Who the Hell stuck that Judeo- in front of my great Christian religion anyway? Not trying to diss on Judaism here, but face it, it’s not much like Christianity even if one was birthed from the other, and Christianity at its absolutely core is nothing but Reform Judaism, sort of the ultimate in Reform Judaism, so reformed it’s barely even or not at all Jewish anymore.
People argue that Christianity is the Old Testament too, but that’s another feint because if you understand Christianity, you realize that when Jesus came, he replaced Judaism and the Old Testament at the same time. Jesus freed us from the Law. We no longer had to live under the Law. Hence, the Old Testament was essentially null and void, good as a historical document but for little else. Even the Old Testament and New Testament Gods are completely different. This is of course known as Replacement Theology.
(((Some people))) like to go on about how Replacement Theology is antisemitic doctrine, but the more you think about it, the more obvious it is that Christianity itself is Replacement Theology, so if the latter is antisemitic then the Christian religion itself is antisemitic. Which is what a lot of (((folks))) say anyway. Briefly, Jesus came, the Old Testament and the Law were replacement by the New Testament and what can only be called Mercy. At the same time, the Jewish birthright to Israel was cancelled, as the (Christian) Church was the new Israel.
The Catholics seem to understand this best of all. I attended Catholic Mass for a while when I lived in this new town. All of the lessons were about the New Testament. They never talked about anything else. If I had to describe Catholicism, I would call it “Jesusism” or “New Testamentism.” It’s the Protestants who regress to the Old Testament which doesn’t make much sense as they were supposed to be the reformers.
On the other hand, they were also back to the basics, and I suppose if you go back far enough, the Old Testament was important to the early Christians, especially since for the first 100 years, Christianity was little more than a very odd Jewish sect. In fact, one of the major religious debates of the time was whether a non-Jew could even be a Christian. For decades, one had to be a Jew in order to become a Christian in the first place. So in that sense perhaps Protestantism is like Sunnism, another back to the basics doctrine though not necessarily born of an Islamic reform movement against a staid and corrupt Islam.
On the other hand, Shia Islam always struck me as more like Catholicism, with the rule of the mullahs (the Pope and the Vatican) whose job it is to continuously reinterpret Islam to keep it updated to the current era. Which is exactly what Catholicism does and is also why the only true Christian fundamentalism is always Protestant as much as Catholic-hating Protestants love to holler that this is wrong. It’s hard to imagine what a Catholic fundamentalism would look like. Sure there are the orders and the pre-Vatican II (1964) Catholics, but even Vatican I was quite an advance. Show me any Catholics who want to go back to 60 AD. None do other than the Eastern Orthodox and they’re not so much fundamentalists as people who are practicing an ancient but rather progressive religion.
What I’m saying here is that Christian cultures seem to think that lying is a terrible sin and one should always or usually be honest.
In contrast, Hinduism says no such thing and in fact seems to venerate lying as a fine art or even a religious virtue.
The art of lying in Islam when there is a threat to the Muslims is well known.
Sects such as the Druze, the Yezidis, and the Alawi have long prescribed lying if doing so prevents harm to the believers. In general, those religions tend to pretend that they are Muslims. The Alawi actually are Muslims, but a lot of Sunnis don’t buy it. The Druze and Yezidis just say they’re Muslims so they don’t get killed. The Mandeans were much the same.
Of course if you read the Jewish books, this lying for self-preservation is endlessly repeated almost as if it were a ritual in its own right. Jews have always seemed to me to be much more prone to dishonestly than Christians. I’ve long thought that Judaism must allow them to lie with little guilt. If you read Jews Must Live!* (1936) about an Orthodox Jewish family, the entire family engages in such pervasive lying that it causes very serious problems to the point where they could hardly tell when someone was telling the truth or lying and the household is in chaos with much drama, hollering, arguing, fighting, and kvetching most of time.
The latter state simply describes the typical Jewish family. The pathological lying I’m not so sure about. In any case, when you are in a household where people lie so freely and loosely that you can hardly tell when someone is lying or telling the truth, you are truly in an Existential Hell, I would argue. But it’s not that different 2020 Late Capitalist USA, come to think of it, so maybe it’s more livable than I thought.
*Like most all books written by Jews that tell the truth about Jews, of course Jews really hate this book and insist that this man, who wrote a book in part about pathologically lying Jews, is, natch, a pathological liar himself! But you saw that one coming, didn’t you, dear readers?
It’s certainly a reasonable question, as White nationalists in general answer a resounding “No!” to that question. But even they are funny. Stormfront threw out 300 Armenians on the grounds that they were non-White. However, this decision was very controversial, and after a while, the Armenians were quietly let back in.
They have a Pan-Europeanist policy, which is one of the few noble things about that site.
Recently there were a lot of Iranians on the site, and though I believe Stormfront does officially state that Iranians are not White, there has been a quiet hands-off “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about them, and the Stormfronters quietly let the Iranians stay in what boils down to an open secret. In other words, Stormfront officially states that Iranians are not White, but unofficially, they turn a blind eye to Iranians joining and even organizing themselves on the site.
Iranians are funny people. In 1978, I drove an ice cream truck for a living. There were a bunch of Iranians were who driving trucks too. We were all sort of budding capitalists. You lease the truck every day, buy your ice cream, mark it up, and hope for the best. A lot of us supplemented our incomes by selling dope, including me.
The Iranians were very good at this, selling joints for $1 each mostly to the many Mexicans in the parks of Santa Ana (Santa Ana was a heavily Mexican city even 30 years ago).
Once at the end of the day (we lined up at the end of the day to have our coins rolled and get our payout in easy cash) I asked them if they were Arabs. They were adamant. “We are not Arabs!” Later I learned that they don’t like Arabs much. It’s a superior versus inferior thing. The Iranians think they are better and that the Arabs are inferior, a bunch of animals.
At worst, Iranian nationalists call them “lizard-eating Mohammadens.” Image is heathen Arab Muslims charging out of the deserts of Arabia to destroy the great and proud Iranian culture. And it’s true that the Muslims did devastate Iranian culture, but they did this to all non-Muslim cultures they encountered. After all they were Jahiliyyah or grounded in ignorance.
The modern Islamic state has reinstated this view, downplaying traditional Iranian culture, making Arabic practically a 2nd official language, etc., all of this infuriating Iranian nationalists.
The real hardcore Iranian nationalists often abandon Islam altogether and claim to be Zoroastrians, the true ancient religion of Iran.
Iranian nationalists are interesting people.
Iranian nationalists hate Arabs, so you might think they like Jews, but they hate Jews about as much as they hate Arabs. They especially hate Israel. “Marg bar Israel!” is a common cry on Iranian forms (“Death to Israel!”) And the guys yelling this stuff were older professional guys in their 40’s with young kids, secular, and while respectful of Islam, not very religious.
Why the hatred of Israel? Probably, if you are an Iranian nationalist, even a secular one, Israel is seen as your mortal enemy. That’s a logical assumption.
The harder-core Iranian nationalists also dislike Pan-Turkic types, since the Turanian lunatics usually claim some or all of Iran.
The saner Iranian nationalists hate not Arabs but Arab nationalism. Arab nationalism is funny. It’s Leftist, secular, supposedly anti-racist, but they are bristling with hatred for Iranians. Saddam Hussein’s Arab nationalist uncle, who profoundly effected his views, wrote a famous tract, somewhat humorously titled, Three Whom God Should Not Have Created: Jews, Persians and Flies.
The hatred of Arabs towards Persians is similar to that of Gentiles towards Jews or Blacks towards Whites: resentment against a group that thinks they are superior. A common claim, similar to anti-Semitism, among Whites is, “The Iranians are trying to dominate the Arab World!” It’s true that the Iranians opposed Arab nationalism, but who could blame them? The Pan-Arabists were a bunch of anti-Iranian racist shits.
What’s funny about this is that there are Iranian genes running all through the Arabs of the Levant, Mesopotamia and Arabia. It is particularly the case with the Mesopotamian Arabs. The Arab Shia in Southern Iraq have a lot of Iranian blood. One of the reasons Saddam persecuted them so harshly is he thought that they were Iranian fifth columnists. In general, it wasn’t really true, but there was reason to be concerned.
In recent years, as Iran and its Shia allies have turned into the greatest defenders of the Palestinians, the Arab nationalists are in a tough spot. They hate Iran, but how can they deny that Iran is the best defender of the Palestinians in the pitiful and sold-out Arab and Muslim world? There are particular conflicts with Hamas, a Sunni fundamentalist group which is strangely also pro-Iran, and Hezbollah, whose defense of the Palestinians puts the Sunni Arabs to shame.
These realities have forced the Sunnis into all sorts of cognitive dissonance that as usual does not make much sense.
I’ve known a few Iranians. They definitely look like White people. Their skin is often very pale White, especially the females (Why is that?). Some charts strangely enough put them right next to British, Danes and Norwegians genetically. No one knows what to make of it, but we were all together in Southern Russia 4,500 years ago. Some of us took off south to Iran, and others went into Europeans to constitute the modern Europeans. We are born of the same modern roots.
I’ve asked a few Iranians, “You’re White like us, right?” You might think they would get pissed, but they usually give an instant yes or break into a huge smile. They clearly consider themselves “Europeans outside or Europe.” One even told me explicitly that.
Scientifically, it’s an reasonable assumption.
Genetically, Iranians probably have little if any Black in them. Your average German has more Black in them than an Iranian. They do have some Asiatic genes, but probably not many.
The Iranians are actually an interesting link to populations further east. There is a close link between Italians and Iranians (Italians are probably the closest Europeans to Iranians) and then there is another close link between Iranians and Indians, especially North Indians.
So the linkage goes like this (all groups separated by only one arrow are closely linked, but groups separated by more than one arrow are not so close):
Core Europeans -> Italians -> Iranians -> North Indians
So, neither core Europeans nor Italians are all that close to North Indians per se, they can become closer to them through this linkage process.
Iranian genes are common in the region, even outside of Arabia. Many Afghans have Iranian blood and it’s quite common in Pakistanis too. There is a lot of Iranian blood in the Caucasus. Most of your Chechen, Dagestani, Ingush, etc. types seem to derive from some sort of Iranian-Turkish mix. The Ossetians are actually a transplanted Iranian group living in Russia and speaking a language related to Iranian.
There is Iranian blood running through the Stans – Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It’s probably most prominent in Tajikistan.
The Kurds and Balochis have serious separatist tendencies. The Arabs (Ahvaz) just fight for more rights as an oppressed minority. Azeri separatism has not really gone anywhere, since the Azeris are actually a dominant minority in Iran! The Talysh have separatist tendencies, but in Azerbaijan, not in Iran.
I don’t support the separatism of the Balochis and Kurds in Iran as long as Iran is under imperialist assault, but if this were not the case, I would think they deserve the right to self-determination. Iran is correct to suppress Arab separatism and the desire to take Iran’s oil and gas wealth with them to a separate state.
There was a rocket attack on the US base in Taji, Iraq the other day. 30 Katyusha rockets were fired at the base from a rocket launcher positioned in an abandoned pickup truck. 3 troops were killed, 2 Americans and 1 British, and 10 more were wounded, some badly. The US immediately blamed the PMU Division and Iran, specifically accusing the Kataib Hezbollah Battalion of the Iraqi Army for some reason, whom they have blamed before.
The Kataib Hezbollah Battalion is part of group of militias of the Iraqi Army called the PMU Division. These militias are now actual battalions and divisions of the Iraqi Army. The US stated “all intelligence points to Iran as being the source of the attack.” They also said that the attack was “beyond the capabilities of ISIS” and that only the PMU Division among the country’s armed insurgents and militias have the ability to carry out such an attack.
We will examine all of these claims below.
First of all, the PMU Division (Iraqi Army) didn’t do it. They already said they didn’t do it. They also said when we start attacking, we will announce it. This makes sense as the PMU Division generally claims all of its attacks. However, the Kataib Hezbollah Battalion of the Iraqi Army congratulated whoever did it. So what?
The previous attack on Kirkuk which Trump used to murder 30 members of the Iraqi Army and later Soleimani and Muhandis was proven to have been done by ISIS. The US lied and said Iran and the PMU Division did it. The Iraqi Army investigated and said it was an ISIS attack. The (((New York Times))) investigated and said the same thing. The (((Jew York Times))) has zero motivation to lie about this and they would love to blame Iran and the Shia militia Division.
Despite my name-calling here, I would like to commend the New York Times for not giving in to (((ethnic chauvinism and lying))) and for telling the truth for once, even if the truth isn’t good for the Jews. Thank you, (((Mr. Shulzberger)))!
Journalistic integrity ought to come first and (((ethnic solidarity))) ideally ought to come last, but humans are emotional and that is why humans will always be a frequently irrational species – because emotions and facts go together like oil and water, and many truth-statements that people arrive at are derived by emotions, and hence they are false.
This is very important to understand because most of us have views of the world that depend on seeing ourselves and fellow humans as rational beings, while the truth is that people are not very rational at all, and they are often quite irrational. The more emotional the subject is, the more irrational people will tend to act about it, and this includes determining what’s true and what’s false.
After we killed 30 of their men, the PMU Division then stormed embassy because…well…the US just murdered 30 of its men? Is that hard to understand? Of course they were mad.
I have a good source, a journalist, who is close to the Iranian and Iraqi governments as well as the IRGC, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and the Shia militias in Syria and Iraq. He stated that Iran had nothing to do with the embassy storming. It was a PMU Division decision to storm the embassy. Nevertheless Trump murdered Soleimani who had nothing to do with it and Muhandis, head of the PMU Division, who was only protesting the murder of 30 of his men. US lied and blamed Iran.
Next came many rocket attacks on US embassy, My source told me that the Shia militias didn’t do any of them as they wanted to give the US time to leave. The US nevertheless blamed the Shia militia division and Iran for all of these embassy attacks and other attacks on US bases. Neither the PMU Division nor Iran had anything to do with any of them.
And note that the the rockets fired at embassy always came from Sunni parts of Baghdad. Why would the Shia PMU Division fire rockets from Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad who are utterly hostile to the PMU?
Now we have this latest attack on the base in Taji. The Kataib Hezbollah Battalion said they didn’t do it and asked whoever did it to take credit for it so the US would quit falsely blaming them. The PMU Division denied doing the Taji attack, and they claim all attacks. The US once again lied and blamed Iran and the PMU Division for the rockets and death of the US soldiers.
Keep in mind that the PMU Division is nothing but the Iraqi Army, a division of the army. They answer to Central Command in Baghdad, not to Iran. Iran doesn’t give orders to any of its allied militias. They get to do what they want within limits.
These rockets were launched from an area east of Taji called Rashidiyah. Tarmiyah is to the north. The entire area is made up of Sunni tribes who practice Sufism and were strong supporters and members of the former ruling Baath Party. The Sunni resistance against the US was here for years, and the US and Iraqi government never could clean them out. The original armed factions were made up of Sunni tribes with a strong adherence to the Naqashbandi Sufi Order, the main Sufi order in Iraq.
