Interview with an Anarchist in Haifa about the Palestinian Resistance against Israeli Occupation

From an interesting anarchist site here.

During the last couple of months, the situation in Palestine has escalated into a generalized uprising against Zionism, colonialism and apartheid. All of Israel’s and the local far-right’s attempts to crush the spirit of the Palestinian people have resulted in a unified mass resistance, for the first time in decades. The following text is a ground level report from an occupied land, discussing the course of the insurrection, as well as the counter-insurgency tactics, and Hamas’ role in the events.

For starters, could we have some info about you? As it would help us to better understand from what position you are talking.

I’m an anarchist based in Haifa, Occupied Palestine, so-called Israel. I live in an historical Palestinian city that faced a massive attack and terrorist aggression by Zionist militias in 1948 aimed at expelling the local indigenous population and colonizing the land. Since then, the Palestinians that remain live under an ethnic supremacist and apartheid system, and the refugees abroad are still aspiring to return. I come from a settler Jewish family, arriving on this land during the ’80s, and once I got the facts straight, I knew which position I should take.

Once again, bad news spread around the world from the Palestinian and Israeli territories. In a few words, what happened there?

We had a rough few months here. Not sure exactly where to start, but it’s good to concentrate on Jerusalem/Al-Quds that, as in many other uprisings, was the trigger. During April, settlers and cops provoked people in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian part of town, especially in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Al-Aqsa compound.

In order to get the background you need, know that from the Zionist occupation of 1948 to 1967, East Jerusalem was under the control of Jordan. Some of the neighborhoods were populated by Palestinian refugees escaping the Zionist invasion and Nakba of 1948. Sheikh Jarrah is one of them.

After the occupation of 1967, the Zionist state celebrated the “reunification” of Jerusalem each year, now a national holiday. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers arrived at the neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, much like the rest of the occupied West Bank, with clear plans of colonization and Judaization of the area.

In Sheikh Jarrah, an old Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, settler organizations engaged in legal battles against local residents in the Israeli apartheid court system in efforts to evict local Palestinians and replace them with Jewish settlers, claiming the property used to be owned by Jews. A few families had already been evicted during 2008, 2009, and 2017, and now, a new court ruling puts an additional eight families under a threat of eviction, which is roughly 500 people. Jewish settlements exist in other neighborhoods in East Jerusalem as well, such as Silwan and Abu Tor.

In the Al-Aqsa compound, one of the holiest places to Islam, Israel placed barriers in Bab Al-‘Amud, one of the entrances to the mosque, in the beginning on the month of Ramadan in an effort to limit the number of worshipers and restrict movement. This act provoked outrage and days of rioting ensued in Bab Al-‘Amud and the main streets in East Jerusalem. The barriers were eventually removed.

Meanwhile, tensions in the city had escalated. Some Palestinian youth posted TikTok videos of them attacking Jews around the city, and Jewish far-right gangs mobilized to attack people suspected of being Arabs in the city center. Lehava, a far-right organization, led a racist ‘Death to Arabs’ march from the city center to Bab Al-‘Amud during the riots and were blocked by police on their way.

On May 10, during “Jerusalem Day”, the national holiday celebrating the occupation of the eastern part of the city in 1967, the annual ‘flag parade’ took place in the city, and right-wing participants were expected to enter the Muslim quarter in the old city and shout racist slurs under police protection as they do every year.

Israeli police invaded the Al-Aqsa mosque, and in the intense riots, dozens of cops and hundreds of protestors were injured. Around 5 pm, Hamas announced that Israel has 1 hour to evict all of its police forces from Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa compound. As this deadline passed, Hamas launched rockets into Israel, reaching Jerusalem. Israel in response announced a military operation in Gaza, and began to bombard the Gaza Strip with airstrikes in a massacre and destruction that lasted 12 days, until a ceasefire was reached on May 21.

Meanwhile, a generalized uprising took place amongst the Palestinians, including ’48 Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1948 (i.e., so-called “Israel”), ’67 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, and refugee communities abroad. A united insurrection, with days of riots in Palestinian, Israeli, and mixed cities and villages, refugee camps in nearby countries, and Israeli embassies and consulates everywhere. A general strike was also announced on May 18 involving all of the Palestinians for the first time in decades.

What are the important facts or basics we need to know about the history of this conflict? Should we call it a conflict, actually?

It is a conflict as much as an attack by a nuclear superpower with one of the most advanced armies in the world backed by the strongest state on earth against a poor occupied civilian population without an army could be characterized as a “conflict”. This is an aggression, the ‘two sides’ are the oppressor and the oppressed, the colonizer and the colonized.

The asymmetrical nature of the situation is so inherent, it’s completely ridiculous in my opinion that people struggle with ‘complexities’ while entire neighborhoods are being erased in Gaza by Israeli military airstrikes, killing 250 people in less than two weeks while Gazans have primitive rockets, most of them falling in open fields or being neutralized by Iron Dome- Israel’s defense system. The 12 people killed on the Israeli side came from mostly from the lower classes of society – mainly migrant workers and even Palestinians, as was the case in the village of Dahamash, near Ramle.

To really understand the true nature of this ‘conflict’ one must understand the inherently racist and colonialist nature of Zionism. As the Zionist occupation armies invaded this land in 1948, it was rich with culture. In what’s known as the Nakba, literally ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, entire villages were erased, massacres were committed, and hundreds of thousands of refugees driven away off their land. In the conquest for the Jewish homeland, a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing was committed. The indigenous population abroad in refugee camps in nearby countries and all over the world are still aspiring to return.

Those that managed to stay were subjected to realities of colonialism, racism, and discrimination. Laws such as the Absentee Property Act ruled that land and property of refugees fleeing Zionist aggression is now state property. The newly arrived Jewish immigrants were housed in those empty neighborhoods and towns. Military rule was imposed on the Palestinians who remained in Israel from 1948 to 1966 that imposed land restrictions, caused their expulsion from villages, and subjected them to curfews, detentions, and various other discriminatory actions, all with one aim: to increase the Jewish presence and cleanse the land of Palestinians as much as possible.

After the occupation of 1967, unlike the one of 1948, Israel decided not to annex the West Bank and Gaza Strip to its official territory but to keep it in an unclear ‘temporary status’. Even though the Israeli military control basically every facet of the Palestinians’ life there, they are not Israeli citizens, are under military law, and have no rights. The Jewish settlers living in settlements nearby are full Israeli citizens and are under civilian law. Israeli settlements divide the West Bank into small cantons, and the separation wall since 2003 is another tool of land theft. The wall does not go through the 1967 “Green Line” border, but goes inside villages, in many cases annexing land in favor of nearby Jewish settlements.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has been under siege as a tool of collective punishment for Hamas’ rule over the area. Despite Israel’s claim of withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it still controls its borders, water, and airspace. Gaza, one of the densest populated areas in the world with a population of over 2 million, has already been bombed numerous times in military operations (massacres) in recent years, leading to thousands of casualties and a deteriorating humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel is the leading front of settler-colonialism currently in the world, one of the ugliest examples of nation building as a way of solving the problems of minorities within the boundaries of the state. There won’t be an end in sight without decolonization, return of the refugees, and a truly shared and equal existence without Zionism and apartheid. The time to start building the basis for such a future is now.

How do the Palestinian people live and/or survive? Is this apartheid taking the scale of an ethnic cleansing or a genocide? What is HAMAS’ role?

Hundreds of people are facing eviction in East Jerusalem. Gaza is in ruins, is still under a siege, and is the largest open prison in the world. Total devastation and human tragedy. 250 were killed during the latest Israeli aggression. Clean water is scarce. Health facilities were damaged, including the only lab in Gaza for testing Covid-19 cases. The pandemic is on the rise. Electricity hours are limited. Tens of thousands are displaced with no home to come back to. Unemployment and poverty are exploding.

Inside so-called Israel, Palestinians are facing an intense state terror campaign, aimed at repressing any dissent and punishing those willing to resist. About 2,000 were arrested so far in the protests this month, with more arrests expected. In the West Bank, settlements and a racist separation wall continues to divide the land into small cantons, annex lands from Palestinian villages, and make life unbearable. The refugees are still unable to return.

Palestine has been experiencing an ongoing, uninterrupted ethnic cleansing campaign since 1948. The Nakba never ended. One settler in the Eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan made it very clear: “We won’t stop until East Jerusalem becomes like West Jerusalem. Jewish. The Palestinians have no place in this vision.”

But despite all of the hardship, people are still resisting. The Palestinians stood fast during the last uprising, proved their unity, and fought the Zionist state bravely, despite all the attempts to divide them and crush their spirit. The revolt proved to be courageous and uncontrollable. None of the youth fighting the police in Palestinian and mixed cities by erecting barricades and defending against fascist invasion were obedient to any party or political faction. The new generation of fighters on the street are immune to the pacification efforts from the regular collaborator’s forces, in the form of political parties, NGOs, and respectable community and religious ‘leaders’.

Hamas’ role in the story is exactly what the “Palestinian leadership” did during every wave of popular uprising: take over the situation and kill the  appeal of mass insurrection. Just like the P.L.O. (Palestine Liberation Organization) during the first Intifada, once the militarist militias took over, the ‘professional revolutionaries’, the people became passive spectators of their own ‘liberation’. During the insurrection, the focus turned quickly to rockets launched in Gaza flying over Israeli cities, and the riots and protests largely died out. One can’t help but feel that Hamas interrupted the birth of a popular mass movement in the inner cities of the occupation that wasssssssssssssssssssssssssssss capable of creating real damage.

What about the Israelis? How do they react in this condition? Is there any far-right movement in society? Had Netanyahu the support of the people?

During the last uprising, there was a big far-right anti-Palestinian mobilization with fascist lynch mobs attacking Palestinians. In a now-infamous incident in Bat Yam, racist lynch mobs that tried to reach Jaffa rioted, smashed windows of businesses owned by Arabs, and attacked an Arab driver, all caught on live television. The police were not present. In Haifa, they stormed Palestinian neighborhoods, attacked passengers, damaged cars, threw stones at houses, and shouted racist slurs.

In Lydda, extremist settlers from the West Bank came to the city armed with guns despite the police announcing curfew in the city in the early days of the uprising and shot people, threw stones, set stores on fire, and attacked mosques and cemeteries. In a few cases the police stood by and did nothing. There is even documentation of them throwing stones at Palestinians from police lines. Those pogroms are well documented, but there are significantly more Palestinians arrested than far-right Jewish fascists.

To get into Israeli fascism and the local far-right movement would be quite a lengthy endeavor, let me just say the working class here is generally very right-wing and that Zionism has created a monster I’m not sure it can control. They are allowed to freely attack Palestinians to suppress generalized uprisings but have to disappear and go underground once exposed.

They are the direct consequence of Zionism, and it’s important for me to state that people use the far-right extremists as a way to avoid dealing with mainstream Zionism. It’s easy for liberal Israelis to get disgusted by right-wing assholes shouting death to Arabs in Jerusalem and then support IDF soldiers attacking Gaza during airstrikes, actually putting ‘death to Arabs’ into practice. In a state founded on ethnic cleansing backed by an inherently racist and colonialist ideology, one should not be surprised at the existence of racist pogromists and lynch mobs.

Netanyahu is quite a polarizing figure, but I’ll say he has the support of a huge chunk of Israeli society. But not everyone of course. During last summer, Jerusalem held some very big anti-Netanyahu demonstrations.

The “Anti-Bibi (Netanyahu’s nickname in Israel) Movement” got its momentum after corruption allegations were made public and a police investigation around these allegations is ongoing. Israel is currently in an electoral crisis after 4 elections in the last 2 years, and despite Bibi winning the largest number of votes in all of them, he was time and again unable to form a government due to Israel’s electoral system, and new elections were announced.

In the last elections held in March, Netanyahu once again got the largest number of votes, but again was unable to form a government, and the mandate went to his opponents – the rightwing Naftali Bennet and the centrist Yair Lapid, who would apparently share the government for two years each.

So for now, if things don’t change, it seems as though the anti-Bibi movement reached its goal. But things are not expected to go smoothly. Protests for and against the new government are polarizing the country, and things can go anywhere from here. There are even talks in the media about the possibility of political assassination, as the pro-Bibi camp is very unhappy about the course of events.

What about the persecuted and imprisoned people in so-called Israel? Who are they and what have they tried to do? Are there any movements against the state and the capital?

