Conservatives Are Murderous and Hate Democracy All over the World and at All Times

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Latin American Right

The murderousness of the Chilean, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, and Argentine Right is in the past, but you never know when they will spring up again.

  • There was talk on the Argentine Right of calling for a coup when the last president talked about regulating the agricultural sector. They run that country like a mafia and no one dares to touch them. The Argentine Right worked with Wall Street to bankrupt the country and ruin the economy so they could win an election.
  • The Paraguayan Right overthrew the government with a judicial coup.
  • The Ecuadorian Right attempted an armed police coup several years ago.
  • The Peruvian Right staged a coup 25 years ago.
  • The Chilean Right only allowed a weak democracy 18 years ago.
  • The Honduran Right staged a military coup to get rid of a democratically elected president. Since then, death squads have murdered 1,000 people.
  • Aristide was overthrown by US sponsored coup 23 years ago, and they haven’t had any democracy since because Aristide’s party is banned from running. The last time they ran, they won 92% of the vote. After the coup, death squads rampaged through the population, murdering 3,000 members of Aristide’s party.
  • The rightwing Brazilian legislature overthrew the Left government based on a complete lie and they jailed the former president on a completely fake charge based on a bribe that he didn’t even accept! I mean they simply overthrew a democratically elected government with a parliamentary coup. They do this stuff all the time down there with either judicial, parliamentary or military coups.

The Latin American Right hates democracy.
If you wonder why the Left goes authoritarian down there, well, this is what happens if you try to do it democratically. They try to do it democratically, they wage coups and economic wars against you, start terrorist riots destroying you cities, murder the members of your government and political parties, start contra wars, or if they are in power, run death squads and slaughter the members of your parties.
I mean if they block all efforts at peaceful change, why not just put in a Left dictatorship? By the way, this is why Lenin said peaceful efforts towards socialism were doomed to fail because power never surrenders without a fight. He called such efforts parliamentary cretinism. I don’t agree with that, but I see the point.
The main point is that everywhere on Earth, the Right hates democracy and they are determined never to allow any Left governments to take power. Things are a bit different in Europe, North Africa, the Arab World, and Central Asia, but once you start getting over to South Asia, once again, they won’t give it up without a fight.

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Right in Southeast and East Asia

  • Thailand overthrew a Left government with a judicial coup and the middle class rioters called yellow shirts destroying the country.
  • Indonesia staged a fake coup so they could murder 1 million Communist Party members.
  • The Philippines runs death squads that slaughter the Left.
  • The Taiwanese state consolidated its power after 1949 when they fled to they island by murdering hundreds of thousands of Leftists.
  • South Korea also killed hundreds of thousands of Leftists from 1945-1950 before the Korean War even started.
  • Between 1954-1960, Communists tried to take power peacefully in South Vietnam, but the government murdered 80,000 of them. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms but it was never granted. Finally, in 1960, Ho gave them permission to take up arms.

Alt Left: Rape Culture Idiocy

Is there anyone on my site who thinks this rape culture folly even exists at all? I mean I’ve never raped anyone in my life. None of my friends have ever raped anyone in their lives. I don’t know any men who have ever raped anyone in their lives, at least that I know of. Where’s the rape culture. If this was a rape culture I probably would have been raping all this time.
Rape culture theory says the US has a rape culture that encourages men to rape females, that lets males off the hook when they do it because police officers, DA’s, judges, juries and our fellow men in general all sympathize with the rapists and let them off the hook. This is madness. Most men don’t sympathize with real actual rapists, I mean males who break the actual laws against rape. I’m talking real rape here. Real rape is legal rape. There’s real rape and there’s feminist rape. Feminist rape is whenever some female says she got raped, it was rape, no matter what happened. Feminists expand the definition of  rape every year and make ever increasing and ever crazier demands in terms of consent.
The intention here is obvious. Many feminists hate men, hate masculinity and especially hate heterosexual men. This is especially true of radical feminists. I assure you that if radical feminists could make heterosexual sex illegal for men, they would do it. In fact the feminists who first made up these laws hated heterosexual men, said all heterosexual sex was rape, and seemed to be trying to make it as illegal as possible. I refer to Andrea Dworkin and Katharine McKinnon. All sexual harassment came directly from Dworkin and McKinnon, two of the most insane man-hating bitches that have ever lived. Robin Morgan also made some statements about shutting down heterosexual sex and forcing all women to be lesbians. They weren’t exactly shy about their goals.
Do male cops really sympathize with actual rapists, I mean stranger rapists like the guy with the ski mask and a can of mace types? Do male judges really sympathize with these guys? Male DA’s like rapists? We men in general like rapists and support them and try to get them off the hook?
This whole theory sounds completely insane. There is no rape culture in this country, for God’s sake. Now if you go down to Latin America or over to the Philippines, India, Egypt, or South Africa, now you are getting somewhere. If we had a rape culture, all of those men would not have lost their jobs for flirting with women (sexual harassment) or touching women (sexual assault). There would have been no #metoo nonsense. There would have been no #timesup crap. The Kavanaugh hearings would not be rocking the nation like they are. The fact that all these things are happening are arguments against the existence of a rape culture, not in favor of one.

Alt Left: Who's White? A Caucasian Roundup, or Ultra-Pan-Aryanism

Thinking Mouse: I didn’t read the article and now see you disagree with me, but I’ll explain why I think this category is appropriate.
Since I’m largely anti-HBD (though the African non-African dichotomy might have some merit), especially to the traits affecting many types of social capital, I really just see race as the social constructs and their origin. So when people look different, that could have an affect on the perception people have, and it used to in the past.
I think its that you are raised in America with its diversity, and maybe your lack of racism has made you accept more swarthier people as fulfilling the roles of good citizens, and therefore get an pass to the all so important group. In my view, by your criteria for an race, we might as well say that an Frenchman with dark hair and large nostrils/bulgy nose is Chinese cause they don’t look “that different”. Blue eyes and pink nipples are almost unique to Whites, that’s like indispensable right there.

Of course Arabs are White, especially North Africans like Moroccans and Algerians. However, there are Black people in those countries and they don’t count. Most Libyans are White. So are most Tunisians and most Egyptians. There are non-White Egyptians in the South. I had an Egyptian girlfriend once who would be more properly characterized as a light skinned Black woman. Light Egyptians and Moroccans openly identify as White.
Most Saudis and Yemenis are White. The Yemenis we have here are all White and identify as White. All Syrians are White and the ones here also identify as White. Palestinians, Jordanians, Lebanese, Iraqis and Gulf types are mostly White. However there are a few Blacks among these people in Iraq and the Gulf. Prince Bandar is not a White man.
Of course Persians and most Afghans are White. Afghans even identify as White. The ones I know told me they are Aryans, the original Whites. But some Afghans are Asiatics, like the Hazara. Most Pakistanis are White, and some even identify as White. There are some non-Whites down in the South, but all the ones I have met are as White as I am.
Many but not all North Indians are White, especially Punjabis, many of whom are as White as I am. Quite a few Uighurs and Nepalis are White, but many are not. Groups like the Mansi are similar and you have to look at them on an individual basis.
Of course Chechens, Azeris, Georgians, Armenians and the rest of the people of the Caucasus are White. Also Azeris, Armenians and Chechens at least identify as White.
Most Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, and Uzbeks, etc. and many Siberians from around the Altai are best seen as mixed race. Many Tatars and Bashkirs are also mixed race. All of these groups are so mixed with Asiatics that they can’t really properly be called Whites.
I would look at facial and bone structure. Really all Caucasoids are simply Whites. Look at the face and if the face looks like a White person’s face, no matter the skin color, they are White.

Crime Rates in Black Countries, among Black Populations and in Black Cities and Neighborhoods around the World

Thinking Mouse: Many African nations have a similar homicide rate to far eastern Europe, despite having much lower incarceration rates and younger demographics.

Incarceration rates are low because the police are often incompetent and much crime is not prosecuted or even reported.
Black Africa has had some of the highest homicide rates on Earth for decades. Crime is so bad there are travel warnings against going to most of those countries. Are there travel warnings telling people not to go to Eastern Europe? I recently went through the US State Department warnings for Black Africa and in every single country in the region, there were warnings about high levels of crime and violent crime. I believe Senegal was somewhat of an exception and most of the crime there was property crime.
I would not feel frightened going to Eastern Europe. I would feel frightened in most large Black African cities except possibly in the Sahel. I have heard that Senegal is relatively low crime. There is terrorism now in the Sahel though, so it is dangerous on that basis, but the crime is not very high. Of all of the countries in Black Africa, I would probably recommend Senegal as safe enough to take a careful vacation there. I’ve also heard that it is a very interesting country. It might be nice as a human to visit Black Africa once in a lifetime.
Generally the Muslim parts of Black Africa are safer, more orderly, calmer, and have less crime than the Christian areas.
However, there is an ethnic group of 1 million people in Burkina Faso that has a homicide rate of ~1/100,000, about the same as Japan’s. So this shows that not all Black populations automatically commit lots of violent crime and homicide. But whatever environment this group has created to make such a safe culture does not seem to be easily replicable outside of that group. The group is Muslim, and study of Muslim texts is mandatory for all young people, so the group is educated. Elders are revered and respected and children fear their wrath and do not disobey them much. Elders take it upon themselves to mentor youths and young adults as a matter of course. Ethnic pride is high and members read texts about the group and participate in frequent cultural exercises.
In addition, much of the crime in Black Africa is simply not reported, as police are incompetent, corrupt, and take bribes. In a number of those countries, police set up roadblocks specifically to take bribes from motorists.
The Black Caribbean has a high violent crime and homicide rate.
I read a recent figure for the UK that Blacks were 2% of the population, and they committed 20% of the homicides. In the US, Blacks are 13% of the population, and they commit 53% of the homicides.
All of the high homicide US cities are Black. In LA, the top nine most dangerous police precincts are in Black neighborhoods.
Has the commenter ever been around large numbers of Black people? Gone to school with them, went to their parts of time, driven around in cities where there are many of them? You need to stay out of areas where there are large numbers of low income Blacks. Those areas dangerous as Hell. I taught in Black schools for years.
You had to leave school before sundown. Once I went back to see my school at 9:30 at night and it was absolutely terrifying. Basically these neighborhoods can be more or less ok in the daytime (I drove around them a lot and went out to eat a lot), but don’t go off the main streets even in the daytime and make sure you are out of the area after dark.

There Are Many Good Black People even in the Ghetto

However, having worked in those schools for years and spent some time in the deep inner city of LA (South Central LA), I will say that it is trivial to meet decent people in that area. My car broke down twice in Black areas, once in South Central and once in Compton. Both times, Black adults came out and helped me get my car going. In both cases, there was an older man in his 40’s. In one case there were some young men in their 20’s helping him. They were extremely nice people.
I dated a Black woman in South Central and though she was a scumbag crack addict, I spent some time in her barbershop talking to some older Black men in their 50’s and 60’s. They were extremely cool. One  man acted a bit strange around me and I asked my date and she said he hates Whites and has not been around them much. But he was very nice to me, although he seemed  a bit awkward around me. I think he was surprised to find a friendly, decent Black man.
Even in South Central, a lot of the older Black men from 40-60 are very good people, assuming they are not imprisoned and are still alive. Particularly if they own a home. Black culture has a way of winnowing out the worst people who tend to spend much of their lives incarcerated or else die young.
A number of the incarcerated ones get out and though they are not great people, I would not say they are bad people either. I spent a couple of hours talking to a 45 year old Black man who had done ten years in prison for robbery and attempted murder. He seemed quite a bit calmed down.
People tend to age out of crime and bad behavior anyway and even among adults, it is young adults who act the worst and commit the most crime. Even many psychopaths burn out in middle age and become depressed/alcoholic while the condition lessens and moderates quite a bit.
The Black teachers and aides at the schools I taught at were generally very nice people, although some were pretty angry. I mostly befriended Black female teachers. Some of the administrators were very cool too.
However, in the very heart of the ghetto, in deep Compton near Willowbrook, not only were the students the worst of all, but they hated Whites the most. In addition, a number of the Black female teachers seemed to hate Whites, something I never dealt with before.
Many of the older Black women even in the ghetto are very good people, especially if they are deep into religion. Even some of the Black students I taught were good people, especially if they were deep into religion. At one school, a Black female senior seemed to be in love with me and asked me out and tried to get my phone number.

Though Bad People Are a Minority in the Hood, There Are Simply Too Many of Them

The problem with these areas is not that everyone is lousy. In fact there are many decent and even good people even deep in the ghetto. However the rate of lousy, bad and out and out evil and dangerous people is much higher than in White areas. There are just too many bad people around (although they are a minority) such that it makes traveling and spending time there a dangerous endeavor.

Alt Left: Some of My Positions on Conservative and Liberal US Foreign Policy

Is it ok for me to believe in Leftist economics yet still agree on many points with the neocons when it comes (rhyme, hah) to foreign policy?
Conservative opinions I like:

  • Occupation of Palestine.
  • bombing of Yemen.
  • Invasion of Iraq.
  • Invasion of Lybia.
  • Anti Hamas and Hezbollah sentiment.
  • Pre-coup Erdogan (he has one of the rails now).
  • France´s colonization of Algeria.

Now these things aren’t perfect, but optimal compared to the other alternatives.

  • Aggression against Russia regarding Ukraine, I’d prefer to have an referendum in Ukraine about EU membership, to give NATO aggression legitimacy. The issue with this is that the European Commission isn’t clear on whether it wants Ukraine in the EU. I want to replace all of the non-White subsidies/investing (welfare for children, loans for adults) with EU subsidies and troops in Eastern Europe, LEBENSRAUM!!!.
    https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/more-than-half-of-ukrainians-want-to-join-eu-poll-shows-32735

The liberal foreign policies I agree with are:
-Legalization of drugs (affecting Latin america).
-Diplomacy with Iran (I’m a big fan of Obama s negotiations about the nuke thing.).
-Ok with leaving Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine to Russia (Ukraine would already be losing an shit ton of people to Russia anyway through emigration) as long as it leads to EU membership of Ukraine,

Sure, the fact you like my economics is amazing enough to keep you around.
My positions:
Conservative opinions I like:
– Occupation of Palestine. NOPE
– Bombing of Yemen. NOPE
– Invasion of Iraq. NOPE
– Invasion of Libya. NOPE
– Anti-Hamas and Hezbollah sentiment. NO on Hezbollah because I love Hezbollah. I don’t like Hamas too much, but the Hamas-haters are worse, and anyway they are pragmatic for Islamists.
– Pre-coup Erdogan (he has one of the rails now). NOPE. Rails?
– France´s colonization of Algeria. NOPE.
Aggression against Russia regarding Ukraine, id prefer to have an referendum in Ukraine about EU membership, to give NATO aggression legitimacy. The issue with this is that the European commission isn’t clear on whether it wants Ukraine in the EU. I want to replace all of the non-white subsidies/investing (welfare for children, loans for adults) with EU subsidies and troops in Eastern Europe, LEBENSRAUM!!!
NOPE. Not sure if I want Ukraine in the EU. Anyway, I hate the EU. Mostly I don’t want them in NATO, Hell no. Also I do not want more North American Terrorist Organization troops in Eastern Europe. Not sure about cutting the safety net either, especially racially like that.
See? Look above. Conservatives are always wrong on foreign policy. Period.
The liberal foreign policies I agree with are:
– Legalization of drugs (affecting Latin America). OF COURSE.
– Diplomacy with Iran (I’m a big fan of Obama’s negotiations about the nuke thing.). SURE.
– Ok with leaving Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine to Russia (Ukraine would already be losing an shit ton of people to Russia anyway through emigration) as long as it leads to membership of Ukraine.
ABSOLUTELY, I support the annexation of Crimea and I support the Donbass fighters. I wish Russia would just annex the Donbass. It would solve so many problems. Not sure about Ukraine and EU membershit. Anyway, I hate the EU too. EU is the economic arm of the North American Terrorist Organization.
See? Liberal foreign policy is always right.