After resistance died down, this area became an ISIS hotbed. In fact, ISIS weapons caches were found at the precise location that these rockets in this Taji attack were fired from. I have a hard time believing that Shia militias went to an utterly hostile pro-Baath Party Sunni neighborhood of former Sunni guerrillas and ISIS supporters and shot some rockets.
Nevertheless, we still no idea who did this attack. I would bet once again on Sunnis and/or ISIS. The US presented zero evidence for Iranian and PMU Division involvement. The Pentagon said the attack was beyond ISIS capabilities.
This is a complete lie because this was the exact same setup ISIS used in the earlier Kirkuk attack. ISIS also did an attack in Afghanistan three days using this setup, and ISIS used this setup endless times during the heavy fighting in Iraq several years ago. The US is lying that ISIS does not have this capability. Of course it does.
There is a good argument that Sunni groups and/or ISIS are doing all these rocket attacks. These Sunni folks utterly despise Iran and the Shia PMU Division.
They know that the US automatically blames Shia militias and Iran with every rocket attack no matter who shot the rockets. So they may shoot rockets at the US taking no credit for them (as that would spoil the trick) to frame the PMU Division and Iran for the attacks. If this is what is going on, it’s working great. Muhandis, Soleimani, and scores of Shia soldiers in the PMU have been killed by the US in retaliatory strikes for something they didn’t even do.
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.
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.
The murder of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, a great fighter against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, for the oppressed and downtrodden and against the oppressors all over the Near East and Southwest Asia for the last two decades, was obviously an international war crime. You don’t just get to go around murdering generals of other countries that you aren’t even at war with.
All of the justifications for his killing were fake. He was not planning any attacks against US interests, much less against four of our embassies. Those are just lies made up by the Americans with a little help from some (((friends))).
Soleimani is absolutely not responsible for the deaths of 600 US troops in Iraq. Not that I would care if he was. Those soldiers deserved to die. They waged an illegal, Nazi-like war of aggression on Iraq and then they occupied the land that they conquered and installed their puppet government in while they set about exploiting the resources, especially oil, and out and out stealing $8 million cash.
The reconstruction work was a boondoggle that had huge cost overruns and generally didn’t produce much of anything good. Much of what was produced was shoddy and fell apart. Graft and corruption were huge factors in reconstruction with both US and Iraqi contractors.
The UN itself has stated that the Iraqi resistance does not violate the rules of war and that the Iraqi people have a 100% legal right to resistance against illegal occupiers. So the resistance was both morally and legally proper.’
The 600 US dead is based on some figure for how many Americans were killed by so-called shaped explosive IED’s designed to penetrate the thickest armored vehicles. The technology supposedly came from Iran and it is from this theory that the claim that Iran and Soleimani killed 600 Americans comes. However, the tech did not come from Iran.
Initially, it came from the Lebanese Hezbollah, who were active in the Iraqi resistance also for some time. They taught the Iraqi guerrillas how the technology. From then on it was mostly manufactured inside Iraq by the guerrillas themselves. Yes, one Iranian said to be a spy was captured with shaped explosives in Iraq in 2006. Big deal. The Iraqis already had their own.
For most of the early stage of the war, Iran had no involvement. The British had control of the Shia South and then said that in the early years, they never found any evidence of Iran supplying guerrillas with arms.
Later in the war, Shia militias such as Moqtada Sadr’s army got involved in the war against the US. They got beaten pretty badly for a variety of reasons but they definitely inflicted some casualties on US troops. It is definitely possible that Iran and Soleimani may have helped supply the Mahdi Army with weaponry. But so what? They had a right to fight us anyway.
However, there was a revenge attack against a US base in Najaf. The US had arrested several Iranians and accused them of being spies. They were apparently members of the Qods Force. The US refused to release them.
An Iraqi Shia group launched a very sophisticated attack in which they dressed up in US uniforms and gained access to the base. When there, they took five US soldiers prisoner. Then then escaped with them. The troops were taken somewhere and executed. The Shia militia that carried out that attack definitely had help from Iran and Soleimani. After the attack, the Iranians were released by the US. So you can definitely credit Soleimani with five US deaths.
Earlier, the British had arrested a number of Iranians who they accused of being spies. These may as well have been Qods Force members. In return, mysterious forces captured four British troops and executed them. The Qods Force may well have carried out this operation. The Qods Force members in British custody were then released.
The overwhelming majority of casualties inflicted on US forces in Iraq were via Sunni guerrillas, often hardline Islamists who hate the Shia and Iran. There is little good evidence that Iran was arming their worst enemies, these forces.
So we so far have a whole nine Western casualties, five Americans and four British, we can credit directly to Soleimani, the Qods Force, and Iran.
For a period of 2001-2019 during which Iran and the US have faced off on the opposite sites in various warzones, that’s not a large number.
You can probably credit more casualties to Soleimani if you include those inflicted by the Mahdi Army, but I’m not sure what that figure is.
There are also complaints that Soleimani helped Hezbollah. He sure did. That resulted in 200 dead (((Israelis))) in 2006. Excuse me, but I didn’t realize that (((“Israelis”))) were the same thing as Americans. But hey, now that Current Year America is more like (((America))), maybe that’s the case.
There is a complaint that Soleimani and Iran massacred hundreds of thousands of Sunni civilians in Syria. Not so. The Qods Force had a small group of advisors embedded in the Syrian Army. They helped the Syrian Army fight and defeat ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other radical Sunni Islamists in many battles. They didn’t fly planes or bomb cities. They didn’t do much of anything.
Yes, Shia militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Hezbollah from Lebanon participated in the war against the Sunni Islamists, but there are not a lot of reports of atrocities committed by them. Much of the civilian casualties have come from bombing of rebel-held cities by Syrian and Russian jets.
Reports of massacres and chemical weapons attacks that killed large numbers of civilians are all made up. The massacres were all done by the rebels of villages that supported Assad. After they chopped the people up, the rebels turned around and accused Assad of doing it. The Western media lapped it up like chumps.
None of the chemical weapons attacks occurred. I’ve studied every single one of them. None of them even happened. None of the chlorine attacks even happened. Assad doesn’t use chlorine gas.
I’m not saying Assad is a nice guy. He’s probably executed 50,000 people in his prison and a lot of others died of maltreatment. But he doesn’t do civilian massacres or chemical weapons attacks. He kills people, sure, but only has certain ways of doing it and he avoids other ways of doing it.
Soleimani helped the Houthi rebels in Yemen. This is supposedly a big crime. Well, good for him! The righteous cause in Yemen is the Houthis. The bad guys are the US, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Soleimani fought a number of big battles against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Conveniently, the media left this part of the narrative because it made him look like a good guy.
Soleimani also formed Iraqi Shia militias to fight ISIS. The truth is that if not for Iran and Soleimani, ISIS would have conquered Iraq. That’s simply the dirty truth. You can accept it or not, but it’s still true. There are claims that some of these militias committed atrocities against Sunni civilians. That may well be true. But I understand that Soleimani and Iran were trying to put a stop to this.
The new claims are that Soleimani and Iran were behind a number of rocket attacks on US bases in recent days. No one really knows who did those attacks, though Shia militias are widely suspected. No one has ever claimed responsibility for any of these attacks.
Some of these militias like Kataib Hezbollah have a close relationship with Iran. But I know for a fact that not only do these militias not take orders from Iran (no Iranian “proxies” take orders from Iran), but that Soleimani and Iran had nothing at all to do with these rocket attacks.
The US had been allowing Israel to bomb the bases of these militia on the Syrian border for some time, so the militias that were getting bombed probably decided to start shooting some rockets at US bases in revenge. Why not? Anyway, we started it. The militias were just fighting back.
One attack on a base in Kirkuk killed one American and wounded four more. Trump went ballistic after this attack.
This was followed by a US bombing raid on a Shia militia on the border of Syria and Iran that killed ~27 troops and wounded ~75 others. However the militia that was attacked was part of the Iraqi military. In fact all of the “Iranian proxy” Shia militias are actually part of the Iraqi military. They take orders from the Iraqi Central Command.
Most of the dead and wounded were actually members of the Iraqi military who were not members of that militia. That is because the bases of these militias are full of Iraqi military people who are not members of those militias. It’s all mixed together.
After that, outraged members of the militia that got bombed swarmed the US Embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad. They destroyed some stuff but no Americans got hurt. The US blamed “Iran” for the embassy mobbing, although I know for a fact that Iran had nothing to do with it. This militia just got bombed by the US and had its members killed and wounded. You think they need to get orders from Iran to angrily swarm an embassy after that?
We then murdered both Soleimani and Mohandes at the Baghdad Airport, the leader of the PMU Shia militias, which as I said are now part of the Iraqi military. It was the PMU that basically defeated ISIS in Iraq.
Soleimani had been lured to Baghdad to meet with the Prime Minister as part of a Saudi proposal to ease tensions with Iran. So he was there as a diplomat to try to negotiate a peace treaty. It now looks like the US and Saudi Arabia set him up for this by using a fake peace treaty.
The Iraqi government was very mad about this. There is a video of the Iraqi Parliament standing in their seats and chanting, “Death to America.” This is the Iraqi Parliament. The government then voted to order all US forces and forces allied with them to leave Iraq.
The US incredibly thumbed its nose at Iraq and refused to leave. That means that we are now officially occupiers as we are there against the will of the government. Trump threatened Iraq with devastating sanctions if they went through with this.
Later he threatened to seize Iraq’s account at the New York Central Bank that they use for oil sales. We were going steal all of the money that they had in the account (How the Hell is that legal?) and then cut them off from it. Most world trade in dollars goes through the New York Central Bank. See all those rich people in New York? Well, a lot of the are involved in one way or another with the New York Central Bank.
This goes back to the petrodollar, which the US uses to enforce its dictatorship on the rest of the world. US hegemony rests on many things, but the petrodollar is one of them. Most oil and other commodities for that matter are traded in dollars and no in other currencies.
This has many advantages for the US in economic terms which I don’t quite understand. For one thing it allows us to borrow until the cows come home with few to no consequences.
Most of the recent wars and threats of wars we have waged have been to support the petrodollar. Basically, you go off the petrodollar, you get regime-changed or attacked and overthrown.
For example, Saddam went off the petrodollar. Soon after he got invaded. Oh and one of the first things we did after we conquered Iraq was to put Iraq back on the dollar.
Ghaddafi went off the petrodollar. Look what happened to him.
Syria went off the petrodollar. Look at Syria.
Iran is going off the petrodollar. What’s happening to Iran?
Venezuela is going off the petrodollar. What’s up with Venezuela?
Very nice article that lays bare a lot of the bullshit surrounding the Lebanon protests. Of course they are being manipulated by the US and Saudi Arabia to turn them into anti-Hezbollah demonstrations with the aim of overthrowing the Hezbollah government.
Yes, you heard me right. The Lebanese government right now is controlled by Hezbollah and its allies. This has been the case since 2018 when they won the elections. Hezbollah has 55% and the anti-Hezbollah group consisting of Sunnis, Druze and half of the Christians has 35%. 10% are neutral.
So we have yet another case here of a minority trying to overthrow a majority as was recently done in Bolivia, Honduras, Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, Paraguay, and Ukraine, and as the US is attempting to do in Venezuela and Nicaragua, with regime change operations in Dominica and probably Mexico coming soon. The Dominica operation is already well underway.
There has long been an attempted regime change operation in effect in Syria and there is an ongoing one in Yemen, Iraq, and Iran. There also appears to be a regime change operation in effect in Hong Kong. Of course, Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Eritrea are victims of long term regime change operations. So is Venezuela for that matter – the operation against Venezuela has been ongoing for 17 years now. I don’t support those rightwing protestors at all.
Everywhere around the world, anti-US regimes are being overthrown with regime change operations, often coups of one variety or the next. The US simply does not believe in democracy at all. It only likes democracy if its favored groups win. If the groups it does not like are in power, the US will always try to overthrow them even if they have majority support. And we’ve been doing for over a century now.
The Explosion in Lebanon Has Been Delayed: Until When?
Europe is concerned about the Lebanese political crisis and its potential spillover consequences in case of a civil confrontation. Even if the European states do not have differing strategic objectives in Lebanon from the US, a civil war will affect Europe directly, as refugees will be flocking from the neighbouring continent.
Reaching an agreement over a new government to prevent further unrest is proving difficult. Sources in Beirut believe it may take several months to form a new government as was the case in forming the last government. Some wonder if it might not be better to wait for the results of the US elections before forming a new government.
Or perhaps a new government will only emerge after a major security event, like the assassination of the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri which triggered a political tsunami in the country. All indications on the ground point to the prospect of a civilian confrontation arising from the absence of a robust central government that can take in hand the security of the country. Can Lebanon avoid a civil confrontation?
The closure of the main roads and the “deliberate” incompetence and inaction of the security forces – due to US requests to tolerate the closure of main axes linking Lebanon with the capital – is no longer surprising behaviour.
The main roads now closed have been carefully selected: closed are the roads linking the south of Lebanon to Beirut and linking Baalbek and the road to Damascus with the capital Beirut. These areas are mainly inhabited and used by Shia. The roads are being blocked mainly in certain sectarian areas controlled by Sunni supporters of the caretaker Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Druse ally Walid Joumblat.
The closure of other roads in the Christian-dominated Dbayeh by the pro-US Christian leader Samir Geagea, leader of the “Lebanese Forces”, and in Tripoli seem to be diversions of attention from the main goal: challenging Hezbollah.
Sources in Beirut believe the objective is to exasperate the Shia who represent the society that protects Hezbollah. The goal is to force the organisation into the streets. Hezbollah is aware of this and is trying to avoid responding to provocations. The closure of these roads is an invitation to Hezbollah to take the situation in hand and direct its weapons against other Lebanese citizens, as indeed happened on the 5th of May 2008.
In 2008, Druse minister Marwan Hamadé – directed by Walid Joumblat – and pro-US Prime Minister Fouad Siniora asked Hezbollah to cut its fibre optic private communication system linking all corners of the country.
Israel never ceased to monitor the Hezbollah cable that, due to its high-security system and regular control, had managed to neutralise all Israeli tapping devices attached to it by Israeli Special forces during their infiltration to Lebanon for this exact purpose.
An effort was made by the Lebanese government in May 2008 to cut the cable to break through Hezbollah’s high-security system, the key to its command and control in time of peace and especially in time of war. This insistent attempt – despite repeated warnings – provoked two days later a demonstration of force by Hezbollah occupying the entire capital in a few hours with no serious victims.
Lebanese pro-US armed mercenaries who gathered and hid in Beirut to trigger a civil war on this day, anticipating Hezbollah’s possible reaction, were neutralised in no time despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent on their supposed readiness for war against Hezbollah in the streets of Beirut.