There was actually quite a long tradition of Israeli Jewish working class communities that calling for an end of the occupation. The Israeli Black Panthers, a group of young Mizrahi Jewish immigrants active in Jerusalem during the 70’s, were critical of Zionism and combined calls for an end to  military rule of Palestinians in their demands for economic and social justice. Here in Haifa, there was also a famous Mizrahi revolt in the 50’s in the Wadi Salib neighborhood – by the way, an historical Palestinian neighborhood whose population got evicted during the Nakba.

After a police officer shot and injured a person in a local café, the residents rioted for days, demanding an end to police brutality and discrimination against Mizrahi Jews by the Ashkenazi elite. An end to military rule over the Arabs was one of the demands. There was a time in which solidarity with the Palestinians was part of the radical Mizrahi working class conscience. But this tradition is long gone. The “Mizrahi discourse” today has deteriorated into liberal “identity politics” nonsense, with demands like ‘representation’ of politicians in Parliament, more Mizrahi police officers, and putting the faces of famous Mizrahi people on currency bills.

It’s hard to explain how right wing the Israeli working class is. But people are still revolting.

During the last few years, there were some incidents of police officers shooting and killing Ethiopian Jewish youth. People went out to the streets and rioted all over the country, in many cases connecting it with the Black Lives Matter movement in the so-called US. There weren’t any clear solidarity messages with the Palestinians, but a pretty significant movement against army conscription grew out of the Ethiopian-Jewish protests, under the banner “Our blood is good only for wars”. That’s a big deal in a militaristic state like Israel in which the army is above all.

Also, connections are being made, and it’s hard to predict where social processes will take us. During the anti-Netanyahu protests last summer in Jerusalem, proletariat youth met each other on the street, with Ethiopians, Palestinians, Mizrahi, feminists, environmentalists etc. protesting side by side for the same interests. Despite how liberal the overall demonstrations were, on its far edges, communities that don’t usually get to see each other face to face and are ignorant of their shared interests finally got the chance to do so.

People are now making the connections between the deaths of Ethiopian Jewish youth like Salomon Teka and Yehuda Biagda with the deaths of Palestinians like Iyad Al-Halak and Munis Anabtawi, all of whom were murdered by police. It took a long time for this to happen. But of course I don’t want to paint the picture in more romantic colors than it actually is. It’s too early to discuss any movement that is willing to give up the state and capital amongst Israelis, and I doubt it will happen any time soon. The Palestinian resistance will remain the only truly revolutionary movement in the region.

The conversation about antisemitism and anti-Zionism is starting every time this crisis is arising. Do you accept these terms and if so, what is your opinion on them? Is there anything problematic in the use of these terms? Is the state of Israel using them in its blame-game and, on the other hand, is there such hate from any part of the Palestinians?

Just talked about it with some German comrades lately! I’m going to be completely honest with y’all here: I’m sick and tired of antisemitism being brought up every time the issue of Palestine is being raised. I doubt the honesty and integrity of anyone who, while entire neighborhoods are being erased with airstrikes and people are being evicted from their homes to be replaced by settlers, all he has to say is “Yes, but the Jews”.

We need to really focus right now. People are dying. Ethnic cleansing and colonization campaigns are ongoing. State repression and terror is at an all-time high. Gaza is a Hell on earth and the situation is unbearable. This is a human catastrophe. We don’t have the time to deal with false accusations. Don’t take the bait.

I’m not going to get into how anti-Zionism is different from antisemitism. It’s so old and well known that it’s boring and cliché at this point. Most people already know these things, and many of those who don’t won’t listen anyway. The Left goes around in circles about this because it’s apparently easier to deal with false ‘complexities’ and theoretical debates than to notice what’s happening in front of your eyes. Jewish people have been opposing Zionism since the very beginning, way before the state of Israel existed.

The nation-state form is a project of reinventing the mechanism needed to ‘purify’ and simplify the land of any diversity and complexity until nothing is left but a monolithic state identity. Just notice the language they use – “Israel has the right to defend itself.” States don’t have rights. They only have “rights” insofar as they protect their citizens, and we all know states don’t do that.

I honestly think that Israel is one of the worst things that has happened to Jewish people. It’s an extension of their historical ethnic cleansing from Europe, and a step backwards in many respects. By looking at Netanyahu’s relationship with figures like Trump and Bolsonaro, and the Israeli Right’s warm relationship with its European and American counterparts, you can clearly see that Zionism and antisemitism not only do not oppose each other, they go very well together. They complement each other.

Anyway, as for antisemitism in the solidarity movement, it exists and of course needs to be dealt with. Jewish and Palestinian comrades are aware of it and have been fighting it for decades. The BDS movement for example is strictly against any kind of racism including antisemitism and has been enforcing this policy against any bigots abusing their platform.

People need to gatekeep the solidarity movement against any kind of fascist bullshit like I saw comrades in Germany confronting Turkish fascists infiltrating a pro-Palestinian demonstration. That’s good and needs to happen more. It’s different from simply labeling the whole movement antisemitic. Fascists will take a hold in any platform they feel they can use to propagate their hate, and they infiltrate social movements constantly. It’s our job as antifascists to deny that to them.

As far as the Middle East goes, could we have a “political map” on the converging and conflicting state forces? Some Palestinians, for example, were requesting on social media the help of Pakistan. On the other hand, the state of Israel has the support of the U.S.A. What is your perspective on the world’s response concerning the never-ending violence and massacre in the area?

Geopolitics of course play a big part in inflaming the so-called “conflict”. After the so-called US became a superpower in the 1940’s, and Britain drew its forces out of the Middle East, there was a strong need for a new ‘regional cop’, a Western ally to keep local interests in check. Arab nationalism was a strong force at that time, and a pro-Western power was the logical “security” needed to keep “stability”, meaning American influence and control, over the resources of the region.

Israel impressed the US during the Nakba, with the American military describing it as “the strongest military force in the region after Turkey.” This perception received further confirmation in 1967 after Israel destroyed Nasser’s Egypt and eliminated Arab nationalism as a dominant power in the region.

Even further confirmation came in 1970 when Israel protected Jordan from a Syrian invasion, probably in order to protect oil fields. This tendency grew over the years. Today, Israel receives billions of dollars in military aid from the US annually, more aid than the US gives the entire African continent. To keep a strong Israel is a significant US strategic goal, which is another reason why the US repeatedly vetoes and blocks UN decisions concerning the Palestinians.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, are completely alone and constantly betrayed by their so-called ‘allies’. The Arab countries have long ago abandoned ‘Arab nationalism’ in favor of a neocolonial order of puppet dictators and Western influence. The “Arab Spring” might have given hope for a second, but generally speaking, new dictators replaced the old ones. The latest ‘peace agreement’ between Israel and the UAE shows the lengths neoliberal monarchies in the Middle East will go in normalizing Israel’s presence as long as business and free trade are protected and promoted.

Other state powers are completely opportunistic: The Soviets gave their support during the Cold War whenever it suited their interests. The Palestinians can’t even count on their own “leadership”, as the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are themselves corrupted dictators and opportunistic bureaucracies acting against their own people. The only real ally left is the people on the ground with the international solidarity movement willing to raise its voice and act against modern forms of apartheid, colonialism, and state terror.

Is there any message you want to send to the anarchists and antifascists around the world? How can we all show our solidarity to the Palestinians or the peace and freedom fighters in so-called Israel?

The Palestinians need help and support. They need action and solidarity. Comrades loving freedom from all over the world need to raise their voice for them. Target Israeli interests in your region. Join your local BDS chapter and call for a boycott. Organize direct action. Do anything you can to get the message across. Internationalist revolutionary solidarity is our strongest weapon against state terror and repression. “Comrades” who are silent – your silence is deafening.

Anything about the future?

Fuck “co-existence.” We need co-resistance. We need a joint insurrection of Israelis and Palestinians on the ground and refugees and their supporters abroad against colonialist Zionism and the apartheid regime. We need to create the basis of a new culture, of people capable of creating an autonomy in which people could meet each other on the streets and reinvent living together. We need to share this land as equals, to smash the visible and invisible borders of fear and control, and imagine politics beyond state terror. We need all of this to not be a fantasy but a reality of struggle, courage, and forming brave connections. May we see the day.

You can check the report I wrote to Crime, Inc. concerning the last uprising, in which I dive to some of the topics I mentioned here in details.

Latest Update (End of June): As the last Flag March was interrupted by Hamas rockets, the settlers decided to hold another one. After the riots and the last escalation, there was a big controversy, but the new government held by the new prime minister Naftali Bennet eventually allowed the march to take place on June 15, with thousands of settlers and right-wing activists raiding Jerusalem yelling racist slurs against Arabs and Muslims, all under full police protection as usual.

Numerous shouts of “Death to Arabs,” calls for burning of villages and a second Nakba, and slurs against the Muslim prophet Muhammad were recorded during the march. Small groups of Palestinian resistance on the outskirts of the route of the march were brutally suppressed by riot police. Hamas once again threatened Israel, and in response to the march launched explosive balloons to towns and agricultural fields near the Gaza border, causing fires. Israel in response attacked Gaza once again, this time under the new government, which is obviously the same as the old.

From: https://radiofragmata.org/2021/07/03/fuck-co-existence-we-need-co-resistance-an-interview-with-an-anarchist-in-haifa-about-the-palestinian-resistance-against-the-israeli-occupation/

Alt Left: An Overview of the Recent Israel-Gaza War

I have contacts very close to the whole Resistance Bloc  and I can tell you flat out that a lot of the material published by corporate media is just false. I know people close to Hezbollah, Iran, the Houthis, the Iraqi militias, and the Iranian and Iraqi governments. They’re journalists with great access.

During this war, rockets were shot from Lebanon. The corporate media began insisting that the rockets had been fired by Hezbollah. First of all, Hezbollah did not shoot any rockets out of Lebanon. They wanted to stay out of this fight. Also, Hamas themselves did not want Hezbollah to join in.

Instead, Hamas asked permission from Hezbollah to launch rockets, mortars, etc. from Lebanon. Hamas has many activists in Southern Lebanon, probably associated with the refugee camps. The request was  granted. Five rockets were launched. They were all Grad missiles! As they were Grads, they probably came from Syria. A couple of rockets were fired from Syria days ago. I don’t know who did it, but it wasn’t the government.

The point here is very important. Assad gave those missiles to Hamas in Lebanon to shoot at Lebanon. And he probably gave whoever shot those missiles from Syria at Israel permission. This is very important. What this means is that Assad was getting his revenge for years of attacks against his army in Syria. This war was also used by Iran to get revenge on Israel, often via Syria, for all of the attacks Israel has made against Iran recently. Iran and Syria used this Hamas war to get their revenge on Israel.

In an important sense, every one of those 4,400 rockets came from Syria, and to an even greater extent, Iran. You would think this would be a great line for the corporate media to play on, but they completely missed it as did the US and Israeli governments. This war was really Iran (and to a lesser extent) Syria versus Israel. Of course the Palestinian role was essential  also and they were a major source of the combatants, but to overlook the vengeance Iran and Syria got out of this war is a huge mistake.

A drone was at first thought to be launched from Jordan and shot down over Israel. Later examination showed it had been launched from Iraq by the Shia militias parts of the Iraqi Army.

Vast crowds massed at the Jordanian border trying to cross into Israel. Police held them back but the Jordanian police were completely in favor of the demonstrators. It’s false to say that Jordan is pro-Israel. Sure, the government is but that’s because it’s a dictatorship. If they had elections there, a vehemently anti-Israel government would be voted in very fast. 65% of the citizens are Palestinian refugees from the war in 1967. The rest are conservative Bedouins who are basically Islamists. They don’t like Israel much either.

Three infiltrators got in. These are just local Palestinian Jordanians try to sneak in to Israel. They all say they want to go to Jerusalem. I know that one Palestinian in Jordan somehow made it to Gaza and was very happy that he had returned to Palestine. He was killed in the war, but he had gained his wish and he died happy.

Also, Hamas reported that one of their suicide submarines bombed a gas platform off the coast. A platform off of Haifa caught fire. Israel said the cause was an accidental explosion, but we still don’t know yet if it was hit by one of these suicide subs. Israeli Shin Bet intelligence somehow knew nothing about this submarine, so their intel is not as good as you think.

Mossad does not work in Gaza, as Israel considers Gaza part of Israel and Shin Bet is the intelligence force for Israel proper. Mossad only works overseas in Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Qatar, Iraq, and UAE.