NATO, the WTO, and the Prospects for Resistance to US-EU Militarized Economic Hegemony (the Axis of Resistance)

Interesting comment from a reader.

Thinking Mouse: But the enemies of NATO are corrupt crooks at worst and non-pragmatic idealists at worst.
I think historical materialism influences morality too, we don’t posses our beliefs, but our beliefs posses us, and beliefs live upon the technology of an certain mode of production. On a positive note, the world does seem to become more multipolar with the emergence of China, Turkey, Japan, Russia, India and large parts of Africa. I don’t think these nations will get Independence, but just more fair deals with America thanks to their ability to defend themselves.
Eventually when technology and infrastructure spread across the world, will the proletariat take their fare share from the petit and normal bourgeoisie!
Africa might have large riots about tax evasion and the WTO´s forced laissez faire in 20-40 years, or maybe anti corruption will be more gradual.

First of all, I would like to thank the comrade for his excellent comment. It is smart and informed comments like these that make this site so great.
Who are the enemies of NATO? Venezuela, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Syria, Iran? Anybody else? Who cares if they are corrupt? Nations have a right to self-determination. Anyway, a lot of NATO allies and even members are corrupt and even murderous or genocidal.

“China, Turkey, Japan, Russia, India and large parts of Africa”

Exactly. This is why Russia is so important. China is not allied with NATO at all. Isn’t Japan a de facto NATO ally or member? And isn’t India a NATO ally? Turkey is a NATO member that is now on the outs with the rest of the alliance. It’s still the Sick Man of Europe after all these centuries. I agree a lot of Europe seems to be not actively allied with NATO. What about Egypt and Sudan? Haven’t they signed on to the anti-Iran bullshit?

“Eventually when technology and infrastructure spread across the world, will the proletariat take their fare share from the petit and normal bourgeoisie!”

We can only hope, comrade! Or barring that, at least dream. Instead of ruling society, I think proletarians should aim for something a lot lower – simply getting something more like their fair share in society.

Africa might have large riots about tax evasion and the WTO´s forced laissez faire in 20-40 years, or maybe anti corruption will be more gradual.

Corruption is endemic in all of Black Africa, is it not? Tax evasion? You mean African elites do not pay their fair share? How long has the WTO been enforcing neoliberalism in Africa? I thought only the IMF could do that. Why would the riots be 30 years off instead of sooner?

Identity Politics or Tribalism Was Behind Many of the Most Horrific and Genocidal Crimes of the 20th Century

Zamfir: “Having a collective interest is not the same thing as a hard and fast identity like race, ethnic group, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or even religion.”

Okay, I didn’t understand that “identity” for you has to do with only these kinds of characteristics. But then I’d put it this way: Any group of people that share collective interests can have good reasons to organize politically in defense of their interests. It doesn’t matter whether the reason has to do with their “identity” in your sense or instead something less “hard and fast” such as economic class.

Because people who organize around more banal everyday political issues are typically not as insane and flat out deranged, homicidal, paranoid, hypersensitive and even genocidal as IP types? I mean do you see Democrats running around screaming about the Republicans “They hate us! They hate us! They’re out to kill us! We need to fight back!” Do you see environmentalists or pro-abortion people saying that anti-environmentalists and anti-abortion people, “They hate us! They hate us! They oppress us and dominate us! They’re out to kill us!”

Ordinary politics is not tribal like IP is. Few people would say they are member of a tribe called Democrats, Social Democrats, Bolivarians, Sandinistas, environmentalists, gun control activists, anti-free trade types, anti- or pro-immigration activists, liberals, workers, or poor or low income people? Hell no.

And the people in the paragraph above don’t scream, carry on, act paranoid, have a huge chip on their shoulder and accuse everyone of hating them all the time.

Haven’t you noticed that IP people are all insane? They all say my group is completely innocent and good, and we are being persecuted, oppressed and dominated by this evil other group. They’re all hypersensitive to any slights, always accusing everyone of hating them. They hate us! They hate us! They hate us! They’re trying to kill us!
And there’s often genocidal language, sometimes towards the hated group and other times it’s, “They’re trying to kill of us!” Often it’s “they’re trying to kill all of us…we need to kill all of them!”Haven’t you noticed that IP people are all insane?
They all say my group is completely innocent and good and we are being persecuted, oppressed and dominated by this evil other group. They’re all hypersensitive to any slights, always accusing everyone of hating them. They hate us! They hate us! They hate us! They’re trying to kill us! And there’s often genocidal language, sometimes towards the hated group and other times it’s, “They’re trying to kill of us!” Often it’s “they’re trying to kill all of us…we need to kill all of them!”
Before the Tutus slaughtered 800,000 Tutsis, the radio played non-stop that the Tutsis had just murdered the Hutu president and were organizing a war to kill all the Hutus. The solution? Kill them first. Remember Hitler said the Jews are trying to kill us all? Solution? Kill them first. Notice how the Israelis are always screaming that their enemies are exterminationist Nazi type anti-Semites? They’re out to kill us all! Solution? Oppress them, dominate them, wage war on them, kill their soldiers and their politicians, assassinate their leaders.
Can’t you realize that almost all of the horrible things that are going on today are all based on IP to some degree or another. In the ME, they are slaughtering each other over religion or even factions of a religion or even factions of factions.
In Turkey, this is behind Turkey’s war on the Kurds and their conquest and annexation of Syrian land to expand the “Turkish nation.” The ethnic cleaning wars of the Balkans were all wrapped up in IP. The Islamist insurgencies in the Caucasus, Turkestan, Thailand, Sudan, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Egypt, Nigeria, India and to some extent Syria and Iraq are Islamist jihads against the infidels; in the cases of Nigeria and Sudan, take exterminationist proportions.
The Hindu Buddhists wage an exterminationist jihad against the Hindu Tamils. The Myanmar Buddhists wage an exterminationist jihad against the Rohinga.
The Hindus oppress the Muslims of Kashmir and wage war on them. The Jews oppress the non-Jews of Palestine and wage war on them and conquer and annex their land. Muslims and Christians wage exterminationist wars against each other in the Congo. In Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire, Hutus, and Tutsis wage exterminationist wars against each other.
Saddam said the Persians were plotting to kill all the Arabs (and most Sunni Arabs still say that the Iranians are plotting to at least conquer all the Arabs). Solution? Kill the Iranians first. The Young Turks started their jihad against the Armenians by saying that the Armenians were plotting to kill all the Turks. Solution? Kill the Armenians. Similar things were said of Greeks and Assyrians. Solution? Kill 500,000 Greeks and Assyrians before they can kill us first.
Nazism was nothing but Aryan Germanic IP against non Aryans such as Gypsies, Jews and Slavs.
The war in Northern Ireland is a pure IP war.
Notice how all of these groups employ the IP extremism – “They’re trying to kill us all so we need to oppress/kill of them first!” Our tribe is 100% good, theirs is evil. We are defensive; they wage offensive war against us. They are haters and racists and we are not. They hate us!  They hate us! They hate us! You hate us! You hate us!
Notice how paranoid they all are and how hypersensitive they are to any slight and how they all immediately accuse you of hating them if you even look at them wrong? Notice the insane, “They hate us! They hate us!” all the while when the people screaming about people hating them are horrific haters themselves. But their hate and racism/bigotry is good and justified and the other people’s hate and bigotry is evil. We just want liberation and to be free! They want to oppress us and dominate us!
IP turns genocidal and exterminationist or at least slaughtering quite easily.

Socialism, Populism, and Neoliberalism in the Arab World

Sisera: The CIA’s coups have been out of control for decades, agreed.
But you support minority rule governments in the Middle East (Saddam Hussein, certainly and possibly Assad who is at least an ethnic minority. Hezbollah operated for years in a largely Christian country, etc.) because the alternative would mean Americans die in terror attacks from those countries becoming terror bases.
I don’t know that you could argue any Latin American oligarchy was more brutal than Saddam Hussein.
So you just value certain American interests that are different than his.

Saddam was brutal but he was a populist. He just didn’t tolerate any minority rebellions or opposition really. But in return for that he was a great socialist and populist leader who did great things for his people. Saddam’s rule was not oligarchic rule by a ruling class. Actually when the Ba’ath took power, they took out the local oligarchs, confiscated their land, imposed heavy taxation, nationalized many industries, etc.
Saddam was a man of the people. He was for the little guy, the average Joe Iraqi Workingman. You could also argue that Stalin and Mao were brutal in similar ways. Leftwing regimes can be pretty brutal. I am not one to dismiss that. But leftist and Communist regimes are not cases of ruling class rule or the rule by a small group of rich and capitalists over everyone else.
The whole time Hezbollah was around, Lebanon was a minority Christian country. It hasn’t been majority Christian since the 1960’s or maybe 1970’s. Anyway the Christians are not in opposition to Hezbollah. One of the Maronite leaders, Aoun, is in an alliance with Hezbollah. Hezbollah has Christian and Sunni militias in Christian and Sunni areas. The Greek Orthodox have always supported Hezbollah. It’s a populist movement. Hezbollah only came into existence because of the Israeli invasion.
You may be correct about Syria. Democracy may well vote in radical Islamists, and that would not be a pretty picture. The Syrian rebels give you a taste of what life would be like without Assad.  We already know what life in Iraq was like post-Saddam. A sheer Hell of a charnelhouse. Surely Saddam was better than what came after.
Assad is a populist. He works for everyone. It’s not a matter of the rich running the place and fucking everyone over. They just had elections for Parliament and 85% of the seats were run by Sunnis. The Sunnis run the business community. The army is full of Sunni generals. The minority rule thing is sort of dumb. Assad cuts everyone in because he has to. Anyway, if you go the democratic route in the Middle East, you end up with Islamists.
I actually do not mind popular or populist dictatorships that serve the people. That’s fine. Assad appears to have majority support too. It’s not like the majority want Assad gone and he just usurped them.
Saddam was difficult, but there were 1 million Shia Ba’ath Party members. Shia were persecuted not for being Shia but for being Islamists. Anyway, Saddam was the best choice. Look what happened when he was gone.
For whatever reason, the rich and the capitalists in the Arab World are not evil like in Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc. Everyone wants socialism in the Arab world. But Arab socialism allows businessmen to earn money, so everyone gets cut in. You don’t have hard-line socialism or Communism because you don’t have diabolical ruling classes like you have in Latin America. If the rich and the capitalists are willing to go along with a socialist or populist project, why can’t they have full rights?
Hezbollah does not control Lebanon. Anyway, Lebanon is minority rule and has been forever. Christians are guaranteed 50% of seats in Parliament but are only 30% of the population. Hezbollah is not a ruling class group. They are basically socialists like most Islamists.
You see, radical neoliberalism, Latin American style economic conservatism, Republican Party politics, etc. is a no seller in the Arab World. Literally nobody but nobody but nobody wants it. The only people proposing it are Lebanese Maronites because they are close to Europe and they are trying to distinguish themselves from Arabs by being individualists and different.
You can’t sell any sort of oligarchic rule, ruling class rule, economic conservatism of any of that in most Muslim countries. Because Mohammad, if you read him closely, was a pretty socialist fellow. Now the ruling classes in the Arab world used to be feudalists who worked the fellahin like serfs.
But the Arab nationalist revolutions that rocked the Arab world got rid of all of that. All rulers wiped out the feudal holdings and liberated the peasants. The large landowners tried to justify their rule by saying that Mohammad said there are rich and there are poor and that is fine. They got corrupt Muslims clergy to go along with this, similar to how the ruling classes get the Catholic Church to go along with the project of the rich.
This alliance was most notable in Iraq, but it existed in other places like Palestine. Egypt was largely feudal before Nasser. Nasser was not only an Arab nationalist but also a working class hero. Leftists all over the Arab World used to have pictures of Nasser on the walls. He too liberated the Muslim peasants. Feudal rule ended in Palestine in the 1930’s in the midst of an Arab nationalist revolution there.
Getting rid of oligarchic and feudal rule was easy in the Arab World because the masses never supported the oligarchs or feudalists. Rather, they hated them. So Arab socialism was an easy fit all over the region. Even the business communities gladly went along.

Should the Rich and the Reactionaries Be Given Rights?

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

Most of them are oppressors, of course. Don’t you even understand class politics or the nature of capitalism at all. Those rich people who are pursuing their economic self interests in the class war, well of course they are our oppressors. The oppressors of me and mine anyway. I suppose they see us as oppressors.
Marxist theory doesn’t say that anyway. It just says that when the rich pursue their self interests in the class war, everyone who’s not rich gets fucked. You want to call that oppression? You are welcome to. If you side with the rich, you are an idiot. Why would you side with your class enemies. Most of them are oppressors, of course. Don’t you even understand class politics or the nature of capitalism at all.
Those rich people who are pursuing their economic self interests in the class war, well of course they are our oppressors. The oppressors of me and mine anyway. I suppose they see us as oppressors. Marxist theory doesn’t say that anyway. It just says that when the rich pursue their self interests in the class war, everyone who’s not rich gets fucked. You want to call that oppression? You are welcome to. If you side with the rich, you are an idiot. Why would you side with your class enemies?
The rich are our class enemies. Does that mean they oppress us? I dunno. When they’re in power, they screw us over. All of the rich hate democracy, lie like rugs, and support violence, murder, terror, genocide, coups, and dictatorships anywhere the people take power.
Personally, I think all conservatives and reactionaries are pure filth. I wish they would all drop dead tomorrow. That way they would be where they belong: in graves. They’re nothing but pure garbage. Show me a reactionary or conservative anywhere on Earth that’s actually a human and not a lying, sadistic, murderous piece of scum. There aren’t any!
In a democratic society, of course the rich get their rights, but they abuse the fuck out of them, and anytime they people take power, the rich start using violence, coups, death squads, rioting, judicial and legislative coups, etc. to get their way. We let the rich take power all the time. They won’t let us take power at all. I’m glad the Chinese Communists took away the rights of the reactionaries.
Look what would happen if they had rights? See Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Honduras, Haiti, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Philippines? That’s what happens when you give the rich and the reactionaries any rights at all. Right now they would be burning China to the ground like they are doing to Venezuela and Nicaragua because they are furious that a people’s government got put in.
If that’s the way they are always, always, always going to act, why give them rights? So they can destroy your country and take down any democratically elected government they don’t believe in?
They try to destroy by antidemocratic means any people’s or popular government any time it gets in.
And when they take power themselves, they usually put in a dictatorship.
This is what happens if they don’t get their way and the people elect a democratically elected people’s government:
Attempted coups by street violence: Nicaragua, Ukraine, Syria, and Thailand.
Attempted coups by economic warfare: Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Nicaragua.
Coups by legislative means: Paraguay and Brazil.
Attempted legislative coup: Venezuela.
Coups by judicial means: Brazil.
Coups by direct overthrow of the state: Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, and Egypt.
Attempted coups by direct overthrow of the state: Ecuador and Bolivia.
Coup by insurgency: Haiti.
Attempted coup by insurgency: Syria.
Coups by direct invasion: Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Panama, Libya, and Grenada.
This is what happens every time they get into power, especially if they take over a people’s government: 
Right-wing death squad authoritarian regime installed: Honduras*, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil*, Guatemala*, Chile, Philippines*, Uruguay, Bolivia, Indonesia*, and Ukraine*.
No I don’t have a problem taking away rights from reactionary fucks! Why should we give them rights? Give me one reason! One! One reason!

Why Do Some Countries Lack a Class Conscious Working Class?

John Engelman: Contrary to what Karl Marx said, for most people most of the time loyalties of nation, race and ethnicity are stronger than loyalties of class. The working class in the United States has always been more diverse than the working class in European countries. It is becoming more diverse with the influx of non whites.

