Zamfir: I’m surprised you have a strong preference for Democrats over Republicans. To me it seems like a hopeless choice. If you vote Republican you’re voting for one set of evil elite interests, but not explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage; if you vote Republican you’re voting for another set of evil elite interests, and explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage.
Hard to pick between those two! What is the real advantage in voting Democrat in your opinion? (I guess I’d vote for Bernie, but then again I’d vote for Trump for similar reasons… Not that I expect either one would ever do much on anything I care about.)
His foreign policy is literally insane. He’s an ultra-rightwinger. Venezuela. Syria. Iraq. Nicaragua.
Trump resigned form the UN Human Rights Committee.
Trump jacked up the military budget to the extreme.
((Trump))) hates all the enemies of Israel. (((Trump))) ought to just move to Tel Aviv already. (((Trump)))’s the most pro-Jewish and pro-Israel President we ever had. (((Trump))) has caused serious harm to the Palestinians, and he has uprooted decades of somewhat sane policies in the Holy Land in order to back Israel to the hilt. The reason Israel has been acting so bad lately, cracking down on domestic dissidents, massacring Palestinians demonstrating at the border, is because Trump gave them the green light to do so.
Trump loosened the the ROE in Syria and Iraq and civilian casualties increased by 10 times. Trump’s deliberately murdering civilians by the tens of thousands.
Just the other day, Trump bombed Iraqi forces on the border of Syria, killing many of them. Trump loosened the ROE in Mosul, and he killed 40,000 civilians as a result.
Trump openly states that he wants to steal other countries’ oil.
Trump supports ISIS. The Pentagon is protecting ISIS right now. We train ISIS fighters at a base in Abu Kamal. Every time Syrian troops try to attack ISIS, we bomb them! Trump claims he’s fighting ISIS? LOL! Trump is supporting ISIS. We are allowing ISIS to have a large swath of territory in Syria that covers some oil fields. We have bases over there and we refuse to attack ISIS. Sometimes ISIS patrols even drive right by our forces.
Obviously US forces have been embedded with these groups, including ISIS, for some time now. We coordinate attacks against the Syrian military with ISIS. When Syria attacks ISIS, Trump’s military (the air force of ISIS) rushes in and bombs the Syrian army in support of ISIS! Trump tricked a group of Russian, tribal and Christian militias into thinking an oil field was going to be handed over to them.
When these forces went to occupy the oil field, Trump lied and said they were attacking our allies. Our allies the SDF were nowhere in sight. We had told them to leave the oil field. As soon as this group reached the oil field, we started bombing them. At the same time and apparently coordinated, ISIS attacked these forces. This is where this madman Pompeo chortles about killing hundreds of Russians. Yeah. They murdered those Russians in cold blood along with a lot of anti-ISIS militiamen, including many Christians.
ISIS killed a few Russian officers, including generals, with very precise targeting. They also targeted the Russian embassy with very precisely. They could not have done these things on their own. The only reason they were able to kill those Russian officers and attack the embassy is because we had Special Forces helping ISIS carry out those attacks.
We are using the Kurdish YPG and SDF to occupy a large portion of Syria, including most of its oil. So we are helping the Kurds steal Syria’s oil. We are trying to ruin the Syrian economy by starving it of oil funds.
But when the Turkish military attacked Afrin as part of an invasion of Syria to conquer Syrian land and annex it to Turkey, the US supported them to the hilt. Many brave Kurdish fighters were killed by these invaders. The Turkish military was accompanied by militias they called the Free Syrian Army, but all they were were radical Islamists. Many were ISIS and Al Qaeda who just changed their uniforms to fight alongside the Turks.
The Turks have been supporting ISIS to the hilt for a long time now, and we have not lifted one finger to stop them. At the same time we are helping Kurds steal Syrian land, we are helping Turkey slaughter Kurds in Afrin in Syria and supporting their genocidal war against the Turkish people.
Most of the funding for ISIS and Al Qaeda comes from Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Qatar quite openly supports Al Qaeda. ISIS was a project of Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia from Day One. When the Saudis and UAE invaded Yemen, they airlifted thousands of ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters from Syria to go fight alongside the Gulf invaders.
The Houthis fired a missile at a ship full of ISIS and Al Qaeda militiamen and blew up the ship. Trump lied and said it was a civilian ship and accused the Houthis of endangering shipping in the area. Our ships then fired on the Houthi area that shot at the ship.
When Trump attacked Al Qaeda in a botched mission in Yemen, our military came under very heavy fire. Trump responded by leveling the small village we were attacking and killing almost everyone in it, including women and children. Our forces also deliberately blew up houses that had nothing but women and kids in them. But America was freaking out about one dead Special Forces fighter, who probably deserved it if you ask me.
We are occupying land in Syria which we stole and will never leave. We support Turkey conquering part of Syria and annexing it! Trump has been involved in one fake false flag after another in Syria. Trump has been told that these are false flags, and he bombs Syria anyway. His administration is directly involved in the planning and carrying out of these false flags with the monstrous British and the horrific French.
Trump has an extreme alliance with the Saudis, which has resulted in supporting their awful invasion of Yemen. Trump’s also been assisting the Saudis in funneling guns and weapons to the Al Qaeda type Islamists in Syria as part of an alliance with Saudi Arabia. Qatar, UAE, Jordan, Turkey, the US, Israel, the UK, and France have all been supporting the radical Islamists in Syria, including Al Qaeda and even ISIS. All of those countries had intelligence and military advisors directly embedded in those groups, in particular in Al Qaeda. An Al Qaeda commander told us this in an interview with a German journalist.
Trump has helped the Saudis and UAE literally invade Yemen, where they have been conducting a genocidal campaign against the Yemeni people. Trump sold a huge amount of weapons to the Saudis. Trump attacked Qatar and helped the Saudis to isolate them. Trump accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, which is true, but so are our allies Saudi Arabia, UAE and more broadly Jordan, Turkey, France, the UK and even our own government. Trump did this because Qatar had opened up friendly relations with Iran, which caused Saudi Arabia to almost declare war on Qatar. We attacked Qatar because Trump hates Iran.
All of this is to screw Iran. He dismantled the Iran deal and put sanctions back on them.
The Saudis, Qataris, Jordanians, Emiratis and Turks all work very closely with Al Qaeda and other Sunni Islamists in Syria. In an Operations Center in Jordan on the border with Syria, all these factions work together. In addition, (((US and UK forces))) have been working closely with Al Qaeda and other rebels for a long time now.
In fact, I have solid proof that all of the above governments have military intelligence personnel actually embedded in Al Qaeda in Northern Syria. That’s right, the CIA, MI5 and Mossad all have personnel actually embedded inside Al Qaeda itself in Northern Syria. This information comes from an interview a German journalist conducted with an Al Qaeda commander in North Syria in his cave.
The (((world media))) eventually went to war against this actual journalist, trying to discredit him, but his news is absolutely correct. There were reports that dozens of (((NATO intelligence agents))) were stuck inside Aleppo at the very end. That’s why the (((US))) went crazy with the wild lying at the very end of the battle. (((We))) were deadly afraid that our CIA guys were going to get captured by Assad’s forces in the fall of the city. Pro-Assad news outlets actually published the names of ~20 (((NATO officers))) who were trapped inside Aleppo with Al Qaeda. About a dozen of them were US (((CIA and MIA))).
The Saudis have been very closely allied to the Jews forever now. This is one reason why the royal regime is so hated. Any real democracy in Saudi Arabia would end this stupid alliance once and for all. The Saudis talk a tough game when it comes to the Jews, but at the day when they lie down to sleep at night, there’s Queen Esther in bed with ever prince.
The Saudis are traitors to Islam and mostly to Arabism. It’s just sickening the way they lie down with the Israeli dogs. Now wonder they are covered with fleas when you wake up. Lie down with Israeli dogs, wake up with fleas.
In Syria, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE and Turkish intelligence have been working closely with Mossad agents. In fact, these Muslim intelligence operatives are embedded directly inside Al Qaeda where they work directly with the Mossad, CIA and MI5, all of which have agents embedded directly inside Al Qaeda forces in North Syria.
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?
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.
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.
As the agency which enforces US foreign policy at gunpoint, the Pentagon has always blown.
First of all, there is no such thing as the Defense Department. When has the Pentagon ever defended the country? Pearl Harbor? They did a fine job there, huh?
Obviously the task of the Pentagon is not to defend the US mainland, which is all it ever ought to do anyway.
Its task is to running around the world starting wars and killing people in other countries. Leaving aside whether that is sometimes a good idea (and I think it is,) what’s so defensive about that?
The real name of the Pentagon is the War Department.That’s what it was always called until World War 2, which the War Department won. After that in a spate of Orwellian frenzy, we named an army of aggression an army of self-defense and comically renamed its branch the Defense Department.
It’s like calling cops peace officers. You see anything peaceful about what a cop does in a typical day? Neither do I?
There was a brief glimmer of hope there in WW2 when we finally starting killing fascists and rightwingers instead of sleeping with them, but the ink was barely dry on the agreements before we were setting up the Gladio fascists, overthrowing Greek elections and slaughtering Greek peasants like ants.
Meanwhile it was scarcely a year after 1945 when the US once again started a torrid love affair with fascism and rightwing dictators like we have always done. We were smooching it up right quick with Europe’s fascists, in this case the former Nazis of Germany (who became the West German elite), Greek killer colonels, Mussolini’s heirs, actual Nazis in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Jew-Nazis in Palestine, Franco (who we never stopped sleeping with anyway), Salazar, the malign Mr. Churchill, the true repulsive Dutch royalty and disgusting European colonists the world over, who we showered with guns and bombs to massacre the colonized.
In 1945, a war against fascism, reaction, Nazism and malign colonialism had ended, and for some reason America had fought against these things instead of supporting them as usual.
1946, and we were back in old style again, hiring Nazis by the busload for the CIA, overthrowing democratic governments and putting in genocidal dictatorships, becoming butt buddies with fascist swine everywhere.
So you see we have always pretty much sucked. World War 1 was fought amidst one of the most dishonest propaganda campaigns the world had ever seen, the Korean War was a Godawful mess where we turned North Korea to flaming rubble with the population cowering in caves while slaughtering 3 million North Koreans.
The horrific catastrophe called the Indochinese Wars, such as the Vietnam War, the Secret War in Laos and the Cambodian Massacre, where we genocided 500,000 Cambodians with bombs, driving the whole place crazy and creating the Khmer Rogue.
Panama and Grenada were pitiful jokes, malign, raw, naked imperialism at its worst.
The Gulf War was a brief return to sanity but turkey shoots are sickening.
Of course that followed on with the most evil war in US history, the Nazi-like war on aggression called The War on the Iraqi People (usually called the Iraq War), the Afghan rabbit hole which started out sensibly enough but turned into another Vietnam style Great Big Mess.
I suppose it is ok that we are killing Al Qaeda guys and I give a shout out to our boys over there fighting ISIS or the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South-Central Asia, Somalia and Yemen. Some people need killing.
But I sure don’t feel that way about their superiors, the US officers who fund and direct ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. out of an Operations Center in Jordan with Jordanian, Israeli (!), Saudi, UAE, and Qatari officers.
And it was very thoughtful of the Pentagon to cover up the Ukrainian Air Force shootdown of the jetliner which we saw on the radar of our ships in Black Sea.
And it was nice of the US to relay the flight path of the Russian jet to the Turks 24 hours in advance so they could shoot down that Russian jet and kill that pilot.
One hand giveth and the other taketh away. For every good thing we do in Syria and Iraq, we do 10 or 20 bad things. Pretty much the story of the Pentagon.
Sure if you fought in WW2 or one of the few other decent wars, you have something to be proud of, and I can even say, “Thank you for your service,” but the main thing is that you signed up for the rightwing army of the rich that is dead set against the people and popular rule everywhere on Earth. Sure, it’s a great army, professional, super-competent and deadly, but it’s generally tasked with doing lousy things. Why anyone would sign up for that reactionary nightmare of an institution is beyond me. America needs to level the Pentagon and put in a true People’s Army instead. Like that would ever happen.
…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.
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.
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.
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.
This is an excellent article that lays out what I had always expected, that what everyone believes, that the Syrian Civil War started when “Assad” opened fire on peaceful protests, is a great big fat lie.
Here is what really happened:
In February, a true peaceful reform movement began in Syria. This movement had begun as early as 2005 and involved secular protesters opposing corruption and the Baath Party’s monopoly on power (Wikstrom 2011; Otrakji 2012). This was a legitimate movement.
These protests continued for some time, possibly a month, with little drama. The protesters made some early demands, and Assad quickly tried to appease them by making a number of the changes that they had asked for. But by the time he had made the changes, the protests had been hijacked by Islamists who were not appeased by the changes and insisted that the regime must go (al-Khalidi 2011).
Only one month went by before some teenagers were arrested in Deraa by local authorities for writing the North African-influenced graffiti, “The people want to overthrow the regime.” They were reportedly abused by the local Deraa police. Assad intervened, the governor was fired and the teenagers were released.
There were reports early on that either these or some other teenagers had been tortured to death by “Assad.” Obviously these boys were not tortured to death. There is a confirmed report of one teenage boy who was indeed tortured to death which was widely blamed on “Assad,” but he was later found to have been killed by the armed opposition.
On March 17-18, violence broke out at protests in Deraa. The Western media says that peaceful protests in Deraa were attacked by government snipers on rooftops who started shooting the peaceful protesters. This is the line that everyone knows about. However, it is completely untrue.
What really happened is laid out below. There were protests in Deraa on these days along with large pro-government protests – the presence of large pro-government protests is another lie that is spread by omission by the Western press – the media says that all early protests were anti-government, however, even from the very start, the large anti-government protests were almost inevitably met by equally large pro-government protests.
Actually, the police at these rallies in Deraa were armed with only riot gear. Army forces were present, but they were not at the rally itself, instead they were on the outskirts of town. At some point during the rally, all Hell broke loose. Unknown snipers began firing from the Al-Omari Mosque. It is important to note that these mysterious snipers opened fire on both protesters and police.
Yes, a number of protesters were indeed killed and injured at these rallies, but quite a few police were also killed an wounded by these very same snipers. It is absolutely not possible that “Assad” would have mysterious snipers open fire on both protesters and police, killing both.
Why would “Assad” open fire on his own police, killing and wounding them? It is senseless. There is an interview with a Syrian police officer who was at that rally on Youtube in which he states that the police had only riot gear and that snipers shot both police and demonstrators. He states the numb er of killed and wounded among the police.
It was later determined after police raided the al-Omari Mosque that the snipers were Muslim Brotherhood people firing from the roof of the mosque with weapons that had been smuggled in from Saudi Arabia.
In fact, shipments of these arms had been seized at the Iraq-Syrian border by border guards earlier. They had been bought in Baghdad and were on their way to Muslim Brotherhood people in Syria (Reuters 2011). The weapons were paid for by Saudi Arabia. It was these weapons shipments that were later used in the shootings at the demonstrations.
You notice that snipers opened fire on both police and protesters. This exact same thing happened in Ukraine when Maidan people paid snipers to come from Lithuania and open fire on both the Berkut police and the demonstrators.
As soon as the shooting started, other violence ensued. The same day that the mysterious snipers opened fire from the al-Omari Mosque, Baath Party Headquarters and the local police station were burned down (YaLibnan 2011, Queenan 2011). Medical teams came to the site to help injured protesters and police but were fired on by by the MB snipers. Members of an ambulance team and a doctor were killed.