A missile that hit a building in Beersheba killed 2 civilians and wounded 15 more. The building was a small factory that employed overseas workers.  That must have been a big missile that hit that building, considering the damage it did.

In the course of a single day, there were eight IDF troops wounded, two seriously, in the Gaza Belt or Gaza Envelope. In Kissifum, an IDF helicopter crashed. possibly hit by a rocket. At Nahal Oz, several soldiers were wounded, probably by a mortar barrage. The helicopter that crashed was coming to evacuate the wounded soldiers. These mortar barrages were being launched by a number of groups, not just Hamas.

The DFLP and PFLP, two explicitly Marxist or leftwing groups, were launching quite a few rockets and mortars, mostly shorter range. Hamas and Islamic Jihad seem to have the long range missiles and rockets. Surprisingly, the DFLP and especially the PFLP are very popular in Gaza, which is interesting as they are both basically Communists.

The Salah al Din Brigades are (Popular Resistance Committees) Fatah rejectionists. Fatah, the armed wing of the PLO, gave up armed struggle and surrendered to Israel. However, many members of Fatah rejected this surrender and split off to form their own groups. The Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, especially large in the West Bank, was the largest of these. AAMB is explicitly secular.

The Popular Resistance Committees were groups of Fatah rejectionists in Gaza. The Salah al Din Brigades is their armed faction. They tend to be more Islamist than Fatah proper. They have quite a bit of weaponry and fired a lot of rockets and mortars in this war, mostly short-range. SADB is the third largest group in Gaza after Hamas (13,000 members) and Islamic Jihad (7,000 members).

A new group called Palestinian Mujahedin or PM is ideologically close to Islamic Jihad Hamas. They also shot some missiles. This is one of the smaller groups in Gaza.

The PFLP-GC is a secular group founded by Ahmad Jibril that is secular. They are very close to Syria almost to the point of being Syrian-controlled. They have a fair amount of support in Gaza but they do not have a large force or arsenal.

The “resistance” in Gaza actually consists of 17 different groups. One is a Hamas cutout, then there are DFLP, PFLP, PFLP-GC, SADB, AAMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PM. I was only able to find names for nine of them. Most of the rest seem to be Fatah rejectionists, secular.

They all work together, Communist atheists right alongside Hamas and Islamic Jihad Islamists.

This whole war was cynically started by Netanyahu in order to stay out of jail, and it worked. He’d been stoking the flames for these wars since he came into office in 2009. Really most of the Israeli public is aligned with either Netanyahu’s Likud Party or similar parties like the one Bennett is a member of that are just as bad if not worse. The Israeli Left, including the Labor Party, has basically collapsed.

The uprising among Israeli Arabs in Israel proper was an utter catastrophe for Israel. Netanyahu said it was a worse problem than the rockets from Gaza.

The whole Arab population of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza was in open revolt along with large sections of Arabs in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. There was also a huge outcry in Pakistan.

This was due to a accumulation mostly of 11 years of Likudism and worse. This is where it led. There were huge riots in Jerusalem. Entire Arab cities all across Israel shut down one day for a general strike. Gangs of Arabs rioted all across Israel and in the north, they were even gathered along major highways where they threw rocks. It was dangerous to go anywhere in Israel during this war. In the first week of the war, 1,000 arrests of Israeli Arabs were made, 500 for attempted murder. So 500 Israeli Arabs, basically an army, all tried to kill Jews in the last week. Disastrous!

Of course Hamas decided to attack. Neither they nor any of the rest of the Resistance takes orders from Iran. The corporate media is wrong about that. They go to Iran if they want to do attacks, and Iran gives them a list of attacks that they might do that Iran would be ok with. Then they can do them. For really crazy attacks, they have to get ok’d by Iran first, and they get shot down a lot. If they do decide to do an attack, Iran may help plan and carry it out.

Iran helped plan that Houthi attack on Aramco. Also there are Iranian and Hezbollah advisors in the Houthis. The Houthis are just the former Yemeni Army, and they have huge factories, mostly underground, where they are churning out all these drones and missiles. They use Iranian prototypes and then modify them from there. Iran and Hezbollah, especially Hez, help them make the drones and missiles.

The “Iraqi militias” are just the Iraqi Army! They are not attacking the US directly usually. Instead, member of those militias take leave and go off on their own and form little resistance groups and moonlight as guerrillas while being soldiers the rest of the time. The militias have plausible deniability, as they are not doing or planning the attacks. However, anyone in Iraq who tried to crack down on those resistance groups would be stopped. You can’t. They’re too popular and wield too much power. No one can go against them.

Also, these grouplets contain moonlighting Iraqi Army from outside the militias people and Federal Police members. Munitions are probably Iraqi Army stuff.

Hezbollah was in contact with Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Lebanon every hour since this started. Later, we heard that Hezbollah used drones to help the Gaza resistance avoid Israeli attacks. I have also heard that much of the tunnel infrastructure is intact. Most of it is 90 feet underground and as such, it is going to be very hard to for conventional bombs to get at those tunnels. They will either require a ground invasion or the use of mini-nukes to take them out.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad make their own stuff now in underground factories. Some is Iranian smuggled in. It is very easy for Iranian weaponry to get into Gaza. Only a week after a war, Iran was already busy resupplying the Palestinians with money and weapons.

Once again as with Ansar Allah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad use Iranian prototypes and then make local knockoffs. Iran and Hezbollah help them a lot in these underground factories to make these munitions, and they helped, especially Hezbollah, helped build the tunnels.

The decision to launch this attack was Hamas’ alone. But once it started Iran and Hez gave them moral support.

The Palestinians have their own agenda so they did not launch this war for Syria and Iran, but in a way this is a multiple front war. Israel was attacked from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Gaza and the West Bank was in open rebellion with a number of towns in the West Bank becoming “liberated zones” by Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, normally quiescent but now resurrected and the main force in the West Bank. They’re secular.

During the war, there were many attacks every day in the West Bank: 5-10 shooting,, 1-2 attempted or completed ramming or stabbing, ~20 firebomb, and 80 fireworks! Some Israeli soldiers are even fled the front briefly. They felt under siege. A checkpoint was abandoned by fleeing troops and briefly taken over by AAMB.

Also all of these rockets and missiles that everyone has all come from Iran in one way or another. Even the weapons that the Commie groups have. The AA weapons, antitank guns and automatic weapons are all Iranian. Some is smuggled in. The smuggling route goes from:

Iran -> Sudan -> Egypt -> Sinai -> tunnels -> Gaza.

Alt Left: Rural Land Reforms: An Overview

What’s odd is that imperialism went along with land reforms in a lot of other places such as Europe and the Middle East. All of the Middle East has done a land reform.

That was one thing the wave of Arab nationalist leaders who came to power in 1950-1970 did right away, including the Baath in Iraq and Syria, Yemen, Nasser in Egypt, the FLN in Algeria, Tunisia, and Qaddafi in Libya.

I believe there was some type of land reform done in Palestine too. If you read Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian Leftist, in the 1930’s, he talked about how terribly exploited the Arab fellahin or peasants were in Palestine.

If you went to Yemen in the 1960’s, there was a portrait of Nasser in every house.

I’m not sure if a land reform was ever done in Morocco. It’s been ruled by a fairly rightwing king for a long time.

A land reform was probably done in Lebanon, but I don’t have details. Likewise with Jordan.

Nothing grows in the Gulf anyway, so there’s no need for a reform.

I’m not sure about Sudan or Mauritania, but I doubt much grows in Mauritania except date palms.

In all of these places, land reform was a very easy sell for whatever reason, probably because neoliberal capitalism seems to be antithetical to Islam itself. The feudal lords of the former Ottoman Empire had tried to justify feudalism on the basis that in the Koran it says something like, “Some are rich and some are poor, and this is a natural thing” but that never went over too well.

The idea that in an Islamic country, the rich Muslims were viciously exploit the poor Muslims is nearly haram on its face. You just can’t do that. All Muslims are part of the ummah. All the Muslim men are your brothers and all the Muslim women are your sisters. Also individualism never made it to any part of the Muslim World other than the Hindu variety in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but that’s not really the same radical individualism that we have in the West. It’s just an ancient caste based system.

The first thing the Communists did in Eastern Europe was to do a land reform. You will never hear it here in the West, but until 1960, the Communist regimes in the East were very popular with industrial workers and also with the peasants.

In most of the world, peasants and rural dwellers are leftwingers. This is even the case in Western Europe in France.

The US is odd in that it’s farmers are so reactionary. That goes against the usual trend.

Yes, farmers are said to be conservatives, but that usually just means social conservatism. In most of the world, peasants are literally Alt Left: left on economics and right on social and cultural issues.

A land reform was definitely done in Iran.

Obviously one was done in the USSR, and the large landowners have not yet consolidated themselves in the former USSR, mostly because everybody hates them. Large landowners have taken over some of the state farms in Russia, but for whatever reason, they are not very productive. In fact, many of the state farms are still in existence. I am not sure what sort of arrangement they have now.

50% of the food in the Russia comes from small farms, typically grown on dachas. Dachas were vacation homes that were given to all Soviet workers. They were also given a bit of land, enough to grow some crops on. After 1991, all workers were allowed to keep their dachas and small plots. This was a great idea because most of the produce in Russia is coming right off of these farms.

After World War 2, the US supported land reforms in some places as a way of heading off a Communist threat. This is one great thing about the Communists. So many great steps of social progress were only done out of fear or terror that if these were not done, the Communists would take over. Now that that threat is gone, one wonders what motivation the oligarchs have to give up anything.

In particular, land reforms were done in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. They went over very easily. And in fact, the subsequent economic growth occurred right on the back of these reforms. There is a good argument that you can never develop a proper economy without first doing a land reform.

First of all, you need to get rid of the problem of rural poverty.

Second of all, you need to feed your own people. Large landowners in these countries typically grow food for export or simply fallow the land and keep it as an income base or a source of wealth.

When crops are grown for export, there is a problem in that the nation does not grow enough food to feed its people. This is a problem in Cuba and Venezuela right now, and it should not be. These are very fertile countries and there is no need to import food, but they have gotten hooked on some sort of “crack” of importing their food for whatever reason, possibly because most of their farmland was being used to grow crops for export.

When a nation can feed itself, this means it can feed its urban workers. This is extremely important and it is part of the reason that Stalin went at such breakneck speed in his collectivization. He had to feed his urban workers so he could industrialize because even back then, he was looking into the future and seeing that he was going to have to fight Hitler.

I’m not quite sure why, but no country seems to be able to properly industrialize and develop as long as the problem of rural poverty exists.

And once you are feeding your own people, you have solved a lot of other problems. Money that would be wasted importing inferior food from the West, especially the US, can now be spent on actual development of a national economy. The elimination of rural poverty gets rid of a constant revolutionary bur in the side of the state.

The US has always opposed land reform in Latin America because large US corporations are usually involved in growing foods for export down there. See Dole Pineapple in Guatemala. We want all of their agricultural land to go for export crops so US corporations can grow those crops or make money importing them. And we do not want them to grow their own food. That way there won’t be so much land for export crops which we need to make money off of.

Also, we want them to spend all of their food money importing lousy processed food from the US. So we make money on food both ways – importing food from crops grown for export to the US and in exporting processed food to the Latin America. This processed food is not very good for you and it is implicated in a lot of health problems in these places.

This is why the US opposes most efforts at land reform in the Americas.

An exception was made in El Salvador. After 200,000 people died, the US and the Salvadoran oligarchs were forced to the negotiating table and a land reform was one of the first things they pushed. I recall a piece written soon afterwards where the reporter went out to the rural areas and interviewed recipients of the land reform. They basically said, “Well, at least we can eat now. It wasn’t like that before.”

In semi-feudal countries, there is debt bondage whereby large landowners rent out their land to sharecroppers or peasants who never seem to get out of debt. This is a very primitive form of development.

The Philippines is notable that there has never been a land reform. And of course they have a vicious Communist insurgency.

Nor has there been one in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Honduras, or Argentina. The first five countries are horribly screwed up. Colombia and Paraguay have active armed leftwing guerrillas, and Guatemala did for many years. Haiti is a disaster. Honduras has a vicious rightwing dictatorship that has murdered over 1,000 people.