To get class consciousness you really need a homogeneous working class. It helps if the working class is ethnically distinct from the upper class. In Scotland the upper class is English, or Anglicized Scottish. That is to say Scottish, but educated in England, and often speaking with English accents.
The clear majority of Scots vote for the British Labour Party. English workers are more likely to vote for the British Conservative Party.
The argument is circular in a sense because as you look around the world, generally what you see in most cases is an ethnically homogenous working class.
Would you describe the working classes of Latin America as homogeneous or diverse? They seem to be a mixture of White, Indian and Black and the mestizo, mulatto and Zambo mixtures, correct? Yet the diverse working classes down there have high working class consciousness despite their diverse nature.
Aren’t North African and Gulf countries fairly mixed between Blacks and Arabs?
Certainly in Arabia, lands with diverse working classes of Kurds, Arabs and Iranian working classes are all very left.
I believe Sri Lanka even with the vicious Tamil versus Sinhalese war, the diverse working class is leftwing. In Burma the working class is very left although there have been wild ethnic wars sputtering on for decades.
In Russia and other nations of the former USSR, there are many ethnic minorities, but the workers are still working class.
A recent exception is Ukraine where workers have gone radical Right. The former Yugoslavia is still very leftwing even after all of the ethnic conflict and even slaughter of past years. Spain’s working class is very radical despite an armed conflict in the Basque region and separatists in Catalonia. The different religions hate each other in North Ireland, but the Scottish Protestant workers are as class conscious as the Irish Catholic ones. Switzerland is divided between three ethnic groups – French, Germans, and Italians – yet it is a very leftwing country.
The extreme tribalism in Africa has not prevented the working classes from being class conscious.
Is the working class of England voting Tory yet? Or do you just mean that they are more likely to vote Tory than the Scots are?
Most workers in Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Africa, the former USSR, China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal are the same ethnicity as the ruling classes of those places, yet workers have a high degree of class consciousness in all of those places.
The places where working class consciousness has been harder to develop were those that had a Chinese ruling class as in Philippines and Indonesia.
I think we need to come up with some better theories about the poor class consciousness of the US working class. If you are looking for examples elsewhere, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, the Baltics and Colombia are places with quite poor working class consciousness.
In Australia it is recent as US style conservatism is imported.
A similar trend is underway in Canada and has been since Thatcher in the UK. But the UK is in nearly a revolutionary situation. A lot of the working classes are militant and radicalized, while a lot of the country has at the same time gone Tory. When Thatcher died, there were anti-rich riots in housing estates across the land. Thatcher was burned in effigy in the streets. Can you imagine that happening in the US?
The recent riots in the UK also had a class undercurrent. I was dating a British woman at the time, and she told me that local storeowners who treated the community well were spared by rioters. Rioters focused on stores selling upscale goods to the rich. Many corporate outlets were also smashed.
She told me that a number of those outlets had a reputation for not paying taxes to the UK by hiding money offshore. She said the rioters knew who those companies were, and they were brutally singled out. Many outlets were burned to the ground. Can you imagine heavily Black rioters in the US having class consciousness like that?
The Baltics are a case of entire nations full of complete idiots who hate Communism so much that they went into an extreme overreaction against Communism and turned against anything socialist, left, liberal or mildly progressive. Fascist heroes including many Nazis with a lot of Jewish blood on their hands were celebrated. Communist parties were outlawed, and Russian minorities were viciously maltreated.
Radical rightwingers were elected in all of these lands, and Chicago Boys Friedmanite experiments were undertaken. The results were predictable. In the recent economic crash, the most neoliberal European countries were the most devastated of all. Estonia was eviscerated, and Latvia was almost wiped off the map. 1/3 of the Latvian population left the country, including almost all of the educated people.
The Philippines and Indonesian cases are up for discussion, but these are Latin American situations of a ruling class of a different ethnicity than the working classes holding forth brutally and anti-democratically over the people. In addition, the workers have little consciousness.
Taiwan has a similar legacy where extreme hatred of Communism resulted in being ruled by reactionary fascist anti-Communists for decades. There is a nascent Left now, but it has little power yet. The wealth of the country seems to have gotten in the way of working class consciousness. Probably the extreme anti-Communism helped too, as any working class movement could be quickly portrayed as Communist.

Setting the Record Straight About Pre-Contact Africa

John Engelman: Agriculture and civilization select a race for intelligence. Caucasians began agriculture about eleven thousand years ago. We began civilization about five thousand years ago. Negroes only adopted agriculture about four thousand years ago. They never developed their own civilizations. They have only recently been exposed to White civilization.

Agriculture was probably developed by Africans before it was developed by anyone else. There is evidence for agriculture or pre-agriculture in Africa (West African Guinea Highlands) as early as 12,000 YBP. You must realize that Africans originated many things that we as humans do. The next to develop agriculture were the Mayans (corn), the Chinese (rice) and the Papuans (yams), all at 9,000 YBP. The Egyptians and Mesopotamians were not far behind. Africans even had plantation agriculture as early as 900 CE in Tanzania.
I doubt if Caucasians developed agriculture 11,000 YBP. Are we referring to Mesopotamia, the Levant or Egypt here?
Animal husbandry was also developed very early on in Africa. It may have been developed in the Western Sahara before anywhere else on Earth. A figure of 9,000 YBP is suggested for animal husbandry in the Sahara. However, pigs may have been domesticated in Papua around this time also. Animal husbandry was widespread in Africa, particularly in the Sahara, the Sahel and Ethiopia, on contact. I don’t know much about animal husbandry further south, but I have heard there was a shortage of animals to domesticate.
At any rate, the invention of the hoe and subsequent hoe agriculture along with the spear played a major role in the history of Africa. Both derived from the early development of metallurgy in the form or iron. Indeed, the Iron Age came to Africa before it came to Europe. The development of iron metallurgy and the subsequent creation of those two iron tools allowed the Bantus to expand massively all over Central and South Africa in only the last 2-3,000 years.
Africans definitely had civilizations, that’s for sure. Mostly in West Africa but quite a few in the Sahel too. There was even a civilization in Rhodesia. Early European explorers drew drawings of large African cities. Looks like civilization to me. Civilizations were especially common in Nigeria. They had manufacture, trade, agriculture for export, all sorts of things.

If Gaddafi Had Been President of the US

Our great commenter Francis Miville on why Ghaddafi should have been president of the US.
If America had Gaddafi as president, the country would be in a much, much better shape. First of all he would judge the whole Republican Party for crimes against humanity and condemn to death all its politician members for high treason. The non-politicians would be given the choice between a certain number of years of reeducation or loss of citizenship. There would be one party left, the Democrats, he would then purge of all pro-slavery elements in the same bloody way.
The national religion would be Islam, but in order to be considered a Muslim only two things would be necessary, praying in public twice a day (one at midday, another after work, no necessity of performing the full Muslim salat, just being silent and motionless for a few minutes) and giving both of one’s efforts and money to the poor : any expression of contempt for the poorer ones would be punishable by death, as well as any opinion as to prayer being a loss of time that should be dedicated to money-making. The other three pillars of Islam, as well as the three other prayers of the day, would be left to individual conscience alone.

Zionism, Anti-Zionism and the Monster of Dual Loyalty

Forced to choose between loyalty to the homeland and loyalty to the tribe, Jews have traditionally chosen treason. This is the poison pill of anti-Zionism, for it throws the Jews back into the Diaspora where they may revert back to their normal treacherous role. On the other hand, Zionism has not solved the problem of Jewish disloyalty and dual loyalty. In fact, it has worsened it by orders of magnitude. Whereas before Zionism Jews may have been mildly treasonous, afterwards Jewish treason went through the roof as Jews captured nation after nation throughout the West and turned one White country after another into a colony of Israel.
All things considered, I think Jews would be much less treasonous without a Jewish state.
So yes, the dismantling of Zionism would throw the Jews back into the Diaspora and bring back the boogeyman of Jewish dual loyalty. But Zionism has morphed the dual loyalty monster into a titan. All in all, I feel that Jewish dual loyalty would radically diminish if the Jews no longer had a state that they could use to drag generations of White Gentiles into fighting and dying for them in the endless Wars for the Jews we see playing out across the land, in Iraq, then in Libya, next in Yemen and now in Syria and soon to be Iran. Lebanon? Been there, done that. 323 Marines died in that War for the Jews.

The "Iranian Expansionism" Lie: How the US and UK Have Joined the Gulf Arab War against the Shia: The Cases of Iraq and Yemen

Iraq

Iraq is the latest flash point. This is not a case of Iranian expansionism either. Saddam somewhat repressed the Shia, although millions of Shia were Baath Party members, and most of the army were Shia.
When the US military rolled through the Shia cities of the South during the Gulf War, they expected a warm welcome. It was the other way around. A convoy would be driving down a street in Nasariyah with nary a problem in sight. They got halfway down the street when the whole street opened up on them with automatic weapons and RPG’s. Most of them were hiding on rooftops. These were Shia Baath Party people, Shia Iraqi military veterans and also a lot of Shia who were simply Iraqi nationalists who would rather live with Saddam than be conquered by foreign invaders.
Of course, our criminal, Nazi-like war of aggression against the Iraqi people resulted in the overthrow of Sunni rule. With democracy, obviously a Shia government was elected, as 60% of the population is Iraq is Shia. The US and Israel are now screaming that Iraq is a case of Iranian expansionism. The Hell it is. It’s a case of democracy! The Shia are the majority, so democratic elections of course elected a Shia government. Democracy in action. I guess the US and Israel are opposed to democracy now?
Of course the new Shia government has friendly ties with Iran. The Shia Alawi government of Syria also has close ties with Iran. The Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon has close ties with Iran. None of this is “Iranian expansionism” or “Iran conquering the Arab world.” Instead these are Shia populations in the Arab World who have formed a natural and normal confessional alliance with Shia Iran. Shia are going to ally with Shia. What do you expect them to do?

Yemen

In Yemen, the Shia are 45% of the country. This group is called Zaidis, and they are barely even Shia. They only differ from Yemeni Sunnism on one or two things. While most Zaidis call themselves Shia, some call themselves Sunnis, and others say that they are both Sunni and Shia. So the sect isn’t even pure Shia according to their own members.
A tribal group in the north called Houthis who are mostly Zaidi launched a very popular civil war from the north all the way to the south of the country, eventually overthrowing the government. The US- and Saudi-installed president, a man named Hadi, was airlifted out to Saudi Arabia where he continued to insist that he ran the country. Hadi was very unpopular, and frankly most Yemenis hated him.
The Houthi revolt had the support of the majority of Yemenis. The Yemeni Army was loyal to a former president named Saleh, who was also a Houthi Shia. Most of the Yemeni Army, 70-80%, went over to the side of the Houthis. So the vast majority of the army goes over the side of the armed revolution that overthrows the state, and the revolution is still not legitimate? Well, when is a revolution legitimate then?
The US went along with this folly and insisted that Hadi was still the real president of the country. Well, no he wasn’t. Ever heard of a revolution? When an armed revolution happens and overthrows the government, the new armed group is the new government. I would say they are even under international law. Revolutions have been a legitimate way to overthrow states forever now. Or do we now say that all revolutions are illegitimate? Would that apply to our own revolution then? That would have to be illegitimate too, right, because the US says that armed revolutions cannot install legitimate governments?
The remaining 25% of the Yemeni Army started fighting the Houthis, but they were close to defeat. Suddenly, the Saudis, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan all jumped into the war and attacked Yemen. They invaded Yemen, a sovereign country. That’s a Nazi like war of aggression, illegal under international law. Yet the US and UK gave full support to this invasion.
Since that time, the Saudis have been bombing all over the country. The Saudi and UAE militaries also invaded, but they did not get far. They set up a few garrisons, but they came under constant attack and suffered heavy casualties. The Saudi military is terrible and is not capable of fighting any war. The UAE military is about as bad. The US has been supplying intelligence and command and control facilities to the invaders from the beginning. At least 10,000 Yemenis are dead at the hands of the US and the UK in this sickening war. Whenever the Saudis start running low on bombs, we rush-deliver more bombs to them.
Al Qaeda has a large presence in Yemen, and they quickly waged war against the Houthis and Saleh’s army. The Gulf states have been funneling supplies to Yemeni Al Qaeda ever since the invasion, using them to help overthrow the Shia Houthis. When the war started, Saudi Arabia and the UAE flew 300-400 ISIS and Al Qaeda jihadis from Syria down to Yemen to fight against the Houthi. The UAE and the Saudis continue to run jihadis into Yemen, typically by ship. The Saudis have never launched one attack against the Al Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen, and the US has had a quite but not completely hands-off policy too, as the US and UK are using ISIS and Al Qaeda in Yemen to overthrow the Houthi.
The Houthi takeover had nothing to do with “Iranian expansionism.” That’s a paranoid lie of a fever dream. The Shia are 45% of Yemen. The Houthis have always been very popular in Yemen. In fact, the Shia Houthis ruled Yemen for centuries with no problems whatsoever. Even many Sunni Yemenis say they support the Houthi because they say that the Houthis know how to run the country. The Houthis have some friendly relations with Iran, but it boils down to little more than moral support. US and Israeli charges of the Iranians running weapons to the Houthis appear to be complete lies.

ISIS Attacks Iran, and the "Qatar Shunned by Gulf as Sponsor of Terrorism" Lie

Here.
This is part of ISIS’ endgame – unleashing total civil war in Iran with the goal of conquering the nation. This is one of the principal goals of the organization.
That’s pretty serious. Bottom line is blame the Gulf Arab states for this attack. This is what the Saudis, Bahrainis, UAE and Kuwaitis want. It’s all about “get Iran.” The pitiful and laughable Trump tour of Saudi Arabia recently where he gained the support of the Gulf in the war on terrorism is a joke! The US then signed a deal to sell the malign Saudis billions more in weaponry.
Oh and the deal was the the weaponry from US weapons manufacturers which was said to be made in the US was then shifted over to Saudi Arabia! So the weapons we are selling them won’t even create jobs in the US. Trump exported a huge amount of US jobs! Not a single word this pathological liar of a President says can be trusted.
Then Trump tweeted about how Qatar is failing in the war on terrorism and how the Gulf countries are cutting off ties with Qatar due to Qatar’s ties with terrorism. This is laughable! Yes Qatar has ties to terrorism, but so does Kuwait, Bahrain and especially UAE and Saudi Arabia, two of the worst. So the Gulf nations are forming a “common front against terrorism” against Qatar and the US is going along with this phony, lying charade. Pitiful! And not one US MSM outlet will ever tell you the truth about what is going on over there. Since none will, I will do that right now.
As I said, the other Gulf countries sponsor just as much terrorism as the Qataris. The reason for the “anti-terrorist: shunning of Qatar is because in recent days, Qatar has developed close ties with Iran. Now how this ties in with Qatar’s support of the Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda in Syria) and their war against the Shia, I have no idea.
 
Another problem is that Qatar is very friendly with the Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood. Yes this is a fundamentalist Islamic organization but it is a huge group with vast support across the Arab World. In the last Egyptian elections, the MB won 75% of the vote. That’s how popular they are in Egypt.
Hamas is actually the Palestinian branch of the MB, a fact that they try to keep on the down low because Palestinians are some of the most secular people in the Arab World and the MB has never been very popular there.
The MB has significant support in Jordan where they are seen as a threat to the dictatorship. Much of Parliament is made up of MB people.
The MB is frankly who is running the entire war in Syria against the Assad regime because the MB has always been the major opposition group in the land. The MB simply dissolved into countless jihadi groups which  have proliferated across the land during the civil war, including Al Nusra and ISIS, both of which have MB roots. The MB has also been a significant factor in the civil war in Iraq.
Saddam repressed them to some extent, but after the US conquered Iraq and turned it into a US colony, the MB was legalized and had quite a bit of support.
Al Qaeda itself was created by MB radical preachers exiled from Egypt and Syria who came to Saudi Arabia in the 1980’s on and mingled with the Wahhabis, who were largely quietist at that time. This toxic stew brewed for a long time under it cooked up a dish called Al Qaeda. In that sense, Al Qaeda definitely has MB roots.
Although they share the same beliefs, the MB is very heavily repressed in Saudi Arabia and UAE and I am not sure of its status in Bahrain and Kuwait. The MB is very popular in Saudi Arabia, and the problem is more that the Saudis see them as a threat to Wahhabi power of the Royal Family.  There is a similar problem in UAE.
On the other hand, Qatar has long been friendly to the MB. This is why Hamas for a long time had one of their major headquarters in Qatar. However, with the mess in Egypt with the MB winning elections followed by the military coup by General Sisi, the Gulf states have gotten a lot more worried about the MB.  Recently Hamas was forced to vacate their long held offices in Qatar due to pressure from the other Gulf states. However, Qatar continues to have friendly relations with the MB, so Qatar is now on the enemies’ list of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and Egypt because they fear and hate the MB.
The MB does have terrorism ties but not in a formal sense. The MB itself renounced armed struggle and is sworn to take power peacefully. However, it is constantly producing radicals who spin out of the organization and take up arms to join the jihadi groups. At that time, they are not formal members of the MB anymore. And former jihadis spin back into the MB on a regular basis. So the MB is not a terrorist organization so much as an incubator for jihadis and terrorists. Hence, the shunning of Qatar for its close relationship with “the terrorist MB” was another one of the laughable, fake and lying  reasons for the shunning. This was reported with a straight face by the “free press” in the US.
They’re lying to you. Every day. All day long. They’re lying to you. Get it in your heads. The US MSM is a formal propaganda system as effective or more so as the propaganda media systems in Communist countries.