Today the goal is to see Hezbollah controlling the streets and arming anti-government Syrians and Lebanese. The goal is to take the Lebanon issue to the United Nations. The aim is not to see Hezbollah defeated by the initial clashes: the firepower, training, and military organisation of Hezbollah cannot be defeated by enthusiastic mercenaries and locals.
Their aim is to deprive Hezbollah of its legitimacy and pay a heavy price for its “unforgivable” victories in Syria and Iraq and its support to the Palestinians and the Yemenis.
Lebanon’s financial problems are not the primary issue.
In Congressional testimony, the former US Under Secretary of State and Ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffery Feltman, told the US Congress that “Lebanon’s entire external debt (around $35 billion) is in line with the estimates of what Saudi Arabia is bleeding every year in pursuing a war in Yemen ($25-$40 billion).”
Regional and international financial support to Lebanon will be injected with one purpose: to trigger a civil war in the hope of defeating Hezbollah in the long term. This might also save Israel from a severe political crisis by provoking a war against Lebanon rather than an internal conflict among Israelis, as seems possible after two failed attempts to form a government.
Most Lebanese are aware of the sensitive and critical situation in the country. Most fear a civil war, particularly in view of the behaviour of the Lebanese Army and other security forces who are now standing idle and yet refusing to keep all roads open. These actions by the security forces are greatly contributing to the possibility of an internal conflict.
Sincere protestors with only a domestic agenda have managed to achieve miracles by crossing all sectarian boundaries and carrying one flag: an end to corruption and associated poverty and the return of stolen capital to Lebanon.
Protestors are asking the judiciary system to assume its responsibility and for the country to head towards a secular ruling system. But sectarian elements and foreign intervention are managing to divert attention from the real national demands that have been overwhelming the Lebanese since decades.
The foreign intervention is not relying on the justified demands of protestors in its confrontation with Hezbollah. It is relying on sectarian Lebanese who want to contribute to the fall of Hezbollah from the inside.
This is not surprising because Lebanon is a platform where the US, EU, and Saudis are strongly present and active against the Axis of Resistance led by Iran. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Hussein Salame warned in his most recent speech that these countries risk “crossing the line.”
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has not initiated a military or preventive war on its neighbours but has limited its action to defending itself and in building its “Axis of Resistance”. Recently, Iran proposed – to no avail – a HOPE (Hormuz Peace Endeavor) to its neighbours, seeking a commitment to the security of the Middle East separately from any US intervention.
Iran defeated the mainstream international community when it helped prevent the fall of the government in Damascus after years of war. It has effectively supported Hezbollah and the Palestinians against Israel, favoured ally of the US; Iran stood next to Iraq and prevented a hostile government reaching power; Iran has also supported the defence of Yemen against Saudi Arabia’s useless and destructive war.
Iran’s enemies are numerous and have not given up. They tried but failed to achieve their objectives in 2006 in Lebanon, in 2011 in Syria, in 2014 in Iraq, and in 2015 in Yemen. Today a new approach is being implemented to defeat Iran’s allies: the weaponization of domestic unrest motivated by legitimate anti-corruption demands for reform at the cost of “incinerating” entire countries, i.e. Lebanon and Iraq.
Protestors have failed to offer a feasible plan themselves, and caretaker Prime Minister Hariri is trying to punch above his parliamentary weight by seeking to remove political opponents who control more than half of the parliament. Lebanon has reached a crossroads where an exchange of fire is no longer excluded. The conflict has already claimed lives. Thanks to manipulation, Lebanon seems to be headed towards self-destruction.
This is a repost of a repost. The first repost was fully 10 years ago. Amazingly the graphics carried over after the shut-down because the images were saved on my Blogger site, which is still up and running. Yay!
This is an awesome post if I do say so myself, though it looks like it needs an edit. Anyone interested in Comparative Religion, Paganism, Polytheism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, metaphysics, Middle Eastern History or even philosophy might want to look into this post.
I know it’s long. It runs to 35 pages on the web. But you can read it. I read it myself, more than once too! If I can do it, you can do it. If you are interested in this sort of thing, you might find it quite an enjoyable read. If it’s not your thing, well you can always pass it on by. But even if you are not normally interested in this stuff you might find it interesting because this post goes quite a bit beyond its obvious subject matter into a lot of more universal subjects.
Repost from the old site. This is a very, very long piece, so be warned. But the subject, the Yezidi religious group, is extraordinarily complex, as I found out as I delved deeper and deeper into them.
They are still very mysterious and there is a lot of scholarly controversy around them, mostly because they will not let outsiders read their holy books. However, a copy of their holiest book was stolen about 100 years ago and has been analyzed by scholars.
I feel that the analysis below of the Yezidis (there are various competing analyses of them) best summarizes what they are all about, to the extent that such an eclectic group can even be defined at all. The piece is hard to understand at first, but if you are into this sort of thing, after you study it for a while, you can start to put it together. There are also lots of cool pics of devil and pagan religious art below, for those who are interested in such arcana.
The Yezidis, a Kurdish religious group in Iraq practicing an ancient religion, have been accused of being devil worshipers by local Muslims and also by many non-Muslims.
The Yezidis appeared in Western media in 2007 due to the stoning death of a Yezidi teenage girl who ran off with a Muslim man. The stoning was done by eight men from her village while another 1000 men watched and cheered them on. Afterward, there has been a lot of conflict between Muslim Arabs and Yezidi Kurds.
As Western media turned to the Yezidis, there has been some discussion here about their odd religion. For instance, though the local Muslims condemn them as devil worshipers, the Yezidis strongly deny this. So what’s the truth? The truth, as usual, is much more complicated.
The Yezidis believe that a Creator, or God, created a set of deities that we can call gods, angels, or demons, depending on how you want to look at them. So, if we say that the Yezidis worship the devil, we could as well say that they worship angels. It all depends on how you view these deities.
In the history of religion, the gods of one religion are often the devils of another. This is seen even today in the anti-Islamic discourse common amongst US neoconservatives, where the Muslim God is said to be a demonic god, and their prophet is said to be a devilish man.
Christian anti-Semites refer to the Old Testament God of the Jews as being an evil god. Orthodox Jews say that Jesus Christ is being boiled alive in semen in Hell for eternity.
At any rate, to the Yezidis, the main deity created by God is Malak Taus, who is represented by a peacock. Although Yezidis dissimulate about this, anyone who studies the religion closely will learn that Malak Taus is actually the Devil.
On the other hand, the Yezidis do not worship evil as modern-day Satanists do, so the Satanist fascination with the Yezidis is irrational. The Yezidis are a primitive people; agriculturalists with a strict moral code that they tend to follow in life. How is it that they worship the Devil then?
First of all, we need to understand that before the Abrahamic religions, many polytheistic peoples worshiped gods of both good and evil, worshiping the gods of good so that good things may happen, and worshiping the gods of evil so that bad things may not happen. The Yezidis see God as a source of pure good, who is so good that there is no point in even worshiping him.
In this, they resemble Gnosticism, in which God was pure good, and the material world and man were seen as polluted with such evil that the world was essentially an evil place. Men had only a tiny spark of good in them amidst a sea of evil, and the Gnostics tried to cultivate this spark.
This also resembles the magical Judaism of the Middle Ages (Kabbalism). The Kabbalists said that God was “that which cannot be known” (compare to the Yezidi belief that one cannot even pray to God).
In fact, the concept of God was so ethereal to the Kabbalists that the Kabbalists said that not only was God that which cannot be known, but that God was that which cannot even be conceived of. In other words, mere men cannot not even comprehend the very concept of God. A Kabbalist book says that God is “endless pure white light”. Compare to the Yezidi view that God “pure goodness”.
This comes close to my own view of what God is.
The Yezidi view of God is quite complex. It is clear that he is at the top of the totem pole, yet their view of him is not the same as that of the gods of Christianity, Islam, Judaism or the Greeks, although it is similar to Plato’s “conception of the absolute.”
Instead, it is similar to the Deists’ view of God. God merely created the world. As far as the day to day running of things, that is actually up to the intermediary angels. However, there is one exception. Once a year, on New Years Day, God calls his angels together and hands the power over to the angel who is to descend to Earth.
In some ways similar to the Christian Trinity of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, the Yezidis believe that God is manifested in three forms.
An inscription of the Christian Trinity, the father, or God, as an old man with a beard; Jesus, a young man; and the Holy Ghost, here depicted as a winged creature similar to Malak Tus, the winged peacock angel. Compare to Yezidi reference for Šeiḫ ‘Adî, Yazid, and Malak Tus (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)
The three forms are the peacock angel, Malak Tus (the Holy Ghost); an old man, Šeiḫ ‘Adî (God or the Father) – compare to the usual Christian portrayal in paintings of God as an old man with a long white beard ; and a young man, Yazid (Jesus) – compare to the usual Christian paintings of Jesus as a healthy European-looking man with a beard and a beatific look. A similar look is seen in Shia portraits of Ali.
Since the Yezidis say there is no way to talk to God, one must communicate with him through intermediaries (compare to intermediary saints like Mary in Catholicism and Ali in Shiism). The Devil is sort of a wall between the pure goodness of God and this admittedly imperfect world.
This is similar again to Gnosticism, where the pure good God created intermediaries called Aeons so that a world that includes evil (as our world does) could even exist in the first place. On the other hand, Malak Tus is seen by the Yezidis as neither an evil spirit nor a fallen angel but as a divinity in his own right.
One wonders why Malak Tus is represented by a bird. The answer is that worshiping birds is one of the oldest known forms of idol worship. It is even condemned in Deuteronomy 4: 16, 17: “Lest ye corrupt yourselves and make a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air.”
More likely, the peacock god is leftover from the ancient pagan bird-devil gods of the region. The ancient Babylonians and Assyrians both worshiped sacred devil-birds, and carvings of them can be seen on their temples. The Zoroastrians also worshiped a sort of devil-bird called a feroher.
A winged demon from ancient Assyria. Yezidism appears to have incorporated elements of ancient Babylonian and Assyrian religions, making it ultimately a very ancient religion. Note that devils often have wings like birds. Remember the flying monkey demons in the Wizard of Oz?
The pagan Phoenicians, Philistines, and Samaritans worshiped a dove, and the early monotheistic Hebrews condemned the Samaritans for this idol-worship. The pagans of Mecca also worshiped a sacred dove. Pagan Arabian tribes also worshiped an eagle called Nasar.
What is truly odd is that peacocks are not native to the Yezidi region, but instead to the island of Sri Lanka. The Yezidis must have heard about this bird from travelers and incorporated it into their religion somehow.
In the Koran, both the Devil and the peacock were thrown out of Heaven down to Earth, with the Devil and the peacock both suffering similar punishments. So here we can see Islam also associating the peacock with the Devil.
In popular mythology, peacocks tend to represent pride. Note that the Koran says that the Devil was punished for excessive pride (compare with a similar Christian condemnation of excessive pride). Peacocks are problematic domestic fowl, tend to tear up gardens, and so are associated with mischief.
The Yezidis revere Malak Tus to such a great extent that he is almost seen as one with God (compare the Catholic equation of Mary with Jesus, the Christian association of Jesus with God, and the Shia Muslim association of Ali with Mohammad).
Malak Tus was there from the start and will be there at the end, he has total control over the world, he is omniscient and omnipresent, and he never changes. Malak Tus is the King of the Angels, and he is ruling the Earth for a period of 10,000 years. Yezidis do not allow anyone to say his name, as this is degrading to him.
Yezidis also superstitiously avoid saying an word that resembles the word for Satan. When speaking Arabic, they refuse to use the Arabic shatt for river, as it sounds like the word for Satan. They substitute Kurdish ave “river” instead. Compare this to the Kabbalist view of God as “that which can not even be comprehended (i.e., spoken) by man.”
God told the seven angels to bow before Adam, and six agreed. Malak Taus refused, citing God’s order to obey only Him. Hence, Malak Taus was cast out of Heaven and became the Archangel of all the Angels. Compare this to the Christian and Muslim view of the Devil, the head of the angels, being thrown out of Heaven for the disobedience of excessive pride.
In the meantime, Malak Taus is said to have repented his sins and returned to God as an angel.
So, yes, the Yezidis do worship the Devil, but in their religion, he is a good guy, not a bad guy. They are not a Satanic cult at all. In Sufism, the act of refusing to worship Adam (man) over God would be said to be a positive act – one of refusing to worship the created over the creator – since in Sufism, one is not to worship anything but God.
The Yezidis say that God created Adam and Eve, but when they were asked to produce their essences (or offspring), Adam produced a boy, but Eve produced an entity full of insects and other unpleasant things. God decided that he would propagate humanity (the Yezidis) out of Adam alone, leaving Eve out of the picture. Specifically, he married Adam’s offspring to a houri.
We can see the traditional views of the Abrahamic religions of women as being temptresses and sources of evil, conflict, and other bad things. The Yezidis see themselves as different from all other humans. Whereas non-Yezidis are the products of Adam and Eve, Yezidis are the products of Adam alone.
Eve subsequently left the Garden of Eden, which allowed the world to be created. So, what the Abrahamic religions see as man’s greatest fall in the Garden, the Yezidis see as mankind’s greatest triumphs. The Yezidis feel that the rest of humanity of is descended from Ham, who mocked his father, God.
Compare this to the Abrahamic religions’ view of women as a source of corruption. Christians say that Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden, causing both of them to be tossed out. In Islam, women are regarded as such a source of temptation and fitna (dissension) that they are covered and often kept out of sight at all times. In Judaism, women’s hair is so tempting to men that they must shave it all off and wear wigs.
The Yezidis say they are descended directly from Adam, hence they are the Chosen People (compare to the Jewish view of themselves as “Chosen People”).
Yezidism being quite possible the present-day remains of the original religion of the Kurds, for the last 2,000 years, the Yezidis have been fighting off other major religions.
First Christianity came to the region.
As would be expected, the Nestorian Christians of Northern Iraq, or “Nasara” Christian apostates, as an older tradition saw them, hold that the Yezidis were originally Christians who left the faith to form a new sect. The Nestorians and other ancient Christian sects deny the human or dual nature of Jesus – instead seeing him as purely divine.
This is in contrast to another group also called “Nasara” in Koran – these being the early Jewish Christian sects such as the Ebionites, Nazarenes, and Gnostics who believed the opposite, since they regarded Jesus as purely human whereas Nestorians regarded Jesus as purely divine. These early sects believed only in the Book of Matthew, and retained many Jewish traditions, including revering the Jewish Torah, refusing to eat pork, keeping the Sabbath, and circumcision.
Mohammad apparently based his interpretation of Christianity on these early Christian sects which resemble Judaism a lot more than they resemble Christianity. Hence, the divinity of Jesus was denied in the Koran under Ebionite influence.