Argentina is mostly urbanized, but the landed rural elite still runs the country. Any talk at all of land reform or even taxation of large estates as was done recently under Christine Fernandez, and the ruling class starts making ominous threats of a coup. I assume something similar is going on in Uruguay. Those countries are urbanized though, so large landownership is not such a problem.

I’m not sure if there has ever been a land reform in Brazil, but there is no dearth of large landowners.

The fact that Colombia, Guatemala, and Haiti are so backwards is largely because there has never been a land reform.

The land reform was incomplete in Venezuela.

It is interesting that every country that fails to do a land reform seems to end up with a Communist or Leftist insurgency at some point or another. It’s almost without fail. This goes to show you that most Communist insurgencies in the Third World are over the most basic things dating all the way back to French Revolution: land and bread (food).

As far as land reforms go, they were done in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Peru.

I’m not sure about Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama, Jamaica, Belize, the Guyanas, Chile, and most of the Caribbean.

And I’m not sure if one ever got done in the Dominican Republic after Bosch.

In El Salvador, 200,000 had to die in order for a land reform to take place. Roberto D’Aubission, the godfather of the Salvadoran death squads and the most favored visitor at the US Embassy, once said that “We will have to kill 200,000 people in order to prevent socialism in El Salvador.” What he meant by socialism was land reform.

It is notable that no land reform was ever done in India, nor in Pakistan or even Bangladesh. I had a friend whose parents were large feudal landowners in Pakistan who rented out land to farmers who ended up in debt peonage. In 1986, 14 million people a year were dying of starvation related diseases in the capitalist world. Most of that was in South Asia in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Most of these deaths were attributed to the problem of the private ownership of land.

There is a problem with the private ownership of land. In the US, we think this is sacrosanct, but on a worldwide basis, it doesn’t work very well. What do you need all that land for? What do you need more than, say, an acre and a house? Nothing, unless you are a farmer.

In China, all land is owned by the state. All homeowners lease the land, often on 100 year leases. I’m not sure how it works in the countryside.

In Mexico, much of the land is owned by the state also, a product of the land reform that occurred after the Revolution. One of the major demands of the Revolution was land reform. Pre-revolution, most peasants usually lived like serfs. The state land in Mexico is called ejidos.

If you ever can’t make it in the city, if you become unemployed or homeless, you can always go out to the countryside and take up residence in an ejido, which are something like communal lands that are formed by the group that makes up the ejido. You join this group, work the land, and get a share of the crop. At least you have enough food to eat. So in Mexico the ejidos are a stopgap measure.

In China too, if you can’t make it in the city, you can always go back to the rural areas, take up residence, and work the land. At least you will have enough to food to eat. It is illegal to be homeless in China. If you are homeless, the police pick you up and put you in shelters, which are something like college dorms. They also encourage you to go back to the countryside if you have relatives back there. In recent years, many people have moved from the countryside to the cities to make more money. Those that don’t make it can always move back to the farm.

There was debate a while back about privatizing state land, but it ran aground on the idea that the state ownership of land was necessary as a stopgap measure in the event of urban poverty. In addition, state ownership of land has prevented the development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been adamant that the  development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy must be prevented at all costs. Once they develop, they are sort of like an infection in that they soon spread and take over society. The CCP has billionaire party members who are members of the People’s Assembly.

Guess what these “Communists” are advocating for? Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy. I think this goes to show you that billionaires are the same everywhere. Whether in a Communist or capitalist country, a rightwing or leftwing country, billionaires always have precisely the same class interests that barely vary at all. It’s usually something like this:

Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy.

This goes to show that class interests of various classes are nearly a  law in a mathematical sense and not even a theory of social science. This was what Marx was getting at when he spoke of the laws of economics. They are so predictable that we can almost class them with the laws, theorems, and corollaries of mathematics instead of the typical “true for now” theories of most of the sciences.

I have a feeling that a Hell of a lot more things are laws, too, especially in terms of basic human behavior. So many of these things seem almost unchangeable. Of course they would never apply to everyone, but it’s pretty obvious that they are general tendencies.

Alt Left: Yemen, Houthis, Sunni, and Shia

The Houthis are very misunderstood. They’re not really “Shia” or “Iranians” or any of that crap. They’re not even really Shia. Ansar Allah, the army of the Houthis, is simply the former Yemeni Army. Probably 80% of them went over to the Houthis and they took most of their weapons stocks with them. The Yemeni Army was mostly Sunni.

There’s barely any difference between Shia and Sunni in Yemen anyway. The Yemeni Shia practice an odd form of Shiism that is very close to Sunnism. Yemeni Shiism only differs from Yemeni Sunnism in only one or two issues of doctrine.

The Houthis themselves are not even necessarily Shia. Most Houthis say they are Shia, but some say they are Sunnis, and a few say they are both Shia and Sunni.

A Yemeni friend of mine told me that before 2014, there was no such thing as Sunni and Shia in Yemen. They were all just Muslims. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan all went to war against the Houthis, who overthrew the government in a very popular revolution. They also imported Al Qaeda and especially ISIS and for the first time in forever, the Sunni/Shia distinction became highlighted because these genocidal religious bigots decided to make a big deal of it. But it goes against Yemeni history.

In case you are interested, the ousted president was a Houthi, too. As was the previous President who was also ousted. But he was a pro-Saudi Houthi, and that makes all the difference. Ansar Allah are anti-Saudi Houthis. The Houthis ran Yemen for hundreds of years with no problems at all. For most of the last millennium, the Houthis ran Yemen. They’re the ones who know how to run the country. It’s not so much that your average Yemeni Sunni cares anything about the Houthi and the Shia of Yemen. On the other hand, they do have the usual Sunni Arab paranoia of Iran.

The war against the Houthis was really just another Saudi-UAE “Kill the Shia” war driven by Sunni Arabs’ utterly insane hatred and paranoia of Iran.

Alt Left: Sunni Hatred and Paranoia of the Shia and Iran: One of the Stupidest Forms of Bigotry On Earth

Almost all Sunni morons, even Pakistanis, believe that Iran wants to control the Middle East. The extreme versions say Iran wants to conquer all of the Sunni Arabs and rule over them. Almost all Sunni Arabs actually believe this crap. This thinking is especially prominent in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf (except possibly Qatar), Lebanon, to some extent in Jordan, and Egypt and Sudan to a somewhat weak extent.

Further west in Africa, the Sunnis do not give two shits about Iran. Nor do the rest of the African Sunnis. Nor do they Turks although they hate and persecute their own Shia. Nor do the Muslims of the Caucasus, Russia, and the Stans. In Afghanistan it is particularly stupid because Afghanistan is largely Iranic culturally and even linguistically, particularly in the West. Some of the bigger warlords such as Ismail Khan over there in the west in Herat were actually openly pro-Iran.

Shias are persecuted pretty brutally in Pakistan. Sunni Salafists regularly attack their rallies with suicide bombers, killing many people. The jihadi group LET, which fights in Kashmir, is viciously anti-Shia.

No one quite knows where this comes from but it seems that anyplace where there are lots of Shia, they Shia are hated by the Sunnis.

They are persecuted by Sunni majorities in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, but not in Yemen or Syria, although there are vicious anti-Shia groups there. Sunni minorities in Lebanon and Iran and particularly in Iraq are very anti-Shia. However, the Iranian Sunnis are not treated right at all, although they have 28,000 mosques in Iran. W

hen you get over to North Africa, there are just not any Shia to hate. What’s a Shia? That’s what the North African says.

Palestinians were typically anti-Shia and especially anti-Iran historically because Arab nationalist idiots hate Iran for no good reason, as I elaborated above. Hamas caused a lot of controversy in Palestine for being so close to Iran since they were Sunnis, but they are not stupid. Recently they supported the Sunni Syrian opposition, which enraged the Syrian government. At the same time, Palestinians in Syria formed pro-government militias and fought on the side of the government, though a few went over to the jihadi opposition.

ISIS took over a large Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus for a time and the Palestinians were smeared as ISIS supporters because of this. But most Palestinians in that camp disliked ISIS. The camp is called Yarmouk, and is one of the worst hellholes in Syria. I think there may be delays in rebuilding because of government suspicion that residents sided with ISIS. So Hamas was aligned with Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, the Houthis, the Iraqi Shia, and Iran, and then like complete tools they let their bigotry get the best of them and supported the Sunni jihadis in Syria. However, Syria and Hamas have patched up their relationship.

This is especially odd considering how poorly the Shia have been treated. Before the rise of Hezbollah, the Sunnis in Lebanon would not let the Shia work at any job more respectable than a trash collector. They were like Dalits in India. Imagine that you were in the Jim Crow South and the Whites were all possessed by paranoid fantasies that the Blacks were going to declare war on the Whites, conquer them and rule over the Whites, treating them as inferiors. Crazy, right? This is how Sunnis feel about Iran. They’re all nutcases. It’s also projection, see?

But the Palestinians have become very pro-Iran these days since only Iran has stepped up to the plate to support the Palestinians and only the Shia are supporting the Palestinians at all. The Sunni Arabs would much rather kill the Shia than fight Israel, though the latter obviously is more important and the former has no importance at all.

The only significant help the Palestinians are getting is from the Shia Houthis in Yemen, the Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria, a Shia-led regime in a majority Sunni country, Shia Iran, and pro-Iranian militias in Iraq that are now formally part of the Iraqi Army itself.

They have gotten help from Jordanians who massed at the border and tried to break through, but those were probably mostly Palestinian refugees, as they make up 70% of the population but frankly lack representation in the government, which is a monarchy. Mobs tried to rush the Lebanese border too, but those were probably mostly Shia. Quite a few of them may also have been Palestinian refugees because there are a number of large refugee camps in Southern Lebanon.

It is true that large majorities in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait, and Qatar support the Palestinians, and there is also a lot of support for them in Turkey and Pakistan. These supporters are mostly Sunnis. But the average person does not rule in the Arab World and dictatorships are the rule. It is these dictatorships that have been selling out and making peace with Israel lately, the most outrageous of which has been the UAE, which has apparently gone full Zionist. They’re simply traitors.

However, the Saudis and Emiratis have brainwashed their populations, which used to strongly support the Palestinians but who know repeat the programmed lie that “the Palestinians are not our problem.

A while back, mobs stormed the Israeli border with Syria in the Golan and quite a few of them were killed. These were probably mostly Sunni Syrians though there may have been a lot of Palestinian refugees among them, as there are quite a few in Syria.

There was some anti-Shia sentiment when Islamic Jihad was formed because this Sunni group took inspiration from the Iranian revolution.

There was a rumor that the original Sunni leader converted to Shiism and this caused something of a scandal. The Sunnis are all absolutely terrified that Iran is going to conquer and dominate them and in the process force them to convert to Shiism. The truth is almost zero Sunnis ever convert to Shiism.

Shiism is simply not a proselytizing religion, whereas Sunnism is. One of the main complaints of the Houthis was that Saudi Arabia was sponsoring Wahhabi preachers to come into the north of Yemen and convert the Shia to Sunni Wahhabism. This roused up quite a bit of anger amid the Shia and it was a major reason for the Houthi Revolution. Once again you can see that Sunnis are projecting with their terror of the Shia forcibly converting them to Shiism.

Hamas has aligned very closely with Iran, but so have the Salah-al-Din Brigades, the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades rejectionists who took up arms in various formations, and the PFLP. I have heard that there is a portrait of Soleimani in every home in Gaza.

Alt Left: Yes, There is Little Classism in Muslim Countries (Because It’s Against Islam)

James Schipper: Was it really very different (highly classist) in Islam?

Yes, Islamic countries are just not like that.

I can’t think of any Arab country that is like that.

No North African country is like that.

Neither Malaysia nor Afghanistan nor the Caucasus nor Xinjiang nor the Stans is not like that. However, Afghanistan was feudal or semi-feudal until recently. That’s why Communism was fairly popular there. An outsider went there in the 1950’s, and he saw groups of young men chanting with their fists in the air, “Kill the rich!” I suppose the Communist revolution did a land reform and got rid of this feudal land tenure system.

Communism was an easy sell in Bosnia and Albania, but Islam is weak there.

Corruption is a bad problem in the Arab World and a rich elite bled Lebanon dry for decades, but they are widely hated, and there is little to no class hatred in Lebanon.

I can’t see any class hatred in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Somalia, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or even in UAE.

I’ve never heard of any real classism in the Sahel, but no one there has any money anyway.