Who Installed Samantha Power as US Ambassador to the UN?

From Wikipedia:

On June 5, 2013, U.S. president Barack Obama announced her nomination as the new United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Powers was supported by a highly variable group of people who represented a wide cross-section of our country. It’s a good thing she didn’t get put in by some (((pissant ethnic group that only makes up 2% of the country))), huh? That would be undemocratic!
As you can see below, her supporters ranged far and wide across (((Jewmerica)))’s vast ethnic, racial, and religious divides. Never has an ambassador had such wide support from such a heterodox melting pot of a rainbow coalition.
Wikipedia:

Power’s nomination was backed by Republican senators John McCain (neoconservative) and Lindsey Graham (neoconservative), former independent senator (((Joseph Lieberman – (I-Tel Aviv)))). Power also received support from U.S. diplomat (((Dennis Ross))), the (((national director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman))), (((Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren))), lawyer and commentator (((Alan Dershowitz))), the director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, the (((director of the Israel Project))), the (((Jewish Council for Public Affairs))), the (((President of the Rabbinical Assembly))), the (((Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center))), the (((National Jewish Democratic Council))), (((Rabbi Shmuley Boteach))), publisher (((Marty Peretz))), and military writer (((Max Boot))).

Wow! It’s a good thing she wasn’t put in by (((Jew know who))) or anything like that! That would be so unfair! I feel so much better now!
She is married to prominent law professor (((Cass Sunstein))), a neoconservative and fascist Democrat who believes we need to start imposing some serious constraints on those nasty things like civil liberties and freedom of speech and all that BS. Because I guess the freedom of speech and all that bull is bad for (((some people)))?
Mrs. Sunstein goes to great lengths to discuss how her son is (((Jewish))), except according to (((Jewish law))) he isn’t.
From (((The Forward))):

For Samantha Power, Support for (((Israel))) Is Deeply Personal — and Proven

by (((Nathan Guttman)))

(((Forward Magazine)))

During a White House meeting with (((Israeli officials))) in 2009, Samantha Power, like any other proud mother, pulled out a photo of her infant son. In speaking to the admiring crowd, she added a surprising detail: Her son, she said, is a descendant, from (((his father)))’s side, of the (((Vilna Gaon))), (((Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman Kremer))), the 18th-century (((Jewish sage))) who is considered the greatest (((Talmudic scholar))) of his time.
This impressive lineage — a product of Power’s marriage to prominent law professor (((Cass Sunstein))) — offers some insight into Power’s personal sense of connection to (((Jews))). But it is not the key to understanding her strong backing within the (((Jewish and pro-Israel communities))).
Power, who was recently chosen by President Obama to serve as the next ambassador to the United Nations, has made inroads to (((the community))), thanks to her hands-on work in support of (((Israel))) at the United Nations and at other international forums.
“Her starting point has always been, ‘How do we work together to overcome obstacles and to ensure that both the United States and (((Israel))) get out of these U.N. situations with the least damage?” said (((Dan Arbel))), who served as deputy chief of mission at the (((Israeli Embassy))) in Washington. (((Arbel))) described his work experience with Power as “very collegial, friendly and frank.”
Thanks to Power’s concrete track record, her confirmation hearing in the Senate is unlikely to involve confrontations over (((Israel)))…
(((Israeli counterparts))) have found in Power a close ally…
Power not only addressed the controversy, but also delved into the nitty-gritty details of (((Israel’s))) battles in the U.N., the International Criminal Court and the Human Rights Council. “She was involved in any brush fire at the United Nations,” said an administration official who worked closely with Power. “After [U.N. Ambassador] Susan Rice, she was the most influential person on U.N. issues.”
(((Israeli officials))) noted Power’s leadership role in getting the administration to pull out of the 2009 Durban II anti-racism conference because of its anti-(((Israel))) bias. They also applauded her work in defeating the P.A.’s 2011 drive to achieve recognition for Palestine as an independent state through the United Nations Security Council. Power’s strong profile on these two issues, said (((Jarrod Bernstein))), who served until recently as liaison to the (((Jewish community))) at the White House, shows “two instances in which she distinguished herself as being on the right side of (((the community))).”
Power also participated in discussions that sought to dissipate the difficulties that (((Israel))) faced as a result of the 2009 Goldstone Report, which alleged that (((Israel))) had committed war crimes during its military campaign in Gaza the previous year.
Power was instrumental, too, in protecting (((Israel))) following the widespread condemnation it faced in 2010 for its attack on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship that sought to deliver a shipment of humanitarian goods to Gaza in violation of the blockade that (((Israel))) had imposed on the territory. Before leaving her NSC post, Power, according to an official involved in those talks, worked on strategies for preventing (((Israel)))’s adversaries in this episode from pursuing their case at the International Criminal Court in Hague.
Power did mention, in passing conversations with (((Israelis))), that more could be done to advance the peace process, noting that it could “make our work easier” at the U.N., but even that, the official said, was “voiced in a gentle manner.”

Well that was thoughtful! I mean you should always  be gentle when criticizing (((certain groups of people))), you know what I mean?

For some on the hawkish end of the (((Jewish))) and (((pro-Israel community))), Power’s strong positions on the need for American intervention to prevent genocide have struck a chord. “The genocide issue touches on the core of the (((Jewish community))),” one of her supporters said. But it goes beyond issues relating directly to (((Israel))). Power is considered to be among those who persuaded Obama to intervene militarily in Libya.

Good job bitch! Way to “prevent genocide.” What’s her philosophy? Let’s prevent genocides by causing them?

And as U.N. ambassador she could be in a position to tilt the administration toward a similar move to stop the Syrian civil war.

When have we ever “tried to stop” that war? It’s us and our allies keeping the whole thing going from Day One. That’s like trying to stop a brush fire by pouring gasoline on it.
Concerned firefighter: “Whoa! Look at that guy over there pouring gasoline on that brushfire! Isn’t that dangerous and sort of like arson or something?”
Unworried fire captain: “Oh no! What do you mean? That firefighter’s named Uncle Samuel. He’s not feeding the fire. He’s trying to put it out!”
Concerned firefighter: “Whew! Dodged a bullet there. Good thing he’s trying to put the fire out. For a minute there I thought he was feeding the damn fire!”

Power has not spoken out publicly about Syria, but she will likely be asked about her views on the issue during the Senate confirmation hearing of her nomination.
Power has forged close ties with many in (((the community))), including (((Alan Dershowitz))), a former law professor of hers at Harvard who has frequently criticized Obama’s policy on (((Israel))); with leaders of the (((Simon Wiesenthal Center))), an organization focused on fighting anti-Semitism and racism; and with (((leaders of most major Jewish groups))).
An administration insider recalled that whenever there was a need to convey a message to the (((Jewish community))), the White House would divide the job of speaking to (((Jewish leaders))) among a select group of high-ranking officials.
Thanks to her good working ties with (((the community))), Power was frequently on the list “There’s a tremendous connection on the substance level,” (((Bernstein))) said.

Whew! I am so glad that some little ethnic group making up 2% of the population doesn’t throw their weight around! That would be so unfair! It’s not like (((they))) have way too much power in our country or anything like that! I can breathe easy now!

Gedalia Braun's Piece on Africans

Sam: A possible explanation for Black behavior.
“…common understanding among blacks of what morality is: not something internalized but something others enforce from the outside…”
https://whitelocust.wordpress.com/morality-and-abstract-thinking-how-africans-may-differ-from-westerners/
Tulio: Interesting article. But I’d like to examine multiple perspectives on this topic before I draw any conclusions. I’ve never been to Africa to observe her findings first hand, and given that the author writes for Amren, this individual has an obvious predisposition.
For example she speaks of cruelty and torture in Africa, but that has existed among whites as well. I’ve seen some of the torture devices used during Europe’s middle period. Even looking at them was unbearable. Even in this country witches were burned at the stake. Blacks were hung from trees on false accusations while whites stood around and cheered.
I don’t like her conclusion that blacks have some inherent flaw that makes them incapable of being moral or having any abstract thoughts. Google a list of African proverbs and they contradict everything she just said.

First of all, Gedalia Braun is a man, not a woman. No idea what that first name is all about.
I actually think he is onto something, especially as he lived in various African countries for many years. That was always one of my favorite articles on Amren. The odd thing about that article is that while is not real flattering towards Africans, the author doesn’t seem to hate Africans at all. In fact, it seems that he is rather fond of them despite it all.
I don’t think just writing for Amren should disqualify you as biased. One of the truly disturbing things about Amren that I learned from hanging out there a very long time is that so much of what those articles say is flat out true. That is hard to swallow. However, the site is dishonest and biased as it only reports the downside to Blacks and never says anything good about them, while I know some of you will be amazed, but there are actually quite a few good things you can say about US Blacks if you are looking to write good things about them.
The Black love of cruelty and sadism does seem to be a part of the race. Yes any culture can become extremely cruel and sadistic, even the “highest” races of all which can become downright genocidal under the right conditions of Organized Violence.  Not long ago, two of the “highest” races of all, the Germans and Japanese, engaged in some spectacular cruelty, sadism, out and out evil and even horrific genocide. And yes, European White did use to be quite sadistic and cruel as the torture devices indicate. However, under normal peacetime conditions, most European Whites in Europe and the West demonstrate remarkably little sadism and cruelty, while with Blacks, even US Blacks, it just seems to go on unabated.
I should note that cruelty and sadism are not Black traits. They are human traits! Humans are naturally cruel, sadistic and downright evil, at least at times. Most human societies and most humans have it in them to be sadistic and cruel. I was a pretty vicious little boy, but all my friends were too, so I just figure that boys are just naturally rather evil. But you grow out of it. I still have cruelty and sadism in me of course, but I try to keep it locked up in a cage inside of me and hope it never comes out. My argument is going to be that Blacks are more susceptible to the normal human tendencies than say Whites or Northeast Asians are, not that Blacks are evil and sadistic and White people are real nice. Screw that.
Some of those things may not be race-dependent. For instance, even if Blacks are bad at abstract thinking as a race, if you push their IQ up, their capacity for abstract thinking ought to grow quite a bit. African Americans appear to be dramatically more intelligent that Africans for whatever reason. One standard deviation is nothing to shake your finger at. Hence, even if US Blacks are have some inherent issue with abstract thinking, pushing that IQ up to one SD is going to make US Blacks a Hell of a lot more abstract than Africans.
I should also note that a number of the other downsides to Africans that he writes about – childlikeness, love of cruelty and sadism, needing morality imposed from the outside rather than from within
A lot of that has been said before. Albert Schweitzer wrote much the same things after working for years as a do-gooder in Africa. The fact that he was such a do-gooder makes his remarks particularly potent, as I do not see how a man with that much of a kind heart would deliberately make up a bunch of evil things about Blacks. In fact, if you study so called racist literature down through the years, you will find many of these things that Braun talks about repeated many times. Much early anthropological writings on Blacks are now called racist because they were pretty blunt about the race, whereas now the field is very PC.
For instance, the thing about Blacks being “childlike.” Childlike is not the same thing as childish. Childlike is not a bad thing really. I would love to be childlike in some ways and I hope I am, actually.
Early American writings including I think Thomas Jefferson noted the same thing: they also said that Blacks were childlike.
The morality thing sort of makes sense. In situations where brute force enforces morality, Blacks do pretty well. I heard they do pretty well under Communism. Supposedly you could walk from one end to the other of Maputo in the middle of the night and no one would bother you. Maputo is the capital of Mozambique.
That was under the Communist like government of Samora Machel, who is actually one of my heroes. Havana is the safest large city in the Americas and it is very Black. Blacks also do well under Islam. Reporters have gone to the parts of West Africa that are under Islam and they say that things are a lot smoother, less chaotic and far less crime ridden than in the non-Muslim countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia to the south.
I hear there are also many Blacks in Yemen, maybe up to 40%. They are light-skinned, but there is a lot of discrimination against them. Racially they look like Ethiopians, which is maybe what they are. They commit almost zero crime, even property crime.
Under both Islam and Communism, morality is for sure imposed from the outside in a pretty heavy handed way. It was similar in the typical African village or villages that was ruled by a king. I have heard that pre-1960, Nigeria was mostly a country of small rural villages. There was almost no crime in these villages.
Not only was law enforcement pretty brutal, there was also a heavy shame factor involved similar to what we see with the Northeast Asians, who do not want to commit crimes or even do bad things in general because it will bring shame unto their families. Amazingly rural Africa was able to operate under the same shame-based morality as the Northeast Asians, yet the NE Asians are usually thought to be a “higher” race than Africans. So it looks like some of those things that make these “higher” races higher can actually be imported and be used by the “lower” races, which seems counterintuitive but is also hopeful.
The notion that Black genes make societies inherently unstable is belied by the fact that North Africa (13% Black by genes) and the Gulf (17-21% Black by genes) are remarkable stable places under normal peacetime conditions.
Also Ancient Egypt was 13% Black by genes and it was one of the greatest countries in the history of the world. So Caucasians having a certain amount of Black genes is not the end of the world.

More Answers to the Citrus Questions

Sam writes:

Must be the Persian Lime, as the other main lime is said to be called just “lime” in the US.
A factoid. Navel Oranges come from a mutation of a single plant in Brazil. All the rest are cuttings.
I’m guessing since these are crossings that all citrus varieties come from cuttings.
Let’s hope they don’t start having fungus problems like bananas. I can’t remember the name, but I remember when I was young bananas tasted better. All of that breed were killed off by fungus. They didn’t seem to rot as fast either. Bananas rot super fast now. I think the present breed is succumbing to fungus also and will not be around too long.
If you ever want to read about breeding plants and crossing them, Luther Burbank is good to read about. He wasn’t an academic, so academic types hate him, but he was a great plant breeder. He has made a stupendous amount of edible useful plants.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Burbank
He’s got a lot of books at the internet archive. A couple.
https://archive.org/details/lutherburbankhis00willrich
https://archive.org/details/lutherburbankman00wick

Yes! Sam is correct! The other lime is indeed the Persian lime. Another part of the question asked where this Persian lime first appeared and when. Curiously, it did not first appear in Iran where one might expect to have shown up. Instead, the Persian Lime made its first appearance in…drum roll…Morocco! I am not sure when it first appeared, but it was in the recent past.
The other main citrus that appeared only in recent yeas is the grapefruit. It shows up first in the Caribbean around 1700! All of the others except the Persian lime go much further back than that.