Even several days after these attacks, Assad was trying to calm things down. Assad issued an order that live ammunition should not be used even if security forces themselves were coming under attack.
Funerals for demonstrators followed the killings in Deraa. At every one of these funerals, mysterious snipers opened fire on both police and demonstrators (Maktabi 2011). Once again, why would “Assad” kill and wound his own police officers?
Early reports mostly from the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera stated that it was snipers working for the government who fired on the crowds (Al Jazeera 2011b). However, these reports made no sense, as Syrian police would never shoot at their own people, and anyway, they were only armed with riot gear. The Western press soon picked up on the line that it was “Assad” who was shooting at the protesters and police.
Saudi government officials later confirmed that the Saudi government has sent arms to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and that Saudi arms had been used by shooters at the al-Omari Mosque (Truth Syria 2012).
Only a week later, the “peaceful protesters” were already heavily armed and were carrying out attacks on the army. An army patrol was ambushed outside Deraa at the beginning of April only two weeks after the Deraa events, and 19 Syrian troops were killed (Narwani 2014). However, Assad ordered this attack covered up because he did not want to inflame tensions even further. For sometime after that, the government refused to comment on deaths of security forces.
The problem with the government cover up of security forces’ deaths was that while this cover up was going on, the Western media was reporting all of the deaths in this early conflict as “protesters” killed by the army(Khalidi 2011). In other words, if armed rebels killed 19 Syrian army troops at an ambush, the entire Western press would report this as “19 peaceful protesters were killed by the Syrian army.”
All through April, 88 Syrian troops were killed all over Syria by armed rebels. The government covered up all of these killings, and every one of these deaths was reported by the Western press as “Syrian troops killing peaceful protesters.” The Western media blacked out all of these reports and simply refused to acknowledge them.
Reports soon came out, spread by the CIA-linked Human Rights Watch, that Syrian soldiers were being shot by other Syrian troops for refusing to fire on protesters (HRW 2011b). Even the extremely biased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a one-man operation run by a Syrian exile out of London, said that reports of Syrian forces killing their own for refusing to fire on protesters were false. Nevertheless, the Western media was awash with reports of Syrian troops firing on their own who refused to obey orders to open fire on protesters.
The armed rebels soon set provocateurs loose to destroy and damage Sunni mosques throughout Syria. One jihadist from Tunisia admitted that he had been hired by the rebels to write graffiti on Sunni mosques saying, “There is no God by Bashar” (Eretz Zen 2014). This is a sacrilegious slogan made in an attempt to encourage Sunni soldiers in the Syrian army to defect. This interview can be found on Youtube.
By this time, there was a war on. Quite a few on both sides, both rebels and the Syrian army, were suffering casualties. Every day rebel sources gave a figure for the number killed that day with no explanation. Most of these deaths were of armed rebels and Syrian army forces, but they were all reported by the opposition as “peaceful protesters killed by the Syrian army.” The Western media followed suit and did the same, reporting all casualties of armed fighters on both sides as peaceful civilian protesters.
Since all of the many casualties among the armed groups were reported in the West as peaceful protesters, US officials began making loud demands that Assad step down because supposedly he was the one slaughtering all these peaceful protesters (Shaikh 2011, FOX News 2011).
For the next several months, every time a protest took place, armed Islamists appeared in the crowd and soon opened fire on security forces (Jaber 2011). Security forces would often fire back at the armed elements in the crowd and there would often be killed and wounded on both sides.
A vicious sectarian element was present in the protests from early on. By May, there were already chants of “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave!” (Blanford 2011). Soon this sectarian chant was heard at every protest.
For the next year, Human Rights Watch (the voice of the CIA) and other liars reported that the vast majority of the casualties were peaceful protesters (Clinton 2011). In fact by early 2012, a good report showed that of 5,000 casualties, 50% were security forces (OHCHR 2012: 2, Narwani 2014).
The lie was spread, spearheaded by Human Rights Watch, the protests had been overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011 (HRW 2011a, HRW 2012), when supposedly so many peaceful protesters had been killed that the protest movement was forced to take up arms to defend itself (Allaf 2012).
A Big Lie had been laid down. Even today, the vast majority of people who know about the Syrian Civil War say that the war started when the Syrian government opened fire on repeatedly on peaceful protesters, killing so many of these unarmed innocents that eventually by September 2011, the peaceful protesters were forced to take up arms as they had no other choice.
History of US-NATO’s “Covert War” on Syria: Daraa March 2011
Another Islamist Insurrection
By Prof. Tim Anderson
Global Research, November 29, 2015
The following text is Chapter IV of Professor Anderson’s forthcoming book entitled The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research Publishers, Montreal, 2016 (forthcoming).
“The protest movement in Syria was overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011”- Human Rights Watch, March 2012, Washington
“I have seen from the beginning armed protesters in those demonstrations … they were the first to fire on the police. Very often the violence of the security forces comes in response to the brutal violence of the armed insurgents” – the late Father Frans Van der Lugt, January 2012, Homs Syria
“The claim that armed opposition to the government has begun only recently is a complete lie. The killings of soldiers, police and civilians, often in the most brutal circumstances, have been going on virtually since the beginning”. – Professor Jeremy Salt, October 2011, Ankara Turkey
A double story began on the Syrian conflict, at the outset of the armed violence in 2011 in the southern border town of Daraa. The first story comes from independent witnesses in Syria, such as the late Father Frans Van der Lugt in Homs. They say that armed men infiltrated the early political reform demonstrations to shoot at both police and civilians.
This violence came from sectarian Islamists. The second comes from the Islamist groups (‘rebels’) and their western backers. They claim there was ‘indiscriminate’ violence from Syrian security forces to repress political rallies and that the ‘rebels’ grew out of a secular political reform movement.
Careful study of the independent evidence, however, shows that the Washington-backed ‘rebel’ story, while widespread, was part of a strategy to delegitimize the Syrian government, with the aim of fomenting ‘regime change’. To understand this it is necessary to observe that prior to the armed insurrection of March 2011 there were shipments of arms from Saudi Arabia to Islamists at the al Omari mosque. It is also useful to review the earlier Muslim Brotherhood insurrection at Hama in 1982 because of the parallel myths that have grown up around both insurrections.
US intelligence (DIA 1982) and the late British author Patrick Seale (1988) give independent accounts of what happened at Hama. After years of violent sectarian attacks by Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, by mid-1980 President Hafez al Assad had ‘broken the back’ of their sectarian rebellion which aimed to impose a Salafi-Islamic state. One final coup plot was exposed, and the Brotherhood ‘felt pressured into initiating’ an uprising in their stronghold of Hama. Seale describes the start of that violence in this way:
At 2am on the night of 2-3 February 1982 an army unit combing the old city fell into an ambush. Roof top snipers killed perhaps a score of soldiers … [Brotherhood leader] Abu Bakr [Umar Jawwad] gave the order for a general uprising … hundreds of Islamist fighters rose … by the morning some seventy leading Ba’athists had been slaughtered and the triumphant guerrillas declared the city ‘liberated’ (Seale 1988: 332).
However the Army responded with a huge force of about 12,000, and the battle raged for three weeks. It was a foreign-backed civil war with some defections from the army. Seale continues:
As the tide turned slowly in the government’s favour, the guerrillas fell back into the old quarters … after heavy shelling, commandos and party irregulars supported by tanks moved in … many civilians were slaughtered in the prolonged mopping up, whole districts razed (Seale 1988: 333).
Two months later a US intelligence report said: ‘The total casualties for the Hama incident probably number about 2,000. This includes an estimated 300 to 400 members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s elite ‘Secret Apparatus’ (DIA 1982: 7).
Seale recognizes that the Army also suffered heavy losses. At the same time, ‘large numbers died in the hunt for the gunmen … government sympathizers estimating a mere 3,000 and critics as many as 20,000 … a figure of 5,000 to 10,000 could be close to the truth’ He adds:
‘The guerrillas were formidable opponents. They had a fortune in foreign money … [and] no fewer than 15,000 machine guns’ (Seale 1988: 335). Subsequent Muslim Brotherhood accounts have inflated the casualties, reaching up to ‘40,000 civilians’, thus attempting to hide their insurrection and sectarian massacres by claiming that Hafez al Assad had carried out a ‘civilian massacre’ (e.g. Nassar 2014).
The then Syrian President blamed a large scale foreign conspiracy for the Hama insurrection. Seale observes that Hafez was ‘not paranoical’, as many US weapons were captured and foreign backing had come from several US collaborators: King Hussayn of Jordan, Lebanese Christian militias (the Israeli-aligned ‘Guardians of the Cedar’) and Saddam Hussein in Iraq (Seale 1988: 336-337).
The Hama insurrection helps us understand the Daraa violence because, once again in 2011, we saw armed Islamists using rooftop sniping against police and government officials, drawing in the armed forces, only to cry ‘civilian massacre’ when they and their collaborators came under attack from the Army. Although the US, through its allies, played an important part in the Hama insurrection, when it was all over US intelligence dryly observed that: ‘the Syrians are pragmatists who do not want a Muslim Brotherhood government’ (DIA 1982: vii).
In the case of Daraa and in the attacks that moved to Homs and surrounding areas in April 2011, the clearly stated aim was once again to topple the secular or ‘infidel-Alawi’ regime. The front-line US collaborators were Saudi Arabia and Qatar and then Turkey. The head of the Syrian Brotherhood, Muhammad Riyad Al-Shaqfa, issued a statement on 28 March which left no doubt that the group’s aim was sectarian.
The enemy was ‘the secular regime,’ and Brotherhood members ‘have to make sure that the revolution will be pure Islamic, and with that no other sect would have a share of the credit after its success’ (Al-Shaqfa 2011). While playing down the initial role of the Brotherhood, Sheikho confirms that it ‘went on to punch above its actual weight on the ground during the uprising … [due] to Turkish-Qatari support’, and to its general organizational capacity (Sheikho 2013).
By the time there was a ‘Free Syrian Army Supreme Military Council’ in 2012 (more a weapons conduit than any sort of army command), it was said to be two-thirds dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood (Draitser 2012). Other foreign Salafi-Islamist groups quickly joined this ‘Syrian Revolution’. A US intelligence report in August 2012, contrary to Washington’s public statements about ‘moderate rebels’, said:
The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq, later ISIS] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria … AQI supported the Syrian Opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media (DIA 2012).
In February 2011 there was popular agitation in Syria to some extent influenced by the events in Egypt and Tunisia. There were anti-government and pro-government demonstrations and a genuine political reform movement which for several years had agitated against corruption and the Ba’ath Party monopoly. A 2005 report referred to ‘an array of reform movements slowly organizing beneath the surface’ (Ghadry 2005), and indeed the ‘many faces’ of a Syrian opposition, much of it non-Islamist, had been agitating since about that same time (Sayyid Rasas 2013).
These political opposition groups deserve attention in another discussion (see Chapter Five). However only one section of that opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Salafists, was linked to the violence that erupted in Daraa. Large anti-government demonstrations began, to be met with huge pro-government demonstrations.
In early March some teenagers in Daraa were arrested for graffiti that had been copied from North Africa ‘the people want to overthrow the regime’. It was reported that they were abused by local police, President Bashar al Assad intervened, the local governor was sacked, and the teenagers were released (Abouzeid 2011).
Yet the Islamist insurrection was underway, taking cover under the street demonstrations.
On 11 March, several days before the violence broke out in Daraa, there were reports that Syrian forces had seized ‘a large shipment of weapons and explosives and night-vision goggles … in a truck coming from Iraq’. The truck was stopped at the southern Tanaf crossing, close to Jordan. The Syrian Government news agency SANA said the weapons were intended ‘for use in actions that affect Syria’s internal security and spread unrest and chaos.’
Pictures showed ‘dozens of grenades and pistols as well as rifles and ammunition belts’. The driver said the weapons had been loaded in Baghdad and he had been paid $5,000 to deliver them to Syria (Reuters 2011). Despite this interception, arms did reach Daraa, a border town of about 150,000 people.
This is where the ‘western-rebel’ and the independent stories diverge, and diverge dramatically. The western media consensus was that protesters burned and trashed government offices, and then ‘provincial security forces opened fire on marchers, killing several’ (Abouzeid 2011). After that, ‘protesters’ staged demonstrations in front of the al-Omari mosque but were in turn attacked.
The Syrian government, on the other hand, said there were unprovoked attacks on security forces, killing police and civilians, along with the burning of government offices. There was foreign corroboration of this account. While its headline blamed security forces for killing ‘protesters’, the British Daily Mail (2011) showed pictures of AK47 rifles and hand grenades that security forces had recovered after storming the al-Omari mosque.
The paper noted reports that ‘an armed gang’ had opened fire on an ambulance, killing ‘a doctor, a paramedic and a policeman’. Media channels in neighboring countries did report on the killing of Syrian police on 17-18 March.
On 21 March a Lebanese news report observed that ‘Seven policemen were killed during clashes between the security forces and protesters in Syria’ (YaLibnan 2011), while an Israel National News report said ‘Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed … and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched’ (Queenan 2011). These police had been targeted by rooftop snipers.
Even in these circumstances the Government was urging restraint and attempting to respond to the political reform movement. President Assad’s adviser, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, told a news conference that the President had ordered ‘that live ammunition should not be fired, even if the police, security forces or officers of the state were being killed’.
Assad proposed to address the political demands such as the registration of political parties, removing emergency rules and allowing greater media freedoms (al-Khalidi 2011). None of that seemed to either interest or deter the Islamists.
Several reports, including video reports, observed rooftop snipers firing at crowds and police during funerals of those already killed. It was said to be ‘unclear who was firing at whom’ (Al Jazeera 2011a), as ‘an unknown armed group on rooftops shot at protesters and security forces’ (Maktabi 2011).
Yet Al Jazeera (2011b) owned by the Qatari monarchy, soon strongly suggested that that the snipers were pro-government. ‘President Bashar al Assad has sent thousands of Syrian soldiers and their heavy weaponry into Derra for an operation the regime wants nobody in the word to see’, the Qatari channel said. However the Al Jazeera suggestion that secret pro-government snipers were killing ‘soldiers and protesters alike’ was illogical and out of sequence. The armed forces came to Daraa precisely because police had been shot and killed.
Saudi Arabia, a key US regional ally, had armed and funded extremist Salafist Sunni sects to move against the secular government. Saudi official Anwar Al-Eshki later confirmed to BBC television that his country had sent arms to Daraa and to the al-Omari mosque (Truth Syria 2012). From exile in Saudi Arabia, Salafi Sheikh Adnan Arour called for a holy war against the liberal Alawi Muslims, who were said to dominate the Syrian government: ‘by Allah we shall mince [the Alawites] in meat grinders and feed their flesh to the dogs’ (MEMRITV 2011).
The Salafist aim was a theocratic state or caliphate. The genocidal slogan ‘Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave’ became widespread, a fact reported by the North American media as early as May 2011 (e.g. Blanford 2011). Islamists from the FSA Farouq Brigade would soon act on these threats (Crimi 2012). Canadian analyst Michel Chossudovsky (2011) observed: ‘The deployment of armed forces including tanks in Daraa [was] directed against an organized armed insurrection, which has been active in the border city since March 17-18.”
After those first few days in Daraa the killing of Syrian security forces continued but went largely unreported outside Syria. Nevertheless, independent analyst Sharmine Narwani wrote about the scale of this killing in early 2012 and again in mid-2014. An ambush and massacre of soldiers took place near Daraa in late March or early April. An army convoy was stopped by an oil slick on a valley road between Daraa al-Mahata and Daraa al-Balad, and the trucks were machine gunned.