The only African countries with a history of classism were the apartheid states of Rhodesia and South Africa, but there it was racialized, and the classism was imported from Christian Europe. Classism among the Whites of these states themselves was not a problem.

Angola has become very unequal due to oil wealth, but the system is not popular, and most people are ending up poor. They had a successful Communist revolution that remained in power for a long time. The anti-Communist rebels didn’t even have much ideology. Jonas Savimbi of UNITA started out as a Maoist and switched to rightwing capitalist to get money from the West for his revolution.

Africa just doesn’t have a history of European classism. It was always a relatively egalitarian village society. Sure, the chiefs were rich, but they were supposed to provide for everyone.

All of the Gulf Arab states have such extensive social democracies that in a lot of cases, you hardly even have to work. Education and health care is free and housing may be subsidized. UAE is a very rich country and capitalism roars right along, but I don’t see a lot of class hatred. For one thing, everyone in the Gulf is well-off.

As I said, it was different before. Read Ghassan Khanafani (one of the founders of the PFLP) on the lives of fellahin or peasants in debt bondage in semi-feudal Palestine in the 1930’s. Nasser did a land reform in Egypt in the 50’s and he was a hero all over the Arab World. People said they went to Yemen in the 1960’s, and there were Nasser portraits everywhere in the homes of working class people. Nasser’s land reform set off a wave of land reforms in the Arab World. In Syria and Iraq, they were done by the socialist Baath Party. There was never much resistance to the Baath’s socialism. There were large state sectors and good social democracies. Even Saddam was basically a socialist.

Bangladesh is a problem. Pakistan has been discussed but it is Indianized and Hinduized. The same problem may be going on in Bangladesh. The class hatred is vicious in India, but it’s coded as caste hatred instead. So Pakistan and Bangladesh have a sort of Hinduized Islam. But the poverty and class hatred is not nearly as bad in those two states as it is in India and Nepal.

Bahrain and Indonesia are problems for whatever reasons but in Indonesia they had to kill 1 million Communists to get their crappy rightwing capitalist dictatorship. And in the last several years they have been led by a social democrat.

Turkey does have problems with its capitalist class in terms of exploitation of workers. After World War 2, there was a Communist revolution and the Commies almost won. However, there is a huge underground Leftist and Communist movement that regularly sets the factories and yachts of the rich on fire! They’re quite popular. The Kurdish PKK was also Left. Islam is rather weak in Turkey though, and Turkey is Europeanized. Erdogan is actually quite socialist. He’s more socialist than Biden. His brand is Islamism is heavy on the social justice end.

 

Alt Left: Israel Versus Egypt and Lebanon

Polar Bear: Egyptians, Lebanese, etc. defeated Israel in battle, and they backed off.

Egypt

Egypt, sure. But Egypt also has to suck up to Israel as part of the peace deal. They also get $1.5 billion completely wasted tax dollars a year as part of the peace deal. Consider that $1.5 billion as more or less aid to Israel.

However, the peace between Israel and Egypt is a cold one indeed. Especially the ordinary people seriously hate Israel. The Israeli Embassy was burned to the ground by a mob of thousands of people a few years back. The entire staff had to flee. The cops just sat back and let the mob burn it to the ground. Curiously enough, the mob was not mostly Islamists. Sure, they were there too, but it was mostly Leftists, including quite a few Communists. There were a lot of women without hijab in that mob. At any rate, the Leftists and Islamists worked very well together.

It’s the same thing in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel proper. Both Islamists and Leftists in those places really hate Israel, so they get along swimmingly. There are two Marxist Palestinian groups who work very closely with Hamas!

For one thing, Leftists tend to be extreme rejectionists of making any sort of peace with Israel, so they have that in common with a lot of Islamists.

Obviously I am not including the Islamist sellout traitors in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE.

In Morocco and Sudan, sure, the governments made peace with Israel recently (because they were bribed to do so, as were the Gulf Arabs), but the people still hate Israel. The difference in opinion between the people and the regimes is vast in all of those US-allied Arab states. The only reason any of those US Arab allies are in power at all is because they have dictatorships. If they had real elections, no way would any civilians in the Arab world vote in a pro-Israel government, never, ever.

Truthfully, of all of the governments that recently recognized Israel (they didn’t make peace like the idiots keep saying because they were never at war recently anyway), only the UAE has excellent relations with Israel. The UAE is so friendly to Israel that it is almost bizarre. I guess they sold out the Palestinians for the $$. That’s all they care about anyway. They and the other Gulf traitors think they can make a lot of money working with Israel, and more than anything else, they want Israeli weapons systems.

They’ve all been allied with Israel forever anyway, but it’s always been behind the scenes, so no one saw it. The Saudis have been allied with Israel for a good 40 years. The Saudis used to own some islands in the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1979, the Israelis, with their usual charm, decided that those islands were really owned by Jews, so they demanded that the Saudis hand them over. The Saudis did just that and of course got nothing in return. They sold out to Israel like craven sissies.

However, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, and especially Qatar do not have good relations with Israel at all. Qatar has long housed the leadership of Hamas. Khaled Meshal made an appearance there recently to a mob of cheering civilians.

In Egypt, an anti-US and anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood (Ikwan) government that won with 75% of the vote was overthrown by secularists in the Army. The Army is secularist and they have been fighting Islamists in Egypt forever. The secularist army set about massacring innocent MB supporters who were sitting in in huge numbers in the capital. They would not vacate their sit-in, so the army started shooting them. They government has since cracked down very hard on all dissent.

In addition, Egypt maintains a terrible blockade on Gaza, an anti-Hamas blockade. The probable reason is because Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood of Palestine, and the Egyptian government despises the Ikwan.

The Ikwan is also despised in Saudi Arabia and UAE, but this is due more to competition than anything else. This is why you see Islamist UAE and Saudi Arabia allying with Egypt and why you see the UAE arming the anti-government army in Libya where the UN-recognized government is the Ikwan. Turkey and Qatar support the Ikwan, so this is why you see Turkey in Libya supporting the government.

The Ikwan proper is often friendly to Iran because they figure the Iranians are very religious Muslims too. Hamas, Qatar, and Turkey enjoy good relations with Iran. This was strained for a bit when Hamas supported the Syrian rebels. The Iranians didn’t care that much, but the Syrians were very angry. Syria has now made up with Hamas. Sunni Hamas has excellent relations with Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon, the PMF in Iraq, Ansar Allah in Yemen, and Iran.

Hamas never talks about being Ikwan-Palestine because the Ikwan has always been unpopular in Palestine. Palestine is actually one of the more secular Arab states, a longstanding trend. 27% of Palestinians checked “not religious” on a recent survey. That’s typical for Palestine. They aren’t a bunch of raving Islamist maniacs.

Gaza is a very conservative society and has been for a long time. The West Bank is also pretty conservative but not as conservative as Gaza. In Israel proper, the Arabs are less conservative. In that famous recent video from Lod, those are young Arab women or teenage girls climbing that pole, tearing down the Israeli flag, and putting up the Palestinian flag to the cheers of a crowd below full of teenage girls and young women. None of them are wearing a hijab. But Lod is in Central Israel very close to Tel Aviv, which is the secular, SJW center of Israel, so there’s probably some bleed-over.

East Jerusalem probably has the most secular Arabs in Palestine for some reason. Why might that be? In videos of recent riots, many of the younger women were not wearing a hijab. In a lot of these communities, you often see teenage girls and young women not wearing a hijab while the older women still do.

But in Umm al Fahm in the Galilee, a famous nearly all-Arab town, most women wear the hijab.

Lebanon

Yes, Hezbollah eventually threw Israel out of Lebanon, but Hell no, has Israel backed off on Lebanon. See that nuclear bomb Israel dropped on Beirut a while back? You call that backing off? By the way, speaking of civilian populations hating Israel, the Lebanese probably are some of the worst Israel-haters in the Arab World.

Like Syria, Lebanon is still officially at war with Israel. Syria has been since 1973, but Lebanon has been since 1948. Both refused to sign an armistice. The Christian Maronite Phalange, however, are pro-Israel to some rather weak extent, but the rest of the Maronite Christians are with Hezbollah. The Greek Orthodox are represented by the Leftist, profoundly anti-Israel Syrian Social Nationalist Party. The Druze go back and forth, but Walid Jumbalatt has been a serious Israel-hater in his time. He’s just a guy who no principles of morals with his finger to the wind.

Opinion polls in Lebanon recently showed that 85% of the Lebanese population supported Hezbollah. That figure is lower now because of the Sunni-Shia split fanned by the US, Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia and to a much lesser extent by Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan, but it is still probably high.

What people don’t realize is that Lebanon has no real army. The true army of Lebanon, with much more power and capabilities than the Lebanese Army, is Hezbollah. The Lebanese Army has been deliberately kept weak by the West, with whom they are rather unstably allied. Notice that the Army worked for Israel in the latest conflict, arresting a few of the Hamas people in Southern Lebanon shooting Grad missiles at Israel and dismantling some rocket launchers. They’re traitors, or maybe they are just scared.

Alt Left: Jewish-Arab Civil War in Israel

The Israeli Arabs have never risen up like this before or at least not in a very long time.

A battle on Thursday in Sheik Jarrah. Three Jews, no doubt pogromists and members of lynch mobs, fire pistols at Arab mobs who are attacking them with fireworks and rocks. Pretty impressive! The residents of Sheik Jarrah have been mostly fighting peacefully but it looks like they’re not doing so anymore.

This civil war inside Israel is almost unprecedented and it’s frankly a total catastrophe for Israel. There was a rumor the other day that Netanyahu wanted to put off attacking Gaza to focus on the internal civil war which he looked at with sheer alarm.

Palestinian protesters hurl stones during clashes with Israeli forces in the Shuafat Palestinian neighborhood, neighboring the Israeli settlement of Ramat Shlomo, in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem on May 14, 2021.

Arabs are rushing the borders of Israel in Lebanon and Jordan. One of those rushing the border was shot and killed by Israel. It turned out that he was a member of Hezbollah. They are also setting fires all along the border. Mobs have been rushing the border near Metula. I think that is one of the three Lebanese villages that Israel stole in 1948. In addition, three rockets were fired by Palestinians towards Israel from Lebanon.

In Jordan, huge mobs have been besieging and rushing the border with Israel. Some of them have apparently made it through.

Three rockets were fired from Syria at the Golan Heights.

So Israel is being attacked by mob swarms or rockets on three of its four borders. In addition, there is an all-out civil war inside Israel. The West Bank is very restive and Nablus have been declared a liberated city. Earlier, rioters claimed that Lod (formerly Lydda) was a liberated city. Things have calmed down a lot in Lod, but there is still unrest.

Below, the Dosa Synagogue in Lod in flames Wednesday night.

Below, Lod on Wednesday as Jewish vigilantes descended on the city from settler communities in the West Bank. They worked hand in hand with the police in fighting Arab rioters.

Alt Left: Websites of Palestinian Resistance Factions

These are all on Telegram, so it would help if you have Telegram, but if you don’t, they will still work in preview. They’re all in Arabic so you will need a translator, but Chrome has one built in.

Izz-al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas): The largest faction. Closely allied with Iran and Hezbollah. Have 14,000 missiles, including long-range ballistic missiles, drones, suicide drones, vast tunnel systems and even underground cities, munitions factories, a navy, ATGM anti-tank missiles, MLRS missile launchers, etc. Some of their missiles are so large they have to be launched from vehicles. They have a huge army, maybe 13,000 men under arms. Almost all of their weaponry is homemade, but it all ultimately comes from Iran. The designs come from Iran and Iranians help them make them. Hezbollah helps too. Their largest presence is in Gaza. They’re quite radical but they are more pragmatic than you think. Leadership is in Iran and Lebanon.

Al-Quds Brigades (Islamic Jihad): Another very large faction, also very close to Iran and Hezbollah. Closer to Iran than Hamas. All of their weaponry comes from Iran, as does all of their money. They also have ballistic missiles. They have ~7,000 rockets in their inventory. Also radical but pragmatic. They have a large group of female fighters under their command. Leadership in Palestine, Iran, and Lebanon.

Al-Nasser Salah-al-Din Brigades (Popular Resistance Committees): Basically Fatah rejectionists who left and took up arms due to the PLO’s pacifism. More nationalist in orientation. Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades are still big in the West Bank where they have automatic weapons that they manufacture themselves in factories! This is the third largest group in Gaza and they have fired many missiles in this latest fight. Saladin is a hero in the region. He was actually a Kurd. He threw the Crusaders out of Palestine. The Nasser may be a reference to Arab nationalist leader Gamel Nasser of Egypt. This group is more secular. Leadership in Palestine.