The Lowdown on the Venezuelan Oil Industry, Pre-Chavez and Post-Chavez

William writes:

I had the impression that the Chavistas had nationalized the Oil industry; I.E. it was essentially a form of revenue for the government, run by the government, etc. Profits went towards social programs, etc. But that does not equate to “full socialism”…

Venezuela nationalized their oil industry long ago, in 1976. However, it was a patronage aspect of the state, and the workers and management of the state oil company grabbed most all of the oil money, leaving little else for anyone else or certainly for state projects.
The state oil company went on strike and shut down production all over the country in an earlier attempt to ruin the economy a few years into Chavez rule. This latest “make the economy scream” project was not the first – there were a few others before which all failed.
Chavez broke the strike by firing all of the striking management and any workers who supported the strike. A lot of the regular workers were kept on. He replaced fired workers with Chavistas, who were all quite qualified. Chavez then turned the state oil company, formerly a vehicle for nothing but patronage and corruption of an upper middle class light skinned elite, into a state oil company the purpose of which was to provide a vehicle for mass wealth redistribution down to the poorer classes via massive government spending projects.
So there’s your Venezuelan socialism: using the state oil company to mass distribute money down to the people in the form of government spending and social spending projects. But this is pretty much what Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya under Ghaddafi, Russia under Putin, Norway and oil producing countries have done though, so it is bizarre that we flipped out when Chavez did the same thing.
The Chavistas engaged in a lot talk about building socialism, but honestly as a socialist, they never got around to it.
Incidentally, the US-supported strikers caused major damage to the oil industry during this strike via mass sabotage. There was so much equipment destruction that it took years to get the oil industry back online. So another one of their ways to get rid of Chavez was to try to destroy the state oil company through mass sabotage of its equipment. Incidentally, the US government was massively in on the strike and the sabotage.
You can see that the opposition has tried every tactic they can think of, legal and illegal, to take down Chavez. The only difference now is that they seem to have finally succeeded in making the economy scream.
The oil industry management had gotten hugely wealthy off of what amounted to theft from the state oil industry, and after Chavez fired all of them, these formerly well do to people all lost their very lucrative jobs with nothing to replace them with. So this was one very pissed off group of people who are frankly furious that their huge unearned privileges in Venezuelan society had been revoked. Former state oil company employees are one of the major players in the Venezuelan Opposition.

The Development of Metallurgy in Africa

JM8 writes:

There were some in Africa that were equal to or more advanced than those in Eurasia — i.e. Nok and others like it. One might mention the Gajiganna Culture. Cultures on that general level were not rare at the time or in times fairly soon after in West Africa, but those were notably the oldest and most advanced (or among such) in their region at the time. There were also some that were less advanced and/or did not become so until much later. Of course these were not the most advanced cultures on earth…
…Tangentially speaking, not to belabor the point too much: there are especially important developments in Africa that are early and especially stand out by by global standards: for instance, the likely invention of iron metallurgy in West Africa the Igbo region ca. 2000 BC, 1,000 years before its only other independent discoveries in two other places — China and the Near East. Another is one of the few and oldest independent inventions of pottery other than that of Asia (both around the Mesolithic in either Southern Mali or Central Sudan and somewhere between N. E. Russia and China).

I was very interested in this subject at one time, and I did a lot of research into when metallurgy appeared in Africa and whether iron smelting was an independent development in Africa as so many insist.
I read ~90 pages out of a book on subject that was available for reading on the Internet. The author was a respected anthropologist. The claim was that metallurgy was independently developed in Africa in Nigeria before anyone else, and that Africans completely skipped the Copper and Bronze Age precursors and went straight to the Iron Age, a mighty feat if true. However, the conclusion that I reached after all that reading is that Africa did not independently develop metallurgy. In fact, metallurgy developed much earlier in Eurasia as the Copper and Bronze Ages, which appeared long before the Iron Age, the last stage of metallurgy.
So metallurgy itself was developed probably centuries if not millennia before its appearance in Africa with the smelting of copper and bronze, two earlier stages that never showed up in Africa until much later.
And the smelting of iron also does not appear to have developed independently in Africa. Instead it developed first in Anatolia. Anatolians were already familiar with the smelting of copper and bronze, and it appears that iron smelting was invented here some time in the 4th Century BCE.
It then slowly filtered over to Libya, a process that took centuries. The Libyans or pre-Carthaginians traded a lot down through the Sahel with Sub-Saharan Africans.
So iron smelting somehow made its way down the Sahel to Nok, Nigeria, where it appeared 2,900 BP or 900 BCE. It is this well-known Nok development of iron smelting that is the evidence used by misguided people (often Afrocentrists) to claim independent development of iron smelting in Sub-Saharan Africa before anyone else on Earth.
Other than the facts, there were some other suspicious things about this theory. First of all, the claim that Africans were so advanced that they skipped the Copper and Bronze Ages altogether and leaped right to the Iron Age seems suspicious. The normal trend in metallurgy was copper -> bronze -> iron. It went like this the world over. Why would Africans be so advanced that they leapfrogged over the rest of the planet and skipped the first two possibly necessary stages.
Also iron smelting did not appear with the Igbo as claimed above but instead was developed by the more North African/Sahel (and later Islamic) influenced Nok Culture in the far north of Nigeria in what is now the Hausa-speaking region part of Muslim Nigeria.
Nevertheless, I like the Nok Culture, and in my opinion it takes a fairly advanced culture to even borrow things from other cultures, and Nok was very advanced for its time 2,900 YBP.
I would also like to point out that most cultural innovations are actually borrowings. Few major cultural developments occurred independently.
The alphabet is a good example, and most of the world’s alphabets borrowed ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet, the first character set that went on to conquer the world. Even Indian scripts are borrowings from the Phoenician, as are the Arabic, Aramaic, and Persian scripts, etc. There is nothing wrong with borrowing a major cultural advance. Most cultures on Earth obtained most of their major cultural advances via borrowing as opposed to independent development.
Furthermore, it is important to note that after iron smelting occurred at Nok, it spread very quickly through Africa. It appeared in Tanzania not long afterwards, and it rapidly spread through much of the region. Furthermore, Africans made wide, almost stunning variety of innovations in iron smelting, and these innovations were indeed independent developments. Speed of cultural transmission and improvements/innovations in major cultural borrowings are also examples of advanced cultures.

Some Little-Known Truths about Arabs

Lin writes:

To Pranav:
…To me, (Sunni) Islam is basically an Arab/pan-Arab civilizational push, or it’s just a veneer over Arabized power. Let me recollect what I posted here before:
1) Arabic is said to be language of Paradise.
2) Arabs are said to be a superior race.
Superiority of the race of Arabs over non-Arabs
3) Though faggotry is condemned, large % of Arab/Muslims are closet fags as long as the closet is tightly shut and doesn’t embarrass the establishment.
4) The strictest sect of Islam, the Wahhabi Saudis, allied with the British and French kufirs during WW1 to topple the Ottoman Turk Caliphate, treason of the worst kind I must say, yet they consider themselves guardians of Islam. What a farce and shame.
I personally don’t think the Sunni Arabs have much of an economic future (Persians could be an exception that their Shiite Islam is more flexible, like they allowed sex change). I also foresee an Euro/Mediterranean Jihad One, after which the Middle East will be further fragmented…

Most of this is correct.
Sunni Islam is indeed an Arab or Pan-Arab civilizational project, and it is also a thin veneer over Arabized power. In addition, it is a vehicle for Arab supremacy.
1 is correct. They do speak Arabic in Paradise, and the only true Qurans are those written in Arabic, for God transmitted the Quran to Mohammad in Arabic. There are many translations of the Quran into all sorts of languages, but many Muslims consider them to be nearly illegitimate, as the only proper Quran is the one written in Arabic.
2 is also correct. If you go to Islamic sites on the web, you will see articles along the lines that Arabs are a superior to non-Arabs. No doubt all of these sites were written by Arabs, but nevertheless, Islam is a sort of an Arab Supremacist religion.
3 is true, but some Islamic countries tolerate it more than others.
4 is sadly true, and it is quite a blight on the Saudis’ claim to be the ultimate in hardline Islamists. Instead they seem traitors to the umma.

I personally don’t think the Sunni Arabs have much of an economic future (Persians could be an exception that their Shiite Islam is more flexible, like they allowed sex change).

I do not know what to say about this. The Sunni Arabs are definitely sitting on a lake of oil and gas that isn’t going away soon. Some of the Gulf countries have started to branch out away from an oil rentier economy. Dubai is now an international port city, one of the largest on Earth.
About the rest of the Sunni Arab states, I do not know what to say. Iraq, Syria, and Libya appear to be failed states right now, and Yemen is turning into one awful fast. There is some violence in Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon, but state structures appear to be largely intact. Palestine is a war zone and increasingly so is the Sinai.
Indeed the Shia do not appear to be going on jihad now or anytime soon. They do not believe in offensive jihad like the Sunnis do, and Shiism is quite a bit more progressive than Sunnism. Like Catholicism with its Pope, Shiism has its clergy. As the Pope and Vatican continue to update Catholicism to keep up with a changing world, the Ayatollahs and clergy in Lebanon and Iran do the same with Islam. The clergy in the latter two lands are surprisingly progressive, but those in Iraq, not so much. I know little about the Houthi Shia in Yemen.
The only people involved in the global jihad right now are radical Sunnis. The Shia, instead of being involved in this project, are victims of it, as global jihadists see the Shia as heretics to be killed on sight if not exterminated altogether. So the Shia, like the Arab Christians, are literally fighting for their lives against global jihad and are much more victimized by it than the Christian West is. Almost all terrorism in the world today is committed by Sunnis. In fact, the Shia are responsible for little terrorism outside of attacks on Israelis outside of Israel. There is some state terrorism being practiced by the Shia Iraqi state against Iraqi Sunnis.

I also foresee an Euro/Mediterranean Jihad One, after which the Middle East will be further fragmented…

I have no idea if this is going to occur, but it seems like it already is at a low to high variable level, right? Surely the Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptian, Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian parts of the Mediterranean are heating up, and a few are out and out jihad war zones right now. Turkey is increasingly starting to resemble the beginnings of a war zone. Terrorism in Europe is at a fairly low level, but the few attacks have been spectacular and there is a steady drumbeat of low level attacks happening in the background.
Comments along with your own predictions are welcomed.

Tolerance for Male Homosexuality in the Muslim World

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Gulf countries tolerate it well, and it is said to be epidemic in places like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. There is also quite of bit of it in Syria, Egypt and Morocco.
It is not tolerated at all in Iran, Iraq, or Shia Lebanon, as Shia Islam is much more condemning of male homosexuality than Sunni Islam.
It is not that Sunni Islam necessarily is more tolerant of male homosexuality but that there is more variation in the Sunni world.
Palestine is not tolerant of male homosexuality at all, as gay men are frequently killed there. They are also commonly killed in Iraq and Iran. Syria used to be relatively more tolerant, but the parts of Syria taken over Islamists are very intolerant of gay men to the point where they are murdering them.
I have no data on male homosexuality in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan or Sunni Lebanon.
I also know nothing about it in the Muslim Sahel, Horn of Africa and West Africa.
I know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Europe such as Bosnia and Albania, although I assume it is more tolerated there than elsewhere.
Turkey is a mixed bag, as there is said to be a lot of male homosexuality, but it is also officially not tolerated. Sort of a don’t ask, don’t tell thing.
I know nothing of male homosexuality in the Caucasus, Muslim Russia, the Stans, India and Xinjiang.
I do not know what it was like before, but a lot of gay men are being murdered now in Bangladesh. I think there have been 30-40 such murders in the past couple of years. Gay rights advocates rather than gay men in general have been targeted.
I also know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Thailand, Muslim Burma, Muslim Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Southern Philippines. Male homosexuality is pretty well tolerated in Thailand and the Philippines, but I am not sure how ok it is in the Muslim parts of those nations.
Admittedly I am not the best person to ask about the situation for male homosexuality and gay men in the Muslim World.
Any further information would be interesting.

“Problems” and “Solutions”

Discuss Severaid’s quote and my examples given below, agreeing, disagreeing or expanding on the notion.

The chief cause of problems is solutions

– Eric Sevareid

I think this guy is onto something.

Examples:

War on Terror – Solution was all out war on “terrorism” – really just disobedient Muslim states and some international guerrilla/terrorist groups.

The “solution” did not solve the problem at all, and in fact it made it much worse and introduced quite a few new problems.

The “solution” to the “Muslim terrorism problem” did nothing to alleviate the problem, and the problem only expanded massively, in the process destroying much of the secular Muslim world and replacing it with ultra-radical, armed and ultraviolent fundamentalists. Several new failed states were created out of functioning but authoritarian secular regimes.

A wild Sunni-Shia war took off with no end in sight. A new Saudi-Iran conflict expanded to include all of the Sunni world against Iran and some Shia groups.

The policy was incoherent – in places (Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Libya) secular nationalists were overthrown and replaced with radical fundamentalist regimes (Iraq, Palestine) or failed states teeming with armed fundamentalist actors (Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Mali). In other places, fundamentalist regimes were overthrown and secular nationalists were put in (Egypt).

We alternately attacked and supported radical groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. An awful Russia-Turkey conflict took off on the Middle east with the US and NATO siding with Al Qaeda and ISIS supporting Turks. The US attacked and armed fundamentalists to attack Shia Iranian, Hezbollah and Houthi armies waging all out war on Al Qaeda and ISIS. In Yemen we actively attacked the Shia who were fighting Al Qaeda while supporting Al Qaeda and fundamentalist Sunnis with intel and weaponry.

Some Kurds were called terrorists and support was given to those attacking them. Other Kurds were supported in their fight against ISIS. In actuality, all of these Kurd represented the same entity. There really is no difference between the PKK, the YPG and the rulers of the Kurdish region. Meanwhile, Kurds fighting for independence were supported in Iran and Syria and attacked in Turkey though they were all the same entity.

Billions of US dollars and thousands of US lives were wasted for essentially no reason with no results or actually a worsened situation. Russia, one of the most effective actors in the war against Al Qaeda and ISIS, was declared an enemy and attacks on them by our allies were cheered on.

A horrible refugee crisis was created in Europe.

Muslim populations in the West were substantially radicalized.

Instead of ending Islamic terrorism, Islamic terrorist, conventional and guerrilla attacks absolutely exploded in the Middle East and to a lesser extent in Europe, Canada, Australia and the US. It also exploded in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Thailand, the Philippines and of course Syria and Iraq. There was considerable fighting and terrorism in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Morocco and Jordan. The Palestinians ended up much better armed than before and the conflict exploded into all out war on a few occasions.

Terrorism and guerrilla war exploded in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Somalia and Kenya with some new attacks in Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Uganda. Somalia took a turn for the worse as a huge Al Qaeda force set up shop there and the country turned into the worst failed state ever with nothing even resembling a state left and the nation furthermore split off into three separate de facto nations.

The “solution” failed completely and simply ended up creating a whole new set of problems that were vastly worse than the original problem for the which the solution was directed.

Technology: Technology itself could be regarded as a lousy fix to many problems.

“Do We Really Want a ‘Pre-emptive’ World War with Russia? by F. William Engdahl

Engdahl is always superb. A must-read!

Do We Really Want a “Pre-emptive” World War with Russia?

By F. William Engdahl

Washington continues making an international fool of herself by her inability to effectively counter the impression around the world that Russia, spending less than 10% of the Pentagon annually on defense, has managed to do more against ISIS in Syria in six weeks than the mighty US Air Force bombing campaign has done in almost a year and half. One aspect that bears attention is the demonstration by the Russian military of new technologies that belie the widely-held Western notion that Russia is little more than a backward oil and raw material commodity exporter.

Recent reorganization of the Russian state military industrial complex as well as reorganization of the Soviet-era armed forces under Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s term are visible in the success so far of Russia’s ISIS and other terror strikes across Syria. Clearly Russian military capabilities have undergone a sea-change since the Soviet Cold War era.

In war there are never winners. Yet Russia has been in an unwanted war with Washington de facto since the George W. Bush Administration announced its lunatic plan to place what they euphemistically term “Ballistic Missile Defense” missiles and advanced radar in Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey after 2007.

Without going into detail, BMD technologies are the opposite of defensive. They instead make a pre-emptive war highly likely. Of course the radioactive ash heap in such an exchange would be first and foremost the EU countries foolish enough to invite US BMD to their soil.

Then came the highly provocative US-instigated coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, installing a cabal of gangsters, Neo-Nazis and criminals who launched a civil war against its own citizens in east Ukraine, an ill-conceived attempt to bring Russia into a ground war across her border.