Estimates of soldier deaths from government and opposition sources ranged from 18 to 60. A Daraa resident said these killings were not reported because: ‘At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed’. Anti-Syrian Government blogger Nizar Nayouf records this massacre as taking place in the last week of March. Another anti-Government writer, Rami Abdul Rahman (based in England and calling himself the ‘Syrian Observatory of Human Rights’) says:
‘It was on the first of April and about 18 or 19 security forces … were killed’ (Narwani 2014). Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, himself a resident of Daraa, confirmed that: ‘this incident was hidden by the government … as an attempt not to antagonize or not to raise emotions and to calm things down – not to encourage any attempt to inflame emotions which may lead to escalation of the situation’ (Narwani 2014).
Yet the significance of denying armed anti-Government killings was that in the western media all deaths were reported as (a) victims of the Army and (b) civilians. For well over six months, whenever a body count was mentioned in the international media, it was usually considered acceptable to suggest these were all ‘protesters’ killed by the Syrian Army.
For example, a Reuters report on 24 March said Daraa’s main hospital had received ‘the bodies of at least 37 protesters killed on Wednesday’ (Khalidi 2011). Notice that all the dead had become ‘protesters’ despite earlier reports on the killing of a number of police and health workers.
Another nineteen soldiers were gunned down on 25 April, also near Daraa. Narwani obtained their names and details from Syria’s Defence Ministry and corroborated these details from another document from a non-government source. Throughout April 2011, she calculates that eighty-eight Syrian soldiers were killed ‘by unknown shooters in different areas across Syria’ (Narwani 2014).
She went on to refute claims that the soldiers killed were ‘defectors’ shot by the Syrian army for refusing to fire on civilians. Human Rights Watch, referring to interviews with 50 unnamed ‘activists’, claimed that soldiers killed at this time were all ‘defectors’, murdered by the Army (HRW 2011b).
Yet the funerals of loyal officers shown on the internet at that time were distinct. Even Rami Abdul Rahman (the SOHR), keen to blame the Army for killing civilians, said ‘this game of saying the Army is killing defectors for leaving – I never accepted this’ (Narwani 2014). Nevertheless the highly charged reports were confusing.
The violence spread north with the assistance of Islamist fighters from Lebanon, reaching Baniyas and areas around Homs. On 10 April nine soldiers were shot in a bus ambush in Baniyas. In Homs, on April 17, General Abdo Khodr al-Tallawi was killed with his two sons and a nephew, and Syrian commander Iyad Kamel Harfoush was gunned down near his home.
Two days later, off-duty Colonel Mohammad Abdo Khadour was killed in his car (Narwani 2014). North American commentator Joshua Landis (2011a) reported the death of his wife’s cousin, one of the soldiers in Baniyas. These were not the only deaths but I mention them because most western media channels maintain the fiction to this day that there was no Islamist insurrection and the ‘peaceful protesters’ did not pick up arms until September 2011.
Al Jazeera, the principal Middle East media channel backing the Muslim Brotherhood, blacked out these attacks and also the reinforcement provided by armed foreigners.
Former Al Jazeera journalist Ali Hashem was one of many who resigned from the Qatar-owned station (RT 2012), complaining of deep bias over their presentation of the violence in Syria. Hashem had footage of armed men arriving from Lebanon, but this was censored by his Qatari managers. ‘In a resignation letter I was telling the executive … it was like nothing was happening in Syria.’ He thought the ‘Libyan revolution’ was the turning point for Al Jazeera, marking the end of its standing as a credible media group (Hashem 2012).
Provocateurs were at work. Tunisian jihadist ‘Abu Qusay’ later admitted he had been a prominent ‘Syrian rebel’ charged with ‘destroying and desecrating Sunni mosques’, including by scrawling the graffiti ‘There is no God but Bashar’, a blasphemy to devout Muslims. This was then blamed on the Syrian Army with the aim of creating Sunni defections from the Army. ‘Abu Qusay’ had been interviewed by foreign journalists who did not notice by his accent that he was not Syrian (Eretz Zen 2014).
US Journalist Nir Rosen, whose reports were generally critical of the Syrian Government, also attacked the western consensus over the early violence:
The issue of defectors is a distraction. Armed resistance began long before defections started … Every day the opposition gives a death toll, usually without any explanation … Many of those reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters but … described in reports as innocent civilians killed by security forces … and every day members of the Syrian Army, security agencies … are also killed by anti-regime fighters (Rosen 2012).
A language and numbers game was being played to delegitimize the Syrian Government (‘The Regime’) and the Syrian Army (‘Assad loyalists’), suggesting they were responsible for all the violence. Just as NATO forces were bombing Libya with the aim of overthrowing the Libyan Government, US officials began to demand that President Assad step down.
The Brookings Institution (Shaikh 2011) claimed the President had ‘lost the legitimacy to remain in power in Syria’. US Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman said it was time ‘to align ourselves unequivocally with the Syrian people in their peaceful demand for a democratic government’ (FOX News 2011). Another ‘regime change’ campaign was out in the open.
In June, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton dismissed the idea that ‘foreign instigators’ had been at work, saying that ‘the vast majority of casualties have been unarmed civilians’ (Clinton 2011). In fact, as Clinton knew very well, her Saudi Arabian allies had armed extremists from the very beginning. Her casualty assertion was also wrong.
The United Nations (which would later abandon its body count) estimated from several sources that by early 2012, there were more than 5,000 casualties and that deaths in the first year of conflict included 478 police and 2,091 from the military and security forces (OHCHR 2012: 2; Narwani 2014). That is, more than half the casualties in the first year were those of the Syrian security forces.
That independent calculation was not reflected in western media reports. Western groups such as Human Rights Watch along with US columnists (e.g. Allaf 2012) continued to claim even after the early 2012 defeat of the sectarian Farouq-FSA in Homs and well into 2012 that Syrian security forces had been massacring ‘unarmed protesters’, that the Syrian people ‘had no choice’ but to take up arms, and that this ‘protest movement’ had been ‘overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011’ (HRW 2011a, HRW 2012). The evidence cited above shows that this story was quite false.
In fact, the political reform movement had been driven off the streets by Salafi-Islamist gunmen, over the course of March and April. For years opposition groups had agitated against corruption and the Ba’ath Party monopoly.
However most did not want destruction of what was a socially inclusive if authoritarian state, and most were against both the sectarian violence and the involvement of foreign powers. They backed Syria’s protection of minorities, the relatively high status of women and the country’s free education and health care, while opposing the corrupt networks and the feared political police (Wikstrom 2011; Otrakji 2012).
In June reporter Hala Jaber (2011) observed that about five thousand people turned up for a demonstration at Ma’arrat al-Numan, a small town in northwest Syria, between Aleppo and Hama. She says several ‘protesters’ had been shot the week before, while trying to block the road between Damascus and Aleppo. After some negotiations which reduced the security forces in the town, ‘men with heavy beards in cars and pick-ups with no registration plates’ with ‘rifles and rocket-propelled grenades’ began shooting at the reduced numbers of security forces.
A military helicopter was sent to support the security forces. After this clash ‘four policemen and 12 of their attackers were dead or dying. Another 20 policemen were wounded’. Officers who escaped the fight were hidden by some of the tribal elders who had participated in the original demonstration. When the next ‘demonstration for democracy’ took place, the following Friday, ‘only 350 people turned up’, mostly young men and some bearded militants (Jaber 2011). Five thousand protesters had been reduced to 350 after the open Salafist attacks.
After months of media manipulations disguising the Islamist insurrection, Syrians such as Samer al Akhras, a young man from a Sunni family who used to watch Al Jazeera because he preferred it to state TV became convinced to back the Syrian government. He saw first-hand the fabrication of reports on Al Jazeera and wrote, in late June 2011:
I am a Syrian citizen and I am a human. After 4 months of your fake freedom … You say peaceful demonstration and you shoot our citizen. From today … I am [now] a Sergeant in the Reserve Army. If I catch anyone … in any terrorist organization working on the field in Syria I am gonna shoot you as you are shooting us. This is our land not yours, the slaves of American fake freedom (al Akhras 2011).
Abouzeid, Rania (2011) ‘Syria’s Revolt, how graffiti stirred an uprising’, Time, 22 March.
Haidar, Ali (2013) interview with this writer, Damascus 28 December. [Ali Haidar was President of the Syrian Social National Party (SSNP), a secular rival to the Ba’ath Party. In 2012 President Bashar al Assad incorporated him into the Syrian government as Minister for Reconciliation.].
Truth Syria (2012) ‘Syria – Daraa revolution was armed to the teeth from the very beginning’, BBC interview with Anwar Al-Eshki, YouTube interview, video originally uploaded 10 April, latest version 7 November, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGmrWWJ77w.
Seale, Patrick (1988) Asad: the struggle for the Middle East, University of California Press, Berkeley CA.
Superb report shows that the claim of violating Turkish airspace is probably a lie, since Turkey says that Turkey begins five miles inside the of Syria itself! So Turkey is claiming a five mile a swath of Syrian land as its own. What happened here is that Russia didn’t violate Turkey’s airspace at all.
Instead, it flew within five miles of the Turkish border while bombing some Turkic Turkmen rebels who Turkey sees as “Turks.” Certainly Syrian Turkmen do not speak their own language. Instead they speak what is in my opinion a rather divergent dialect of Turkish itself with a lot of Arabic loans that is fully intelli9gible to Turkish speakers.
By Syrian Free Press, 6 October 2015
Global Research, November 24, 2015
This article originally published on October 7, 2015 is of utmost relevance in understanding the action taken by Turkey to down a Russian jet fighter over Syria airspace.
One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border [in October] while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south:
Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.
If Syrian rules of engagement would “move” its northern border up to the Black Sea would any plane in eastern Turkey be in violation of Syrian air space? No one would accept such nonsense and that is why no one should accept the U.S.-Turkish bullshit here. Russian planes should not respect the “new” Turkish defined border but only the legitimate one…
Russia “Violated” Turkish Airspace Because Turkey “Moved” Its Border
Russian planes in Syria “violated Turkish air space” the news agency currently tell us. But an earlier report shows that this claim may well be wrong and that the U.S. pushes Turkey to release such propaganda.
Reuters (Mon Oct 5, 2015 7:54am BST): Turkey says Russian warplane violated its airspace
A Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace near the Syrian border on Saturday, prompting the Air Force to scramble two F-16 jets to intercept it, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The Foreign Ministry summoned Moscow’s ambassador to protest the violation, according to an e-mailed statement. Turkey urged Russia to avoid repeating such a violation, or it would be held “responsible for any undesired incident that may occur.”
AFP (10:20am · 5 Oct 2015): Turkey ‘intercepts’ Russian jet violating its air space:
Turkey said on Monday its F-16 jets had at the weekend intercepted a Russian fighter plane which violated Turkish air space near the Syrian border, forcing the aircraft to turn back.
Turkey said on Monday its F-16 jets had at the weekend intercepted a Russian fighter plane which violated Turkish air space near the Syrian border, forcing the aircraft to turn back.
Here now what McClatchy reported on these air space violations in a longer piece several hours before Reuters and AFP reported the Turkish claim:
ISTANBUL – A Russian warplane on a bombing run in Syria flew within five miles of the Turkish border and may have crossed into Turkey’s air space, Turkish and U.S. officials said Sunday.
…A Turkish security official said Turkish radar locked onto the Russian aircraft as it was bombing early Friday in al Yamdiyyah, a Syrian village directly on the Turkish border. He said Turkish fighter jets would have attacked had it crossed into Turkish airspace.But a U.S. military official suggested the incident had come close to sparking an armed confrontation. Reading from a report, he said the Russian aircraft had violated Turkish air space by five miles and that Turkish jets had scrambled, but that the Russian aircraft had returned to Syrian airspace before they could respond.The Turkish security official said he could not confirm that account.
So it is the U.S., not Turkey, which was first pushing the claims of air space violation and of scrambling fighters. The Turkish source would not confirm that.
But how could it be a real air space violation when Russian planes “flew within five miles of the Turkish border and may have crossed into Turkey’s air space”. The Russian planes were flying in Syrian airspace. They “may have crossed” is like saying that the earth “may be flat”. Well maybe it is, right?
Fact is the Russians fly very near to the border and bomb position of some anti-Syrian fighters Turkey supports. They have good reasons to do so:
The town, in a mountainous region of northern Latakia province, has been a prime route for smuggling people and goods between Turkey and Syria and reportedly has functioned as a key entry for weapons shipped to Syrian rebels by the U.S.-led Friends of Syria group of Western and Middle Eastern countries.
One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south, to reiterate:
Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.
If Syrian rules of engagement would “move” its northern border up to the Black Sea would any plane in eastern Turkey be in violation of Syrian air space? No one would accept such nonsense and that is why no one should accept the U.S.-Turkish bullshit here. Russian planes should not respect the “new” Turkish defined border but only the legitimate one.
It would also be no good reason to start a NATO-Russia war just because such a plane might at times slightly intrude on the Turkish side due to an emergency or other accidental circumstances. Do we have to mention that the U.S., France, Britain and Jordan regularly violate Syrian airspace for their pretended ISIS bombing? That Turkey is bombing the PKK in north Iraq without the permission of the Iraqi government? What about Israels regular air space violations over Lebanon?
But what is this all really about? Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. stationed some Patriot air defense systems in Turkey to defend Turkey and its Islamist storm troops in north-Syria. These systems were announced to leave or have already left. Are these claims about air-space violation now an attempt to get these systems back into Turkey? For what real purpose?
The all-Zionist turn in our foreign policy is fairly recent. It harks back to Sarkozy in 2007 bringing France into NATO’s integrated military command. He waged a war to replace the Ivory Coast President by a puppet. Then killed his campaign sponsor Qaddafi and 50,000 of his people. Supported the uprisings in Syria.
Finally, Hollande and Valls, the latter one being particularly Zionist (Freemason, Jewish spouse,
Philosemitism-driven), got closer to the Sunni fundamentalists, like a US puppet. “We”? We know it. But we can’t do much. We are in a quasi-dictatorship. The regime is crumbling. France feels like a People’s Democracy in the 1980’s.
Every media is a a Pravda with journalists vilifying ‘deviants’. Politics are a one-party state (with two factions). The Nomenklatura justifies its power with dogmas it doesn’t apply to itself, namely anti-racism (they’re sending their children to all-White schools, and they’re tied to Israel), anti-sexism (they’re wealthy families and they’re Masons), and anti-pollution (they’re the airports’ hyperclass and they’re calling for more immigrants). And of course, the Euro, the EU, the LGBT, which are codewords for finance worship, US worship, Antichrist worship.
Last time in January, the movement of grief was channeled to crack down even more on free speech: ISIS propaganda relies heavily on the Internet much like the Alt Right, and they know it. Again this time they used the shock wave to finalize our cultural genocide – they managed to get the Charlies and the United Morons think the attacks were caused by an ‘apartheid’ that could only be corrected by a ‘repopulation plan’ where mayors are forced to accept housing schemes. It’s crazy.
Perhaps the third attack will see people disconnecting with the government? For as of now, the 129 corpses are a huge Hollande win.
Julian writes an excellent rundown on the madness that seems to have seized the French. It almost seems that France has turned into another USA, as has the UK recently. Canada started implementing its “Little America” plan under Harper.