The Koran criticizes Christians for believing in three Gods – God, Jesus, and Mary – perhaps under the influence of what is called the “Marianistic heresy”. At the same time, the Koran confused human and divine qualities in Jesus due to Nestorian influence, so the Koran is of two minds about Jesus.
Finally, the Koran denied the crucifixion due to Gnostic influence, especially the apocryphal Gospel of Peter, hence the Koranic implication that modern Christians are actually Christian apostates having diverged from the true Christianity.
The local Muslim neighbors of the Yezidis, similarly, hold that the Yezidis are Muslim apostates, having originally been Muslims who left Islam to form a new religion.
He is one of the tripartite of angels worshiped by the Yezidis and was a Sufi Muslim mystic from Northern Iraq in the 1100’s. He attracted many followers, including many Christians and some Muslims who left their faith to become Yezidis. Yezidism existed before Šeiḫ ’Adî, but in a different form.
Šeiḫ ’Adî also attracted many Persian Zoroastrians who were withering under the boot of Muslim dhimmitude and occasional massacre in Iran.
He came to Mosul for spiritual reasons. Šeiḫ ’Adî was said to be a very learned man, and many people started to follow him. After he built up quite a following, he retired to the mountains above Mosul where he built a monastery and lived as a hermit, spending much of his time in caves and caverns in the mountains with wild animals as his only guests.
While he was living, his followers worshiped him as a God and believed that in the afterlife, they would be together with him. He died in 1162 in the Hakkari region near Mosul. At the site of his death, the his followers erected a shrine, and it later became one of the holiest sites Yezidism. However, Šeiḫ ’Adî is not the founder of Yezidism as many believe. His life and thought just added to the many strains in this most syncretistic of religions.
The third deity in the pseudo-“Trinity” of the Yezidis is a young man named Yezid. Yezidis say they are all descended from this man, whom they often refer to as God, but they also refer to Šeiḫ ’Adî as God. In Šeiḫ ’Adî’s temple, there are inscriptions to both Šeiḫ ’Adî and Yezid, each on opposing walls of the temple. In a corner of this temple, a fire – or actually a lamp – is kept burning all night, reminiscent of Zoroastrianism.
There is a lot of controversy about what the word Yezid in Yezidi stands for. The religion itself, in its modern form, probably grew out of followers of Yazid Ibn Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan, the 2nd Caliph in the Umayyad Dynasty of Caliphs. Yazid fought a battle against Mohammad’s grandson, Hussayn, in a battle for the succession of the Caliphate.
Hussayn’s followers were also the followers of Ali, the former caliph who was assassinated. The followers of Hussayn and Ali are today known as the Shia. The Sunni follow in the tradition of the Umayyads. In a battle in Karbala in 680, Hussayn and all his men were killed at Kufa, and the women and children with them taken prisoner.
To the Shia, Yazid is the ultimate villain. Most Sunnis do not view him very favorably either, and regard the whole episode as emblematic of how badly the umma had fallen apart after Mohammad died.
Nevertheless, there had been groups of Sunnis who venerated Yazid Ibn Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan and the Umayyads in general in northern Iraq for some time even before Šeiḫ ’Adî appeared on the scene. Šeiḫ ’Adî himself was descended from the Umayyads.
Reverence for Yazid Ibn Muawiyah mixed with the veneration of Šeiḫ ’Adî in the early Yezidis. It was this, mixed in with the earlier pagan beliefs of the Semites and Iranians discussed elsewhere, along with a dollop of Christianity, that formed the base of modern Yezidism. But its ultimate roots are far more ancient. Yezidism had a base, but it was not formed in its modern version.
Here we turn to the etymology of the word Yezidi. It is possible that the figure of “Yezid”, the young man-God in the Yezidi trinity, represents Yazid Ibn Muawiyah.
By the mid-1200’s, the local Muslims were getting upset about the Yezidis excessive devotion to these two men. In the mid-1400’s the local Muslims fought a large battle against the Yezidis.
To this day, the top Yezidi mirs are all related to the Umayyads. Muslim scholars say that Yezid bin Unaisa was the founder of the modern-day Yezidis. Bin Unaisa was one of the early followers of the Kharijites, an early fanatical fundamentalist sect that resembled our modern-day Al Qaeda and other takfiri Salafi-jihadi terrorists. Bin Unaisa was said to be a follower of the earliest Kharijites.
These were the first Kharijites. Early split-offs from Ali’s army, they took part in the Battle of Nahrawan against Ali’s forces outside Madaen in what was known as the Triangle of Death in the Iraq War. In 661, the Kharijites assassinated Ali, one of the ultimate moments in the Sunni-Shia split.
At some point, bin Unaisa split from the Kharijites other than some of their early followers who were following a sect Al-Abaḍia, founded by ‘Abd-Allah Ibn Ibad who left with bin Unaisa. bin Unaisa said that a Muslim who committed any great sin was an infidel.
Considering his Islamic fundamentalist past, he also developed some very unorthodox views for a Muslim.
For instance, he said that God would send a new prophet to Persia (one more Iranian connection with the Yezidis). God would also send down a message to be written by this prophet in a book, and this prophet would leave Islam and follow the religion of the Sabeans or Mandeans. Nevertheless, he continued to hold some Kharijite beliefs, including that God alone should be worshiped and that all sins were forms of idolatry.
In line with this analysis, the first Yezidis were a sect of the Kharijites. The fact that bin Unaisa said that the new prophet would follow Sabeanism implies that he himself either followed this religion at one time or had a high opinion of it.
Muslim historians mention three main Sabean sects. All seemed to have derived in part from the ancient pagan religion of Mesopotamia. Sabeans were polytheists who worshiped the stars. After the Islamic conquest, they referred to themselves as Sabeans in order to receive protection as one of the People of the Book (the Quran mentions Jews, Christians, and Sabeans and People of the Book).
One of the Sabean sects was called Al-Ḫarbâniyah.
The Sabeans believed that God dwelt within all things that were good and rational. He had one essence but many appearances, in other words. God was pure good and could not make anything evil. Evil was either accidental, necessary for life, or caused by an evil force. They also believed in the transmigration of souls (reincarnation).
It is interesting that the beliefs of this sect of Sabeans resemble the views of modern Yezidis. Therefore we can assume that Yezîd bn Unaisa believed in God and the Resurrection Day, respected angels and the stars, and yet was neither polytheistic nor a true follower of Mohammad.
At the same time, bn Unaisa lined himself up with those People of the Book who said that Mohammad was a prophet yet did not follow him (in this respect, he was similar to Western non-Muslims who acknowledge Mohammad as the prophet of the Arabs).
Although most orthodox histories of the Yezidis leave it out, it seems clear at this point that Yezîd bn Unaisa was the founder of the Yezidi religion in its modern form and that the Yezidis got their name from Yezîd bn Unaisa. This much may have been lost to time, for the Yezidis now say say that the word Yezidi comes from the Kurdish word Yezdan or Êzid meaning God.
After naming their movement after Yezîd bn Unaisa, the Yezidis learned of Šeiḫ ‘Adî’s reputation and become his followers, along with many Muslims, Christians, and Zoroastrians.
Presently, like their founder, the Yezidis believe in God and the Resurrection, expect a prophet from Iran, revere angels and stars, regard every sin as idolatry, respect Mohammad as a prophet yet do not follow him, yet at the same time pay no attention to Ali (recall that the early Kharijites assassinated Ali). Being opposed in a sense to both Mohammad and Ali, bn Unaisa is logically despised by both the Sunni and the Shia.
The fact that the Yezidis renounced the prophet of the Arabs (Mohammad) while expecting a new one from Iran logically appealed to a lot of Persians at the time. Hence, many former Zoroastrians or fire-worshipers from Iran joined the new religion, injecting their strain into this most syncretistic of religions.
There is good evidence that many Yezidis are former Christians.
Furthermore, many names of Yezidi villages are actually words in the local Syriac (Christian) language, more evidence that many Yezidis are former Christians.
Adding even more weight to this theory, the Yezidis retain two Christian customs – the baptism and the Eucharist.
The Yezidis must baptize their children at the earliest possible age. At the baptism, the priest puts his hand on the child’s head as he performs the rite. Both customs mirror the Christian baptism precisely.
When a Yezidi couple marries, they go to a local Nestorian Church to partake of the Eucharist. The cup of wine they drink is called the Cup of Isa (Jesus). The Yezidis have great respect for Christian saints and houses of worship and kiss the doors and walls of churches when they enter them.
When a Yezidi woman goes to the home of her bridegroom on wedding day, she is supposed to visit every every religious temple along the way, even the churches. On the other hand, Yezidis never enter a mosque. Sadly, the Yezidi reverence for Christianity is not returned by the Eastern Christians, who despise the Yezidis as devil-worshipers.
Yezidis revere both Jesus and Mohammad as religious teachers, not as prophets. The group has survived via a hefty dose of taqqiya, or the Muslim tradition of dissimulation to ward off persecution, in this case pretending outwardly to be some type of Shia Muslim.
This is common for minority faiths around the region, including the Alawi and Druze, who have both proclaimed at the top of their lungs that they are Muslims and have hidden to the aspects of their religion which would cause the Muslims to disown them at best or kill them at worst.
Yet the primary Islamic influence on the Yezidis is actually Sufism, not Shiism per se. But even the fundamentalist Shiism practiced in Iran is very friendly to Sufism, while fundamentalist Sunnism is very hostile to this form of Islam.
There are traces of other religions. Hinduism may possibly be seen in the five Yezidi castes, from top to bottom Pir, Shaikh, Kawal, Murabby, and Mureed (followers).
Pre-Islamic Iran (Zoroastrianism) also had a caste system, and the base of the Yezidi religion seems to be derived from Persian Zoroastrianism. Hindu caste dates from 3,500 YBP. The suggestion is that going back a few thousand years, caste was common in human societies and caste-based religions were religion. So caste may be the leftovers of an ancient human tradition.
The Yezidi, like the Druze and the Zoroastrians, do not accept converts, and like the Druze, think that they will be reincarnated as their own kind (Druze think they will be reincarnated as Druze; Yezidis think they will be reincarnated as Yezidis).
The Yezidis can be considered fire-worshipers in a sense; they obviously inherited this from the Zoroastrians. The Yezidis say, “Without fire, there would be no life.” This is true even in our modern era, for if we substitute “electrical power” for fire, our lives would surely diminish. Even today, when Kurdish Muslims swear on an oath, they say, “I swear by this fire…”
Many say there is a resemblance between Malak Taus and the Assyrian God Tammuz, though whether the name Malak Taus is actually derived from Tammuz is much more problematic. This connection is not born out by serious inquiry. Tammuz was married to the Assyrian moon goddess, Ishtar.
Ishtar the Goddess of the Moon, here represented as a bird goddess. Worship of birds is one of the oldest forms of pagan idolatry known to man. What is it about birds that made them worthy of worship by the ancients? It can only be the miracle of flight.
Where do the Yezidis come from? The Yezidis themselves say that they originally came from the area around Basra and the lower Euphrates, then migrated to Syria, and from there went to Sinjar, Mosul, and Kurdistan.
In addition to worshiping a bird-god, there are other traces of the pre-Islamic pagan religions of the Arabs in Yezidism.
Yezidis hold the number seven sacred, a concept that traces back to the ancient Mesopotamians. The Yezidis have seven sanjaks, and each one has seven burners of the flame. Their God created seven angels. The sculpture carved on the temple of Šeiḫ ’Adî has seven branches.
The Sabeans, another ancient religion of Mesopotamia who are now called star-worshipers by their detractors, also worshiped seven angels who guided the courses of seven planets. Believe it or not, it is from this formulation that our seven days of the week are derived. In the ancient religion of Assyria, Ishtar descended through seven gates to the land of no return. The ancient Hebrews likewise utilized the number seven in their religion.
An ancient seven-armed candelabra, a symbol nowadays used in the Jewish religion, with demonic sea monsters drawn on the base.
The Yezidis worship both the sun and moon at both their rising and setting, following the ancient Ḥarranians, a people who lived long ago somewhere in northern Iraq. Sun-worship and moon-worship are some of the oldest religious practices of Man. The ancient pagans of Canaan worshiped the Sun.
At the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, the religion practiced there had little in common with Talmudic Judaism of today. For instance, the horses of the Sun were worshiped at that temple (see II Kings 25: 5, 11). The ancient Judeans, who the modern-day Jews claim spiritual connection with, actually worshiped the “host of heaven” – the Sun, the Moon and the Planets. So much for Jews being “the original monotheists”, eh?
In Babylonia, there were two temples to the Sun-God Shamas.
Another pre-Islamic Arab pagan belief is the belief in sacred wells and sanctuaries that contain them. These sacred springs contain water that has curative powers. The holy water found at the Zamzam Well in Mecca is an example; even to this day, Muslims bottle the water and carry it off for this very purpose. Often sacred clothes are used to make the pilgrimages to these waters because ordinary clothes are thought to contaminate the holy site.
In pre-Islamic days, when the pagans circled the rock at the Kaaba, they were completely naked. In Islam, men and women are supposed to remove their clothing and wear a special garb as they circulate around the rock. In Mandeanism, both men and women go to the Mishkana or tabernacle, take off their clothes, and bathe in the circular pool. Emerging, they put on the rasta, a ceremonial white garment.
At the temple of Šeiḫ ‘Adî, there is a sacred pool. The Yezidis throw coins, jewelry, and other things into this pool as offerings. They think that Šeiḫ ‘Adî takes these things from time to time. They also must remove their clothes, bathe, and wear a special garment when they visit the holy valley where this temple resides.
The ancient Arabs also worshiped trees. There were sacred trees at Nejran, Hadaibiya, and Mecca. The pagans hung women’s ornaments, fine clothes, ostrich eggs, weapons, and other items from these sacred trees.
An inscription of a sacred tree from Ancient Babylonian civilization. Trees were worshiped not just in ancient Arabia; they were also worshiped in Mesopotamia.
The Christian Trinity combined with the pagan Tree of Life in an interesting ancient Chaldean inscription that combines pagan and Christian influences. The Tree of Life was also utilized in Kabbalism, Jewish mysticism from the Middle Ages. Nowadays the symbol is used by practitioners of both White and Black Magic. Radical Islam committed genocide once again on the Christians of Iraq, including the Chaldeans earlier in the Iraq War.
Yet another Tree of Life, this time from ancient Assyria, an ancient civilization in Mesopotamia. The concept of a tree of life is a pagan concept of ancient pedigree.
The ancient Meccans used to worship stones. At one point the population of Mecca became so large that they had to move out of the valley where the Kaaba resided, so when the former Meccans formed their new settlements, they took rocks from the holy place in Mecca, piled them outside their settlements, and shrine or mini-Meccas out of these things, parading around the rock piles as they moved around the Kaaba.
In Palestine, there were sacred wells at Beersheba and Kadesh, a sacred tree at Shekem, and a sacred rock at Bethel. As in animism, it was believed that divine powers or spirits inhabited these rocks, trees, and springs. This tradition survives to this day in the folk religion of the Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese.