Mujahedin Brigades (Mujahedin Movement): These are said to be Salafists, but they seem quite similar to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with whom they share philosophy and even weaponry. This is one of the smaller groups in Gaza. I don’t know much about them. Leadership in Palestine.

National Resistance Brigades (DFLP): A Marxist group that attracts a lot of the secular crowd, including Christians. They have an armed force and a lot of missiles. Their leader is Nayef Hawatmeh in Jordan, a Christian. This group has a surprisingly large presence in Gaza. It’s interesting that Hamas and Islamic Jihad get along just fine with Marxists. This group has fired quite a few missiles in the latest war. You would be surprised at how active they are. Much of the leadership is in Syria.

Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades (PFLP): Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. A member of the PLO which refuses to participate in the PLO government because they see the PLO as sellouts. Marxists. They have a surprisingly large army inside Gaza and they have carried out many attacks recently, including an attack on the port of Ashkelon. They also have a lot of women under arms. Most PFLP women do not wear hijabs. Also attracts the secular crowd and a lot of Christians. Also pretty big in the West Bank.  Basically secular Arab nationalists. They’re actually probably a lot more moderate than the other group in that they argue that all of the Jews can stay in Palestine. Leader Ahmad Saadat is in an Israeli prison. Leadership is presently in Syria.

PFLP-GC: Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command. No channel. Very close to Syria. Significant presence in Lebanese refugee camps. They have launched missiles in the latest war and they do have a presence in Gaza. Very secular. Formerly Ahmad Jibril’s group. Another PLO split.

As you can see, the PFLP-GC, the DFLP, the PFLP, and the PRC are all at least fairly secular groups. The first three are very secular. The Mujahedin Brigades, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are Islamists.

 

 

Alt Left: Jordanians Rushing the Border

Quite a few Jordanians have been rushing to border with Israel trying to cross into Israel. There are contradictory reports about whether or not some of them have made it across. Police are trying to stop them. There are also large rushes at the Lebanese border in Metula.

And Egypt has opened the border at Rafah to let its ambulances come in to rescue the wounded to take them to Egyptian hospitals in Sinai.

Alt Left: How the US Staged Fascist Coups in Many Countries the World Over in the Last 70 Years

After World War, the Cold War was started and the murderous Dulles Brothers Installed the Policy known as Containment. This was implemented between 1946-48. As part of this policy, the US overthrew nationalist, social democratic, and even liberal democratically elected governments all over the world as part of the “War on Communism.” We replaced them with rightwing dictatorships. Although it is arguable, in general all rightwing  authoritarian regimes or dictatorships are probably fascist. Rightwing dictatorship = fascism.

These regimes were found most of Central America in Guatemala after 1954, in El Salvador and Honduras since forever, and in Nicaragua under the Somozas.

They were found in all of South America at one time or another. We can see them in the generals after 1964 in Brazil, the democratic facade duopoly regimes in Venezuela in Colombia (especially after 1947 and again in 1964, Ecuador, Peru until the generals’ revolt in 1968, Bolivia under Banzer after 1953, Paraguay under Strausser, Argentina and Uruguay under the generals in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and Pinochet in Chile.

They were also seen in the Caribbean in Cuba under Bautista, the Dominican Republic under Trujillo, and Haiti under the Duvaliers.

In Southeast Asia, they were found in Thieu in South Vietnam, Sihanouk in Cambodia, the monarchy in Laos, the military regimes in Thailand, Suharto in Indonesia, the Sultan in Brunei, Marcos in the Philippines, and Taiwan under Chiang Kai Chek.

In Northeast Asia, a regime of this type was found in South Korea from 1947-on.

They were found South Asia with Pakistan under Generals like Zia, in Central Asia in the Shah of Iran, and in a sense, the Arab World with Saddam (Saddam was installed by the CIA), King Hassan in Morocco, the Gulf monarchies, and Jordan. Earlier, they were found in the monarchies in Libya and Egypt that were overthrown by Arab nationalists. Also, Israel played this sort of role with a democratic facade.

We also found them in the Near East in the military regimes in Turkey (especially Turgut Ozul) and for a while in Greece under the colonels in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

NATO formed the backbone of a “rightwing dictatorship” in the background of Western Europe (especially Italy), where Operation Gladio NATO intelligence essentially ran most of those countries as a Deep State behind the scenes. These regimes were found in Spain under Franco and in Portugal under Salazar along with its colonies.

These regimes were not so much in evidence in Africa except in South Africa and Rhodesia and most prominently, Mobutu in Zaire and Samuel Doe in Liberia.

The fascist forms of these rightwing dictatorships varied, most being nonracist fascism but a few being racist fascists (Turkey), and others being Mussolinists (Suharto in Indonesia with his “pangesila”)

Intelligence Agencies in the Middle East Rated

The Mossad is one of the best spy agencies on Earth, near unparalleled. But I had no idea that Iran’s intelligence was this good. I’m shocked at how good they are.

Lebanese military intelligence is ok; at least they keep up on matters. Actually they are excellent in terms of internal matters. Superb.

Hezbollah’s intelligence is much better than Lebanese military intelligence. In fact, all of Hezbollah almost acts as an intelligence agency all the time, as they are locked into a conflict with Israel. Hezbollah has probably one of the finest intelligence apparatuses in the Arab World, and they definitely engage in external operations too. They are very secretive and have been very hard to penetrate. Even Mossad cannot seem to penetrate them, and sadly, Lebanon is swarming with Israeli spies.

Iraqi intelligence under Saddam was said to be excellent. Of course they were utterly brutal also. I’m not sure how good they are under the new regime. They have not yet been able to put down the ISIS insurgency in Iraq, although they have done very good work.

However, my source closes to the Iranian government tells me that the headquarters of Iraqi intelligence in Baghdad now is a joint headquarters manned by not just Iraqi intelligence but also Iranian and even Russian intelligence, which is probably military intelligence, not the GRU. The GRU seems to work mostly domestically. It’s interesting that Iran and Iraq have gotten so close to Russia. Even under Saddam,  most work was internal.

PMF pro-Iranian militia intelligence. These groups are are part of the Iraqi military. Their intelligence is excellent, as are their fighting capabilities. It is these militias that put down the ISIS insurgency in Iraq. Without the help of Iran and these groups, ISIS would have conquered Baghdad and probably all of Iraq. Iran essentially put down the ISIS insurgency in Iraq and did excellent work fighting ISIS and  Al Qaeda in Syria.

Syrian intelligence was always said to be excellent under both Bashar and his father. I believe they are still very good. Of course they are absolutely brutal. Most work is internal.

Saudi and UAE intelligence are ok. They at least know the scoop on what is really going down around them. For instance, both agencies reported that Israel attacked the Beirut harbor, which is of course correct. However, they repeated the Israeli lie that Israel was targeting a Hezbollah missile depot at the harbor. They both mostly work internally, however they were both working in Syria and Yemen and may still be there. In Syria, they were working with Al Qaeda and to some extent with ISIS in terms of ferrying ISIS fighters from Syria to Yemen.

Egyptian intelligence has always been among the best in the Arab World. However they mostly work internally. Nevertheless, they have not been able to put down the ISIS insurgency in the Sinai. They are also very brutal.

Iranian intelligence is surprisingly good. And it looks like they are good at external operations too with this attack inside Israel. They have operated in Europe for a long time eliminating enemies of the regime.

Moroccan intelligence is good at internal work.

Jordanian intelligence is also good at internal work. Brutal too.

Qatari intelligence was active in Syria, embedded with Al Qaeda.

The PLO and Hamas governments in Palestine. PFLP intelligence used to be pretty good. The Shin Bet seem to operate pretty unimpeded in the West Bank, and after any attack, they quickly roll up the actors. So PLO counterintelligence is obviously not good enough to stop Israel and its spies. Hamas intelligence is a lot better.

Israel has found it very hard to even get Mossad or Shin Bet spies into Gaza in the first place and a few of these teams  have been rolled up and even killed by Hamas once they got inside. One team was given away at a Hamas checkpoint when they  spoke Arabic with Hebrew accents. Hamas executes Palestinians in Gaza fairly regularly for spying for Israel.

No idea about the intelligence capabilities of Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Sudan, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait are, although Qaddafi’s intelligence agency was said to be very good.

 

Alt Left: Arab Sunnis Hate the Shia Vastly More than They Hate Israelis

3,000 rioters employed by the CIA as part of an anti-Iran group overthrew the Lebanese government over this Israeli Beirut nuke attack false flag. Those were Hariri’s Sunnis. They are deep in with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have been working very closely with Israel for a very long time now. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are close allies of Israel from way back. They both hate the Shia and Iran. The Gulf Arabs hate the Shia far more than they hate those Jews squatting on Arab land. Shows you where their priorities are.

This is true for most Arab Sunnis in the Middle East outside of Africa. The Sunnis of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Bahrain, and Kuwait have sold out the Palestinians a long time ago. The popular masses in these places all hate the Shia far more than the Jews, and most of the governments are presently allied with Israel.

ISIS is considered to be an Israeli ally. Syrian Al Qaeda had Israeli advisors embedded with them. The Syrian Sunnis are split; however, many of them hate the Shia far more than they hate Jews.

The Jordanians are split too, as many are Palestinians. But the Jordanian Bedouins don’t care about the Jews and hate the Shia far more.

The Yemeni Sunnis hate the Shia so much that they are genociding their own people because some of them have allied with Iran. That’s how much they hate the Shia.

The Saudis treat their Shia minority like subhumans.

The Bahrainis treat their Shia majority the same.

he Kuwaitis hate Iran.

The Egyptian government completely hates Iran and has sold out the Palestinians completely.

The Sudanese don’t care anything about the Palestinians anymore. They hate Iran far worse.

The Libyans, Tunisians, Algerians, and Moroccans are very pro-Palestinian, though their governments have all sold out to Israel. None of those people care about Iran. There is a distance factor. The further away you get from Iran, the less Arabs care about it. Iran-hatred is unique to Arab Muslims. There are historical reasons for Middle Eastern Arab hatred of Iran and these same historical reasons mean that the North African Arabs don’t care much about Iran.

Most other Sunnis don’t care about the Shia very much except in Pakistan, where they really hate the Shia for unknown reasons.

The Turks also completely hate the Shia, and their own Shia are treated like garbage. This goes back to Ottoman Sunni chauvinism. Part of the problem is that the Turkish Shia are Alevis, related to the Alawis of Syria, and they practice a very New Age form of Shia Islam that is nearly secular.

The Alevis and Alawis are often despised as heretics, converts, apostates and non-Muslims by the Sunnis due to their very secular beliefs. The twirling dervish dancing comes out of Alevism and there are deep Sufi roots in Alevi Islam extending down to the Sunni Kurds and even the Iraqi Sunnis. Saddam’s Sunnism was heavily inflected with Sufism. Even Iranian Shiism has a strong Sufi component. Sufism is also quite big in Afghanistan and even in Pakistan.

However, Turks also completely despise Israel.

Nevertheless, Turkey has a very strong alliance with the Azeri Shia.

The Kurds have completely sold out to Israel and the US a long time ago although the US is probably one of their worst enemies.  Sunni Kurds don’t seem to care much of anything about the Shia for whatever reason. The Syrian and Iraqi Arabs dislike Kurds. The Turks absolutely hate Kurds. The Iranians hate Kurds too. Really nobody on Earth likes the Kurds except Israel and the US fake love. The Kurds have been sold out by everyone they ever allied with.

Even a lot of Palestinians hate Iran. Even Hamas, which has a close relationship with Iran, has prominent Shia hatred, which is why they supported ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria against the Shia government. However, the Palestinians have close relations with both Iran and Hezbollah at the same time, so they are the most pragmatic of the ME Arabs.

Alt Left: The U.S. Is Recycling Its Big Lie about Iraq to Target Iran

A superb article. People need to get this through their damned heads: Iran does not have a Goddamned nuclear weapons program! The CIA even said so itself in its last word in the subject in 2007. Yet this evil government of ours keeps insisting that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

This is literally the reason for the entire sanctions regime, the targeting and war threats against Iran, the bombing of pro-Iranian Iraqi Shia militias in Iraq, and the assassination of Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

How many Moronicans believe these big fat lie? How many Eurotrash believe this lie. It must be a large majority of both of them.