One thing I notice is that there is seems to be little difference between the French “Left” and the French “Right” anymore. What on Earth is the differences between Sarkozy and Hollande for God’s sake? I can’t see a thing! Sarkozy is Hollande is Sarkozy is Hollande. Where does one end and the other begin? It’s like a snake eating its tail. On economics? The same. On foreign policy? The same. It’s like the difference between the US Democratic and Republican Parties. There’s really not much there. Just two wings of Deep State Party of the Multinationals and the rich.
We did seem to see a strong pro-Israel turn under Sarky. I noticed that. Apparently he was Jewish?
I am not so sure that France has gone pro-Zionist, but the anti-Iran madness that opposes Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, and the Houthis benefits only Israel. Sure, these entities carry out overseas actions – against Israelis and sometimes Jews! What does that have to do with the US, France or the UK? Can someone please tell me how Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and the Houthis are dangerous to the US or the West? I am still trying to figure this out. When was the last time they attacked us? Lebanon? Saudi Arabia? Iraq? And whose fault was that?
The West’s lunatic anti-Shia jihad that has thrown it into bed with ISIS, Al Qaeda and the endless similar salafi jihadi factions can only be for Israel or for our Sunni allies in the Gulf, Jordan or Turkey. Of course the Gulf states, Jordan and Turkey want to kill all the Shia. We have known that for years now. But why on Earth would the West get in on the Sunni anti-Shia jihad?
The best evidence from Seymour Hersch’s work is that the West is not siding with the Sunni fanatic states’ Shia Holocaust Plan but is instead using them to smash Iran and roll back Iranian influence in the region. But why should Iranian or Shia influence in the region matter to the US? Is the US a Sunni Arab country? Do we want to genocide the Shia because they are heretics and infidels?
No, instead of backing the Sunnis mad exterminationism, we are simply using the Sunni states as a tool to “smash Iran and Iranian influence.” But why should Iran and Iranian influence in the region matter to the West? Unless the Jews have actually succeeded in the multiyear campaign of screaming at us and whispering in the Kings’ ears that Iran is the real enemy, that is.
Have the Israelis convinced the West that the enemies of Israel are the enemies of the West? Or is this Western anti-Shia campaign simply for Israel and for no one else? After 2001, we were tasked with destroying all of Israel’s enemies. We quickly took out Iraq. Then we tried to take out Lebanon and Hezbollah with the March 14 Color Revolution. Then we took out Libya. Now we are trying to take out Syria.
The only enemy of Israel left is Iran. All of the Sunni states surrendered to Israel long ago, and most of them now work hand in hand with the Israelis. The Saudis in particular are very close to Tel Aviv. For a long time, Qatar was a holdout. It even housed the main offices of Hamas. However, they came under extreme pressure from someone (Who? The US?), and they booted Hamas out a while ago.
If the Western anti-Shia and anti-Iran campaign is all about Israel, one wonders if NATO and the West have gone seriously over to the Israelis side in recent years.
Tony Blair set the Brits’ part in motion by invading Iraq.
Since 2007, the French have joined the “get Iran” Coalition.
NATO is spearheading the “Get Iran” campaign. Has NATO gone seriously over to Israel recently? Why don’t they just make Israel a member of NATO? Has NATO always been so strongly in favor of Israel?
Another possibility is that instead of making a strong turn towards Israel, France, the UK, and NATO are simply lining up slavishly behind US foreign policy. This perhaps makes the most sense of all. The British and French have simply tied their ship to America. The British have been American slaves for a very long time. British foreign policy can be summed up for a long time now as supporting the US in every single one of its foreign policy endeavors.
This blind “follow the Yanks” policy goes way back and is related to something called Atlanticism. Atlanticism is a foreign policy doctrine that suggests that the UK (and other northern European countries) and the US have very special and unique ties by history and blood to each other. Hence the foreign policy of the US and Northern Europe should be coordinated as much as possible. In practice this tends to boil down to “Follow the Yank Pied Piper.” Other Atlanticist countries (that I know of) are the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.
So has France recently become an Atlanticist country? It seems that since 2007, they are as Atlanticist as the UK.
The reason Christian Arabs from Lebanon/Syria/Jordan are smarter than Muslim Arabs or why Hindus from places like Bangladesh are smarter than Muslims is because of the Jaziya tax. Dhimmis or non-Muslims in Islamic lands had to pay a Jaziya tax or they would be killed, only escape from this is conversion to Islam. Thus the poorest low IQ sections of the population who could not pay the tax converted early.The smarter populations (and in the case of South Asia, the higher castes) used money to prevent conversion as much as possible. Thus the Muslims in these areas are predominantly low IQ genes while high IQ populations got separated into a different gene pool. Islam is dysgenic. Even Lew Kyan Yew of Singapore berated Malay Muslims for being dysgenic by the tendency of Muslims to marry even if the people involved were either very stupid of full of genetic diseases.
Do you think there is any truth to this? Interesting notion from the comments.
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.
Fantastic radio show, unfortunately from a Libertarian-aligned station, Scott Horton, but oh well, beggars can’t be choosers.
So I will just ignore this guy’s retarded Libertarianism and focus on the positive.
Margolis says many an interesting thing in this broadcast. I can vouch for most of it except:
Israeli support for ISIS: unverified.
Qatari support for ISIS: unverified.
Saudi support for ISIS: formerly true, at the moment uncertain.
NATO instigators that exploded the early Syrian protests, probably with sniper rifles: unverified, but I’ve heard the rumors.
US, French and UK special forces on the ground in Syria carrying out attacks on Assad’s army: unverified, but shocking if true.
All the rest is pretty much straight up true. Why is Russia enemy #1? They would not roll over and obey the US. Instead they declared their independence from America. So Russia’s got to be taken out for that uppity behavior.
Why are we so nuts about getting rid of Assad?
Because from the US’ POV, the whole anti-Assad, Syrian Civil War project is about taking out Iran. Get rid of Syria and screw Iran by getting rid of one of her main allies.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and Jordan apparently all want to either sock a blow to Iran or just take out Assad because he’s Shia.
Turkey probably wants him out because he’s Shia; I am not sure if they care about Iran.
France and the UK are probably on the blow to Iran side.
Israel surely wants to take out one of its worst enemies and also smash Iran by taking out Syria. Keep in mind that the Axis of Resistance is: Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinians and Iran. All of the rest of the Arabs surrendered to Israel a long time ago. Since 9-11, Israel’s been whispering in our Presidents’ ears, telling us to take out their enemies. And so we have, in Iraq and Libya and now working on Syria.
The lunatic multinational invasion of Yemen is all about crush Iran. Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan and Egypt are all in on the smash Iran Yemeni project.
Anyway if you want to figure out what’s going on in the world, this great interview is a good place to start.
Here is the face-saving formula used by US Secretary of State Kerry in London today to signal that the United States is finally jettisoning the absurd and Utopian demand that Syrian President Assad’s immediate removal from power be a precondition for negotiating a political settlement for Syria.
Kerry stated: “Our focus remains on destroying ISIL and also on a political settlement with respect to Syria, which we believe cannot be achieved with the long-term presence of Assad,” Mr. Kerry said. “But we’re looking for ways in which to try to find a common ground. Clearly, if you’re going to have a political settlement, which we’ve always argued is the best and only way to resolve Syria, you need to have conversations with people, and you need to find a common ground.” which we’ve always argued is the best and only way to resolve Syria, you need to have conversations with people, and you need to find a common ground.”[i]
If Assad must depart in the long term, this implies that his short-term and medium-term presence is feasible. This opens the space needed for serious diplomacy and negotiations, which Europe is demanding to stop the Syrian civil war, the driving force behind the refugee crisis. It is expected that a number of European nations will soon end economic sanctions against Syria, re-open their shuttered embassies, and begin cooperating with the legal Assad government.
“Privately, I’m told, Obama agreed to — and may have even encouraged — Putin’s increased support for the Assad regime, realizing it’s the only real hope of averting a Sunni-extremist victory. But publicly Obama senses that he can’t endorse this rational move. Thus, Obama, who has become practiced at speaking out of multiple sides of his mouth, joined in bashing Russia – sharing that stage with the usual suspects, including The New York Times’ editorial page.”[ii]
This suggests that Obama’s public posturing in regard to Putin may represent a charade or dog-and-pony show. The same may apply to Obama’s repeated refusals to meet with Putin on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in just over a week’s time. Obama may be using this issue as a way to dupe the warmonger Republican opposition.
Here we have a very interesting situation. Parry is excellent, and his sources are usually CIA, often dissident, anti-neocon CIA, so the referenced source may be US intelligence.
This actually makes a lot of sense. The US, Israel, Europe and the Sunni Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Jordan and Turkey have long been demanding the removal of Assad a precondition for ending the war. This doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Why does Assad have to go? Because so many Syrians love Al Qaeda and ISIS so much, so therefore Assad has no legitimacy? Who is to take his place? The only people who can take his place are Al Qaeda/ISIS types. The FSA types could take his place, but they only represent 10% of the rebels.
Nobody in Syria much likes the opposition. The last poll taken showed that the rebels only had 10% support with another 20% neutral. The jihadis are widely hated by a good 70% of Syrians.
The FSA is not much liked either. They are regarded as pro-US, pro-EU, pro-Israel dupes who will sell out Syria to the US, the West, Israel and the Gulf. In other words, they’re a bunch of traitors who are out to make Syria into one more US Sunni Arab colony like Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain. Most Syrians wouldn’t be too happy to be ruled by a bunch of traitors.
So there’s no one for Assad to negotiate with. Negotiating an end to the war means negotiating with Al Qaeda/ISIS. Good luck with that. The FSA has no legitimacy and no support.
Apparently the US/EU/Israel plan is to replace Assad with some FSA-type Sunni Arab dupe who could be easily controlled by the US/EU/Israel. This is a long-standing plan, hence the long-standing demand that “Assad must go.”
So as you can see, there’s nothing to negotiate. There’s no one to replace Assad. Anyway, in a free and fair election, Assad would win by a mile, so Assad is the choice of the majority of Syrians.
Apparently the US is finally caving on its longstanding demand that Assad must go. Now we say that Assad must go in the longterm. That means apparently that he can stay in the short-term and midterm. This is a very serious cave-in by the US.
The US doesn’t want to defeat ISIS in Syria at all at the moment. Perhaps we want to defeat them in Iraq, but sometimes I even wonder about that. Sure, we bomb them here and there, but it doesn’t amount to much.
I do think that the US might like to defeat ISIS in the longterm, but surely not now. For now, ISIS is very useful to put pressure on Assad. Probable US goals were:
Take out Assad.
Put in government of pro-US, pro-Israel Sunni Arab dupes.
Possibly try to defeat ISIS.
Notice there’s nothing in that list about defeating Al Qaeda and their minions who along with ISIS make up 90% of the Syrian rebels. I have no idea what the US, Israel and the EU want to do with Syrian Al Qaeda. We have been arming and funding them for a long time now. So what happens if we get rid of Assad and put in our dupes? Then what becomes of America’s Al Qaeda buddies? Who knows?
But the US has a longstanding habit of using various forces, arming and funding them and then turning around, selling them out and arming and funding their enemies to wage all-out war on them. We’ve been doing this crap forever. Just ask the Kurds. This bullshit is called “realpolitik.” Ask Henry Kissinger how that’s supposed to work.
Anyway, it looks there is a complete collapse in the US strategy of keeping ISIS alive enough to threaten Assad, arming and funding Al Qaeda and pals, and demanding Assad’s ouster. It looks like the game-changer was Russia entering the Syrian conflict in a huge way.
And apparently Obama has secretly given the go-ahead for Putin to go into Syria on the basis that US policy has collapsed, and Obama realizes that the best policy is to support Assad against the forces of medievalist terrorism.
However, Obama cannot come out and say this. The Republican Party is still full-throated committed to support for Al Qaeda (and even possibly ISIS) and overthrowing Assad with apparently no plan at all to deal with the Holocaust that would follow. The US “free press” is of course 100% committed to the “support Al Qaeda, overthrow Assad” project. Both of these groups just happen to coincidentally be mirroring their Israeli masters who cooked up the “support Al Qaeda, overthrow Assad” project in the first place.
So Obama can’t come out and say he is supporting Russia’s efforts to defeat terrorism and support Assad in Syria because the neocons in Neocon Central (the Republican Party) and the neocon-controlled press will massacre him.
So Obama cleverly gives Putin the go-ahead to go into Syria and do his stuff, while publicly he blasts away at Putin with the usual anti-Russian bluster that the neocons of him. As usual, observed reality as reported in the controlled press is not at all what is really happening behind the scenes. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…
It’s hard to imagine a more depraved, wicked and vile foreign policy than US foreign policy in Syria. The bottom line is that the US, along with Jordan, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Canada, is supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS against the Syrian government.
Our policy in Syria is also completely insane. We are bombing ISIS, although the bombing does not hurt them very much. But at the same time, the US and its allies have waged all out war on the two main groups that have fought the hardest against Al Qaeda and ISIS – the Kurdish militias and the Syrian state. The greatest successes against ISIS have been by the Syrian government and the Kurdish militias.
So we are:
Bombing ISIS ineffectually.
Waging all out war on ISIS’ biggest adversaries.
Does that bullshit even make sense?
The US spends $1 billion/year supplying advanced weaponry to what amounts to Al Qaeda.
Here is what happens.
US gives weapons to fake “moderate” rebels who don’t even exist.
Vast majority of weapons given to fake moderate rebels end up in the hands of Al Qaeda.
US looks the other way.
Return to Step 1 above.
The US is fully aware that most our weapons are going to Al Qaeda, but we don’t care because US policy in Syria is that we will support anybody, and I mean anybody, to overthrow the Syrian government. The US also gives a lot of weaponry to Turkey, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabian representatives in Turkey and to Jordan inside Jordan. Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait then give the weapons directly to Al Qaeda with no intermediaries involved.
We know full well that after we give these countries’ reps our weapons, they immediately give them to Al Qaeda, but we don’t care for the above mentioned reason.
Bottom line is the US is supporting Al Qaeda in Syria and we have been from Day One. It’s hard to think of a scummy and filthy foreign policy that supporting Al Qaeda, but that’s exactly what we are doing. It is absolutely disgusting.
Turkey, on the other hand, appears to be directly supplying and harboring ISIS. Every day, scores of trucks containing ISIS forces, supplies and weapons head across the Turkish border heading straight for ISIS territory. The Turks simply wave them on through. Furthermore, Turkey serves as a huge rear base for ISIS where they have training camps, de facto bases, rest and recreation areas, medical facilities and supply depots for supplies and weapons. Turkey has done absolutely nothing whatsoever to shut down ISIS’ rear base areas inside Turkey. Bottom line is Turkey is ISIS’ biggest supporter. The US knows this and does nothing whatsoever about it.
So the US is:
Ineffectually bombing ISIS
Waging all out war on ISIS’ worst opponents
Leaving ISIS vast rear base area intact.
So in a roundabout way, we are actually backing ISIS in Syria by allowing our ally to set aside a huge rearguard area for ISIS and winking and looking the other way while our ally allows forces, supplies and weaponry to resupply ISIS across the Turkish border.
I am not sure if we really want ISIS to conquer Syria. I would say we would not want that. Of course, the Israelis, the worst humans on Earth, would be ecstatic if ISIS took power in Syria, but who cares what the Jews think about anything?
Instead, I think we would like to weaken ISIS enough to keep them from conquering Syria, while at the same time not allowing them to be completely defeated so they can remain strong enough to serve as a major opponent to the Syrian regime. Putin says the US does not want to see ISIS defeated in Syria. As usual, Putin is 100% correct.