The Yezidis also have certain stones that they worship. They kiss these stones in reverence.
When the Yezidis reach the goal of their pilgrimage or hajj, they become very excited and start shouting. After fasting all day, they have a big celebration in the evenings, with singing, dancing, and gorging on fine dishes.
The shouting, feasting, singing, dancing and general excitement is typical of a pagan festival. The non-Yezidi neighbors of the Yezidis claim that Yezidis engage in immoral behavior on this hajj. No one knows if this is true or not, but if they do, it may be similar to the festivals of the Kadesh tribe discussed in the Old Testament, where the Kadesh engaged in licentious behavior in their temples.
Although the Yezidis have a strict moral code, observers say that they allow adultery if both parties are willing. That’s pretty open-minded for that part of the world.
In case you are interested, the Syrian government has not conducted a single chemical weapons attack in this war. I know more about this stuff than 99% of people you will ever meet and I have been studying this issue for years.
I have checked into every single so-called chemical weapons attacks and they are all fakes. Even all the chlorine attacks are fakes. Assad’s a monster, but he doesn’t use chemical weapons, even on his enemies. Not even chlorine, which is barely even a chemical weapon.
The reasoning behind people believing that Assad conducted chemical weapons attacks and massacres is simple. Assad is a very bad man and he has killed a lot of people in some pretty horrible ways. That’s clear to anyone who’s awake and paying attention.
Therefore, because Assad is a bad man and a mass murderer who has killed imprisoned and killed 50,000 of his own people, obviously he conducted chemical weapons attacks on his people, and he massacred whole villages full of his own people. Bad people do bad things. Bad people are guilty of every bad accusation made against them simply because they are bad people.
This is particularly stupid logical fallacy. “He’s a bad man who has done many bad things. Therefore all accusations accusing him of doing any particular bad thing are true.” You don’t have to take a logic class to realize how fucktarded that type of thinking is.
Notice that most of the “chemical weapons attacks” happened after Syria had destroyed all of their chemical weapons, as verified many times by the UN?
You might be interested to hear that forty different members of the White Helmets have testified in a court in the Netherlands that the all of the major chemical weapons attacks supposedly done by Syria in this war were faked as false flags by their own group, the White Helmets.
Of course our media is not covering this. I told this to some typical American suckers and their response was that all 40 of these White Helmets men were lying, or that this court case never took place, or that the report is from Russian media so it must be dismissed, or that this has not been covered by the mainstream media yet, and therefore it didn’t happen. Suckers for the US government/MSM lie machine really dig in their heels. It’s so frustrating to talk to them.
I am not saying that Assad is a nice man. Syria deliberately bombs rebel hospitals in rebel areas because these hospitals are “run by the terrorists.” Maybe so, but I am sure that they also serve the needs of the civilians in the area.
There are a lot of civilian casualties in rebel areas, and there’s no reason to assume that the White Helmets are not rescuing these people, often in front of cameras. Just because the White Helmets do a lot of bullshit doesn’t mean everything they do is bad and wrong. To believe that is a logical fallacy – one that almost every pro-Syrian government person believes.
There is persuasive evidence of Syria deliberately targeting civilians in rebel areas. Syria has been using those horrible barrel bombs for many years now. These also disproportionately affect civilians.
In interviews about attacks on civilians in rebel areas, Assad and his supporters say that the civilians are supporting the rebels, so apparently this makes it ok to target them. These is the age-old argument in any insurgency or war between states, but I don’t support it one bit.
Assad is also not responsible for any of the horrific massacres of entire villages that occurred early on in the war. All of those were done by the Free Syrian Army and similar groups. They would go into a village of government supporters and kill everyone there, often in horrific ways reminiscent of how the Islamists in Algeria killed people in their civil war.
All villages attacked were pro-government. They were either Alawite or Christian or pro-government Sunni villages. We really need to ask why the Syrian government would massacre villages of its own supporters.
However, Assad has arrested many enemy fighters and many unarmed dissidents and put them in horrific prisons where they are denied medical care, housed in horrible conditions, routinely beaten and tortured, and poorly fed. The death rate is very high in those prisons.
Many of those not killed by torture or maltreatment were taken out to the prison grounds and hung. And the bodies may well have been incinerated. There is also eyewitness testimony by excellent journalists showing Syrian military forces burying many of the bodies of the executed in mass graves.
Syria may have killed 50,000 enemy fighters and unarmed dissidents in its prisons by torture, maltreatment, or execution.
The famous Cesar photos of people supposedly tortured to death in Syrian prisons are somewhat problematic, as some of the photos appear to be rebels killed in battle. However, many of the badly disfigured faces, often showing signs of extreme torture, shown in those photos are of dissidents who were imprisoned early in the war and tortured to death by the regime.
We know this because a number of the men killed in those photos have been identified as dissidents or enemy fighters who were arrested by the Syrian government, typically early in the war. We know their names, where they were from, when they were arrested, who arrested them, where they were taken, etc.
I’m not saying Assad is a nice guy. He’s a killer, just like his father. But he doesn’t use chemical weapons and he doesn’t massacre whole villages. Those particular methods are simply not his style. He has other monstrous ways to kill people.
The last Spot the Language piece was solved by a Turkish commenter who is one-half the ethnicity of the language: the Laz people. Here is his comment about the Laz and the region where they reside. Very nice comment and I would like to thank the commenter very much.
Ertuğrul Bilal: I am a Turco-Laz half-breed. There are at least half to close to one million people like me. I identify as a son of the homeland and as any particular ethnicity. This is also the primal identity adopted by almost all Lazes, who see themselves ethnically Laz only secondarily. Let’s put it his way: Black Sea people’s loyalty is more territorial than ethnic, just like cats.
FYI: Laz is not related to Turkish or any other Turkic language. It is part of the Kartvelian linguistic family, consisting of Georgian, Svan, and the Mingrelian-Laz twin peoples. The single substantial difference between the last two being that Mingrelians remained Orthodox, while Laz converted to Islam in late 15th and 16th century; otherwise the discrepancy is solely dialectal.
Laz people live on Northeastern Black Sea coast, actually at the eastern end towards the Turkish-Georgian frontier. This region has always been multi-cultural just as Anatolia used to be, only somewhat more so; even if superficially it is less obvious nowadays.
The local populace was originally mainly Tzans, a rather obscure culture, apparently resulting from an amalgamation of indigenous populace with immigrating/invading Cimmerians, westward-advancing Kartvelians and perhaps some other not well-known tribes ancestral to both Mingrelians and Laz in Antiquity when Greek colonizers founded practically all cities and most of the towns.
Today, you may find Turks (Alevi Turcomans forcibly relocated there by the Ottoman empire in 16th century who converted to Sunnism, except for a few thousand who remained Alevi) and other people of Turkic origin like my late father who told me his paternal lineage emigrated from Northern Dagestan and was either Nogay or Kumyk.
In addition, there are now Lazes, Georgians, Armenians (Hemshinids Islamicized long ago and some others forcibly assimilated to Turks in 1915), and Islamized Greeks, to mention only the most numerous.
Let’s put it this way – we are accustomed to quite a wide diversity of ethnicities in our country and especially in my parents’ native region, even if the official doctrine still tends to disregard the fact, and while it is not outright denial as in the past, a more subtle denial yet exists.
Some complete nonsense here coming out of the US and Saudi Arabia.
In one of the most dramatic acts in the four-year war between the rebels and the Saudi-led coalition, the Houthis claimed responsibility for attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry on 14 September.
The attacks on Saudi Aramco’s plants in Abqaiq and Khurais, some of the kingdom’s biggest, caused raging fires and significant damage that halved the crude output of the world’s top oil exporter by shutting down 5.7 million barrels per day of production.
However, Saudi, US, and European officials have rejected the claim, saying the Houthis have neither the weapons nor the skills to carry out such sophisticated strikes.
According to the WSJ, in the days following the attacks, an internal Houthi rift expanded between those who wanted to distance themselves from Iran, whom Western powers say was behind the strikes, and those who wanted to strengthen ties with Tehran.
Some Houthi leaders privately disavowed the group’s claim of responsibility for the attacks, according to two Saudi officials who spoke to the WSJ and asked not to be identified.
Houthi officials also told foreign diplomats that Iran was preparing a follow-on attack, said one of the officials and other people familiar with the evolving plans.
Official Houthi spokesmen have rejected any suggestions that they disavowed their initial claim or warned Riyadh about future strikes by Iran, the WSJ said.
Iran says it is not arming the Houthis, who deny being puppets of Tehran and say they are fighting against a corrupt system.
The group did not immediately respond on Friday to requests from the WSJ for comment.
First of all, it’s staggering that this publication Middle East Eye publication is even reporting this garbage. This publication is known to be anti-Saudi, anti-UAE, pro-Qatar and pro-Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE and Saudi Arabia both absolutely hate the MB, not for doctrinal reasons necessarily but more for mundane political ones.
The MB, the Saudis, and the UAE are all hardline Islamists and there’s not much light between their positions. But the MB wants to seize power in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Saudis and the UAE hate Iran but so does MEE, so that’s not a motive. Qatar has good relations with Iran, so that part doesn’t make sense.
But I am sure that the Muslim Brotherhood absolutely despises the Shia, as the MB are hardline Arab Sunnis from Arabia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Egypt
So it’s possible that this being a MB publication is why they are printing this outrageous anti-Iran nonsense – because they hate Iran as much as the Saudis and UAE do.
You want to know where all those cray ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. Islamist rebels in Syria came from? They all came out of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Incidentally, the genesis of Al Qaeda occurred in the 1980’s when MB preachers and teachers came from Syria and Egypt to work in Saudi Arabia. Many worked in schools. Their ideology mixed with the already toxic but relatively quietist Wahhabism of the Kingdom, and the result was explosive – Al Qaeda.
The Syrian MB was behind the rebellion in Hama in 1983 that was put down viciously by Bashar Assad’s father, Hafez. The US had no problems with this crackdown at the time as, we were not anti-Syria yet.
The crackdown lasted a month or more, levelled an entire city, and killed 30,000 people, mostly civilians and MB fighters. The fighting went underground into tunnels and sewers, and it got absolutely brutal. There were reports of the state resorting to mass executions and even the use of poison gas.
That may well be true – Hafez Assad was one brutal SOB, and he would definitely resort to poison gas. On the contrary, Bashar Assad, to my knowledge, has never used poison gas a single time in this war. All of the “Assad chemical attacks” were false flag attacks by the rebels.
Bashar is not a very nice guy, and he has been utterly vicious in how he fought this war, but he doesn’t use chemical weapons. He has other ways of killing people, mostly by arrest, torture and execution in military prisons. Chemical weapons are just not his style.
Anyway let’s break this garbage down here.
However, Saudi, US, and European officials have rejected the claim, saying the Houthis have neither the weapons nor the skills to carry out such sophisticated strikes.
Background. The European countries are the three American stooges called UK, France, and Germany.
Simple fact. All of these US vassals are lying their fool’s heads off. This is disinformation straight from the CIA. It’s hard to believe that the UK, France, and Germany fell in with this, or maybe not.
The UK is now ruled by the Tories who follow the US Republicans on foreign policy, so no surprises there.
France has a government led by Macron, a hardcore neoliberal Zionist who was actually installed by the Rothschild Jewish billionaires and world-controllers in the UK. He’s made France much more pro-Israel and pro-US. He’s not even on the Left – he’s more of a Centrist, and he is to the right of most European Social Democratic parties who themselves are already cucked by neoliberalism to the hilt. Macron’s cucked even worse than they are.
Germany is probably the most Jewish-cucked country on Earth, maybe even worse than our benighted land. Merkel is not on the Left. She’s not a Social Democrat. She is a Christian Democrat, and the CD’s have never been progressive anywhere. In Latin America, they have been either fascists (the AD in Venezuela) or “let’s split the difference with the fascists and give them half of what they want” (Duarte in El Salvador in the mid -80’s) types. In Europe they have been the most conservative ruling parties on the Continent, particularly in terms of economics.
However, Saudi, US, and European officials have rejected the claim, saying the Houthis have neither the weapons nor the skills to carry out such sophisticated strikes.
About the idea that the Houthis had neither the weaponry nor sophistication to carry out the attack – that’s not true! The operation was carried out via 10 drones, not 18 drones and 7 cruise missiles as the CIA is lying. The Houthis’ drones have already proven to be within range of those refineries.
How did the Houthis pull this off? I read journalists who are very close to the ruling elites in Iran, especially the IRGC and Iranian intelligence. Their reports on Iran can be reliably taken as the truth about Iran’s beliefs, behaviors, and objectives.
Via these posts, I can tell you how they did it:
How about if I told you that all Houthi weapons are developed from Iranian prototypes and then modified somewhat? How about if I told you that Hezbollah – master engineers, experts and rockets, missiles, and drones, help the Houthis build these weapons?
How about if I told you that Iran ramped up its support to the Houthis four months ago and poured a lot of resources into planning this attack with the Houthis? How about if I told you that at the same time, Iran dramatically ramped up its technology transfer to the Houthis, resulting in a shocking improvement of Houthi weaponry in a very short time?
Now does it make sense?
According to the WSJ, in the days following the attacks, an internal Houthi rift expanded between those who wanted to distance themselves from Iran, whom Western powers say was behind the strikes, and those who wanted to strengthen ties with Tehran.
Some Houthi leaders privately disavowed the group’s claim of responsibility for the attacks, according to two Saudi officials who spoke to the WSJ and asked not to be identified.
Houthi officials also told foreign diplomats that Iran was preparing a follow-on attack, said one of the officials and other people familiar with the evolving plans.
First, the Wall Street Journal is as kosher as a news organ gets. It’s has close to New York Times-level of Jews on its staff. The ownership used to be Jewish, and a very large number of the editors and writers are Jews. And they’re all conservative Republican Israel-firster Jews too.
Look, there was no rift between the Houthis and Iran. The Iranian sources above reiterated that the attacks were fired by the Houthis from Yemen but said that Iran had helped plan the attack over a period of months. They also said that not only were the Houthis sending their own obvious message to the Saudis, but the Iranians were too. Iran’s message in this attack was clear: There will be no peace in the region until the sanctions on Iran are lifted.
There are no pro-Iran and anti-Iran factions among the Houthis. Originally they were not even closely tied to Iran, but no one else would support them, so they turned to Iran.
Some Houthi leaders privately disavowed the group’s claim of responsibility for the attacks, according to two Saudi officials who spoke to the WSJ and asked not to be identified.
These mysterious Saudi officials are simply the Saudi intelligence agency, which planted this fake story – this disinformation – in the media. Notice how all these “officials”, “diplomats”, “sources within X country’s intelligence”, “administration officials”, etc. are always anonymous?