It followed two UN Security Council vetoes by Russia and China of US proposals for No Fly zones over Syria as was done to destroy Qaddafi’s Libya. Now Russia has surprised the West by accepting the request of Syrian President Bashar al Assad to help eliminate the terrorism that has ravaged the once-peaceful country for over four years.

What the Russian General Staff has managed, since the precision air campaign began September 30, has stunned western defense planners with Russian technological feats not expected. Two specific technologies are worth looking at more closely: The Russian Sukoi SU-34 fighter-bomber and what is called the Bumblebee hyperbaric mortar weapon.

Sukhoi SU-34 ‘Fullback’ Fighter-bomber

The plane responsible for some of the most damaging strikes on ISIS and other terror enclaves in Syria is manufactured by the Russian state aircraft industry under the name Sukhoi SU-34. As the Russian news agency RIA Novosti described the aircraft,

“The Su-34 is meant to deliver a sufficiently large ordnance load to a predetermined area, hit the target accurately and take evasive action against pursuing enemy planes.”

The plane is also designed to deal with enemy fighters in aerial combat such as the US F-16. The SU-34 made a first test flight in 1990 as the collapse of the Soviet Union and the chaos of the Yeltsin years caused many delays. Finally in 2010 the plane was in full production.

According to a report in US Defense Industry Daily, among the SU-34 features are:

• 8 ton ordnance load which can accommodate precision-guided weapons, as well as R-73/AA-11 Archer and R-77/AA-12 ‘AMRAAMSKI’ missiles and an internal 30mm GSh-301 gun.

• Maximum speed of Mach 1.8 at altitude.

• 3,000 km range, extensible to “over 4,000 km” with the help of additional drop tanks. The SU-34 can also refuel in mid-air.

• It can fly in TERCOM (Terrain Contour Matching) mode for low-level flight, and has software to execute a number of difficult maneuvers.

• Leninets B004 phased array multimode X-band radar, which interleaves terrain-following radar and other modes.

New EW Technologies

Clearly the aircraft is impressive as it has demonstrated against terrorist centers in Syria. Now, however, beginning this month it will add a “game-changer” in the form of a new component. Speaking at the Dubai Air Show on November 12, Igor Nasenkov, the First Deputy General Director of the Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (KRET) announced that this month, that is in the next few days, SUKHOI SU-34 fighter-bombers will become electronic warfare aircraft as well.

Nasenkov explained that the new Khibiny aircraft electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems, installed on the wingtips, will give the SU-34 jets electronic warfare capabilities to launch effective electronic countermeasures against radar systems, anti-aircraft missile systems and airborne early warning and control aircraft.

KRET is a holding or group of some 95 Russian state electronic companies formed in 2009 under the giant Russian state military industry holding, Rostec.

Russia’s advances in what is euphemistically termed in military jargon, Electronic Counter Measures or ECM, is causing some sleepless nights for the US Pentagon top brass to be sure. In the battles in eastern pro-Russian Ukraine earlier this year, as well as in the Black Sea, and now in Syria, according to ranking US military sources, Russia deployed highly-effective ECM technologies like the Krasukha-4, to successfully jam hostile radar and aircraft.

Lt. General Ben Hodges, Commander of US Army Europe (USAREUR) describes Russian ECM capabilities used in Ukraine as “eye-watering,” suggesting some US and NATO officers are more than slightly disturbed by what they see. Ronald Pontius, deputy to Army Cyber Command’s chief, Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, told a conference in October that, “You can’t but come to the conclusion that we’re not making progress at the pace the threat demands.”

In short, Pentagon planners have been caught flat-footed for all the trillions of wasted US taxpayer dollars in recent years thrown at the military industry.

During the critical days of the March 2014 Crimean citizens’ referendum vote to appeal for status within Russia, New York Times reporters then in Crimea reported the presence of Russian electronic jamming systems, known as R-330Zh Zhitel, manufactured by Protek in Voronezh, Russia.

That state-of-the-art technology was believed to have been used to prevent the Ukrainian Army from invading Crimea before the referendum. Russian forces in Crimea, where Russia had a legal basing agreement with Kiev, reportedly were able to block all communication of Kiev military forces, preventing a Crimean bloodbath. Washington was stunned.

USS Donald Cook

Thereafter, in April, 2014, one month after the accession of Crimea into the Russian Federation, President Obama ordered the USS Donald Cook into the Black Sea waters just off Crimea, the home port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, to “reassure” EU states of US resolve. Donald Cook was no ordinary guided missile destroyer. It had been refitted to be one of four ships as part of Washington’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System aimed at Russia’s nuclear arsenal. USS Donald Cook boldly entered the Black Sea on April 8 heading to Russian territorial waters.

On April 12, just four days later, the US ship inexplicably left the area of the Crimean waters of the Black Sea for a port in NATO-member Romania. From there it left the Black Sea entirely. A report on April 30, 2014 in Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta Online titled, “What Frightened the American Destroyer,” stated that while the USS Donald Cook was near Crimean (Russian by that time) waters, a Russian Su-24 Frontal Aviation bomber conducted a flyby of the destroyer.

The Rossiyskaya Gazeta went on to write that the Russian SU-24 “did not have bombs or missiles onboard. One canister with the Khibin electronic warfare complex was suspended under the fuselage.” As it got close to the US destroyer, the Khibins turned off the USS Donald Cook’s “radar, combat control circuits, and data transmission system – in short, they turned off the entire Aegis just like we turn off a television by pressing the button on the control panel. After this, the Su-24 simulated a missile launch at the blind and deaf ship. Later, it happened once again, and again – a total of 12 times.”

While the US Army denied the incident as Russian propaganda, the fact is that USS Donald Cook never approached Russian Black Sea waters again. Nor did NATO ships that replaced it in the Black Sea. A report in 2015 by the US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office assessed that Russia, “does indeed possess a growing EW capability, and the political and military leadership understand the importance…

Their growing ability to blind or disrupt digital communications might help level the playing field when fighting against a superior conventional foe.” Now new Russian Khibini Electronic Counter Measure systems are being installed on the wingtips of Russia’s SUKHOI SU-34 fighter-bombers going after ISIS in Syria.

Killer Bumblebees

A second highly-advanced new Russian military technology that’s raising more than eyebrows in US Defense Secretary ‘Ash’ Carter’s Pentagon is Russia’s new Bumblebee which Russia’s military classifies as a flamethrower. In reality it is a highly advanced thermobaric weapon which launches a warhead that uses a combination of an explosive charge and highly combustible fuel. When the rocket reaches the target, the fuel is dispersed in a cloud that is then detonated by the explosive charge.

US Military experts recently asked by the US scientific and engineering magazine Popular Mechanics to evaluate the Bumblebee stated that, “the resulting explosion is devastating, radiating a shockwave and fireball up to six or seven meters in diameter.”

The US experts noted that the Bumblebee is “especially useful against troops in bunkers, trenches, and even armored vehicles, as the dispersing gas can enter small spaces and allow the fireball to expand inside. Thermobarics are particularly devastating to buildings — a thermobaric round entering a structure can literally blow up the building from within with overpressure.”

‘Status-6′

We don’t go into yet another new highly secret Russian military technology recently subject of a Russian TV report beyond a brief mention, as little is known. It is indicative of what is being developed as Russia prepares for the unthinkable from Washington. The “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” is a new Russian nuclear submarine weapons system designed to bypass NATO radars and any existing missile defense systems, while causing heavy damage to “important economic facilities” along the enemy’s coastal regions.

Reportedly the Status-6 will cause what the Russian military terms, “assured unacceptable damage” to an adversary force. They state that its detonation “in the area of the enemy coast” (say, New York or Boston or Washington?) would result in “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would ensure that the region would not be used for “military, economic, business or other activity for a long time.”

Status-6 reportedly is a massive torpedo, designated as a “self-propelled underwater vehicle.” It has a range of up to 10 thousand kilometers and can operate at a depth of up to 1,000 meters. At a November 10 meeting with the Russian military chiefs, Vladimir Putin stated that Russia would counter NATO’s US-led missile shield program through “new strike systems capable of penetrating any missile defenses.” Presumably he was referring to Status-6.

US Defense Secretary Carter declared on November 8 in a speech that Russia and China are challenging “American pre-eminence” and Washington’s so-called “stewardship of the world order.” Carter added that, “Most disturbing is Moscow’s nuclear saber-rattling,” which in his view, “raises questions about Russian leaders’ commitment to strategic stability, their respect for norms against the use of nuclear weapons…”

Not surprisingly, Carter did not mention Washington’s own very loud nuclear saber-rattling. In addition to advancing the US Ballistic Missile Defense array targeting Russia, Carter recently announced highly-advanced US nuclear weapons would be stationed at the Büchel Air Base in Germany as part of a joint NATO nuclear program, which involves non-nuclear NATO states in Europe hosting more than 200 US nuclear warheads.

Those NATO states across Europe, including Germany, have just become a potential Ground Zero in any possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia. Perhaps it’s time for some more sober minds to take responsibility in Washington for restoring a world at peace, minds not obsessed with such ridiculous ideas of “preeminence.”

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

US Endgame in Syria

US strategy in Syria is not to allow Islamists to come to power, but to use them to force a political settlement – one in which Assad steps down and relinquishes power to actors who are keen to turn Syria into a western puppet state.

Pretty much sums it all up right there. Why do we keep saying Assad must go? Because as long as he is in power, we cannot put in our US puppet state.

Why is NATO supporting crazed Islamists like ISIS and Al Qaeda?

They are simply a convenient tool to use to get rid of Assad. We don’t really want them to take power. We think we can use them to get rid of Assad and then abandon them once we put our puppet regime in.

Even if we cannot put our puppets in power, just getting rid of Assad should be enough. Getting rid of Assad without replacing him with anything of similar gravitas would result in a failed state similar to Iraq, Afghanistan and especially Libya. The West would love to turn Syria into another Libya. Gaddafi is gone and with him the powerful anti-Western secular nationalist leader who was a threat to Israel and limiting the profits of oil commits in addition to mounting a serious threat on the dollar’s role as world reserve currency.  Now there is effectively no state in Libya, which is better than a powerful anti-Western state. Libya is no threat to US oil and economic interests, nor is it a threat to Israel.

Mission accomplished.

Some of the end goals of removing Assad:

  • If a failed state results, a Syrian failed state is no longer a powerful chain in the Iranian influenced Shia crescent of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah.
  • One of the last remaining threats to Israel, a powerful Syrian state, is gone. The resulting chaos is of little threat to the Israelis. Israel fears strong state actors, not disparate terrorist groups, and Israel thinks they can deal with Al Qaeda and ISIS. At any rate, Israel would much prefer even ISIS or Al Qaeda in power in Syria than Assad.
  •  A US puppet may even make a sort of cold peace with Israel similar to what almost the entire Sunni Arab Wold has done. The only real opposition to Israel in the world now at state level is Syria, Iran and the pseudo-state called Hezbollah. When it comes to Israel, almost all of the remaining Sunnis states are now US allies and have made a sort of cold peace with Israel.
  • The gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey to Europe can now go forward, although actually this is much more likely under the puppet state scenario. Qatar and the West want this pipeline very badly because of the wealth it will bring to Qatar and Western interests and because it will offer Europeans an alternative to Europe’s dependence on Russia for gas supplies, a dependence that is very annoying to the West. Furthermore, Russia will lose a lot of business with the completion of the Qatar-Turkish pipeline. The pipeline is already in the works, but Assad said no to running the pipeline through his country. Some people think this is the major reason for the war right there. Keep in mind that most wars are ultimately about economics under capitalism and especially capitalism-imperialism.
  • Hezbollah would be set adrift and lose its major funder and supplier. As it is, Iran runs weapons and funds to Hezbollah via its ally Syria. Syria is the middle link in the Iran-Hezbollah supply chain. A major enemy of Israel and the West is left without supplies or weapons.
  • The Shia crescent of Iran – Iraq – Syria – Hezbollah now has a huge gaping hole in it.
  • Removal of Assad is a huge blow to Iran because the resulting government, either Islamist or US puppets, will be Sunnis who dislike both Iran and Hezbollah. Iran would lose a huge ally and and a major source of influence in the Arab World.
  • Turkey removers a major thorn in its side. Turkey would like a puppet Sunni Islamist state in Syria ultimately.
  • A US puppet would crack down on the Kurds in eastern Syria.
  • A US puppet would open up Syria’s oil, gas and other resources to Western exploitation

“France’s Response to Paris Attacks Encourages ISIS’s Caliphate Fantasy,” by Eric Walberg

Eric is a personal friend of mine and he published this on Academia.edu so that usually means anyone can grab it as long as you credit them. Lately, Eric writes for the Iranian media, presumably for money. I believe Kieth Preston is also writing for the Iranians these days.

I am putting this up mostly to provoke discussion.

France’s Response to Paris Attacks Encourages ISIS’s Caliphate Fantasy

Eric Walberg

France’s emotional response to the recent tragedy, devoid of reason and ignoring history, just makes matters worse.

 

The death toll in the November 13 attacks in Paris stands at 127. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sent a message to his French counterpart Francois Hollande condemning the attacks. “In the name of the Iranian nation, itself a victim of the evil scourge of terrorism, I strongly condemn these inhumane crimes and condole with the bereaved French nation and government.”

In contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his weekly Cabinet meeting by calling on world leaders to condemn terror against … Israel. He began by addressing the killing of two Israelis, ignoring the 81 Palestinians who have died in protests this month. “The time has come for the nations of the world to condemn terrorism against us as much as they condemn terrorism anywhere else in the world.” He pledged Israeli intelligence assistance to France, adding “An attack on any of us needs to be seen as an attack on all of us.”

Translate: France’s tragedy is a wake-up call for solidarity with … Israel.

France’s Colonial Legacy

Until 2012, France was spared serious terrorist attacks, but its enduring colonial mentality continues to stoke anger. Most evident recently was the official defense of anti-Muslim hate literature published by the magazine Charlie Hebdo. Rather than persecuting the Islamophobes, which would have prevented blowback by enraged Muslims, the French insistence on freedom led to an attack in January on the Paris offices of the magazine, killing 12 people and wounding 11 others.

Worse yet, the new Socialist President Hollande pushed ahead with a return to outright colonial invasion, with air strikes and arms to Syrian rebels in opposition to both the Syrian government and ISIS supporters. This confused policy only makes sense if the intent is to dismantle the Syrian state and refashion a Syrian puppet government, harking back to France’s invasion of Syria-Lebanon following WWI in collusion with Britain, when they destroyed the Ottoman state and set up puppet regimes across the Middle East.

France was slow to adjust to post-WWII decolonization, and stubbornly maintained its military presence not only in Vietnam but in the Middle East. Along with Britain, now both humiliated bankrupt powers, it was in no position to enforce its will, and it handed over its colonial possessions to the US either directly or via the new world order institutions. Plus, of course, intrigue where a glimmer of independence appeared, as in Iran in 1953 or Egypt 1956.

Worst of all was the horror France inflicted for more than a century in Algeria. Algeria had to suffer a long, brutal war of liberation in which a million Algerians died before France finally left in 1962. French meddling in Algeria since has only compounded the animosity, especially the support given the military coup in 1992 in which 200,000 Algerians died.

France’s current return to openly colonial policies, first in Afghanistan, then Libya, Mali and now Syria, are guaranteed to have dire consequences. To its credit, France did not support the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, but there are now 3,200 French troops there.

France and US Support the Terrorists

France and the US have played a dangerous and foolish hand in their great games of asserting world power, at times using jihadists (1980s in Afghanistan) and at other times attacking them (1990s+ in Afghanistan), sometimes both at the same time (2011+ in Syria).

“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar,” John McCain told CNN in January 2014. Is McCain not aware that two of the most successful factions fighting Syrian President Assad’s forces are Islamist extremist groups Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, and that their success is due to the support they have received from Qatar and Saudi Arabia? A senior Qatari official told The Atlantic journalist Steve Clemons that “he can identify al-Nusra commanders by the blocks they control in various Syrian cities. But ISIS is another matter. As one senior Qatari official stated, ‘ISIS has been a Saudi project.’”