Now Russia is intervening, quite possibly with a large military force, because it figures there is no way they are going to sit back and let Syria fall to Al Qaeda and ISIS. So Russia is intervening in Syria to try to deliver a massive blow to Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria. The US is absolutely enraged that anyone is trying to defeat our jihadi pals who we are arming in a roundabout way.
How dare anyone try to defeat Al Qaeda and ISIS! The American government will not stand for such an outrage!
The US says Russian involvement will fuel the conflict and make peace difficult. But the main fueling of the conflict is coming from the US and our slimy allies Jordan, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Turkey.
There is a vast problem with a peace settlement. The US and all the other disgusting countries above say that the armed Syrian rebels have to be guaranteed a position in the Syrian government. But that cannot be allowed to happen because the Syrian rebels are simply Al Qaeda and ISIS. All of the so-called moderate groups are fighting as part of a military unit that is led by Al Qaeda. So all of the moderate rebels are more or less Al Qaeda right now. The plan of the US and its loathsome allies above is apparently to force Assad to share power with what amounts to Al Qaeda. You heard that right. We want Al Qaeda to run Syria. How insane is that?
Al Qaeda and ISIS or anyone associated with them cannot be allowed to share power with Assad in Syria. Assad does have a plan to allow the sane opposition (which is not armed) to share power in the government along with Parliamentary elections in which the sane election is allowed to participate. The US and its partners in crime have nixed this plan because it doesn’t allow Al Qaeda to join the Syrian government.
Sometimes I wonder if reality is even real because actual existing reality seems so crazy that it could only be fiction. It seems too nuts to be real.
There has not been a war fought on Moroccan territory. Morocco has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Algeria fought a civil war from 1991-2000. That is 10 years out of 53.
There has not been a war fought on Tunisian territory. Tunisia has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Libya fought a 4 day border war with Egypt in 1977. There was an on and off war in Chad for 8 years between 1978-1987. There has been civil war since the overthrow of Ghaddafi. That is 12 years of war out of 63 years. Libya has been at peace 93% of the time since Independence.
Egypt was involved in several wars with Israel, but they didn’t last long. The total adds up to maybe 2 years at most. That’s 2 years of war out of 93 years.
Indeed, Palestine has been embroiled war almost all the time since 1947.
Jordan has only fought some wars with Israel. Maybe 2 years of war out of the last 66 years.
Syria fought several wars with Israel, but the combined total only lasted two years. They fought a war with the Muslim Brotherhood that went on perhaps 1 year. There has been a civil war since 2012. That is 6 years of war out of 64 years.
Saudi Arabia has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. However, there was an internal civil war that lasted a few years recently, but it was a very low level war. Saudi Arabia was briefly targeted in the Gulf War but that was only for a year. That’s 3 years out of 95.
Oman has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. Oman has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Bahrain has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. Bahrain has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
UAE has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. UAE has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Qatar has not been in any wars since 1920 that I am aware of. Qatar has been at peace 100% of the time since Independence.
Kuwait has been at war only with Iraq and that was only for a few weeks. That is 1 month out of 95 years.
Yemen did fight a civil war that lasted maybe 8 years. This resulted in a split in the country. There has been an internal war against Al Qaeda for maybe 4 years now. That’s 12 years out of 54.
Iraq fought a brief war with the British in 1941, but it only lasted one month. There was civil war in Mosul in 1959, but it lasted no more than a week. Iraq fought a number of wars with Israel, but those amounted to no more than 2 years. The Iran-Iraq War lasted 8 years. The Gulf War was over in less than a year and was by an internal civil war on 6 months. Iraq has been at war since the Iraq War in 2003, 11 years. Since 1932, Iraq has been at war for 22 years. That is 22 out of 83.
Lebanon fought a few wars against Israel, adding up to no more than 2 years. There was a brief civil war in 1958 lasting no more than one month. There was a major civil war in Lebanon for 15 years, from 1975-1990. Hezbollah fought a 1 month war with Israel in 2006. There was a brief civil war in 2007 with the Lebanese army fought a 4 month civil war against Fatah-al-Islam. In 2008, Hezbollah fought a 1 week war with the government. The Syrian Civil War has spilled over into Lebanon for the last year. Lebanon has been at war for 19 out of 70 years.
Conclusion: Most countries in the Arab World have been at peace most of the time since Independence.
Assad is not winning the Syrian War, but he is not losing either. The war is more or less stalemated, but ISIS has been gaining ground in the east. At this point, nearly 100% of Syrian minorities are with Assad. At one point, there were Alawites fighting Assad and Christian divisions of the Free Syrian Army, but that’s all history. Druze also are 100% with Assad. Syria is full of all sorts of armies and militias everywhere you look. There are a number of militias or armies fighting on the side of Assad which are out of Assad’s control. Many of these are guerrillas behind enemy lines. There are also independent Alawite, Christian and to some extent Druze pro-Assad militias. There really are no secular or moderate rebels anymore. The Free Syrian Army started out that way, but they have grown more and more Islamist. None of the rebel forces are friendly to Christians, Alawites or Druze at this point. It really is a choice between Assad and a hardline Sunni Islamist regime. This is an unbelievably vicious and cruel war with many deaths on all sides. There are no angels here. Both sides are fighting extremely dirty. The “secular” Free Syrian Army massacres entire towns of Alawites and chops off the heads of 7 year old Alawi girls. The FSA love to chop off heads, and there are many photos of FSA troops holding up severed heads. Syrian Christians now regard the FSA as the enemy. Assad is fighting with extreme cruelty. Many civilians are killed by bombs and shelling, and entire enemy held cities are destroyed. Both sides execute POW’s. Rebels usually execute POW’s right away, but Assad prefers to torture rebel suspects to death. For instance, in the PFLP-GC controlled Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, there has long been heavy fighting between anti-Assad rebels and pro-Assad militias (PFLP-GC militia itself). Government forces bomb and shell the camp. Nearly 175 Palestinian men from the camp have been captured by the regime on charges of being rebels. All have been tortured to death.
Incredibly, ISIS sells oil to the Syrian government from the large oil fields they control. Rumors that ISIS is a project of the Syrian or even more weirdly the Iranian government appear to lack evidence. ISIS kills many Syrian soldiers so it is hard to see how Assad would want to see his own troops slaughtered. However, the US and Turkey were supporting ISIS out of the US Embassy in Istanbul until recently. ISIS is a CIA anti-Assad project in coordination with Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar gone haywire and out of control. Frankenstein is up and walking on his own, and he’s coming for the mad scientists who made him. Heavy fighting between ISIS and a rebellious Syrian tribe in the Deir Al Zour region in the east. Heavy casualties. Fighting continues between ISIS and other groups, especially ISIS and Al-Nusra. However, Al-Nusra also battles the Islamic Front, especially around Aleppo. And they also fight alongside them in the same city.
There are definitely all-Kurdish militias inside of ISIS. The Syrian War is a scene of nearly complete chaos, countless militias, everyone fighting everyone, towns changing hands all the time, alliances made and broken, allies fighting alongside each other and then shooting it out, new militias constantly being formed, collapsing or merging into other groups, and extremely heavy casualties on all sides. It is a complete mess, and it is very hard to figure out what exactly is going on anywhere at any time.
Andalus includes all of Spain. Khurasan is an old term for Iran and Afghanistan. On this map it also includes Tajikistan,Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal at the very least. I am not familiar with the terms Alkinana (northeast Africa), Qoqzaz (apparently means the Greater Caucasus as you can see in the spelling), Orobpa (southeastern Europe) and Habasha (much of Central Africa above the Equator. There is an unnamed province in Southern Iran.
I honestly do not see how they conquer India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Georgia, all of Eastern Europe, all of West Africa, Spain, Iran, Azerbaijan, or even Lebanon and Israel for that matter. I am just not seeing this, sorry. If I were an Indian though, I would be frightened of these maps.
From the Cuba List, my comments follow:
Deranged Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Carl Levin (D-MI) have already jumped to support this. Rubio: “This is long overdue and the US must lead…and take the fight directly to Bashar al-Assad.” Levin: “In light of recent events in Iraq and Syria, this is appropriate spending,” Where does your Rep stand on this vote? Ask them! Obama seeks 500M dollars to train, equip Syrian rebelsAgence France-Presse, June 27, 2014
WASHINGTON – The White House asked lawmakers Thursday for $500 million to train and equip vetted Syrian rebels, in what would be a significant escalation of US involvement in a conflict that has spilled into Iraq.
Following several signals in recent weeks by President Barack Obama’s administration — and months of pressure from lawmakers like Senator John McCain — the White House said it intends to “ramp up US support to the moderate Syrian opposition.”
The request is part of a $1.5 billion Regional Stabilization Initiative to bolster stability in Syrian neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and to support communities hosting refugees.
The proposed funding would serve “vetted elements of the Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people, stabilize areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential services, counter terrorist threats and promote conditions for a negotiated settlement,” the White House said in a statement.
The proposal was part of the $65.8 billion overseas contingency operations request to Congress for fiscal year 2015, which begins October 1.
While US officials normally publicly refuse to comment on details of training for opposition groups, Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice acknowledged early this month that the Pentagon was providing “lethal and non-lethal support” to Syrian rebels.
About $287 million in mainly non-lethal support has been cleared for the rebels since March 2011, and the CIA has participated in a secret military training program in neighboring Jordan for the moderate opposition.
The Syria initiative received tepid support from at least one Republican lawmaker, Senator Marco Rubio, who has been a fierce critic of what the Obama administration&# 39;s “rudderless foreign policy.”
“This is long overdue and the US must lead, with European and regional partners, in helping to develop a cadre of fighters who will alienate ISIL and Al-Nusra Islamic extremists, and take the fight directly to Bashar al-Assad,” Rubio said.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, said a similar funding request in the defense authorization bill received broad bipartisan support in his committee.
“In light of recent events in Iraq and Syria, this is appropriate spending,” Levin said
This shows the sheer insanity of US foreign policy. If something doesn’t work, double down on it!
Since ISIS rampaged through Northern Iraq in the past few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about exactly how this happened. The US has been accused of aiding and training ISIS. Actually, this is sort of a false accusation.
The truth is that the US probably did little in the way of training and aiding ISIS. However, US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been shoveling money at them and Turkey has been giving them a home base inside Turkey. When ISIS attacked an Armenian town in northwest Turkey, Turkish artillery helped cover their assault on the town.
US and NATO advisors are present all over this part of Turkey where those shells come from, where ISIS is aided and trained and where their rearguard bases are. So while Washington is not directly aiding ISIS (except for a small group of them in Jordan) it is more correct to say that the US has been holding our nose and looking the other way while our allies have been aiding and training ISIS, Al-Nusra and the rest of the Islamists.
The US brainwash media Lie Machine is making it look like Obama is just now asking Congress to aid the Syrian rebels, whereas before we gave them nothing but nonlethal aid. It is indeed correct that officially the US has been giving the Syrian rebels nothing but nonlethal aid. However, all this time the CIA has been running a Black Budget campaign designed to arm and train the Syrian rebels. A lot of the training is taking place in Jordan.
It was often said that the CIA money was mostly going to the moderate Free Syrian Army rebels. This is probably true, but the FSA is now much diminished. 2/3 of the rebels are Islamists, and the FSA only makes up 1/3 of the armed opposition.
Many Left writers say that the FSA does not even exist anymore, but that does not seem to be the case. A lot of the arms given to the FSA somehow seem to have gotten into the hands of the Islamists, however. And the general mass aid flow to the Syrian rebels, either to the FSA or the Islamists, seems to have somehow in some way or other empowered the Islamists. So in some roundabout way all that aid pouring in to the Syrian rebels is in large part responsible for the growth of ISIS, Al-Nusra and the Islamic Front.
What is really happening here is Obama is taking the arming of the Syrian rebels out of the hands of the CIA and giving it to the State Department. It is going from an off-budget Black Budget secret CIA program to an official US government above board project.
But it won’t work any better this time than it did last time. Last time all it did was create and empower ISIS and the other radical Islamists, and this time it will do exactly the same thing.
So US foreign policy is truly insane.
Syria: In effect, support ISIS and other Islamists to attack and destroy Syria and hopefully oust Assad. If Assad cannot be ousted, the destruction of Syria (an enemy state) will suffice.
Iraq: Attack and destroy the very same ISIS and Islamists that are being created in Syria when they logically overrun much of Iraq.
Support for ISIS in Syria will strengthen ISIS in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where they will do nothing but cause problems for these countries.
Last year, out of a group of 14 Middle Eastern populations*, only Jordanians supported US aid to the Syrian rebels. This year, not one Arab population supports US aid to the Syrian rebels, and the only group in the Middle East who supports US aid to topple the Syrian government is Israeli Jews. Hmmmmmm…Who exactly is this aid to the Syrian rebels intended to benefit in the Middle East anyway? Hmmmmm.
How about Arab aid to the Syrian rebels? Last year, in the Arab World, only the Jordanians and the Sunnis of Lebanon supported Arab aid to the rebels. This year, the Jordanians no longer support Arab aid to the anti-Assad rebels, leaving only the Sunnis and Christians of Lebanon to support such aid. Of course, the Jews of Israel support Arab aid to topple Assad.
The populations surveyed were Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Lebanese Sunnis, Lebanese Christians, Lebanese Shia, Israel, Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews.
Out of 14 groups surveyed, 13 oppose US aid to the Syrian rebels and only 1 group supports it.
Out of the same 14 groups, 11 oppose Arab aid to the Syrian rebels and 3 support it.
The US Deep State sold support for the Syrian rebels on the grounds that it would increase support for the US in the Arab World and get them back on our side. It’s not working out that way.
It is looking like the Arabs do not want the US interfering at all in Arab conflicts.
It was done in Jordan 2 years ago. Turkey has been helping these guys and training them and their ilk all along, playing a double game. I think Turkey really stepped in it this time. Turkey in these wars is playing the same role that Pakistan played in the mujahedin wars in Afghanistan – a rear base for supplies and fighters to filter into the war zone. Fighters come out of Turkey and refugees and the wounded go back in. This is all going to blow back on these idiot Turks just like it did to the Pakistanis. At some point, these ISIS idiots will be defeated in one way or another. They will sulk back into Turkey and after a while, they will stir up a lot of trouble in Turkey just like they did in Pakistan.
The comments section is very interesting. WND is Loony Tune Central, the crazed rightwing base of the Republican Party. However there is an amazing amount of sanity and common sense in the comments which is at odds with this group of people. What is odd is that many of the folks in the comments sound exactly like anti-imperialist liberals and Leftists. Maybe the Republican base is tiring of Empire too. And what’s even more odd is maybe we can make an alliance with these folks on a few things like foreign policy. I will ally with just about anyone, with maybe only a few exceptions.
I have known about this for a long time. Most of the money is coming out of Kuwaiti banks, but Saudis are also heavily involved. The money mostly comes from private citizens in those countries, but there are reports that Saudi government officials are also involved.
Of course, the United States has been supporting ISIS all along too if you ask me. We supposedly are only flooding Syria with aid and guns to the Free Syrian Army, but I have heard that a great deal of that money was going to ISIS. Further, the radical Islamists’ home base for entering Syria has been Jordan and Turkey. The US military and CIA, NATO, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have a mass presence in Turkey and (all except NATO) in Jordan. So if you are looking for someone to blame for ISIS, blame:
The US government, military and CIA
All of these groups have been supporting ISIS and other Islamist nuts all this time. The purpose? To use them as shock troops for overthrowing President Assad in Syria. Why must Assad be overthrown? He is anti-US, pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iran. Why is Assad anti-US? Because he is anti-Israel. Why do we hate Iran and Hezbollah? They are anti-US. Why are they anti-US? Because they hate Israel.