After all, the entire MSM in the West – every single newspaper, magazine, and TV and radio news show, along with all Western governments insists that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Not even one media outlet anywhere in the West will admit the obvious truth that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons and hasn’t had one for a minimum of 30 lies.

Guess (((who))) cooked up this big, fat lie in the (((US media))). Guess (((why))) the entire media and every state in the West keeps repeating this lie? I’ll tell you why. (((This))) is the reason why. (((These people))) want Iran invaded and destroyed because it is the only country left other than Syria which is a sworn enemy of (((their state))).

Guess who the US, UK, France, and Germany take orders from. (((This)) is who they take orders from.

Granted the US is also out to destroy Iran because the Shia-haters in Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, and Turkey all hate Iran simply because they are profoundly bigoted Sunnis with a homicidal hatred and paranoia of Shia Muslims.

In addition, US imperialism has had a hard-on for Iran ever since the Embassy Takeover in 1979. We never got over it. And the rule of US imperialism is simply “never forgive, never forget.” Exactly the same motto as (((some people))). Coincidence? For the crime of standing up to the US and shouting “Death to America! Death to Israel!” for 40 years, US imperialism wants Iran gone.

In addition, Iran has no central bank. US imperialism demands that all countries have central banks.

In addition, Iran is selling its oil in currencies other than dollars. This threatens the “petrodollar,” one of the essential pillars of US imperialism. The use of the dollar in international trade has indeed been declining in the past 10 years. It’s down to 63% now and a number of countries are definitely going off the dollar and substituting other currencies or a basket of currencies for international trade. So it’s not just a petrodollar. It’s a world dollar.

As long as most international trade is conducted in dollars, US imperialism can charge full steam ahead. But when that number goes down below 50%, there are going to be some serious problems for US imperialism. Namely that we won’t be able to be the Dictator of the World anymore.

And this World Dictator and Most Powerful Nation on Earth nonsense is one thing that America wants to keep perhaps more than anything else. The US will do most anything, start wars, kill millions of people – it matters not- to retain those positions.

As Lenin said, power does not give up without a fight which was one reason that he said the electoral road to socialism could never happen and why he called people who supported it “parliamentary cretins.” It’s not so much that he opposed it, as he simply thought it would not work.

It is instructive to note that every single country that has gone off the dollar has been either attacked, subjected to heavy sanctions, had coups, color revolutions, or armed insurgencies unleashed upon. Sometimes more than one or all of the above.

  • Iraq went off the petrodollar. It was invaded soon after.
  • Libya went off the petrodollar. It was quickly attacked.
  • Syria went off the petrodollar. It had an insurgency unleashed upon it.
  • Iran is going off the petrodollar. It’s been subject to many threats and vicious sanctions.
  • North Korea went off the dollar. Result was totally brutal sanctions, many deaths, and endless military threats.
  • Venezuela is going off the petrodollar. Result: sanctions, economic warfare, and coup attempts with lockout strikes, use of armed forces, violent street demonstrations and now with an entire fake alternate facts government set up led by a man who was never elected President even one time.
  • Russia and China are going off the dollar. Result: sanctions, tariffs, and hybrid warfare was launched on both countries and both have been designated as top US enemies. A color revolution is being attempted in Hong Kong.

See how this works?

The U.S. Is Recycling Its Big Lie About Iraq to Target Iran

Sixteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, most Americans understand that it was an illegal war based on lies about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” But our government is now threatening to drag us into a war on Iran with a nearly identical “big lie” about a non-existent nuclear weapons program, based on politicized intelligence from the same CIA teams that wove a web of lies to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In 2002-3, U.S. officials and corporate media pundits repeated again and again that Iraq had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that posed a dire threat to the world. The CIA produced reams of false intelligence to support the march to war and cherry-picked the most deceptively persuasive narratives for Secretary of State Colin Powell to present to the UN Security Council on February 5th 2003.

In December 2002, Alan Foley, the head of the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) told his staff,

If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so.

Paul Pillar, a CIA officer who was the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, helped to prepare a 25-page document that was passed off to Members of Congress as a “summary” of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq.

But the document was written months before the NIE it claimed to summarize and contained fantastic claims that were nowhere to be found in the NIE, such as that the CIA knew of 550 specific sites in Iraq where chemical and biological weapons were stored. Most members read only this fake summary, not the real NIE, and blindly voted for war. As Pillar later confessed to PBS’s Frontline:

The purpose was to strengthen the case for going to war with the American public. Is it proper for the intelligence community to publish papers for that purpose? I don’t think so and I regret having had a role in it.

WINPAC was set up in 2001 to replace the CIA’s Nonproliferation Center or NPC (1991-2001), where a staff of 100 CIA analysts collected possible evidence of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons development to support U.S. information warfare, sanctions, and ultimately regime change policies against Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and other U.S. enemies.

WINPAC uses the U.S.’s satellite, electronic surveillance, and international spy networks to generate material to feed to UN agencies like UNSCOM, UNMOVIC, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which are charged with overseeing the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

The CIA’s material has kept these agencies’ inspectors and analysts busy with an endless stream of documents, satellite imagery, and claims by exiles for almost 30 years. But since Iraq destroyed all its banned weapons in 1991, they have found no confirming evidence that either Iraq or Iran has taken steps to acquire nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

UNMOVIC and the IAEA told the UN Security Council in 2002-3 they could find no evidence to support U.S. allegations of illegal weapons development in Iraq.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei exposed the CIA’s Niger yellowcake document as a forgery in a matter of hours. ElBaradei’s commitment to the independence and impartiality of his agency won the respect of the world, and he and his agency were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Apart from outright forgeries and deliberately fabricated evidence from exile groups like Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC) and the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), most of the material the CIA and its allies have provided to UN agencies has involved dual-use technology which could be used in banned weapons programs but also as alternative legitimate uses.

A great deal of the IAEA’s work in Iran has been to verify that each of these items has in fact been used for peaceful purposes or conventional weapons development rather than in a nuclear weapons program.

But as in Iraq, the accumulation of inconclusive, unsubstantiated evidence of a possible nuclear weapons program has served as a valuable political weapon to convince the media and the public that there must be something solid behind all the smoke and mirrors.

For instance, in 1990, the CIA began intercepting  Telex messages from Sharif University in Tehran and Iran’s Physics Research Centre about orders for ring magnets, fluoride, and fluoride-handling equipment, a balancing machine, a mass spectrometer, and vacuum equipment, all of which can be used in uranium enrichment.

For the next 17 years, the CIA’s NPC and WINPAC regarded these telexes as some of their strongest evidence of a secret nuclear weapons program in Iran, and they were cited as such by senior U.S. officials. It was not until 2007-8 that the Iranian government finally tracked down all these items at Sharif University, and the IAEA inspectors were able to visit the university and confirm that they were being used for academic research and teaching as Iran had told them.

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the IAEA’s work in Iran continued, but every lead provided by the CIA and its allies proved to be either fabricated, innocent, or inconclusive. In 2007, U.S. intelligence agencies published a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran in which they acknowledged that Iran had no active nuclear weapons program. The publication of the 2007 NIE was an important step in averting a U.S. war on Iran.

As George W. Bush wrote in his memoirs, “…after the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”

But despite the lack of confirming evidence, the CIA refused to alter the “assessment” from its 2001 and 2005 NIE’s that Iran probably did have a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003. This left the door open for the continued use of WMD allegations, inspections, and sanctions as potent political weapons in the U.S.’s regime change policy toward Iran.

In 2007, UNMOVIC published a Compendium or final report on the lessons learned from the debacle in Iraq. One key lesson was that “complete independence is a prerequisite for a UN inspection agency” so that the inspection process would not be used “either to support other agendas or to keep the inspected party in a permanent state of weakness.”

Another key lesson was that “proving the negative is a recipe for enduring difficulties and unending inspections.” The 2005 Robb-Silberman Commission on the U.S. intelligence failure in Iraq reached very similar conclusions, such as that“…analysts effectively shifted the burden of proof, requiring proof that Iraq did not have active WMD programs rather than requiring affirmative proof of their existence.

“While the U.S. policy position was that Iraq bore the responsibility to prove that it did not have banned weapons programs, the Intelligence Community’s burden of proof should have been more objective…

“By raising the evidentiary burden so high, analysts artificially skewed the analytical process toward confirmation of their original hypothesis – that Iraq had active WMD programs.”

In its work on Iran, the CIA has carried on the flawed analysis and processes identified by the UNMOVIC Compendium and the Robb-Silberman report on Iraq.

The pressure to produce politicized intelligence that supports U.S. policy positions persists because that is the corrupt role that U.S. intelligence agencies play in U.S. policy, spying on other governments, staging coups, destabilizing countries, and producing politicized and fabricated intelligence to create pretexts for war.

A legitimate national intelligence agency would provide objective intelligence analysis that policymakers could use as a basis for rational policy decisions. But as the UNMOVIC Compendium implied, the U.S. government is unscrupulous in abusing the concept of intelligence and the authority of international institutions like the IAEA to “support other agendas,” notably its desire for regime change in countries around the world.

The U.S.’s “other agenda” on Iran gained a valuable ally when Mohamed ElBaradei retired from the IAEA in 2009 and was replaced by Yukiya Amano from Japan. A State Department cable from July 10th, 2009 released by Wikileaks described Mr. Amano as a “strong partner” to the U.S. based on “the very high degree of convergence between his priorities and our own agenda at the IAEA.”

The memo suggested that the U.S. should try to “shape Amano’s thinking before his agenda collides with the IAEA Secretariat bureaucracy.”  The memo’s author was Geoffrey Pyatt, who later achieved international notoriety as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine who was exposed on a leaked audio recording plotting the 2014 coup in Ukraine with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

The Obama administration spent its first term pursuing a failed “dual-track” approach to Iran in which its diplomacy was undermined by the greater priority it gave to its parallel track of escalating UN sanctions. When Brazil and Turkey presented Iran with the framework of a nuclear deal that the U.S. had proposed, Iran readily agreed to it.

But the U.S. rejected what had begun as a U.S. proposal because by that point, it would have undercut its efforts to persuade the UN Security Council to impose harsher sanctions on Iran. As a senior State Department official told author Trita Parsi, the real problem was that the U.S. wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

It was only in Obama’s second term after John Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, that the U.S. finally did take “yes” for an answer, leading to the JCPOA between Iran, the U.S., and other major powers in 2015. So it was not U.S.-backed sanctions that brought Iran to the table but the failure of sanctions that brought the U.S. to the table.

Also in 2015, the IAEA completed its work on “Outstanding Issues” regarding Iran’s past nuclear-related activities. On each specific case of dual-use research or technology imports, the IAEA found no proof that they were related to nuclear weapons rather than conventional military or civilian uses.

Under Amano’s leadership and U.S. pressure, the IAEA “assessed” that “a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003,” but that “these activities did not advance beyond feasibility studies and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.”

The JCPOA has broad support in Washington. But the U.S. political debate over the JCPOA has essentially ignored the actual results of the IAEA’s work in Iran, the CIA’s distorting role in it, and the extent to which the CIA has replicated the institutional biases, reinforcing of preconceptions, forgeries, politicization and corruption by “other agendas” that were supposed to be corrected to prevent any repetition of the WMD fiasco in Iraq.

Politicians who support the JCPOA now claim that it stopped Iran getting nuclear weapons, while those who oppose the JCPOA claim that it would allow Iran to acquire them.

They are both wrong because as the IAEA has concluded and even President Bush acknowledged, Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program. The worst that the IAEA can objectively say is that Iran may have done some basic nuclear weapons-related research some time before 2003, but then again, maybe it didn’t.

Mohamed ElBaradei wrote in his memoir, The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times that if Iran ever conducted even rudimentary nuclear weapons research, he was sure it was only during the Iran-Iraq War which ended in 1988, when the U.S. and its allies helped Iraq kill up to 100,000 Iranians with chemical weapons.

If ElBaradei’s suspicions were correct, Iran’s dilemma since that time would have been that it could not admit to that work in the 1980s without facing even greater mistrust and hostility from the U.S. and its allies and risking a similar fate to Iraq.

Regardless of uncertainties regarding Iran’s actions in the 1980s, the U.S.’s campaign against Iran has violated the most critical lessons U.S. and UN officials claimed to have learned from the debacle in Iraq.