Any time you see BS sources like that combined with an unlikely story that smells like it was made up you are dealing with disinformation that is being planted in the media by one or more intelligence agencies.
If Iran really did this attack, my Iranian sources above would have heard about it by now and written about it. After all, these journalists affirmed the first tanker attacks, and so did internal IRGC organs.
But the information from the Iranian Deep State is that while indeed the Houthis did conduct this attack from Yemen with their own equipment (albeit made with Iranian models), Iran was absolutely involved in the detailed, months-long planning and preparation for the attack.
Houthi officials also told foreign diplomats that Iran was preparing a follow-on attack, said one of the officials and other people familiar with the evolving plans.
This is some dangerous nonsense. This is also disinformation planted by an intelligence agency, probably the CIA.
The diplomats are anonymous, obviously. They have to be. Most US diplomats are more or less spies and employees of the CIA anyway. In any US Embassy in any hot part of the world, ~50% of the embassy employees are actually connected to the CIA in one way or another. Of course they have their fake cover jobs at the embassy to cover up their spying.
An earlier version of this CIA tall tale said that Iran was planning a second attack, and they planned to blame it on the Houthis. Well, Iran did not do the first one, so how is it going to do a second one? It can’t. This story only makes sense if you buy the “Iran shot the flying weapons from Iran” CIA lie. But that didn’t happen. It’s just disinfo BS. So if the first part of this story was a lie, clearly the second part is a lie also.
Now the part about Iran’s plans to do the attack and then blame it on the Houthis. In my lifetime I have never encountered a state that conducts its attacks from its own soil and then has allied guerillas in another country claim the attack. Guerrillas don’t claim attacks that they don’t do.
Those wicked Iranians are going to do another attack from Iran and then get the Houthis to idiotically take the blame again! How dastardly! Of course the Houthis are starting to rebel against this Wicked Witch of the West level of evil! Oh, poor Houthis!
This is nonsense. States don’t order guerrillas do claim attacks that they didn’t do so the state can do the attack and then blame it on the guerrilla. Sure, it’s plausible, but I have never heard of a single case in my life.
The underlying message of this latest CIA lie is ominous. If there’s another attack, obviously the Houthis are going to do it. Sure, Iran might help them, but it will be launched from Yemen with Houthi weaponry, not from Iran with Iranian weaponry.
But look at how the story sets up the future. The message from the US and the Saudis is telling Iran that any future Houthi attacks similar in scale and targeting are going to be blamed on Iran no matter who does it.
So if the Houthis attack another oil refinery, the US and Saudi Arabia will accuse Iran of a second attack. The message? Any future large-scale Houthi attack on the Saudis will seriously endanger Iran, as it will be blamed on Iran no matter who did it, and Iran may well be attacked on the basis of this attack.
The logical move for the Houthis? Don’t do anymore large scale attacks on the Saudis. Their Iranian patron will be blamed and may well be attacked on the basis of Houthi attack.
The logical move for Iran? Tell the Houthis to not do any more large scale attacks on the Saudis. The next attack will be blamed on Iran and Iran may well get attacked. Iran doesn’t want to get attacked.
In other words, the Houthis and Iran are being set up ahead of time for any future attacks. Get it?
See how sneaky these American and Saudi rats are?
Official Houthi spokesmen have rejected any suggestions that they disavowed their initial claim or warned Riyadh about future strikes by Iran, the WSJ said.
This is laughable. Why on Earth would the Houthis contact their deadly enemy, Saudi Arabia, and warn them that the Houthis’ ally, Iran, was going to attack the Saudis? So in war you typically contact the enemy to warn them that one of your allies is going to attack them, right? When has that ever happened? It’s insane right out of the dugout.
Iran says it is not arming the Houthis, who deny being puppets of Tehran and say they are fighting against a corrupt system.
Well, Iran does arm the Houthis, but not many arms get in. I discussed this in a previous post. The seas are so well patrolled that the Iranians cannot get much weaponry in there. Instead Iran can give them Iranian technology and Iranian expertise in planning attacks because that doesn’t have to be smuggled in. The IRGC is already in Yemen advising the Houthis. They’re the ones who give the Houthis Iranian tech and help the Houthis plan attacks.
The group did not immediately respond on Friday to requests from the WSJ for comment.
And why respond to some outrageous bullshit lie? When you respond to this sort of thing, you give the lie and the liars publicity and in defending yourself, your opponent just twists your words around so you end up digging yourself even deeper in the hole you are in. It’s like protesting that you don’t beat your wife or molest children. The denial sounds suspicious because if you were innocent, why would anyone ever accuse you of such a thing in the first place?
In guerrilla wars nowadays, all guerrilla groups who the US says are enemies are labeled by the US as being pawns of some dastardly foreign power. The revolutionaries themselves are deprived of all agency and reduced to mere puppets who carry out orders from some large state sponsor. The puppets probably don’t even want to do these attacks! They’re probably being being forced to by their diabolical patrons!
In the Latin American revolutions of recent years, all of the revolutionaries were deprived of agency and reduced to mere puppets, first of Satanic Cuba and ultimately from the Devil itself, the USSR. Of course these revolutions were not started by internal politics, vast differences between the rich and poor, grotesquely unfair systems, murderous death squad states who torture and murder any dissidents on the Left!
Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Colombia were all wonderful countries. There weren’t any starving masses living in tin shacks with no water, sewage systems, jobs, or access to medical care, education, transportation or even money to buy food or anything like that!
You see, all the countries got let off the hook, and the US got to say that it wasn’t the horrific conditions inside the far rightwing country that were producing the obvious armed Left guerillas that such states often logically produce. The guerrillas were just idiots, useful ones to be sure, or even puppets on a string. Everything’s fine in these countries, and not one single progressive change needed to be made.
Instead this was just Castro’s Cuba – boo, hiss – exporting revolution to these poor innocent Latin American countries who are trying their best to serve their people! Oh, poor countries! These sad, pathetic, ignorant guerrillas are being made into pawns and puppets of malign Commies against their will! Oh, poor guerillas!
And ultimately of course the revolutions were all coming from the USSR. The motive was always nothing more than Soviet expansionism. The Soviets were trying to export Communism all over the world to every country, rich and poor, leftwing and right, those who served their people and those who left them to die without a nickel! Bad Soviets! They were so mean!
In other words, all leftwing revolutions had nothing to do with the objective conditions inside the country. They were all caused by the deplorable Soviets exporting their depraved Communism the world over.
By saying that the Houthis are just Iranian puppets, useful idiots, and fools without any gripe who are mercenaries on the payroll of the Iranians, we are saying that conditions are just fine in Yemen, and the Houthis took arms for no reason.
According to the US and various Sunni Arab states in the region, the Houthis are revolutionary pro-Iranian crazies who are trying to take over the country as part of a sneaky Iranian project to take over all of the Arab countries, oppress and lord it over them, steal their resources and leave them penniless, and worst of all, force all of them all to convert to Shiism.
See how this “puppets of X regime” nonsense plays out? It’s usually nothing but a flat-out lie. Most civil wars happen for a reason. What sort of reason? An internal reason based on the objective conditions in that country, conditions that the guerrillas think are wrong or unfair – that’s what reason. Of course guns don’t grow on trees, and most guerrillas need to have state sponsors in order to acquire their weaponry. They have to buy them somewhere.
Shia Islam is like Catholicism in that religion is interpreted by man instead of laid down in stone by God in books.
The Vatican is actually there to keep Catholicism a living religion that evolves along with society and modernizes with the times. The Vatican even has its own astronomer, and the Popes have said that both evolution and extraterrestrial aliens are compatible with Catholicism.
Protestantism instead has no central authority, so it falls victim to fundamentalism a lot more than Catholicism.
Likewise with Shiism.
Sunnism is Protestantism. It was all laid down in stone either in 700 by Mohammad or in 60 by the first church or in 1550 by Luther. We can’t change anything after that.
Even Khomeini believed in the living religion theory. The Ayatollah examined both male homosexuality and transgenderism and became convinced that transsexuals were made that way by God. True transsexuals do have very different brains that are shifted in favor of the opposite sex, so it makes some sense. He decided that gay men were just deciding to be that way, which is probably not true, as true male homosexuality looks very biological, and science has proven that male sexual orientation cannot be changed after age 15.
Anyway, the Ayatollah decided that, as transsexuals were created by God (or Nature really), they were not at fault for their condition, and they needed to be accepted as part of God’s (or Nature’s) creation. Hence the legalization of transsexuals in Iran.
Anyway, transsexuals have been legal in Iran since the days of the Revolution. A very prominent mullah, high up in ruling circles, is a transwoman and has been one for many years. I guess no one cares.
In contrast, Iran is very cruel to homosexuals, worse than most Sunni countries, which typically take a more progressive stance, as it’s so rife in their lands anyway. 6,000 gay men have been executed in Iran since the Revolution.
Many gay men in Iraq have been extrajudicially executed.
In Hezbollah’s Lebanon, they are kinder. All they do is gay bash or beat up gay men.
It’s a doctrinal thing and has nothing to with conservatism or progressivism, as Shiism tends to be more progressive than Sunnism.
Sisera: And naturally Hezbollah was arch rivals of Israel, who was defending the Christians.
But now the tides have turned because Israel’s pet Jihadis genocide Christians.
Israel didn’t invade to rescue any Christians and they were not defending any Christians. They didn’t participate in the Civil War much. They invaded to conquer the PLO in Lebanon.
This is a cartoon (((evil Muslim Islamist Christian haters trying to genocide good Christians minding their own business version of the Civil War))). This version that most Americans believe was concocted in Israel. So the knowledge most Americans have about that war is just Israeli propaganda.
The war was pretty much rightwing or fascist Maronite Christian groups versus Leftist and Arab nationalist secular Palestinians. That was the war in a nutshell. Later others allied with one side or the other. Most of the groups who allied with the Palestinians were secular. Religious Muslims were mostly not involved in the war.
There was no Hezbollah until 1985. They were caused by the Israeli invasion. And you have it backwards. When Israel invaded, the Shia in the South (Hezbollah’s territory) welcomed them with flowers. They turned on them when the Israelis started being shits like they always do.There was no Hezbollah until 1985. They were caused by the Israeli invasion. And you have it backwards. When Israel invaded, the Shia in the South (Hezbollah’s territory) welcomed them with flowers. They turned on them when the Israelis started being shits like they always do.
The Christians didn’t need any rescuing. They started the Civil War in the first place. They stopped buses full of Palestinians and ordered everyone out and shot everyone in the head. They did this a few times and the PLO took up arms. But left-wingers were on the side of the PLO too, and the Greek Orthodox were always fighting with the Muslims, etc. against the Maronites. And the leftwing movement of the Druze, a non-Christian, non-Muslim religion, fought alongside the Muslims. Socialists, Communists and Arab nationalists all fought with the Muslims.
The Maronites were sick and tired of the Palestinians living in their country. That’s why they started the war.
The Christians have always run Lebanon. They’re no poor victims. More like minority rule thugs.
The war started with Leftists, Syrian nationalists and Arab nationalists against the Phalange fascist Christian militia modeled after the Nazi party (your heroes). None of the former were very religious. Those were secular groups. Sunni Muslims and Armenian Christians sat out the war. The people who took up arms against the Maronites were secular Arab nationalist types. The Shia sat out the war for a very long time. They did not want to get involved. But they had sympathies with the Palestinians.
The Palestinians set up refugee cams all over Southern Lebanon to attack Israel. During this time, the Shia hated them. The Palestinians ruled like thugs and the religious Shia saw them as a bunch of Commies. They were so sick of Palestinian rule that they welcomed conquering Israelis with flowers as I mentioned.
The main Shia movement, the Amal, fought against the Palestinians alongside the Maronites at the start of the war. The Shia only turned against Israel due to Israeli abuses. They formed Hezbollah, but they spent most of their time fighting Israel. An Armenian Communist organization fought the Maronites for most of the war. These were Christians.
The war actually started when the Maronite President of Lebanon tried to force a fishing monopoly for his group along the coast. Fishermen in Sidon objected and there were popular demonstrations. Palestinians joined these demos. A sniper killed the former mayor of Sidon. To this day no one knows who killed him or why. The sniper fired at the end of a demonstration and appeared to try to start a conflagration. The situation soon spiraled out of control and the Maronite government lost control of the situation.
The actual beginning of the war was fighting versus Maronite and Palestinian militias. The Maronite government was not involved.
You are going by the (((officially narrative))) of the war of evil Muslim Islamist Christian haters trying to genocide the good Christians of Lebanon. Except most of the “Muslims” were not even religious and the Christian militias were objectively fascist and in particular opposed to democratic rule via a census which would have made them a minority.
The war was secular Palestinians versus fascist Maronite Christians. Most religious Muslims sat out the war. There was no “evil Muslims trying to exterminate good Christians out of religious hatred” bullshit. Hezbollah never took part in the civil war itself. All they did was fight against Israel and its puppet Maronite army in the south. However, most of the soldiers in this “Maronite” army were Shia Muslims! So the war in the South was Shia Muslims in the SLA versus Shia Muslims in Hezbollah. Also there were many Palestinian Christians in the PLO fighting against the Maronites.
Sisera: The CIA’s coups have been out of control for decades, agreed.
But you support minority rule governments in the Middle East (Saddam Hussein, certainly and possibly Assad who is at least an ethnic minority. Hezbollah operated for years in a largely Christian country, etc.) because the alternative would mean Americans die in terror attacks from those countries becoming terror bases.
I don’t know that you could argue any Latin American oligarchy was more brutal than Saddam Hussein.
So you just value certain American interests that are different than his.
Saddam was brutal but he was a populist. He just didn’t tolerate any minority rebellions or opposition really. But in return for that he was a great socialist and populist leader who did great things for his people. Saddam’s rule was not oligarchic rule by a ruling class. Actually when the Ba’ath took power, they took out the local oligarchs, confiscated their land, imposed heavy taxation, nationalized many industries, etc.
Saddam was a man of the people. He was for the little guy, the average Joe Iraqi Workingman. You could also argue that Stalin and Mao were brutal in similar ways. Leftwing regimes can be pretty brutal. I am not one to dismiss that. But leftist and Communist regimes are not cases of ruling class rule or the rule by a small group of rich and capitalists over everyone else.
The whole time Hezbollah was around, Lebanon was a minority Christian country. It hasn’t been majority Christian since the 1960’s or maybe 1970’s. Anyway the Christians are not in opposition to Hezbollah. One of the Maronite leaders, Aoun, is in an alliance with Hezbollah. Hezbollah has Christian and Sunni militias in Christian and Sunni areas. The Greek Orthodox have always supported Hezbollah. It’s a populist movement. Hezbollah only came into existence because of the Israeli invasion.
You may be correct about Syria. Democracy may well vote in radical Islamists, and that would not be a pretty picture. The Syrian rebels give you a taste of what life would be like without Assad. We already know what life in Iraq was like post-Saddam. A sheer Hell of a charnelhouse. Surely Saddam was better than what came after.