As with so many things in the Middle East, it all comes back around to Israel.
The truth is that Islamist/Al Qaeda/takfiri radical Islamists are one of the proxy armies that the US uses from time to time.
Repost from the old site.
Ever since the Lebanon War last summer between Hezbollah and Israel, much nonsense has been written about this organization, much of it from Zionists and US imperialists in the press. It is time for a rational overview. Lie: Hezbollah is the puppet of Iran and Syria.
Not true! Is Israel the puppet of the US? Well, the US supports Israel, right? Despite the US support, Israel is not the puppet of the US. Israel does what it damned well wants. Well, yes, Hezbollah gets support from Syria and Iran, but they don’t take orders from them anymore than Israel takes orders from America.
In truth, Hezbollah does what it wants. Iran was probably informed before Hezbollah started this war, but that’s about it. And Hezbollah’s autonomy from Syria is well-documented. Syria uses Hezbollah to keep up the pressure on Israel, not because they want to kill all the Jews, like insane Zionists insist, but because they want the Golan Heights back.
Iran supports Hezbollah in order to support Shia power in the region, and because Hezbollah’s leadership supports the Iranian revolution and because Iran hates Israel. Lie: The Lebanon War was started by Iran to take the heat off its nuclear program.
Not true! It looks like Hezbollah started the war on its own in order to try to win back some Lebanese that Israel has been holding captive for a long time.
But they had no idea that the war would go this way. They thought it would just be a few days of shelling back and forth and then they would get down to some hard bargaining. They were totally taken by surprise by Israel’s response. Lie: Hezbollah “started the war”.
Well, yes, Hezbollah conducted a cross-border raid, killed and wounded some Israelis, then grabbed some captives and took them back to Lebanon.
But to place all of the responsibility for the resulting war in which Israel destroyed Lebanon is insane. Israel’s wild response was part of a war that they had been planning for over a year, in concert with the US, and the war was conducted by both the US and Israel.
In fact, Ehud Olmert has recently given testimony in Israel that he had been planning this war for months along with the neocons in the Bush Administration. The Israeli military already had advanced plans for this war that they had developed with Ariel Sharon.
The neocons were trying to use the war against Hezbollah as an excuse to attack Syria, but Israel would not take the bait. They wanted to go after Hezbollah’s main backer, Iran. Since Iran could not be hit itself, the second best option was to go after Syria. The apparent purpose was to weaken Iran’s allies Syria and Hezbollah prior to an attack on Iran itself.
This explains why both the US and Israel have been refusing to deal with Syria’s increasingly desperate efforts to negotiate a settlement on the Golan Heights (Syria is even willing to turn the Golan into a “peace park” and give Israelis free access to visit it.
Since this war, logically, Syria has been edgy, and has been building up its forces along the border with Israel. But in the crazy paranoid Israeli mindset, this is seen as Syria preparing for a (in my opinion, an obviously suicidal) war with Israel. Even the distinguished Martin Van Creveld, Israel’s top military historian, has bought into this nonsense.
What will stop the upcoming Syrian war? Let’s ask Van Creveld. Only a US attack on Iran. What will hasten it? A US withdrawal from Iraq and a US refusal to attack Iran. We can see the twisted Israeli thinking. If the US does what Israel wants, the nonexistent war can be prevented. If the US acts against Israel’s wishes in the region, the fake war can be prevented. Lie: Hezbollah is an insane terrorist group that is dedicated to killing all the Jews.
Jews just love this one, since so many of them are afflicted with a paranoid-masochistic character that just eats this stuff up. It’s not true.
Hezbollah is not opposed to a Jewish state, they just don’t like that Jews stole Palestine, which they did. Lebanon is a Lebanese nationalist organization. They mobilized to fight Israel when Israel annexed South Lebanon. Ten years of guerrilla war won it back for Hezbollah and Lebanon and Hezbollah were the heroes of Lebanese nationalists.
Hezbollah is now fighting to get back the Shebaa Farms, Lebanese land that Israel occupies and refuses to give back to Lebanon on some very phony grounds. They have also made some noises about three or four Lebanese Shia villages that Israel conquered, ethnically cleansed and annexed in the 1948 War.
Many of the people in the South, where many Palestinians live in refugee camps, and people have lived through numerous conflicts with Israel, really hate Israel, and understandably so. So here for an overview of the people’s views of Israel.
Hezbollah has said that if the Palestinians accept Israel for a Palestinian state, Hezbollah will stand by that. Unfortunately, Hezbollah’s leaders have made some lamentable anti-Semitic remarks and it is disgusting that they call one of their missiles “Khaibar” in reference to the Khaibar tribe of Jews who had their men killed and their women enslaved by Mohammad. Lie: Hezbollah are radical fundamentalist Muslims, like Al Qaeda.
Not so! At the beginning, Hezbollah laid down Islamic Law in south Lebanon but over time they found that it was not going over well, so since 1990 or so, they have lifted most of their restrictions.
At the time, Hezbollah banned alcohol and forced women to wear headcovers. Both of those bans have now been lifted by Nasrallah. However, Hezbollah still arrests homosexuals and turns them over the Lebanese police, since I believe that homosexuality is illegal in Lebanon. They may beat some of them too.
The Shia in particular seem to take a hard line against homosexuality, as the Iranian regime and the Iraq Shia have really persecuted gay men. The Iranians mostly beat them up, harass them and send them to jail for short stays. The Iraqi Shia have also been beating them, but apparently they have also killed quite a few gay men.
The Shia doing this include the Dawa and SCIRI parties that the US supports in Iraq. Hezbollah’s supporters include many liberated females, I saw a video on Youtube of Lebanese women without hijabs driving a car and smoking cigarettes, then doing a belly dance, all the while saying how they supported Hezbollah.
Hezbollah rallies have included quite a few beautiful young women without hijabs, and many have been dressed racily. Josh Landis tells of how during the Lebanese Civil War, when Hezbollah took over a district, they imposed Islamic Law, but it went over so poorly that they soon rescinded most of it. Lie: Well, at least Iran is a radical fundamentalist state like Al Qaeda.
Nor is Iran. Women have many more rights in Iran than they do in the Gulf. The dress code is loosely adhered to and the religious police no longer bother mixed couples. Fredericks of Hollywood stores dot Tehran.
Middle class and upper middle class young people are engaging in lots of promiscuous sex and not much is being done to stop them. One of Iran’s top race car drivers is a woman. There are many women in Parliament and most or all professions are open to women. Compare to Saudi Arabia where only 5% or so of women are even employed.
Alcohol, marijuana and especially opium are widely consumed at parties and not much is done about that. Prostitution is widespread, especially in the religious city of Qom, where they serve the religious students. There, throngs of young women meet men and go before mullahs to get a temporary marriage in order to have sex.
The temporary marriage is merely a cover for prostitution. There is so much prostitution in Tehran that the religious leadership has suggested having official houses for them, all under the banner of temporary marriage. The religious leadership has also recognized transsexualism and one of the top mullahs is a transsexual.
Temporary marriage is widespread, and a famous Iranian female parliamentarian has had sexual relationships with many men, including top mullahs, under this rubric and has written about it. Also, Iran is much more democratic than most of the Sunni regimes, and this is one of the things that the Sunni regimes fear most about Iran.
Supporters of this theory can always come up with this or that atrocity to demonstrate how Iran is an Al Qaeda-like state, but the truth is more complicated than that. Lie: Hezbollah has savagely persecuted the Israeli-backed South Lebanese Army.
After Israel’s withdrawal in 2000, most people expected that there would be widespread paybacks for the South Lebanese Army (most of whom were Shia, not Maronites as it is commonly thought.
In fact, after Israel withdrew, Hezbollah issued a directive forbidding any attacks on the South Lebanon Army members, many of whom just went home. Quite a few others defected over to Israel.
That’s pretty amazing, considering that the French Resistance executed 10,000 “traitors” during World War 2. It’s also highly untypical behavior for a “terrorist” group. Lie: Hezbollah is a terrorist group.
Well, for the most part it is a Lebanese resistance organization, and the vast majority of its attacks are against Israeli military targets.
It’s true that during the war, they fired rockets at Israeli cities and killed some civilians, but many of those attacks were actually aimed at strategic targets like arms factories and military bases that Israel cynically put right in the middle of Arab towns, so that if they enemy attacked, they would kill a lot of Arabs by accident.
On the other hand, Israel killed far more civilians in this war, and somehow avoided the “terrorist” label. Isn’t that kind of unfair? Lie: Hezbollah and Iran are out to kill or convert all the Sunnis and then attack and kill or convert all the infidels in a world war, after which everyone will be a Shia Muslim.
I could not believe that people actually believed that one, but I heard a number of (mostly) Zionists and US imperialists repeating this bit of Sunni paranoia.
On the Sunni conversion, see here. On the rest of it, forget it. Shia is the nigger of the (Muslim) World. The relationship between Sunni and Shia is similar to that between Whites and Blacks during the Jim Crow South, with the Sunnis being the Whites and Shia being the Blacks.
The notion of Shia takeover is similar to fantasies of poor downtrodden Blacks taking over the South, or America. In Lebanon, the Shia say that the Sunnis used to only let them work as garbage collectors. Shia youngsters were routinely taunted and attacked by Sunni gangs in Beirut in the 1970’s. Lie: Hezbollah gets Iranian money for schools and hospitals to brainwash Lebanese into supporting the terrorists.
No! The reason they do this is because to this day, the bigoted Lebanese government that the US supports provides almost zero money whatsoever for any kind of development whatsoever in South Lebanon.
This is the reality of Lebanon, and its always been this way. Someone has to do it, the government won’t, so Hezbollah steps in. Good for them! Lie: Hezbollah is trying to take over Lebanon to make a fundamentalist Islamic state there.
Well, that is their stated intention. In the early days, they may have believed it.
In recent statements, Nasrallah has said that an Islamic state is only possible in Lebanon if the “vast majority”, meaning over 80% or so, or people support it. That is not likely any time in the near future, so the project is all but written off. Hezbollah is reckoning itself to Lebanese reality. Lie: Lebanese Christians are poor, downtrodden and horribly persecuted by Muslims.
Nonsense. In fact, they have always run the country! This lie is spread by some of the Maronite fascists. In the late 1950’s, Marines landed in Lebanon to help preserve an election that the Christians stole.
The real cause of the Civil War was the Muslims wanting a fairer share of the pie that the Christians had unfairly dominated for far too long. The Christians are being forced to concede some of their excess power in Lebanon (though they still have most of the money and much of the political power) and this is why some of the Maronites are wailing so much about “persecution”. Lie: The Lebanon War last year was between Israel and a group of terrorists called Hezbollah. Most other Lebanese were not involved or opposed Hezbollah.
As you can see here, Israel was fighting much more than Hezbollah in South Lebanon.
In the Battle of Aita Al Shaab, most of the village fought against Israel, under the leadership of Hezbollah, true, but most fighters were just “local militia” who were not actually Hezbollah fighters. Further, there was quite a bit of fighting from members of the Lebanese Communist Party. The Amal militia fought against Israel too.
Truth is, Israel was essentially fighting a war against the people of South Lebanon. It’s true that a certain amount of that resistance was Hezbollah, but much of it was just local militia fighting for their homes and towns.
In the town of Marjayoun, during the Civil War the headquarters of the pro-Israeli South Lebanon Army, Israel came under attack soon after they entered the town by members of Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP). Most of the members of this party are Greek Orthodox.
In fact, it may be the most popular political party among Lebanese Greek Orthodox. In the Sunni villages, the local Muslim Brotherhood and another fundamentalist group organized an armed resistance.
Furthermore, 80-90% of Lebanese supported Hezbollah during the war, including 80% of Christians. The sickening US media deliberately lied about this, making much of the tiny minority of Lebanese who opposed Hezbollah, acting like they were the majority, and trying to portray the country as “divided”. Lie: Hezbollah forces salute using “Nazi salutes”, so that means that Hezbollah idolizes and Nazis and wants to kill all the Jews just like Nazis did.
Much is made of this on Zionist and rightwing blogs and even in the mainstream press. See here and here for two examples. For more examples, see here, here and here.
In the last example, written by a militant Jewish Zionist named Lewis Loflin, although the photo on the right is of Hezbollah forces giving a “Nazi salute”, the photo on the right, which he states is of a Hamas fighter giving the Nazi salute, is actually of a PFLP fighter.
You can tell it is a PFLP fighter by the characteristic red headband and the poster and Ahmed Sa’adat, the present leader of the PFLP. Many people say that the PFLP is dead, but it is interesting how a dead organization could afford full uniforms, headbands, posters and automatic weapons.
This blog strongly supports the PFLP, and as leftists, I assure you that the mainstream PFLP does not like Nazis one bit.
The fact is that the “Nazi salutes used by Hezbollah fighters” is propaganda.
This is a type of salute which was originally known as the “Roman salute”. It has a fascinating history, and was widely used by many countries before World War II. Under the name “Bellamy salute” or “flag salute”, it used to be usual salute used when saying the US Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. A photo of the Bellamy salute is here.
Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute.
The association with Nazism has been so strong that the salute has rarely been used by non-Nazi organizations since the end of World War II. There are several exceptions; one is the Republic of China (Taiwan), where the salute is still used during the swearing of oaths in inaugurations.
The salute is also still used by some Palestinian militant groups. It is also known to be used by the Tamil separatist organization, the LTTE, while saluting their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Lie: Hezbollah does not support Israel’s right to exist and therefore they want to wipe it off and map and kill all 5.1 million Jews there in the process.
Embedded in this clever argument is the notion that any nation or regime has any kind of inherent right to exist.
Did colonies and empires and occupied territories have a right to exist too? The very notion that any nation-state on Earth has some kind of a rock-solid “right” to exist is strange and counter-intuitive.
Sure, humans have a right to get together and make nations out of mapped out geographical parcels, but why does that mean that that nation has some kind of a laid in tone specific right to exist?
The fact is that throughout history, nations, empires and colonies have come and gone. The ones that no longer exist had no greater or lesser right to exist than any existing state does.
Meanwhile, the US has initiated a very controversial plan to counter Shia influence in the region. The plan is being coordinated with Saudi Arabia, specifically Prince Bandar, who has a longstanding relationship with US Administrations, and possibly the Jordanian government, especially Jordanian intelligence.
They are working to arm and build up the pro-US Siniora government and stoke sectarianism in Lebanon.
Part of this plan, outrageously, has involved money given by the US, via the Siniora regime, to three Sunni Salafist groups who are pro-Al Qaeda. These groups are being armed in order to fight Hezbollah (since they loathe Shiites). If push comes to shove between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government, these groups will be used to battle it out with Hezbollah.
Outrageously, the US is once again funding Al Qaeda, which shows that imperialism truly has no morals at all. See The Seymour Hersch’s The Redirection in the latest New Yorker magazine (video here).
The Saudis are racists who hate the Shia and want to keep them down. In fact, most of the Sunni Arab regimes are like this. They all look to the Ottoman Empire when the Sunnis ruled the roost and the Shia were kept down by force. This is the Sunni Jim Crow era that they long for.
It is outrageous that the US is supporting Sunni Jim Crow racism against the downtrodden Shia and it is particularly despicable that the Israeli Jews, considering the history of the Jews, are supporting the oppressor against the oppressed. Or maybe that is what Israel is all about?