France doesn’t have a wild card like McCain, but, like the US, supports Islamic fundamentalists in Syria and elsewhere through its ties with the Saudi and Qatari regimes and its actions in Syria. Even after it became obvious to everyone that the regime change project in Syria has led to an expansion of terrorism, Hollande was still pursuing it.

But then this hypocrisy goes for all the western nations, in the first place Canada, which has been bombing Syrian rebels and, at the same time, just signed a $14.8b arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The largest arms exports contract in Canadian history will be remembered as going to one of the worst human rights violators in the world and a funder of ISIS-related groups in Syria and Iraq.

In fact, Canada’s record on bombing Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, on restricting burqas and promoting ‘free speech’ defaming Islam, mirrors France, and led to a shooting last year that penetrated the parliament buildings in Ottawa and had Prime Minister Harper cowering in his closet.

Harper’s answer, when he had stopped shaking, was the same as Hollande’s: he insisted that “Canada will not be intimidated” by acts of violence and remained committed to Canada’s efforts “to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations … who bring their savagery to our shores.” He did admit that “we’re all aware and deeply troubled that both attacks were carried out by Canadian citizens, by young men born and raised in this peaceful country,” but, like Hollande today, failed to draw the logical conclusion.

Powder Keg

France has the largest Muslim population in Europe at 4m. Despite its claims of “liberty, equality and brotherhood”, it is considered the most racist country in Europe. French-Algerian communities still live on impoverished housing estates, go to bad schools, and have few opportunities for social advancement.

Discrimination in everything from jobs to housing is routine. There are few French-Algerians in politics, the law, the media or any other profession, though the prisons are full. Hollande refuses to reverse measures like the burqa ban and has highlighted his opposition to halal meat and praying in the street because of a lack of mosques.

Populist rightwing politicians like Nicolas Sarkozy and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen routinely portray alienated migrant communities as France’s enemy within. Le Pen garnered 20% of the popular vote in the first round of May’s presidential elections.

In their communique, the perpetrators of the recent attacks listed France’s crimes as leading a “new crusade” in Syria, as well as defending Charlie Hebdo magazine, and just because of general French decadence and racism. They claimed their targets were well chose ― a football match between ‘crusaders’ France and Germany attended by Hollande, and the Bataclan exhibition where “hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice” (the California group Eagles of Death Metal).

“This is for Syria,” were the last words of one of the Paris attackers. But he could have said it was for Mali, or Libya, or Iraq. France is very proactive against Islamists worldwide, especially in the face of what is frequently seen as British and American retreat. Over 10,000 French troops are currently deployed abroad. In addition to Iraq, there are over 5,000 troops in western and central Africa. Last week Hollande announced that France will deploy an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf to assist the fight against ISIS.

As with Osama Bin Laden’s strategy of promoting dramatic terrorist attacks in the West to provoke a crackdown and to radicalize Muslims, the strategy behind the current attacks is to generate a French crackdown to encourage Muslims to follow ISIS’s caliphate fantasy. It has worked all too well so far, and Hollande’s vow to be “ruthless” in his response leads him and France in the wrong direction.

In his address on recent events, Iran’s Leader Imam Khameini acknowledged that “there are voices of criticism in the West about its colonial past. But they only criticize the distant past. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems?”

Originally published here.

Friday the Thirteenth in Paris

Here.

Superb article by Chris Floyd,  one of my favorite writers. He pins the blame for all of these jihadist monsters on the US.

I do not think that is 100% true, but the fact is that the US always whatever rightwingers are  around – be they fascists (Operation Gladio and many rightwing dictatorships the world over, mostly in Southeast Asia –  the Philippines and Indonesia, Latin America – Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, Africa – Kenya, South Africa, Rhodesia, Zaire, Kenya, Morocco or Europe – Turkey, Portugal, Spain and Greece) Nazis (Operation Condor, Ukraine).

All you have to do to get US support is be a rightwing government and this holds true under both Republican and Democratic Administrations. The radical fundamentalist and often sectarian Islamists absolutely hated secularism, socialism and Communism, so they were and are great tools for us to use when we attacked secular, nationalist, socialist or Communist governments anywhere on Earth.

We started this crap with the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, where we used Islamists to help in the coup. In 1965, we used Islamists among others to help Indonesia kill 1 million Communists in a very short period of time. We really picked up the pace with Brezhinski’s brilliant idea under Carter to use radical Al Qaeda types to overthrow the Communist government in Afghanistan. The Afghan jihad virtually created the international jihad, and Al Qaeda and the rest of the global jihad types. There are allegations, not quite proven, that the US helped to arm, fund and train the Chechen radical Islamists against Russia. We used Islamists against Libya and now Syria. We are currently arming Islamists against Iran.

Bottom line is we helped to create this whole mess. Not through pure design, sure, but these global jihad monsters were the logical outcome of US policies which continue to this very day in Syria and Yemen where we are supporting radical Sunni Wahhabi Islamists sectarians including Al Qaeda against the populist Houthi rebellion and the majority of the Yemeni Army who has gone over to them. We recently backed radical Sunni Islamists in Lebanon to attack Hezbollah.

Global jihad is our baby. It’s our Frankenstein. We made it, and now we have to deal with the consequences.

Facts about the “Free Syrian Army”

The name Free Syrian Army or FSA is often tossed about as a group of moderates or seculars the US should support in trying to overthrow Assad. There are claims that the FSA has up to 50,000 fighters. This cannot possibly be the case, but they may have as many as 20,000. Only 10% of the Syrian rebels consist of the FSA. The other 90% are Islamist jihadis of all types. 90% of the weapons that the US gives to the FSA actually end up with the real jihadis, usually Al-Nusra, the Al Qaeda faction in Syria. So most US weaponry given to Syrian rebels ends up with Al Qaeda.

The FSA is viciously sectarian, and even the most secular and moderate group of them all refers to Alawites by the pejorative term “Nusairis.”

When the FSA took over the city of Homs, one of the first things that they did was to evict all of the city’s 50,000 Christians. Whenever any rebel group, FSA or jihadi, takes over a town, they destroy or burn down any churches in town. The FSA, along with Al-Nusra, took part in a savage massacre of Christians in which ~50 Christians, including women and children, where slaughtered in vicious ways. The Syrian Christians very much dislike the FSA and say they are radical Muslims who persecute Christians.

There have been many massacres in this war. What happens is that some armed force enters a town, rounds up all the civilians and kills them or goes door to door and kills them. They are often killed in terrible ways and also mutilated. After the massacre occurs, the rebels, often the FSA, announce that Assad’s forces committed the massacre. However, it is mostly Alawites, Christians and Syrians who support the regime who are being slaughtered in these massacres. There is no reason for the Assad regime to kill anyone in those three categories, as those are its supporters.

Reports afterwards are often conflicting, but investigators have learned that all or nearly all of these village massacres were done by the rebels and few if any were done by the Syrian Arab Army or SAA. The FSA, either alone or with Al-Nusra, was the guilty party in most of these horrific massacres.

There is a striking similarity to these massacres which bear an uncanny resemblance to the ways that the GIA takfiri jihadis in Algeria were slaughtering villagers in the Algerian Civil War of the 1990’s.

Assad is still being charged by the Western press with committing a lot of these massacres when he probably committed none of them. The reason that Assad probably did not do even one of these massacres is not because Assad is a nice guy. He’s clearly not. But when the regime violates human rights, they don’t go into villages and slaughter all of the civilians.

Instead they drop barrel bombs on cities, carry out drive by assassinations, or arrest people and then beat or torture them to death, often in military prisons. That’s the way they do it.

There is no way that the FSA is anywhere near as secular as Assad. If any rebel coalition took power, Syria could become a much less secular place.

Many FSA members, after being trained and armed by the US, left the FSA and joined Al-Nusra, ISIS or one of the other jihadi groups. Furthermore, many of the jihadi groups are constantly rebranding themselves as “FSA” in order to get legitimacy. The FSA doesn’t even really exist. There is no overall command structure. Instead the FSA is simply a number of fighting groups who happen to call themselves FSA. If you call yourself FSA, then you are FSA. It is more of a brand like Al Qaeda than a coherent organization. What is “FSA” today probably will not be “FSA” tomorrow.

The FSA has been fighting alongside jihadis like Nusra from day one. In fact, most FSA groups are now part of factions that are led by Al-Nusra. So most of the FSA fights alongside Al Qaeda or is part of an Al Qaeda led coalition.

In addition, quite a few FSA factions appear to be jihadi wolves themselves who have donned sheep’s clothing in order to appear moderate and mostly to get US weapons.

The Syria’s Civil War subreddit is one of the best sites out there to keep you up to date on everything that is happening in this war. There are many FSA supporters on there. Their behavior is most interesting. Anytime any jihadi group, including Nusra or ISIS, makes any progress against the SAA, all of the FSA supporters cheer like wild.

Yes that is right, all of the FSA supporters on that subreddit cheer for ISIS and Al Qaeda.

The FSA itself is full of jihadis and at any rate often fights alongside Al Qaeda or other jihadis. Most FSA factions are presently under the command of Al Qaeda.

For those reasons, I simply cannot support the FSA. The FSA just looks like Al Qaeda or radical Islam to me.

As you can see, the moderate rebels in this fight are quite rare if they even exist at all.

Salafi Jihadism: Part 1

Original here. This essay is very well-done, the best I have ever read on the subject.

This is the first of a two-part post on Salafi jihadism. Part 1 is intended to provide a definition of jihad, a look at the history of Salafism/Wahhabism, their similarities and differences and how they spread in the end of the 20th century.

Also before anyone thinks I’m targeting Salafis for an agenda, I intend to cover jihadism in each segment of Islam. I simply chose to begin with Salafi jihadism due to its greater relevance and attention in the world today.

Definition of Jihad: The Arabic word Jihad is derived from the verb Jahada – meaning to strive or struggle. In Islamic terminology it means to make an effort, to endeavor and to strive for a noble cause. The word is generally used to describe any type of striving in the cause of Allah (God). According to Islamic teachings there are three main types of Jihad as explained below:

i) Jihad-e-Akbar, i.e jihad of the highest order. This is the jihad (struggle) for self-reformation. The struggle is against our own temptations such as greed, lust and other worldly temptations. This type of jihad is obligatory on every Muslim throughout his life.

ii) Jihad-e-Kabir, i.e major jihad. This is the jihad of propagation of the truth, the message of Qur’an. The Qur’an also instructs us to spread this message with wisdom, tolerance and respect to others and their beliefs and prohibits the use of any coercion or force. According to the Qur’an anyone who devotes his time, effort, wealth or knowledge to the cause of righteousness is practicing Jihad-e-Kabir. This is also obligatory on all Muslims.

iii) Jihad-e-Asghar, i.e jihad of the lower order. This is the jihad of a defensive battle. The Qur’an has clearly restricted this type of jihad to certain conditions while forbidding transgression of any sort. The conflict must of a defensive nature for the Muslim community, Muslims must have been prevented from freely practicing their religion and beliefs, and they must have been driven from their homes.

Another requirement for the declaration of this type of jihad is the existence of an Islamic State and a Muslim leader to declare it; without this condition, Muslims are allowed to defend themselves in case of being attacked or persecuted but not to declare and prosecute an official jihad. Once a jihad has been declared, the Muslim army is bound by a set of regulations to observe while on campaign, some of which are listed here.[1][2]

It is critical to understand that the aim of jihad is not the conversion of non-Muslim populations. Most scholars agree upon the concept of jihad being a defensive measure; some modern Islamic revivalists such as Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam argued for the use of jihad as an offensive measure but for the expansion of Muslim territory and Islamic ideals rather than the religious conversion of the local peoples, forced or otherwise, to Islam. As a result, jihad is similar to the Christian concept of a crusade but differs in this critical matter among others. However, jihad is a hotly debated topic in jurisprudence, and a look at the opinions of various scholars can be found here.[3]

History of Salafism/Wahhabism: Salafism is a conservative, orthodox movement within Sunni Islam that seeks to return the practice of Islam to its fundamentals. As such, it emphasizes emulation of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Salaf as Saliheen (Pious Predecessors) which comprise the first three generations of Muslims (Companions, Successors and Successors of the Successors), and it rejects any rituals or beliefs not practiced by them; as a result, they are against any innovations, or bidah.

In legal jurisprudence, Salafis are divided among those that remain faithful to the four Sunni maddhabs (schools of law) and those that reject them in favour of ijtihad (independent legal judgement).

In terms of politics, Salafis are generally divided into three categories.

The largest category consists of the quietists, those who believe in remaining indifferent to politics and repression in favour of being closer to God.

The next largest category is the activists, that comprises those who participate in politics to advocate for Islamist agendas and religious legislation.

The smallest category by far is the jihadists, which are the most well known category worldwide but are a tiny minority.

The central tenets of Salafism have existed since the earlier days of Islam, with scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah referring to and emphasizing adherence to the model of the Salaf. However, Salafism did not spread widely until the 18th century when Muhammad Abdul Wahhab started preaching in the Najd area of Arabia. Abdul Wahhab believed that the practices of the society around him, including venerating the tombs of the Companions, or making invocations to holy men, were similar to the practices during the pre-Islamic Jahiliya (Age of Ignorance).

Thus, he wished to return to a more puritan and conservative form of Islam free of any supposed innovations or bidah and similar to how he believed Islam was practiced in its earliest days. He also believed that those who professed themselves to be Muslim but participated in bidah were beyond the pale of Islam. He began preaching in the town of Unayna, but his actions and ideals were unpopular with the nobility of the era, with Abdul Wahhab being expelled from his town due to pressure applied by a powerful chief, Sulaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Ghurayr.

However, he managed to find refuge with the ruler of the town of Diriyah, Muhammad ibn Saud. In 1744, they formed a pact whereby ibn Saud would protect and propagate the doctrines espoused by Abdul Wahhab by military action, while the latter would religiously legitimize the former’s military conquests and allow the imposition of Islamic taxation, which would net the Al Sauds more income than at the current rates.

Hence began a period of conquest over multiple generations that expanded the Al Sauds’ holdings to much of Arabia, created the First Saudi State and the propagation of Abdul Wahhab’s teachings, pejoratively termed Wahhabism by its critics, outside of Najd. This is also where Abdul Wahhab broke with traditional Salafist thinking; unlike traditional Salafists, Abdul Wahhab was willing to use force and coercion to spread his teachings and was willing to participate in politics and political agreements to achieve that goal.

Scholars are disputed over the degree of brutality sanctioned by Abdul Wahhab, but it is clear that in successive generations, the Wahhabis have become more and more radical, ultimately adopting ibn Taymiyyah’s ideas of takfir (excommunication); this allowed them to brand Muslims living in violation of Islamic law to be non-Muslims and thus justified their fighting against other Muslims. They also adopted a ‘convert or die’ approach to their enemies.

This increasing ruthlessness was the cause of the Al Saud’s downfall. In 1802, the Wahhabis attacked Karbala, slaughtering much of the population and desecrating the shrine of Imam Hussain, and launched a similar assault on Taif in 1803, slaughtering the male population and enslaving women and children.

Ultimately, the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Arabia at the time, had enough and dispatched an army in 1818 that destroyed the First Saudi State, killing the Al Saud ruler, razing Diriyah and doing their best to stamp out both the House of Saud and the Wahhabi movement. However, the remoteness of the Najd prevented either from happening, and a Second Saudi State resulted in that region; consequently, by the end of the 19th century, most of the townspeople in the area were Wahhabis.

Many of the new members were former Bedouins who abandoned nomadic life for settlements on the insistence of Wahhabi religious scholars who declared that a nomadic lifestyle was incompatible with Islam. The newly settled Bedouins served well as soldiers for the Wahhabi religious leaders.

Although alive, Wahhabism remained mostly confined to the Najd till the end of the First World War. During the war, the reigning head of the Al Saud family, Abdulaziz ibn Saud, aided the Allies by revolting against the Ottomans. Although his campaign to rule Arabia had begun in 1901, he was unable to assert his authority over Hijaz until 1923, when the British removed their support for the Sharifs of Makkah.

