Syria is not in the interests of the existing Arab regimes, of Israel and the West or the Shi’ite Iranian regime and they will each (for their own reasons) exert all their power and influence to prevent the realisation of such a goal. The leadership of many of these factions are in hock to foreign powers and upon the fall of Assad would have no hesitation in turning on the more sincere groups. Islamic State is all too aware of this reality and hence refers to these groups as “Sahwa”. Additionally since their declaration last June of the Caliphate they reject the validity of any armed jihadi group outside of the remit of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s leadership thereby rendering all others as rebels at best and apostates at worst (for their alleged collaboration with foreign powers).

      (ii) While Iran wants to maintain Syria within its sphere of influence (it supplies Hezbollah via Syria) it realises Assad’s grip on power is slipping away and is most likely angling for the best possible post-Assad scenario – one in which Iran’s geo-political interests are secured e.g. supply routes to Hezbollah.

      (iii) I believe the Assad regime regards the coalition of Gulf backed rebel groups as the greater and more immediate threat to its existence than Islamic State. In turn IS is happy to gobble up territory from the rebels rather than drive into the government heartlands – although it will be interesting to see what it does in the coming months now that it has seized Palmyra. I don’t think there is any formal collaboration between IS and Assad but rather an unspoken tacit understanding that both sides interests are better served in confronting the rebel coalition for the time being.

      (iv) The US plan to arm and train a “moderate” army prepared to confront Assad and IS has been beset by problems from the outset and constitutes a risky proposition from their perspective. More than that I don’t know so won’t comment.

      (v) I believe Islamic State is an independent entity not under the control or influence of any outside power although it seems clear that its interests and that of Turkey seem to be aligned as far as their war with the PKK and YPG is concerned. I wouldn’t discount reports of covert Turkish aid to IS in that respect.

      1. Anon says:

        Read this awhile ago, but forgot to say: Jazakallah Khair for the reply! May your last 10 days of this blessed month be filled with reward & blessings

  3. Anon says:

    Just a follow up: “A tricky problem is that the rebels have been fighting alongside a group called Jabhat al-Nusra, which is an affiliate of al-Qaeda. Sources said Tuesday that it’s likely that in coming days a Jabhat al-Nusra faction will split publicly from al-Qaeda and join the Army of Conquest. At that point, there could be a tipping point in the north, with a broad coalition allied against both the Assad regime and the Islamic State. Jordan and Israel have developed secret contacts with members of the Jabhat al-Nusra group along their borders.

    Another potential game-changer is a new U.S. willingness to support a no-fly zone along the Turkey-Syria border. This haven, backed by U.S. air power, would allow some refugees to return home while providing a staging area for an expected assault by a U.S.-trained new Syrian army, whose first units have just been formed, against the Islamic State’s capital in Raqqa.”

    From http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-new-cooperation-on-syria/2015/05/12/bdb48a68-f8ed-11e4-9030-b4732caefe81_story.html

    1. Salaam. I will comment inshallah later this week. Been really tied up of late and haven’t been feeling too well.

      1. Anon says:

        Walaikum Salam bro, take your time. Not going anywhere lol. Hope you feel better!

  4. Lenna says:

    Please write something new, slacker. 🙂

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