120 security forces dead and 35 opposition members killed. Rebels reportedly number in the 1000’s and are armed with RPG’s and automatic weapons. The biased Western news is casting doubt on the figures, saying that the government ginned them up to justify a crackdown. But the figures appear to be valid. Attacks included an ambush on police, the blowing up of a post office and rebel snipers on rooftops.
Nine tanks were destroyed, and 2 helicopters were downed. All of the government buildings in town were burned to the ground. Monday night they seized the army’s explosive stores near the dams on the Orontes River. They used these to blow up dams over the river that link central and southern Syria. This will prevent tanks from moving into the area to put down the uprising.
On Internet sites, supporters of the regime (there are many, many of them) are furious about the soldiers being killed and are demanding blood. Meanwhile, opposition supporters are cheered.
This purely Sunni Arab city is right near the Turkish border and the rebels got the weapons smuggled in from Turkey. The fighters are 100% made of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The MB has had decades of military experience in fighting the Syrian regime. They even had training camps in Iraq for a time. Many have since gone on to become a major faction in Al Qaeda.
In fact, this is how Al Qaeda developed. After the crackdowns against the MB in Egypt and Syria around 1980, many Egyptian and Syrian MB members fled their countries for various places. Many went to Saudi Arabia, often as religious teachers. There, their militant stance mixed with Wahhabi theology (at that point, mostly quietist) to produce a potent brew. This is what led to Al Qaeda.
When talking of Al Qaeda, it is sometime said, “All roads lead to the Ikhwan.” The Ikhwan is the MB, in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria. The MB is also big in Jordan, but they are mostly quietist there. The Palestinian MB is actually Hamas, but Hamas does not like to discuss that because the MB is not popular in Palestine.
The relationship between the MB and Al Qaeda and other such groups is very complex. Obviously, many MB members are not supporters of Al Qaeda, much less members. MB groups do not openly support Al Qaeda. But the MB is like an incubation tube where jihadis fester for a while before they move to Al Qaeda. Furthermore, MB members flow in and out of Al Qaeda, and AQ members flow in and out of MB, and nobody much discusses this in either organization.
The MB is a huge organization, and obviously most are not jihadis. But the MB is always spinning off small numbers of jihadis that move on to groups like Al Qaeda.
This is the nationalist Right, including the White nationalist Right’s hero, Geert Wilders. Yeah, he’s socking it to those scummy Muslims and those dirty immigrants, who, it turns out, are all Muslims too.
This is what you get, idiots. When you vote for Islamophobes, you get the worst Zionists of all. I’ve been through all of the anti-Islam sites out there, including all of the blogs. It is axiomatic that if one if an Islamophobic nut, one is also a fanatical Zionist. One goes with the other.
Wilders is calling for Israel to annex the West Bank, ramp up settlement building as much as possible, and apparently to send the Palestinians to Jordan (“Jordan is the Palestinian homeland.”) This is even more radical than Avigdor Lieberman.
Like I said, this is par for the course with Muslim-haters. If you’re a Muslim hater, you heart Israel. Why? Because the most fanatical Muslim haters of all are in Israel. Because Muslims hate Israel, and therefore, Israel must be good. Because Israel is part of the Judeo-Christian West under assault by Islam.
On the other hand, most anti-Semites love Muslims. This makes no sense to me. I’ve been around enough Muslims to figure out that they are not the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, they are much worse than that. Confined to their sandboxes, they do a minimum of harm, but we let that cat out of the bag long ago. If you hate Israel, you love Islam. If you hate Jews, you love Muslims. Why? Once again, the biggest and nastiest anti-Semites out there these days are Muslims. They’re the coolest and baddest Jew-haters of all! Yeah! If you hate Israel, well, Islam does too.
Of course there’s a sensible line that almost no one takes. It could look something like this:
They both suck.
The Arab World sucks.
They both suck.
A better line is proposed by the Left in the region, especially the Left in Iran and Afghanistan. The Left in that part of the world is not wild about Islam, after all, Muslims pretty much exterminated the Left in that part of the world, and Islam is behind almost everything reactionary in Central Asia, in particular women’s rights. This is where RAWA, the famous Afghan women’s movement, is coming from. They grew out of the Afghan Maoist Left. The Left in that region also hates Israel of course, in line with the general Left line on Zionism.
Are the Saudis behind Muslim terror most everywhere, or does it just seem like it?
After all, 80% of Al Qaeda were Saudis several years ago. What’s the figure now? We know that Zarqawi’s Iraqi Al Qaeda was full of men from the Gulf, not necessarily Saudi Arabia, but Arabia nonetheless. Fallujah was full of these guys in 2004 during the two horrible US invasions of the town.
And support for Al Qaeda is high in the Kingdom. A good 50% of the population supported bin Laden a few years back. The Al Qaeda unit inside Saudi Arabia, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, had vast support and was able to penetrate into the deepest recesses of the Saudi security forces during its operations. This is how it raided embassies.
There were also times during the worst of the AQAP operations that the Saudi security forces just let AQAP escape from their very hands. This was due to huge support for AQAP inside the Saudi security forces themselves. What’s happened since? With the death of the horrible Muqrin, the AQAP leader, the organization seems to have temporarily given up armed struggle inside the Kingdom.
The very decision to initiate armed struggle inside Saudi Arabia was very difficult for bin Laden, since there had always been an implicit agreement between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia to keep its attacks outside the Kingdom. That was part of the deal. The decision to initiate attacks inside Saudi Arabia was a momentous one, and was possibly controversial with its supporters.
For a long time there, maybe two or three years, there were regular shootouts with AQAP and the Saudi security forces, and the security forces lost a lot of men. During the peak of the conflict, AQAP had men in the streets at night and ruled whole districts of major cities when the sun went down, and the security forces just stayed out.
So what’s happened to AQAP? Why did they quit attacking the Saudi state? That’s an interesting story right there. Has anyone written about it? John Bradley? Anyone else?
Fatah Islam, an insane Salafist offshoot of a Palestinian group that took over a refugee camp in north Lebanon and shot up Lebanon for a few weeks last year, leaving lots of dead Lebanese soldiers and a wrecked camp, was 30% Saudis. Some Palestinian group, eh?
Everyone knows that Iraqi Al Qaeda is full of Saudis, that one of its leaders is a Saudi, that Saudis are the nationality with the most suicide bombers in Iraq, that Saudi preachers, even government preachers, praise the Iraqi guerrillas every week with no consequences.
In Saudi Arabia, there have been 1000’s of funerals of Saudis killed in Iraq. Probably at least 3,000 young Saudi men who went to fight there have come home in boxes. The funerals are a big deal in Arabia. Check out John Bradley on the Net for more.
How about all the Gulf money pouring into the Iraqi insurgency? Do you realize that that money only goes to radical Salafist type groups that are synonymous with Iraqi Al Qaeda for all intents and purposes? This is what has given the Iraqi guerrillas their Wahhabi – Salafist character and killed the secular and Leftist groups that were fighting in Iraq through 2003.
Afghanistan and Western Pakistan, home of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and like groups, is flooded with Gulf money, and all the money goes to Wahhabi mosques. These mosques churn out the Taliban types like assembly line plants.
The IMU in Uzbekistan, most active before 2001, but later transplanted to the FATA in Pakistan where they are still active as pretty much an arm of Al Qaeda, was created by young Uzbek men getting influenced by insane and evil radicalism in Saudi-funded mosques.
There is a major dust-up in Chechnya these days about Wahhabism and how much it has penetrated the Chechen guerrillas and Chechen society. Chechen religious leaders are preaching against Wahhabism, which, it is true, is alien to traditional Chechen religious culture. No one really knows how many Wahhabis there were in the Chechen guerrillas, but their communiques have gotten more Salafist in tone as time has worn on.
They used to say that 12% of the Chechen insurgency was Wahhabi. What is it now? The current leader of the Chechen guerrillas, in a bid to appeal to the anti-Wahhabi nature of Chechen society, has said that his group is in the Chechen tradition of Sufism, not Wahhabism. But then why do they refer to government security forces as apostates? That’s Al Qaeda Salafist talk.
Al Qaeda is still very big in Yemen, and they carry out major operations from time to time, operations that could not go down without penetration of security forces. A group of AQ in Yemen recently broke out of prison, and security forces involvement seems likely.
The Saudis are in Iran as we speak, preaching Wahhabism in the Ahwaz and converting the Shia Arabs to Sunni Wahhabism. And what upshot is this likely to have? Anything good?
Zarqawi’s group penetrated deep within Jordanian security forces and nearly carried out a mad acid attack on Western embassies in Amman. Zarqawi and his group of Shia-killers have mass support inside Jordan, among the tribes and among the regular folks. His ideology came straight from Jordan itself? Oh really now?
Why Hamas and its rise, and the decline of the PLO? All the Gulf, especially Saudi, money, goes to Hamas. They won’t give a dime to the secular groups. Looking for someone to blame for the radicalization of Palestine? Forget Iran and Syria. Look no further than the Gulf.
The hatred for the Shia that characterizes the Sunni radicals in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, is to some extent all fed by the Saudis. In Pakistan, the homicidal anti-Shia war was actually initiated in the 1970’s by Saudi-brainwashed Sunnis.
The entire Sunni world as a whole contributes to the Shia-hatred in a much lesser way, though it has become louder since the Iraq War. These were seeds that were always there in Sunni society, but have been given a homicidal and even genocidal watering with Saudi money and especially propaganda.
What created the mad Salafist insurgency in Algeria? Was it just homegrown Algerian fanaticism? Did the Gulf have nothing to do with this? Why do they now call themselves Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb?
What can you say about a place where the women can’t even drive a car? You call it Saudi Arabia. And there is good evidence that the women are not too happy about this state of affairs, but the Kingdom is a very complex place.
The Saudhouse, the Saudhouse. Oh, such corruption. The prince who spent his 20’s frying on LSD and smashing up other people’s stuff with his motorcycle. The princes who drink and whore around and all of that opportunistic male homosexuality. The thieving princes who steal land, homes and businesses right and left, and no one can do a thing about it.
In the Kingdom, the girls’ colleges are known for lesbians on the make, and lesbian love affairs and their ferocious breakups tear up the girls’ high schools. All of the princesses on pills, depressed, somaticizing, and their frustrated and lesbian love affairs in the South of France, why will no one speak of these things?
Situational bisexuality among males is everywhere there, and a Kuwaiti female friend estimated it at 50% at least. That’s what happens when you focus on males and females getting together. There is also evidence that Wahhabism is making large numbers of Saudi young people depressed in one way or other, though it is often somaticized or covered up in other ways.
Nobody will ever say anything about the Saudhouse. Wherever you find Al Qaeda, you find Saudis, and Saudi money. To this day. And that is all there is to it. Why will nobody say a thing about this?
Oh we know, we know. We know about the advisors of the emirs of Qatar who have deep connections with Al Qaeda, who had connections with some of the folks involved in 9-11. We know about the 27 pages in the 9-11 Report that were torn out because they had to do with the Saudis. They discussed the role of Saudi Arabia or its citizens, or both, in 9-11.
The US government buried them and Americans haven’t asked to see them. Why? Americans don’t care? What are we, sheep?
The whole US elite is corrupted. By Saudi money. By Saudi oil money, as they bat the tennis balls in Washington, DC with the princes. Who? Dick Cheney. Colin Powell. The Bushes. On and on. The oil and the money, addicting as crack.
The Saudi terror. The Saudi Sunni terror.
Why will no one discuss this wound that moans so loudly as it limps through our injured world?
Note: Repost from the old blog.
There has been much talk lately of Islam clashing with non-Muslim European culture and civilization. Starting in the 1960’s or so, Europe began importing a lot of North Africans as a source of cheap labor.
Moroccans went to Netherlands and Spain, Tunisians and Algerians to France, Pakistanis to Britain, Turks, Kurds and Syrians to Germany, Libyans to Italy, and Iraqis to Norway and Denmark. Over 40 years, the Left in Europe has tried multiculturalism with the Muslim immigrants, an approach which has completely failed.
Large populations of angry young Muslims who completely reject European civilization can now be found in many of Europe’s cities. Many of the Muslim immigrants are openly hostile to open, Western, secular European values, especially women’s rights, gay liberation, pornography and open sexual expression, revealing clothing on women and women’s sexual freedom.
Many are upset that it is illegal to beat your wife or menace, beat or kill your female relatives for being “sexually loose”.
At the same time, it is true that there are a large percentage of mostly young Muslims (especially females) who are crafting a new, more open and tolerant view of Islam.
This hopeful view can be seen in the French Muslim Women’s Movement called “Neither Submissives Nor Whores” (loose translation). Many young Muslim women in Britain are refusing to wear the hijab while citing perfectly reasonable Koranic views that say that the hijab is not mandatory.
In fact, after Mohammad’s death, Fatima, Mohammad’s daughter, often preached in the mosque and never wore the hijab. One can make a case that only the prophets’ wives were required to wear the hijab.
One can also make the case that the hijab was only meant to cover a women’s breasts or her private parts – the Koranic wording is very loose and non-specific – it says a woman should cover her “ornaments” and her bosom.
Over centuries, however, Islamic scholars, operating merely on such loose phrases as “Men and women should dress modestly”, have elaborated a strict dress code that applied mostly to women, little to men, and ended up saying that most of a woman’s body should be almost completely covered. These scholars have had little Koranic basis making such a determination.
For centuries in Islam under the Ottomans, most women did not wear the hijab – it was mostly worn by upper-class women as a symbol of their wealth and status.
The “mandatory hijab” came about more with the anti-colonial movements in the Muslim World at the turn of the century, as people turned inwards towards the more fundamentalist and reactionary versions of their cultures as an anti-colonial statement.
Multiculturalism has completely failed in Denmark. The Left pushed it for years and all it has created is a Muslim community largely hostile to secular Danish society at large and openly refusing to assimilate.
In the 1970’s and 80’s, many wealthy Iraqis and Iranians came to Denmark – those who could afford to get out. Many of their children – young people in their teens and 20’s, acted like spoiled brats. They were angry at having to leave their countries and they despised Denmark.
The Danes set up taxpayer-funded programs to teach them Danish so they could get a job. Many of them attended classes but openly refused to learn Danish. Many of them still do not know Danish and are largely unemployable. When the teachers left, they would destroy the libraries in the schools where they were being taught.
A combination of upper-class spoiled brattism plus Eastern contempt for the secular West proved to be a bad combination.
After decades of multiculturalism, Netherlands and Denmark are hanging up the towel and demanding that new immigrants either assimilate to the culture or take off. Radical imams who are not citizens are being summarily deported.
The consequences of the failure to assimilate are clear: one consequence is gang rapes. Gang rapes by young Muslim men of non-Muslim European women have been reported in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Australia, France and Indonesia.
There has been an epidemic of gang rapes in French Muslim ghettos also. Outrageously, in many cases, the police do not even prosecute these rapes because the gangs run roughshod over the neighborhoods and the female victims are too terrified to testify. For their part, most of the rapists insist that they did nothing wrong.
In the Muslim neighborhoods of Malmo, Sweden, there is a horrendous crime epidemic by Muslim youth gangs who rule the area and utterly despise Swedish society. Threats against crime witnesses, robberies, rapes of minors and gang rapes have all exploded in Malmo. In the schools, where most students are Muslim immigrants, there is widespread anti-Semitism.
Malmo is the face of catastrophic Muslim failure to assimilate to European society.