In 1927, Abdulaziz signed a treaty with the British, who recognized his independence from the former Ottoman territories in exchange for letting go of Transjordan, Iraq, Kuwait and other British protectorates. However, Abdulaziz faced an internal rebellion among his troops. During his campaigns, he made use of the Ikhwan, a militia of radical Wahhabi Bedouin warriors. When he signed the treaty with the British, the Ikhwan refused to obey and raided Transjordan.

Unwilling to risk British ire, Abdulaziz fought the Ikhwan and defeated them in 1929 with British support. The survivors of the Ikhwan were then organized in various militias which would later form the core of the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Although defeated, the Ikhwan left their mark on Arabian society by uprooting the old cultural norms and supplanting them with radical Wahhabi ideology as part of their campaign on behalf of the Al Sauds.

In addition, Wahhabi ideology spread to the cities of Makkah and Madinah and gained control of the religious apparatus in the land. Although the Wahhabi religious establishment was given much latitude with respect to religious observance and teaching, in many cases Abdulaziz overruled the ulema, allowing the driving of automobiles and the attendance of Shia pilgrims at the annual Hajj. In addition, most of Abdulaziz’s consolidation of power and dealings with Western powers kept him at odds with the ulema.

Although Salafism/Wahhabism inspired offshoots such as the Ahl-e-Hadith and Deoband movements in South Asia, the reach of these two ideologies was quite low during most of the 20th century. Even within Saudi Arabia, the implementation of Islamic law was relatively relaxed compared to today.

This changed in 1979, when two things happened. First the Iranian Revolution occurred, toppling the Shah there and sending shockwaves through the monarchies in the region. Second, the Grand Mosque in Makkah was taken over by Islamic extremists who called for the stricter implementation of Islamic doctrines and the fall of the Al Saud family.

In the aftermath of these events, the Saudi government became stricter in religious matters. Due to the huge increase in oil income since the 1973 oil crisis, the government had lavished funding on religious literature, scholarships and hundreds of new Islamic schools, universities and mosques. In order to counter any threat of an Iranian-style revolution by the Shia population of the country and to satisfy disgruntled conservative clerics, this funding was further increased.

The beginning of the Afghan War provided an opportunity to export troublesome clerics to Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries. This achieved two aims; first, it allowed the Sauds to embed a Wahhabi religious establishment of their choice, and secondly, the export of Wahhabi ideology served as a bulwark against the revolutionary doctrines that Iran was beginning to propagate in the Middle East. Since the Afghan War attracted volunteers from all over the Muslim world, almost all of whom spent time in the Saudi-sponsored religious schools, the spread of Salafism was assured.[4]

Due to the financial support that Salafism/Wahhabism enjoys from the Gulf, it has received attention and commands influence disproportionate to its size. There are roughly 50 million Salafists in the world, a tiny fraction of the total Muslim population.[5] Yet, Salafi scholars such as Zakir Naik from India are some of the most recognizable in the Muslim world, having instant name recognition even amongst many non-Salafis.

The Salafi movement is described as the fastest growing Islamic movement in the world, according to a report by the BND, the German domestic intelligence service.[6] This is especially true for regions such as Europe and North America, which have no native Islamic traditions of their own and thus are more susceptible to supplanting than historically Muslim areas.

Although Salafis have historically been peaceful and apolitical, believing in using persuasion rather than force, modern Salafism is often considered indistinguishable from Wahhabism and in many cases, conflict has arisen when Salafis have tried to propagate their doctrines. For instance in Pakistan, there is much animosity between followers of the Deoband movement, inspired by Salafism, and the Barelvi movement, inspired by the Sufi traditions of the subcontinent.

Moreover, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, more and more Salafists are becoming part of the activist category, joining politics to propagate their beliefs. One example of such a movement is the Nour Party in Egypt, which gained a quarter of the seats in the 2011-12 elections.

In normal circumstances, one might consider the engagement of conservative Islamists in democratic politics to be a positive sign; however, the failure of the Arab Spring to bring meaningful change to the lives of people in most of the affected countries has disillusioned many democratic Salafis, many of whom have shifted to the jihadist category of Salafism, thinking military action to be the last feasible route.[7]

Sources:

1 http://islamicfaq.org/jihad/

2 http://www.islamhelpline.net/node/441

3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihad#Current_usage

4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salafi_movement#cite_note-123

6 http://www.aina.org/news/20120416150547.htm

7 http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21656189-islams-most-conservative-adherents-are-finding-politics-hard-it-beats

Slavery in the Muslim World: The Tradition Is Not Yet Dead

From here.

Bottom line is, yes, slavery has been present in the Islamic World from Day One. In fact, one can make a case that slavery was an inherent and even emblematic aspect of Islam since its inception. It only left the Muslim World due to pressure from the West when the West emancipated its own slaves in the late 1800’s. Officially, most of the Muslim World dumped theirs. Yet the practice continued. Saudi Arabia only outlawed slavery in 1962. An advertisement for a castrated Black slave for sale recently appeared in a Saudi publication. Mauritania only outlawed slavery a few years ago, and the ban is hardly enforced.

As societies collapsed, the peculiar institution experienced a recrudescence. Libyan ports now export many slaves destined for Europe. Syrian teenage girls in Jordanian refugee camps are trafficked to brothels in Amman and sold to visiting Gulf men for $140-175 for a “temporary marriage.” In Northern Nigeria, even before Boko Haram kidnapped scores of teenage Christian girls, Muslim men had been importing concubine slave girls from the north to serve as “fifth wives.” The abuse and rape of female domestics in the Gulf who are little more than slaves of their owners has been documented for years.

Worst of all is the migrant labor scam that the Gulf states have been running for decades involving workers from South Asia, especially Pakistan and India,  and Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. For all intents and purposes, work which is tied to contracts with the employer is little more than slavery, let’s face it. Gulf employers of these men have referred to them as slaves. They are housed in the most miserable conditions in a very wealthy country and worked to exhaustion and sometimes to death in ferocious heat with little protection or rest. A number of deaths have occurred to poor working conditions. Some poor countries to the east have forbidden their workers from going to the Gulf to work. There has been a bit of a crackdown, but it was mostly fake. Kuwait gave its “slaves” rights recently, but the Emir has not yet signed the bill. Qatar is worried about its reputation as the Olympics are coming soon, but its response instead of cleaning up its act has been to cover the whole mess up and beat up and detain the protesters. Any progress elsewhere in the Gulf has been frozen in recent years. Instead we get the predictable fake backlash whereby the Gulf states say that critics of their Slave System are “Islamophobes.”

The progress for serious progressive change for alleviating remaining vestiges of slavery in the Arab World seem dim at the moment as the region undergoes a retrenchment, a backlash and a hardening of reaction.

The link between Islam and slavery goes back from the start, so ISIS is not doing anything new. The fact that the formal Muslim states of the world continue to refuse to clean up their mess is most discouraging, but it too may be blamed on tradition.

“Spoils of war,” snaps Dabiq, the English-language journal of Islamic State (IS). The reference is to thousands of Yazidi women the group forced into sex slavery after taking their mountain, Sinjar, in August last year. Far from being a perversion, it claims that forced concubinage is a religious practice sanctified by the Koran.

In a chapter called Women, the Koran sanctions the marriage of up to four wives, or “those that your right hands possess”. Literalists, like those behind the Dabiq article, have interpreted these words as meaning “captured in battle”.

Its purported female author, Umm Sumayyah, celebrated the revival of Islam’s slave-markets and even proffered the hope that Michelle Obama, the wife of America’s president, might soon be sold there. “I and those with me at home prostrated to Allah in gratitude on the day the first slave-girl entered our home,” she wrote. Sympathizers have done the same, most notably the allied Nigerian militant group, Boko Haram, which last year kidnapped an entire girls’ school in Chibok.

Religious preachers have responded with a chorus of protests. “The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus,” declared an open letter sent by 140 Muslim scholars to IS’s “caliph”, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, earlier this year. “You have taken women as concubines and thus revived…corruption and lewdness on the earth.”

But while IS’s embrace of outright slavery has been singled out for censure, religious and political leaders have been more circumspect about other “slave-like” conditions prevalent across the region. IS’s targeting of an entire sect for kidnapping, killing and sex trafficking, and its bragging, are exceptional; forced labor for sexual and other forms of exploitation is not.

From Morocco, where thousands of children work as petites bonnes, or maids, to the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan where girls are forced into prostitution, to the unsanctioned rape and abuse of domestics in the Gulf, aid workers say servitude is rife.

Scholars are sharply divided over how much cultural mores are to blame. Apologists say that, in a concession to the age, the Prophet Muhammad tolerated slavery, but—according to a prominent American theologian trained in Salafi seminaries, Yasir Qadhi—he did so grudgingly and advocated abolition.

Repeatedly in the Koran the Prophet calls for the manumission of slaves and release of captives, seeking to alleviate the slave systems run by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Jewish Himyarite kings of Yemen. He freed one slave, a chief’s daughter, by marrying her, and chose Bilal, another slave he had freed, to recite the first call to prayer after his conquest of Mecca. His message was liberation from worldly oppression, says Mr Qadhi  – enslavement to God, not man.

Other scholars insist, however, that IS’s treatment of Yazidis adheres to Islamic tradition. “They are in full compliance with Koranic understanding in its early stages,” says Professor Ehud Toledano, a leading authority on Islamic slavery at Tel Aviv University. Moreover, “what the Prophet has permitted, Muslims cannot forbid.”

The Prophet’s calls to release slaves only spurred a search for fresh stock as the new empire spread, driven by commerce, from sub-Saharan Africa to the Persian Gulf.

To quash a black revolt in the salt mines of southern Iraq, the Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad conscripted Turkish slaves into their army. Within a few generations these formed a power base, and from 1250 to 1517 an entire slave caste, the Mamluks (Arabic for “chattel”), ruled Egypt.

A path to power

Their successors, the Ottoman Turks, perfected the system. After conquering south-eastern Europe in the late 14th century, they imposed the devshirme, or tribute, enslaving the children of the rural poor, on the basis that they were more pagan than Christian, and therefore not subject to the protections Islam gave to People of the Book. Far from resisting this, many parents were happy to deliver their offspring into the white slave elite that ran the empire.

Under this system, enslaved boys climbed the ranks of the army and civil service. Girls entered the harem as concubines to bear sultans. All anticipated, and often earned, power and wealth. Unlike the feudal system of Christian Europe, this one was meritocratic and generated a diverse gene pool. Mehmet II, perhaps the greatest of the Ottoman sultans, who ruled in the 15th century, had the fair skin of his mother, a slave girl from the empire’s north-western reaches.

All this ended because of abolition in the West. After severing the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 19th century, Western abolitionists turned on the Islamic world’s, and within decades had brought down a system that had administered not just the Ottoman empire but the Sherifian empire of Morocco, the Sultanate of Oman with its colonies on the Swahili-speaking coast and West Africa’s Sokoto Caliphate.

With Western encouragement, Serb and Greek rebels sloughed off devshirme. Fearful of French ambitions, the mufti of Tunis wooed the British by closing his slave-markets in 1846. A few years later, the sultan in Istanbul followed suit.

Some tried to resist, including Morocco’s sultan and the cotton merchants of Egypt, who had imported African slaves to make up the shortages left by the ravages of America’s civil war. But colonial pressure proved unstoppable. Under Britain’s consul-general, Evelyn Baring, Earl of Cromer, Egypt’s legislative assembly dutifully abolished slavery at the end of the 19th century. The Ottoman register for 1906 still lists 194 eunuchs and 500 women in the imperial harem, but two years later they were gone.

For almost a century the Middle East, on paper at least, was free of slaves. “Human beings are born free, and no one has the right to enslave, humiliate, oppress or exploit them,” proclaimed the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990. Early jihadist groups followed the trend, characterizing themselves as liberation movements and, as such, rejecting slavery.

But though slavery per se may be condemned, observers point to the persistence of servitude. The Global Slavery Index (GSI), whose estimates are computed by an Australian NGO working with Hull University, claims that of 14 states with over 1% of the population enslaved, more than half are Muslim. Prime offenders range from the region’s poorest state, Mauritania, to its richest per head, Qatar.

The criteria and data used by GSI have been criticized, but evidence supports the thrust of its findings. Many Arab states took far longer to criminalize slavery than to ban it. Mauritania, the world’s leading enslaver, did not do so until 2007. Where bans exist, they are rarely enforced. The year after Qatar abolished slavery in 1952, the emir took his slaves to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Government inspections and prosecutions are rarities. “The security chiefs, the judges and the lawyers all belong to the class that historically owned slaves,” says Sarah Mathewson of London-based Anti-Slavery International. “They are part of the problem.”

No labor practice has drawn more international criticism than the kafala system, which ties migrant workers to their employers. This is not slavery as IS imposes it; migrants come voluntarily, drawn by the huge wealth gap between their own countries and the Gulf. But the system “facilitates slavery”, says Nicholas McGeehan, who reports for Human Rights Watch on conditions in the desert camps where most such workers live.

The Gulf’s 2.4m domestic servants are even more vulnerable. Most do not enjoy the least protection under labor laws. Housed and, in some cases, locked in under their employer’s roof, they are prey to sexual exploitation.

Irons and red-hot bars

Again, these workers have come voluntarily; but disquieting echoes persist. Many Gulf nationals can be heard referring to their domestics as malikat (slaves). Since several Asian governments have suspended or banned their female nationals from domestic work in the Gulf out of concern for their welfare, recruitment agencies are turning to parts of Africa, such as Uganda, which once exported female slaves. Some domestic servants are abused with irons and red-hot bars: resonant, says Mr McGeehan, of slave-branding in the past.

Elsewhere in the region, the collapse of law and order provides further cover for a comeback of old practices. Syrian refugee camps in Jordan provide a supply of girls for both the capital’s brothels and for Gulf men trawling websites, which offer short-term marriages for brokerage fees of $140-270 each. Trafficking has soared in Libya’s Mediterranean ports, which under the Ottomans exported sub-Saharan labor to Europe. Long before Boko Haram kidnapped girls, Anti-Slavery International had warned that Nigerian businessmen were buying “fifth wives”—concubines alongside the four wives permitted by Islam—from neighboring Niger.

Gulf states insist they are dealing with the problem. In June Kuwait’s parliament granted domestic servants labor rights, the first Gulf state to do so. It is also the only Gulf state to have opened a refuge for female migrants. Qatar, fearful that reported abuses might upset its hosting of the World Cup in 2022, has promised to improve migrant housing.

And earlier this year Mauritania’s government ordered preachers at Friday prayers to publicize a fatwa by the country’s leading clerics declaring: “Slavery has no legal foundation in sharia law.” Observers fear, though, that this is window-dressing. And Kuwait’s emir has yet to ratify the new labour-rights law.

Rather than stop the abuse, Gulf officials prefer to round on their critics, accusing them of Islamophobia just as their forebears did. Oman and Saudi Arabia have long been closed to Western human-rights groups investigating the treatment of migrants. Now the UAE and Qatar, under pressure after a wave of fatalities among workers building venues for the 2022 World Cup, are keeping them out, too.

Internal protests are even riskier. Over the past two years hundreds of migrant laborers building Abu Dhabi’s Guggenheim and Louvre Museums have been detained, roughed up and deported, says Human Rights Watch, after strikes over unpaid wages. Aminetou Mint Moctar, a rare Mauritanian Arab on the board of SOS Esclaves, a local association campaigning for the rights of haratin, or descendants of black slaves, has received death threats.

Is it too much to hope that the Islamic clerics denouncing slavery might also condemn other instances of forced and abusive labor? Activists and Gulf migrants are doubtful. Even migrants’ own embassies can be strangely mute, not wanting criticism to curb the vital flow of remittances. When Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, visited the UAE this week, his nationals there complained that migrant rights were last on his list. Western governments generally have other priorities. One is simply to defeat IS, whose extreme revival of slavery owes at least something to the region’s persistent and pervasive tolerance of servitude.