The CIA has used its almost entirely baseless suspicions about nuclear weapons in Iran as pretexts to “support other agendas” and “keep the inspected party in a permanent state of weakness,” exactly as the UNMOVIC Compendium warned against ever again doing to another country.

In Iran as in Iraq, this has led to an illegal regime of brutal sanctions under which thousands of children are dying from preventable diseases and malnutrition and to threats of another illegal U.S. war that would engulf the Middle East and the world in even greater chaos than the one the CIA engineered against Iraq.

Nicolas J. S. Davies is a freelance writer, researcher for CODEPINK and author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Alt Left: Repost: Why Trump Is a Disaster: (((Middle Eastern Foreign Policy)))

People are commenting on this post from a year ago. It’s a nice post but it has a lot of complex ideas floating around that it hammers away at the reader in brief fashion. It should be good for a slow read.

At any rate it is quite relevant to the current turn of events in Syria with Turkey invading Syria to fight the Kurds, the US leaving all of Northern Syria, and Assad moving in to take over everywhere the US is leaving. Oh, and there are Russian troops on the ground and Russian planes in the air. The Kurds are holding out a lot better than anyone thought, and pretty soon Turkey is going to have to fight Syria and maybe even Russia too. It’s all getting pretty interesting.

I actually think this was a brilliant move on the part of Trump. Unfortunately in the course of carrying out this plan, a lot of people got killed and wounded, but people were getting killed and wounded all the time anyway. I don’t think Trump really abandoned the Kurds. He just handed them off to Assad and to some extent to Russia.

Anyway, this is probably good for a post on its own.

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 from 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, and massacring Palestinians demonstrating at the border, is because Trump gave them the green light to do so.

Trump loosened the the ROE (Rules of Engagement) 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 30 of them. Trump loosened the ROE in Mosul, and we and the Iraqis 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? 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.

At other times in this war, 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 must have 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 Kurdish people in Turkey.

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 British and the French.

Trump has an 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 verbally 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 verbally attacked Qatar because Trump hates Iran. All of this is to screw Iran. He dismantled the Iran deal and put sanctions back on Iran.

Why Trump Is a Disaster: (((Middle Eastern Foreign Policy)))

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 from 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, and massacring Palestinians demonstrating at the border, is because Trump gave them the green light to do so.

Trump loosened the the ROE (Rules of Engagement) 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 30 of them. Trump loosened the ROE in Mosul, and we and the Iraqis 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? 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.

At other times in this war, 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 must have 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 Kurdish people in Turkey.

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 British and the French.

Trump has an 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 verbally 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 verbally attacked Qatar because Trump hates Iran. All of this is to screw Iran. He dismantled the Iran deal and put sanctions back on Iran.

CIA, Mossad, MI5 and Many Sunni Intelligence Agencies Are Directly Embedded inside Al Qaeda in Northern Syria

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))).
 

(((Saudi Arabia)))

Unbelievable.
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.

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

Iraq

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

Yemen

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

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

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

The Hell with the Pentagon

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.

Some Little-Known Truths about Arabs

Lin writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tolerance for Male Homosexuality in the Muslim World

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

“Problems” and “Solutions”

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

The chief cause of problems is solutions

– Eric Sevareid

I think this guy is onto something.

Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A horrible refugee crisis was created in Europe.

Muslim populations in the West were substantially radicalized.

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

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

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

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

“History of US-NATO’s ‘Covert War’ on Syria: Daraa March 2011 Another Islamist Insurrection,” by Tim Anderson

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).
arms-seized-by-Syrian-security
Arms seized by Syrian security forces at al Omari mosque in Daraa, March 2011. The weapons had been provided by the Saudis. Photo: SANA

“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).

References:

Abouzeid, Rania (2011) ‘Syria’s Revolt, how graffiti stirred an uprising’, Time, 22 March.

Al Akhras, Samer (2011) ‘Syrian Citizen’, Facebook, 25 June, online: https://www.facebook.com/notes/sam-al-akhras/syrian-citizen/241770845834062?pnref=story

Al Jazeera (2011a) ‘Nine killed at Syria funeral processions’, 23 April, online: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/04/20114231169587270.html.

Al Jazeera (2011b) ‘Deraa: A city under a dark siege’, 28 April, online: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/04/2011427215943692865.html.

Al-Shaqfa, Muhammad Riyad (2011) ‘Muslim Brotherhood Statement about the so-called ‘Syrian Revolution’’, General supervisor for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, statement of 28 March, online at: http://truthsyria.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/muslim-brotherhood-statement-about-the-so-called-syrian-revolution/.

Allaf, Rime (2012) ‘This Time, Assad Has Overreached’, NYT, 5 Dec, online: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/02/06/is-assads-time-running-out/this-time-assad-has-overreached.

Blanford, Nicholas (2011) ‘Assad regime may be gaining upper hand in Syria’, Christian Science Monitor, 13 may, online: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0513/Assad-regime-may-be-gaining-upper-hand-in-Syria.

Chossudovsky, Michel (2011) ‘Syria: who is behind the protest movement? Fabricating a pretext for US-NATO ‘Humanitarian Intervention’’, Global Research, 3 May, online: http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-who-is-behind-the-protest-movement-fabricating-a-pretext-for-a-us-nato-humanitarian-intervention/24591.

Clinton, Hilary (2011) ‘There is No Going Back in Syria’, US Department of State, 17 June, online: http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2011/06/166495.htm.

Maktabi, Rima (2011) ‘Reports of funeral, police shootings raise tensions in Syria’, CNN, 5 April, online: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/04/05/syria.unrest/.

Crimi, Frank (2012) ‘Ethnic Cleansing of Syrian Christians’, Frontpagemag, 29 March, online: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2012/frank-crimi/ethnic-cleansing-of-syrian-christians/.

Daily Mail (2011) ‘Nine protesters killed after security forces open fire by Syrian mosque’, 24 March.

DIA (1982) ‘Syria: Muslim Brotherhood Pressure Intensifies’, Defence Intelligence Agency (USA), May, online: https://syria360.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/dia-syria-muslimbrotherhoodpressureintensifies-2.pdf.

DIA (2012) ‘Department of Defence Information Report, Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence, Country: Iraq’, Defence Intelligence Agency, August, 14-L-0552/DIA/297-293, Levant Report, online at: http://levantreport.com/2015/05/19/2012-defense-intelligence-agency-document-west-will-facilitate-rise-of-islamic-state-in-order-to-isolate-the-syrian-regime/.

Draitser, Eric (2012) ‘Unmasking the Muslim Brotherhood: Syria, Egypt and beyond’, Global Research, 12 December, online: http://www.globalresearch.ca/unmasking-the-muslim-brotherhood-syria-egypt-and-beyond/5315406

Eretz Zen (2014) ‘Tunisian Jihadist Admits: We Destroyed & Desecrated Mosques in Syria to Cause Defections in Army’, Youtube interview, 16 March, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ8awN8GLAk

FOX News (2011) ‘Obama Under Pressure to Call for Syrian Leader’s Ouster’, 29 April, online: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/29/obama-pressure-syrian-leaders-ouster/.

Ghadry, Farid N. (2005) ‘Syrian Reform: What Lies Beneath’, Middle East Quarterly, Vol 12 No 1, Winter, online: http://www.meforum.org/683/syrian-reform-what-lies-beneath.

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.].

Hashem, Ali (2012) ‘Al Jazeera Journalist Explains Resignation over Syria and Bahrain Coverage’, The Real News, 20 March, online: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8106

HRW (2011a) ‘We’ve never seen such horror: crimes against humanity by Syrian Security Forces’, Human Rights Watch, June, online: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/06/01/we-ve-never-seen-such-horror-0.

HRW (2011b) Syria: Defectors Describe Orders to Shoot Unarmed Protesters’, Human Rights Watch, Washington, 9 July, online: http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/07/09/syria-defectors-describe-orders-shoot-unarmed-protesters

HRW (2012) ‘Open Letter to the Leaders of the Syrian Opposition, Human Rights Watch, Washington, 20 March, online: http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/03/20/open-letter-leaders-syrian-opposition.

Jaber, Hala (2011) ‘Syria caught in crossfire of extremists’, Sunday Times, 26 June, online: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Middle_East/article657138.ece.

Khalidi, Suleiman (2011) ‘Thousands chant ‘freedom’ despite Assad reform offer’, Reuters, 24 March, online: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/24/us-syria-idUSTRE72N2MC20110324.

Landis, Joshua (2011a) ‘The Revolution Strikes Home: Yasir Qash`ur, my wife’s cousin, killed in Banyas’, Syria Comment, 11 April, online: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/the-revolution-strikes-home-yasir-qashur-my-wifes-cousin-killed-in-banyas/.

Landis, Joshua (2011b) ‘Syria’s Opposition Faces an Uncertain Future’, Syria Comment, 26 June, online: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/syrias-opposition-faces-an-uncertain-future/.

MEMRITV (2011) ‘Syrian Sunni Cleric Threatens: “We Shall Mince [The Alawites] in Meat Grinders”‘, YouTube, 13 July, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwz8i3osHww.

Nassar, Jessy (2014) ‘Hama: A rebirth from the ashes?’ Middle East Monitor, 11 July, online: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/12703-hama-a-rebirth-from-the-ashes.

Narwani, Sharmine (2012) ‘Questioning the Syrian “Casualty List”, 28 Feb, online: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/questioning-syrian-%E2%80%9Ccasualty-list%E2%80%9D.

Narwani, Sharmine (2014) Syria: The hidden massacre, RT, 7 May, online: http://rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/.

OHCHR (2012) ‘Periodic Update’, Independent International Commission of Inquiry established pursuant to resolution A/HRC/S – 17/1 and extended through resolution A/HRC/Res/19/22, 24 may, online: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/CoISyria/PeriodicUpdate24May2012.pdf.

Otrakji, Camille (2012) ‘The Real Bashar al Assad’, Conflicts Forum, 2 April, online: http://www.conflictsforum.org/2012/the-real-bashar-al-assad/.

Queenan, Gavriel (2011) ‘Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings torched in protests’, Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, March 21.

Reuters (2011) ‘Syria says seizes weapons smuggled from Iraq’, 11 March, online: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/us-syria-iraq-idUSTRE72A3MI20110311?hc_location=ufi.

Rosen, Nir (2012) ‘Q&A: Nir Rosen on Syria’s armed opposition’, Al Jazeera, 13 Feb, online: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/02/201221315020166516.html.

RT (2012) ‘Al Jazeera exodus: Channel losing staff over ‘bias’’, 12 March, online: http://rt.com/news/al-jazeera-loses-staff-335/.

Salt, Jeremy (2011) Truth and Falsehood in Syria, The Palestine Chronicle, 5 October, online: http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=17159.

Sayyid Rasas, Mohammed (2013) ‘From 2005 to 2013: The Syrian Opposition’s Many Faces’, Al Akhbar, 19 March, online: http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/15287.

Shaikh, Salman (2011) ‘In Syria, Assad Must Exit the Stage’, Brookings Institution, 27 April, online: http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2011/04/27-syria-shaikh.

Sheikho, Youssef (2013) ‘The Syrian Opposition’s Muslim Brotherhood Problem’, Al Akhbar English, April 10, online: http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/15492.

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.

van der Lugt, Frans (2012) ‘Bij defaitisme is niemand gebaat’, from Homs, 13 January, online: https://mediawerkgroepsyrie.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/bij-defaitisme-is-niemand-gebaat/.

Wikstrom, Cajsa (2011) Syria: ‘A kingdom of silence’, Al Jazeera, 9 Feb, online: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/02/201129103121562395.html.

YaLibnan (2011) ‘7 Syrian policemen killed in Sunday clashes’, 21 March, online: http://yalibnan.com/2011/03/21/7-syrian-policemen-killed-in-sunday-clashes-report/.

“Russia ‘Violated’ Turkish Airspace Because Turkey “Moved” Its Border,” By Syrian Free Press

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.

Russia “Violated” Turkish Airspace Because Turkey “Moved” Its Border

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?

Notes:

Originally appeared here on the great Moon of Alabama site.

France, Zionism and US Imperialism

Julian Hochscritt writes:

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.

A Eugenic Effect for the Jizya Tax?

Makran writes:

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.

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

From here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A path to power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irons and red-hot bars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Margolis on Russia and Syria

Here.

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.