A similar picture haunts Denmark, where an astounding 68% of all rapes in Denmark are committed by Muslims, who are only 6% of the population. In Norway, it’s a similar nightmare, as 65% of rapes there are committed by Muslims, who are only 4% of the population. In recent years, Oslo has registered its highest rape rate ever – and Muslims are wildly overrepresented in Oslo’s rape explosion.
In Britain, there is a notable incidence of rape by Muslims of non-Muslim White British girls. In Denmark, eight Muslim Danish girls were killed by Muslim fundamentalist Medievalists for either leaving Islam or for honor crimes.
There is a ready explanation for the high rape rate amongst Muslims in Europe. In their home countries, the crime rate in general and the rape rate in particular is often quite low, Pakistan being an exception.
Muslims are most comfortable living in Muslim societies. Living as a Muslim minority under the rule of infidels is insulting and hurtful to the unfortunately supremacist mindset of most Muslims.
Living under Muslim rule accords well with such supremacism. Islam is meant to dominate, and the word itself means to submit. In Europe, young Muslim men are outraged at the scanty clothing and loose sexual mores of many European White non-Muslim women.
In their way of thinking, such women are whores, and they are more or less for the taking. It is permissible to rape them, since they are making themselves readily available. In their home countries, there are not many women walking around clothed like that, and women’s sexual freedom is an underground thing, so their mores are not so offended.
Furthermore, there is stigma attached to being a criminal in an Islamic society, whereas as a Muslim minority under the rule of infidels, perhaps there is less stigma and possibly criminal behavior is even seen as appropriate rebellion.
We should note here that many of the young Muslim criminals in Europe are not especially religious and most are actually turned off by radical Islam. There is something else going on here – a profound sense of alienation and rage.
The problems of Muslims in France are particularly acute, where they make up about 12% of the population, and in recent years have staged wild riots lasting weeks in which they burned 1000’s of cars and abandoned buildings. Nobody quite knows what these riots are all about, but the Muslims living in the suburbs of big French cities are clearly not very happy campers.
But all of the usual signs are there. In French Muslim ghettos, the insanity of Left multiculturalism has left Islamic fundamentalist cretin morals police to roam the French ghettos – harassing and attacking women who are not veiled.
There is an ongoing disaster in French schools, where the schools have been taken over by male Islamists who act as “big brothers” and enforce “Islamic morals” on Muslim girls. Makeup, dresses and skirts are banned, and girls are not allowed to go to the movies, to the gym or go swimming. These rules are enforced by these fundamentalist idiots via beatings and intimidation.
But the situation in the schools is actually better the scene outside of school, where the backwards custom of forcing unwilling girls into marriage at only age 14 or 15 is common.
Muslim students are in open rebellion against French society – they frequently refuse to read Voltaire and Madame Bovary, refuse to acknowledge the existence of other religions, refuse to sing, dance or draw pictures of faces, and will not draw anything that contains a right angle because it looks like a cross.
In my opinion, students who refuse to practice these basic normal scholastic activities due to their preposterous religion should simply be given an “F” in that subject, if only due to their sheer contemptuous defiance.
Muslim students, heads swollen with liberal “equal rights” bullshit, demand their own tables and their own bathrooms so they will not have to share them with infidels, the right to not come to school during Muslim holidays and the right to get served halal food.
It is almost impossible for secular or non-practicing Muslim students to avoid the Islamic dictates in these schools. For example, even non-Muslims are forced to fast during Ramadan.
The Muslim students show a lot of support of Islamist terrorism, a frightening amount of anti-Semitism and lots of aggressive Islamic proselytization. Jewish kids are subject to continuous racist and anti-Semitic abuse, and freedom of religious choice for minors can no longer be protected.
The lunacy has reached the point where the French now have almost separate facilities in their schools for Muslim and non-Muslim students, a Kafkaesque joke that makes a mockery of French Republicanism.
The new generation of French Muslims, born and raised in France, is being raised by their twisted culture to see themselves a separate nation opposed to everything the West stands for. In this group, anti-democratic views and support for Osama bin Laden are widespread.
Similar disaster looms elsewhere in the West. In Holland, you can see pitiful Moroccan girls with a smiley – their throats slashed (non-fatally), cut from mouth to ear with a knife for not wearing a veil. In Sweden, the charming folks at CAIR (the largest US Islamic organization) objected to prosecuting two Muslim men for the sick honor killing of a Swedish girl.
Prisons house wildly disproportionately Muslim populations, and they are serving as an incubator for radical Islamists in Europe.
Australia has also seen its share of the nightmare of Muslims refusing to assimilate to the West. In large Australian cities, many Lebanese have immigrated in recent years. Although many were Muslims, many more were Lebanese Christians.
For those Identity Politics Leftists who complain that this is due to anti-Arab racism by White Australians, the fact that Lebanese Christians have caused almost no problems at all in Australia is a slap in the face to their theory.
The usual symptoms of the nightmare afflict these areas of Australia, with Muslim gangs taking over Muslim districts, high crime rates, gang rapes of White Australian women by Muslim men, and with the added outrage that the gang rapes are both condoned by their backwards Muslim society and excused by morally twisted reactionary mullahs.
In one particularly outrageous case, the entire Muslim family of one rapist showed up at the trial to defend their sociopathic criminal rapist son, showing their utter contempt for the victim by calling her a slut and a liar throughout the trial.
In other cases, the barbarians in the families of the Muslim rapists threatened the families of the female rape victims.
Muslims like these are just backwards people with no place in Western society. We ought to collectively deport them back to their Middle Eastern sandboxes. Some of the insanity of these Muslims of course often mirrors the insanity of their backwards cultures back home (honor killings,etc.).
In barbarian Muslim Northern Nigeria, for instance, women who are raped by a family member are often punished by the law for adultery, similar to the insane Hudood Islamic laws in the nightmare state called Pakistan, laws instituted by former dictator Zia al-Haq’s Islamization process in the late 1970’s.
Haq’s Islamization process is widely considered to have been a disaster. As part of this process, he brought in large numbers of Saudi instructors and built a huge number of madrassas, or religious schools. The teachers in these schools were usually Salafists from the Gulf. This era was really the root cause of the radical Islamic movement in Pakistan.
It was then when radical Sunni gangs, egged on by Zia, were formed to attack the Shia “niggers” who had finally started to stand up for their just rights after having spent centuries withering under the boot of Sunni Jim Crow oppression in Pakistan.
I really don’t want to go here, but Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, a site pretty much devoted to bashing Muslims, does have an interesting and thought-provoking article here called, What Is a Moderate Muslim?.
Those who desire to refute Spencer need to put their money where their mouth is and offer reasonable, coherent arguments refuting his points. Simple insults like “Islamophobe” or “bigot” will not cut it.
Most reasonable progressives should agree that all forms of fundamentalism are examples of cretinism and obscurantism at best. This surely applies to Islam as well as Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism. Salafism is extremist fundamentalist Islam, and it can be reasonably attacked on many fronts.
It shares much in common with both the Wahhabism of the reactionary Saudis and with Qutbism, the philosophy of Al Qaeda. Many Western progressives are getting sucked into the vortex of backwards Sunni fundamentalist clowns, especially the Salafists. One argument is that some Salafists are peaceful, while the armed ones tend to resemble Mssrs. Zarqawi and Bin Laden.
I have always felt that peaceful Salafism is hate speech, kind of like the KKK without guns. In other words, it sucks. This blog post goes a long way towards fleshing that out.
This post has probably been a pretty depressing read for any Muslims or anyone sympathetic to Islam. Hence, we ought to end on a bright note.
A recent survey of the Arab World shows that the varieties of Islamic fundamentalist cretinism espoused by Wahhabism, Salafism, Qutbism, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, etc. are not popular at all in most of the Arab World.
Here are the results of the survey:
Vast majorities in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco support some variety women’s rights. Support for the Taliban-Al Qaeda position on women ranges from 1-9% in these countries.
98% said women should have the same rights to education as men clear through university. 91% said women should an equal right to work, and 78% said they should have the same working conditions as men. 91% said women should be allowed to own property and own and manage economic projects. 95% said women should be allowed to choose their own husbands, and 97% condemned physical and mental abuse of women.
62-90% opposed polygamy, but men supported it more than women. 79% supported women’s political activities and 76% said women should be able to hold office. There is much more support for the hijab, however – 43-50% said that women must wear it, while 1/2 said it was a personal decision.
On the down side, majorities in Jordan and Egypt opposed a female president, although Lebanese and Moroccans were less hostile.
Bottom line is that Arabs are not nearly as misogynistic, reactionary and fundamentalist as they are made out to be. By the way, the ME Times is a good progressive Middle Eastern publication, opposed to both Islamic fundamentalism and Arab backwardness and also to US imperialism and Zionism.
It’s a welcome anecdote from the usual Arab nationalist and pro- Arab regime junk you get from the Arab press, much of which is funded with Saudi money. Update: This post has received accolades from a conservative blogger at Pleasant Misery. Although we certainly disagree with conservatives on most things, in the fight against Muslim fundamentalist idiots, we will take any reasonable allies that we can find.
One of the points he made was that the Muslims in the Middle East appear to be better behaved than the Muslims in Europe. I do not think so – they are the same people. Let us face it – Islam wants to dominate; it is a supremacist religion.
In some places where Islam dominates, other religions are sometimes treated fairly well. Christians are treated with at least some degree of decency in Morocco, Iran, Uzbekistan, Albania, Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. Even Jews are treated fairly well in Iran, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and Albania.
Where Islam dominates, Muslims relax and can often treat other religions well.
And they can also also be moderately tolerant of sinful behavior. Many women in Lebanon and Egypt do not wear the hijab, and the hijab is almost banned in public places in Turkey, Tunisia and Libya. Prostitution and nightclubs are common in Beirut, Cairo and the UAE.
Mini-skirted upper class women are commonly seen on university campuses in Kuwait. Pre- and extramarital sex is common in Cairo.
There is a discreet underground male gay scene in Cairo and Upper Egypt, and in Morocco, Turkey, Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. There is quite a bit of lesbianism in Arabia, in girls schools and amongst the frustrated wives of the royalty. Gay male pornography is available to anyone in Arabia with a satellite dish, which just about everyone has.
There is a lot of illegal drinking in Kuwait and probably other places in the Arab World.
I could go on.
But in Europe, Muslims are a widely-despised minority, and more importantly, they are being ruled by infidels. Islam wants to dominate, and Muslims rebel when ruled by infidels. The open sexuality, alcohol, drugs, prostitution, pornography, gay populations and feminism contrasts with the discretion with which such areas are treated back home under Islam.
This is the crux of the matter.
But those Western Muslims who are unable to assimilate to Western societies need to consider going somewhere else.
Muslims who consistently violate and show contempt for Western norms and continue to espouse backwards fundamentalist values – for instance, Muslims who believe that those who insult Islam or women who preach in mosques should be killed – need to be removed from Western societies if possible, hopefully via deportation.
This post will provide an overview of why the Iranian regime is hated so much by US imperialism and Zionism, and why they plotted a Green “color revolution” to throw out one of the last holdouts of Arab – Islamic resistance in the region.
Except for Iran, Syria, Hamas-Gaza and Hezbollah, all of the rest of the Arab and Islamic World has folded in the face of the Zionist onslaught or been bought off by US imperialism.
Saddam was another rejectionist, but the Zionist traitor neoconservatives engineered an illegal invasion to bring him down.
Ghaddafi was threatened with invasion by the same folks, and promptly folded.
The Palestinians now effectively have no outside support.
Egypt collaborates with Zionism to police the Gaza border and assists in the starvation and deprivation of the Gazans. Egyptian police prevent guns from flowing to the Gazans for their noble resistance to the Zionist enemy.
Jordan was captured long ago. Elections are not allowed in Jordan, because the 65% Palestinian population would elect a radical anti-Zionist regime.
Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco are bought off and sold to the US. Anti-US and anti-Israel demonstrations are regularly crushed with brutality in Tunisia. None of these states are democracies, because democracy would allow an anti-Zionist and anti-US regime to be elected.
In Arabia, there are no democracies. All of the regimes are sold out to the US. There are US military bases in all nations, for the sole reason of policing the Arabian peoples. The effect is that the Arabian peoples are under a dictatorship of US military bases combined with local satraps and Quislings. It’s true the Saudis allow fighters to go to Arab lands, but only to Iraq to fight the Shia that they hate so much.
Lebanon has been under imperialist-Zionist assault for years now. With the election of a French Jew to head the French state, France is now firmly in the Zionist camp. This, along with a colonial attachment to the Lebanese fake state that never died, explains why France has gone along with imperialism-Zionism in Lebanon.
Iraq is now occupied by imperialism-Zionism in the form of the US military and will be occupied into the forseeable future. Iraq was attacked because it was one of the only Arab holdouts that stood steadfast against imperialism and Zionism in the region. Also, they allowed no bases and opened up their oil to non-Americans.
The invasion, in collaboration with the Zionist enemy, was planned to remove the holdout Saddam of the Arab resistance, to remove the competitors of US oil companies from the oil fields they were developing, to take over Iraq’s oil for the US, to use Iraqi oil to flood the oil market and lower the price, killing the Saudis and Gulf states of their oil weapon (the Gulf Arabians, while US allies, are distrusted by International Zionism, and they hatched the Iraqi invasion).
With permabases in Iraq and the biggest US embassy on Earth in Baghdad, US control over the region was seized by force.
It was only due to fortitude that the Iraqi resistance soon led an insurgency against the invaders. If they would not have done this, we know for a fact that the US military would have done a “left turn at Baghdad, and headed for Syria”, as their Zionist masters were ordering them too.
With Iraq out of the way, Libya was quickly subdued with threats of force.
Arafat was murdered by the Israelis. They placed a Mossad agent as his cook and poisoned his food. The Abbas clique went along with the poisoning since they hated Arafat. Getting Arafat out of the way was a long-standing goal of the Zionist agenda. Then elections were held in Palestine, but the results came out wrong and Hamas won.
The Abbas forces were trained by the US to be the shock troops of Zionism in Palestine. Indeed, Abbas forces are utilized primarily against those Palestinians in Hamas who still dare to resist the Zionist enemy.
A plot was concocted to oust the pro-Syrian regime in Lebanon, but it failed. Syria probably killed Hariri, but Hariri was selling out Lebanon to imperialism and Zionism, and Syria would not stand for that.
What does Syria want? One thing and one thing only. They want the Golan back. For this, they will sacrifice everything, the Palestinians, Arabism, you name it. The only card left that Syria holds to enable it to get back the Golan is their auxiliary force in Lebanon, Hezbollah. This is why Syria must not allow Hezbollah to be dismantled. If Hezbollah is dismantled, Syria has lost their last cards too get the Golan back, and they will never be able to get their land back.
The killing of Hariri resulted in international pressure against Syria, including sanctions. There was also an international effort made to disarm and dissolve Hezbollah. The effort to get rid of Hezbollah seems to have failed, although pro-Hezbollah forces won 45% in the last elections. The mini-Hariri crowd that won with 55% is widely seen as the voice of imperialism and Zionism in Lebanon.
A few years ago, with the connivance of US imperialism, US neoconservatives along with Israel concocted a plot to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon. The purpose here was to decisively defeat Hezbollah and wipe out their substantial missile stockpile. This invasion largely failed to accomplish this mission.
The UN was then given the task of occupying South Lebanon to enforce Zionist and imperialist rule on sovereign Lebanese land. This effort has largely failed, as Hezbollah has restocked their missiles and they are now better armed than before the invasion.
This background shows you that Ahmadinejad is one of the last holdouts in the region against total dominaton by US imperialism and Zionism. This is why the Iranian regime is being targeted so forcefully.