Assad is a populist. He works for everyone. It’s not a matter of the rich running the place and fucking everyone over. They just had elections for Parliament and 85% of the seats were run by Sunnis. The Sunnis run the business community. The army is full of Sunni generals. The minority rule thing is sort of dumb. Assad cuts everyone in because he has to. Anyway, if you go the democratic route in the Middle East, you end up with Islamists.
I actually do not mind popular or populist dictatorships that serve the people. That’s fine. Assad appears to have majority support too. It’s not like the majority want Assad gone and he just usurped them.
Saddam was difficult, but there were 1 million Shia Ba’ath Party members. Shia were persecuted not for being Shia but for being Islamists. Anyway, Saddam was the best choice. Look what happened when he was gone.
For whatever reason, the rich and the capitalists in the Arab World are not evil like in Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc. Everyone wants socialism in the Arab world. But Arab socialism allows businessmen to earn money, so everyone gets cut in. You don’t have hard-line socialism or Communism because you don’t have diabolical ruling classes like you have in Latin America. If the rich and the capitalists are willing to go along with a socialist or populist project, why can’t they have full rights?
Hezbollah does not control Lebanon. Anyway, Lebanon is minority rule and has been forever. Christians are guaranteed 50% of seats in Parliament but are only 30% of the population. Hezbollah is not a ruling class group. They are basically socialists like most Islamists.
You see, radical neoliberalism, Latin American style economic conservatism, Republican Party politics, etc. is a no seller in the Arab World. Literally nobody but nobody but nobody wants it. The only people proposing it are Lebanese Maronites because they are close to Europe and they are trying to distinguish themselves from Arabs by being individualists and different.
You can’t sell any sort of oligarchic rule, ruling class rule, economic conservatism of any of that in most Muslim countries. Because Mohammad, if you read him closely, was a pretty socialist fellow. Now the ruling classes in the Arab world used to be feudalists who worked the fellahin like serfs.
But the Arab nationalist revolutions that rocked the Arab world got rid of all of that. All rulers wiped out the feudal holdings and liberated the peasants. The large landowners tried to justify their rule by saying that Mohammad said there are rich and there are poor and that is fine. They got corrupt Muslims clergy to go along with this, similar to how the ruling classes get the Catholic Church to go along with the project of the rich.
This alliance was most notable in Iraq, but it existed in other places like Palestine. Egypt was largely feudal before Nasser. Nasser was not only an Arab nationalist but also a working class hero. Leftists all over the Arab World used to have pictures of Nasser on the walls. He too liberated the Muslim peasants. Feudal rule ended in Palestine in the 1930’s in the midst of an Arab nationalist revolution there.
Getting rid of oligarchic and feudal rule was easy in the Arab World because the masses never supported the oligarchs or feudalists. Rather, they hated them. So Arab socialism was an easy fit all over the region. Even the business communities gladly went along.
This latest fake attack was staged by the radical Islamists in the Army of Islam. All previous chemical attacks were also faked. I have been studying this intensively for five years now and I have studied every reported chemical attack by Assad’s forces. Not even one of them actually happened, not one! These guys have done the best work on the matter:
What is happening is that there are no chemical attacks, ever. Assad has never done any chemical attacks. He got rid of all of his chemical weapons and this was verified by the UN.
What has happened is that the rebels themselves have used chemical weapons, including sarin but mostly chlorine. But the victims in these attacks, if any, have not been paraded before the media as in the more famous cases. I am not sure the outcomes of the rebels’ use of chemical weapons, which has been rather sparse.
Assad doesn’t use chlorine either. Assad’s not a nice guy, and he does a lot of bad things, but he doesn’t use chemical weapons, and he does not engage in massacres either. All of those massacres you here about were done by the rebels and blamed on Assad. In the last five years, I have also studied all of the massacres that have been blamed on Assad. These are often gruesome massacres of civilians in villages, with body mutilations, etc. All massacres were done by the rebels of Assad supporters or minorities like Alawites, Christians, or Assad supporting Sunnis. Afterwards the rebels blamed the massacres on Assad, and the media fell for it every time.
Assad does encircle cities and not let much anything, food or anything, come in. He bombs cities, including apparently civilian areas. He uses those barrel bombs, which are pretty nasty. He may bomb schools and hospitals. He may well target relief workers such as the White Helmets.
Mostly he arrests people who are either supporters of the rebels or rebels themselves (mostly), and they are put in military prisons where they are mistreated, given hardly any food, denied medical care, beaten, tortured and sometimes beaten and tortured to death and sometimes taken out for mass executions, which take place by hanging. Assad may have killed 50,000 at his prisons in this way. In addition, I believe that a lot of these bodies have been burned in incinerators to get rid of the evidence. Even at this moment, Assad’s people are digging up some of his mass graves to remove the bodies, presumably for burning.
Assad’s not a nice guy! But it’s a matter of style. He simply does not prefer to do civilian massacres or use chemical weapons for whatever reasons he has.
What has happened is that these rebels have kidnapped many people who are government supporters or mostly minorities such as Christians, Alawites or Druze. They use them as human shields, put them in cages in the cities they rule, and imprison and torture them for long periods of time. They also move them around Syria. The Army of Islam, which just vacated Douma, had many of these prisoners. A lot were saved, but 5,000 were missing. So it looks like the Army of Islam executed 5,000 of their civilian prisoners in Douma.
Now here is where the chemical weapons bullshit comes in. What happens is that the rebels execute or murder their prisoners or hostages, mostly minorities such as Alawi, Shia, Druze, and Christians. They kill them in various different ways.
Some of these Douma victims have bullet holes in their heads and other parts of their bodies. Others are bleeding and have various other wounds.
In the famous Ghouta “sarin attack” many of the victims had slit throats. Chemical weapons don’t bloody you, put bullet holes in you, or slit your throat!
What happens though is often sneaky.
In the famous Ghouta attack, the rebels took 300-400 of their hostages and executed them in basements with gas cylinders. We have photos of some of these gas rooms with gas cylinders leaking gases. They close the doors and the people die. The gas appears to be usually carbon monoxide. The chemical poisoning is consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning but never with sarin or chlorine poisoning.
We know these latest victims were not killed with sarin or chlorine because they lack the symptoms of those chemicals.
Also chlorine hardly kills anyone. You get maybe one dead for every 100 wounded. So five dead and 500 wounded. No way does chlorine cause 80 dead and zero wounded as in this latest fake attack. Notice something else? 80 dead here. You see any wounded? Of course not. There are often no wounded in these fake attacks. This makes no sense because a lot of people would have survived even a sarin or especially a chlorine attack.
So they gas these hostages of theirs to death somehow or they kill them in other ways. Khan Sheikoun victims were gassed, apparently with carbon monoxide. Also the victims there were at the rebel field hospital which is in a cave. That is miles away from where the fake chemical attack took place. Also there are no records of any attack on Khan Sheikoun at the time of the fake chemical attack at 6 AM. The only attack took place later at 12 noon. Russia and US military concur about this.
In addition, a number of these fake chemical attacks take place at night. Except Assad’s air force does not fly at night. They are not good enough at flying planes to do that well, so they don’t do it.
In addition, chemical weapons are never dropped from planes, ever. I don’t believe you even can. There have never been chemical bombs dropped from planes. Instead they are always fired from shells by artillery. For some reason, that’s how they are always used. The chemical bomb crater at Khan Sheikhoun was a huge crater. This is not possible because a chemical shell is quite light, only a pound or two. Some of the world’s top experts on chemical weapons looked at that crater and said there’s no way that is from a chemical weapon. Instead it looks like a regular bomb crater.
The rebels have sarin factories, and this has been proven. The rebels were caught with a lot of sarin in Turkey trying to bring it into Syria.
In Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun, sarin was released into the atmosphere. In Ghouta a small amount of sarin was released at the time of the fake attack. I am not sure how they did this. Some or more of the victims did have sarin in their blood, but the levels were very low, too low to be harmful. Furthermore, the sarin samples did not match Assad’s sarin. Instead they matched “bathtub sarin” of the type the rebels were making in Turkey. This is why the CIA told Obama that Assad did not do the Ghouta attack. And that is why Obama did nothing about his line in the sand. He knew the Ghouta attack was fake.
Some sarin was also released in Khan Sheikhoun. It was never stated whether it matched Assad’s sarin or not. The US Secretary of Defense recently said that there was no evidence that Assad attacked people with chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun. Furthermore the head of the CIA told Trump that Assad did not do the attack, but Trump went ahead and shot his cruise missiles anyway.
In this latest attack, the victims’ feet, hands and faces are blackened as if by smoke, and there is some sort of white foam coming out of their mouths. The faces are red, but in sarin and chlorine poisoning, the faces are dark blue.
That makes no sense in terms of a sarin or chlorine attack, but another fake attack (some Ghouta victims at the “ghost house”) also had symptoms like that. Usually, victims in fake attacks are civilians wearing old clothes, heavy coats and typically they have shoes. This is the case for the latest attack. The clothes are old because they have probably been kept as prisoners in the clothes they wore when picked up. The heavy coats might help them get through the cold winters.
Why would anyone go outside with a heavy coat but no shoes? Makes no sense. The victims are missing shoes because in Arab culture, they often remove your shoes before an execution. So that’s another sign that the victims were executed.
A number of the victims in the latest attack have “raccoon eyes” which looks like they had a head fracture a few days prior that was starting to heal. These skull fractures occurred before the execution. The victims in the latest attack were posed. Victims often appear posed in these attacks. One of the victims in the latest attack was on a stretcher! Clearly he was brought into that house on that stretcher and placed there. The victims in the latest attack also have dust or mud on their bodies. This is not explained if they were sheltering in that house, but it makes more sense if they were perhaps dragged through dusty streets.
In the many fake chlorine attacks, the rebels show child victims in hospitals. These children are not dead but appear to be. Based on their pupils, these children are under the influence of heavy narcotics. Apparently the rebels are shooting up some of their child hostages with narcotics to make them seem like chemical attack victims. In addition, none of these people bear signs of chlorine gas poisoning.
If you have noticed, these scandalous chemical attacks typically occur after the US caves in on something and says they will negotiate, leave the conflict, or whatever. In other words, they occur after a major diplomatic victory for Assad. They also happen when the rebels are on the verge of being defeated in some area. If Assad is winning and has almost cleared an area, why blow it with a chemical attack on kids? If the US is really leaving Syria, why do the one thing that is guaranteed to make us come roaring back in, a chemical attack on kids? No sane man would behave the way that Assad is said to have behaved in these fake attacks. Assad may be a fool, but he’s not an idiot.
Keep in mind that the UN helped destroy all of Assad’s chemical weapons after the Ghouta fake attack, and they certified that they were all destroyed. So Assad doesn’t even have any sarin to use!
A number of alternative media sources are saying these attacks are fakes, but no one is saying accurately what exactly is occurring: there are no chemical attacks by either side. Instead, rebel hostages and prisoners are simply murdered or executed and then used as props in these fake attack videos. And those rebels are evil enough to execute women and kids. They are all radical Islamists. They are very nasty people.
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))).
I did not even bother to watch much of this video because his videos and articles make me so sick. The problem is that this guy’s whole shtick is that he is not racist at all in any way whatsoever! No really. That’s exactly what he says. And that’s how he comes across, endlessly, in article after article and video after video. And that is exactly why this man is so dangerous.
Mr. Flaherty is a journalist, and a good one at that. But in his middle age, he has decided to branch out into the area of Black crime, except that his focus has a twist – it’s all about Black crime against Whites. The subtext of every Flaherty article or video is that Black people are deliberately singling out Whites to attack as hunters single out prey. Nothing could be more nonsensical. Blacks do not preferentially prey on Whites. It’s nonsense. 89% of Black homicides are of other Black people. Most Black crime is Black on Black crime. Much is made of Black men raping White women, but Black men rape Black women at 5X the rate that they rape White women. There are all sorts of nutty arguments that try to deal with these uncomfortable truths while keeping the lousy theory alive.
The principal one was symbolized by the noted theory of Le Griffe du Lion, a very racist White professor of…get this…sociology! He did some fancy mathematics showing that Black people mostly see other Black people all day long and don’t see many White people. So of course they prey mostly on their own kind. That’s who they are around all the time! If Blacks were around Whites just as much as they were around Blacks, their propensity to hunt Whites preferentially as a predator hunts its prey (Le Griffe’s exact words) would come out.
But the other side can play that game too. There are 6X more Whites than Blacks. If Blacks displayed no preference at all in victims, they would kill 6X more Whites than Blacks, right? This argument spouts the rejoinder of “But they are only around their own kind all day…” which is probably a tautology and is certainly not falsifiable, so it fails as theory on its face.
Flaherty wrote a book called, White Girl Bleed a Lot. It’s all about Black crime against Whites. Yes Blacks commit some very bad crimes against Whites. But they commit just as bad or worse crimes against their own kind. So only writing about Black crime against Whites is lying in a sense, and worse, you are selling a form of poison to the masses. Racist poison. A really nasty racist poison.
Because nothing drives Whites up the wall more than the idea that Blacks preferentially prey on them as victims. Some of these theorists even go as far as to say that Blacks are waging a low level guerrilla war against Whites. Oh what nonsense.
But if you study ethnic conflicts all over the world, one of the things that sets off massacres and ethnic cleansings is the notion that Group B, the outgroup, is trying to kill us, Group A.
Hitler set off the genocide by saying the Jews were trying to exterminate Germans.
The Rwandan genocide was set off in the same way.
The Sunni-Shia wars start off in exactly the same way. ISIS propaganda goes to great lengths to show how the Shia are preferentially singling out and slaughtering the Sunni. “They’re trying to kill us all,” is the message.
This was the line that the Young Turks used to kill 1.7 million Armenians. “The Armenians were starting a war against the Turks and they were trying to kill all the Turks.”
The genocide against Muslims in Bosnia was set off Serbian lies that, “The Muslims were trying to kill the Serbs.”
Even the anti-Communist slaughters of the last century which the US fully participated in, each and every one of them, were predicated on the idea that the Communist killers were going to seize power and kill lots of people.
Hitler justified his genocide against the Jews by saying that they were Communists and that the Communists were mass murderers who were “killing millions of Christians” in the Ukraine. Yes, the fake Holodomor, the terror famine that never even happened, was used as a pretext for the Holocaust. Remember that the next time any of you wants to rant about “Stalin’s terror famine.” Every time you say that, you are repeating Nazi propaganda. Does it make you feel good to parrot Hitler?
Many of the massacres of Indians were predicated on the notion that the Indians “were coming to kill us all.” In the original wording of the Declaration of Independence, there is language about how savage the Indians fought, knowing none of the rules of decency in wartime. “They’re savages, so we need to kill them all.” See how that works?
In Indonesia in 1965, there was supposedly a Communist coup to take over the government. All the world’s media reported it exactly that way. Except that it never happened. There was a fake Communist coup to take over the government. “The Communists tried to take over and they are going to kill millions of people” lie was then used as an excuse to kill 1 million Communists all over Indonesia in only a few months. Most were hacked to death with machetes. Islamic fundamentalists were used by the US and Indonesia in this slaughter.
The CIA was on the scene immediately and they supplied the new government with lists of known Communists. These lists were then used to single out people for killing. The US media then lied about the whole affair, with the execrable New York Times leading the charge. Later there was an attempt to bury this mass slaughter as “unfortunate but necessary and a good idea in the long run.” It was only years or even decades that we learned the truth about the fake coup and the mass slaughter. The Left was devastated in Indonesia and has remained in a meager state to this day. Obviously people in Indonesia have gotten the message about what happens to Leftists.
Hence it follows that once White people get it in their heads that “the Blacks are trying to kill us” we can set ourselves up for some serious persecutions of Blacks based on that narrative. I doubt if we will start massacring Blacks, but “the Blacks are trying to rape and kill Whites” was always the excuse for lynchings and Jim Crow.
It’s an ugly narrative, and it’s a lie.
I could write articles about this sort of thing too. I see articles all the time about Black people acting terrible, killing each other, killing White people, you name it. 98% of the time, I choose not to write about it. Why write about it? Yes, we know Black people commit tons of crime, including violent crime. Yes, we know Black men have a high homicide rate.
Yes, we know that Black men kill many White people – but they kill far more Black people and by and large, they prey mostly on their own kind.
Looking at the larger picture, Black criminals simply prey on other humans. They rob, rape and kill Hispanics, Asians, Whites and Blacks. They attack everyone. They are not real particular. And the evidence shows that if anything, they by far preferentially select their own kind for violence and they preferentially select against White victims. So if anything, Blacks prefer to prey on their own kind and it looks like Blacks actively avoid preying on Whites. If that’s the reality, then it’s quite a poisonous stew to cook up to sell the lie that Blacks preferentially attack Whites. “They’re coming to kill us! The Blacks are trying to kill us White people!” It’s not only a lie, but it’s a very dangerous lie, a mental poison with grave effects.
Just to see what sort of vibes Flaherty is churning up, look at the commenters. Looks like Niggermania, Chimpout, American Renaissance and Stormfront. There are all sorts of very vicious and ugly remarks against Black people as a race on there. So even if Flaherty really is a non-racist as he insists, look at all the wild racism that his irresponsible (or worse) videos and articles sprout. He’s fertilizing the land with poison, watching the weeds he watered grow and take over the land and choke out all the good and decent crops, all the while protesting that he had nothing to do with it, he was just some innocent farmer trying to grow crops. Yeah. Crops of weeds.
Whenever I see that language, I think, “This person is promoting hatred against Phil, Tulio and Alpha.” I think that’s unacceptable. None of these Black people do much of anything wrong, they all live like good, law abiding citizens, and in short, they are good people. Selling hate propaganda against good people just because they are Black is just wrong.
And that is why you, Mr. Flaherty, are wrong.
And that is why you, Mr. Flaherty, are promoting a very dangerous lie.
Of course, bullies always say that the victim is attacking them, when it is really the other way around. Almost all bullies do this, and US foreign policy, which is almost exclusively about bullying and pushing around anyone in the world who won’t toe our line or be our slaves, is an expert at this. The victims of America’s bullying foreign policy are always portrayed in the US media and state as aggressors trying to attack the US and its allies. It’s almost always the other way around.
The Arab nations are completely nuts on the subject of Iran. They insist that Iran is trying to conquer the Arab World. Talk to any Sunni Arab and he will swear up and down that Iran is determined to attack and conquer all of the Sunnis. It’s almost a regional psychosis. Of course, the Israeli scum have played this nonsense up, and despicably, the US has gone along.
It is about time the Gulf nations made alliance with Iran. Iran wants to have peaceful relations with the Sunni Arab world; it’s the Sunni Arabs who hate the Shia, the niggers of Islam and the niggers of the Arab World. It’s like the Jim Crow South with the Sunni Arabs as good old boy crackers enforcing Jim Crow against the poor Shia niggers.
The modern version of this lie sees Shia taking power across the region as “Iran expanding its influence in the Arab World” and “Iranian expansionism.” It’s total crap.
All of these are local conflicts and local political situations. In few Arab countries, there are many Shia and the Shia have obtained quite a bit of power. This is due to the situation inside the nation, not some BS Iranian expansionism.
Hezbollah is popular in Lebanon because the masses love them. They have 85% support across all sects. They are even very popular with Lebanese Christians. The Lebanese Army is a joke, so Hezbollah is seen as effectively the Army of Lebanon or the National Resistance. They support over there because the people love them, not because of some “Iranian expansionism” lie.
In Syria, yes, the Shia have been in power for decades, but the regime is aggressively secular and does not favor any confessional group. The Syrian business community is mostly Sunni. They’ve always run the businesses over there. Many Shia Alawi who are members of Assad’s sect are very poor because the only Alawis who have benefited from the regime are those with tribal and family ties to the regime. 70% of the Syrian military is Sunni. 70% of Syrian officers are Sunni. 70% of Syrian government officials are Sunni. In recent elections, Sunnis won 85% of seats.
Yet the vile Israelis and the US keep talking up this big lie about Syria as a “Shia supremacist state” where all the wealth, power and government is in the hands of the Shia and the Sunnis have nothing. The whole army is said to be Shia, as no Sunni would want to fight for the Shia government. The only reason they fight is because they have a gun to their backs. All of this is a huge lie as the government is secular and is not confessional or discriminatory in any way, shape or form. If the Shia are running a Shia supremacist state, why do the Sunnis have most of the money in the country as they run the business community? Why are the Christians wealthier than the average Syrian. I thought the government was Shia supremacist and the non-Shia get nothing?
Furthermore, the Shia sect that runs Syria is called Alawi and they are one of the most secular of the Muslim sects. They do not go to mass. They do not fast at Ramadan. They never go on hajj. They are very secular and most of the women do not wear the hijab.
The religion is a strange mishmash of ancient pagan sects like Mandeanism, Christianity and a very secular version of Shia Islam. Alawi worship Jesus, celebrate Christmas and every Alawi household has a picture of Jesus hanging on the wall. Paganism is present in the Alawi believe that the stars represent the souls of dead humans. After we die, we ascend to the heavens and turn into stars. This is taken from the ancient Mandeanism sect, star worshipers who follow John the Baptist as their spiritual leader. There were a number of them in Iraq, but many were killed as infidels in the recent civil war. However, Saddam protected the Mandeans.
There is a huge debate in Islam around whether or not the Alawi are even Muslims! Many Sunnis state emphatically that they are not Muslims and instead they are a heretical schismatic sect of apostates who must be killed.
The case for this discrimination was first made by Syrian Ibn Taymiya centuries ago who could be said to be the father of the modern Salafi Islam of Al Qaeda, ISIS and the rest. Indeed, Salafis revere Taymiya and pore over his writings. The Alawi state that they are indeed Muslims, albeit an extremely secular variety of nearly New Age Muslims.
Considering that this is one of the most secular sects in Islam, why would they be confessionalists? Why would they discriminate against other sects if they are barely even Muslims and not particularly religious in the first place? Religious discrimination in the Muslim world is tied to fundamentalism. The secular regimes have usually been much more nonprejudicial. So the Alwai have run Syria for 50 years, and Syria is hardly a case of Iranian expansionism. Please!
Iraq is the latest flash point. This is not a case of Iranian expansionism either. Saddam somewhat repressed the Shia, although millions of Shia were Baath Party members, and most of the army were Shia.
When the US military rolled through the Shia cities of the South during the Gulf War, they expected a warm welcome. It was the other way around. A convoy would be driving down a street in Nasariyah with nary a problem in sight. They got halfway down the street when the whole street opened up on them with automatic weapons and RPG’s. Most of them were hiding on rooftops. These were Shia Baath Party people, Shia Iraqi military veterans and also a lot of Shia who were simply Iraqi nationalists who would rather live with Saddam than be conquered by foreign invaders.
Of course, our criminal, Nazi-like war of aggression against the Iraqi people resulted in the overthrow of Sunni rule. With democracy, obviously a Shia government was elected, as 60% of the population is Iraq is Shia. The US and Israel are now screaming that Iraq is a case of Iranian expansionism. The Hell it is. It’s a case of democracy! The Shia are the majority, so democratic elections of course elected a Shia government. Democracy in action. I guess the US and Israel are opposed to democracy now?
Of course the new Shia government has friendly ties with Iran. The Shia Alawi government of Syria also has close ties with Iran. The Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon has close ties with Iran. None of this is “Iranian expansionism” or “Iran conquering the Arab world.” Instead these are Shia populations in the Arab World who have formed a natural and normal confessional alliance with Shia Iran. Shia are going to ally with Shia. What do you expect them to do?
In Yemen, the Shia are 45% of the country. This group is called Zaidis, and they are barely even Shia. They only differ from Yemeni Sunnism on one or two things. While most Zaidis call themselves Shia, some call themselves Sunnis, and others say that they are both Sunni and Shia. So the sect isn’t even pure Shia according to their own members.
A tribal group in the north called Houthis who are mostly Zaidi launched a very popular civil war from the north all the way to the south of the country, eventually overthrowing the government. The US- and Saudi-installed president, a man named Hadi, was airlifted out to Saudi Arabia where he continued to insist that he ran the country. Hadi was very unpopular, and frankly most Yemenis hated him.
The Houthi revolt had the support of the majority of Yemenis. The Yemeni Army was loyal to a former president named Saleh, who was also a Houthi Shia. Most of the Yemeni Army, 70-80%, went over to the side of the Houthis. So the vast majority of the army goes over the side of the armed revolution that overthrows the state, and the revolution is still not legitimate? Well, when is a revolution legitimate then?
The US went along with this folly and insisted that Hadi was still the real president of the country. Well, no he wasn’t. Ever heard of a revolution? When an armed revolution happens and overthrows the government, the new armed group is the new government. I would say they are even under international law. Revolutions have been a legitimate way to overthrow states forever now. Or do we now say that all revolutions are illegitimate? Would that apply to our own revolution then? That would have to be illegitimate too, right, because the US says that armed revolutions cannot install legitimate governments?
The remaining 25% of the Yemeni Army started fighting the Houthis, but they were close to defeat. Suddenly, the Saudis, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan all jumped into the war and attacked Yemen. They invaded Yemen, a sovereign country. That’s a Nazi like war of aggression, illegal under international law. Yet the US and UK gave full support to this invasion.
Since that time, the Saudis have been bombing all over the country. The Saudi and UAE militaries also invaded, but they did not get far. They set up a few garrisons, but they came under constant attack and suffered heavy casualties. The Saudi military is terrible and is not capable of fighting any war. The UAE military is about as bad. The US has been supplying intelligence and command and control facilities to the invaders from the beginning. At least 10,000 Yemenis are dead at the hands of the US and the UK in this sickening war. Whenever the Saudis start running low on bombs, we rush-deliver more bombs to them.
Al Qaeda has a large presence in Yemen, and they quickly waged war against the Houthis and Saleh’s army. The Gulf states have been funneling supplies to Yemeni Al Qaeda ever since the invasion, using them to help overthrow the Shia Houthis. When the war started, Saudi Arabia and the UAE flew 300-400 ISIS and Al Qaeda jihadis from Syria down to Yemen to fight against the Houthi. The UAE and the Saudis continue to run jihadis into Yemen, typically by ship. The Saudis have never launched one attack against the Al Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen, and the US has had a quite but not completely hands-off policy too, as the US and UK are using ISIS and Al Qaeda in Yemen to overthrow the Houthi.
The Houthi takeover had nothing to do with “Iranian expansionism.” That’s a paranoid lie of a fever dream. The Shia are 45% of Yemen. The Houthis have always been very popular in Yemen. In fact, the Shia Houthis ruled Yemen for centuries with no problems whatsoever. Even many Sunni Yemenis say they support the Houthi because they say that the Houthis know how to run the country. The Houthis have some friendly relations with Iran, but it boils down to little more than moral support. US and Israeli charges of the Iranians running weapons to the Houthis appear to be complete lies.
I suppose embargoes on the oil (now owned by the government, now a big source of revenue) is what caused this to a large degree?
There are no embargoes on Venezuelan oil. I know this sounds insane, but the US has not embargoed Venezuelan oil, and in fact we buy a tremendous amount of oil from what Washington calls the enemy state of Venezuela.
The oil price collapsed, and this in part caused this horrible problem in Venezuela for a variety of reasons.
Venezuela is not alone. All oil producing states are suffering from the oil price crash, and furthermore all of Latin America is in a bad recession.
Incidentally the oil price crash itself was engineered by John Kerry and Joe Biden along with the Saudi royalty as a project to radically ramp up Saudi oil production in order to crash the world oil price as a way to destroy:
Russia – Paybacks for Russia out of US fury over the Ukraine situation.
Iran – Mostly a Saudi concern. The Saudis have always considered Iran to be their worst enemy, but the feeling is not mutual. I think the Iranians would just like to get along with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states.
Venezuela – Regime change Venezuela is a long term US project.
I am not sure what we offered the Saudis in return, I think maybe helping them with the Syrian regime change project. Also I think we might have given them a lot of weaponry.
The Saudis had their own reasons for doing this. They not only have huge oil reserves, but at the time, they were sitting on a huge pile of cash reserves in their Treasury. They figured they could ride out the price crash via dipping into cash reserves, which incidentally will be totally depleted in a couple of years.
However, the Saudis had a devious project in mind. Even though the plan was hatched with the Americans, bear in mind that capitalist countries generally have no allies, as the remainder of the paragraph will demonstrate. A major Saudi project was to crash the price of oil and hence ruin the US oil shale or fracking industry, which the Saudis see as serious competition. Fracked oil costs a lot to produce, and the Saudis have some of the lowest production costs in the world. By crashing the oil price, the Saudis could effectively bankrupt the US fracking industry, which is exactly what it happening right now.
The Saudis are morons though for doing that, as their own economy is getting screwed hard by the oil price crash.
You are spot on about the lack of Offensive Jihad in Shia Islam. While conquest began under Muhammad, primarily in the Levant, much of the territorial acquisition occurred under the Rashidun and Umayyads. Ali was too caught up in suppressing the Kharwaji to engage in conquest, and apparently (in a Shia Hadith) criticized the previous three caliphs for their oppression of Dhimmis.
It is also worth noting that Shia have a much more nuanced view of traditions and narrations. They don’t assign near the weight to narrations that Sunnis do, believing that with the passage of time comes alterations or downright fabrications (they accuse the Umayyads of issuing fabricated Hadiths to diminish or insult Ali). In Sunni Islam, most of the barbarism is to found in the books of Hadith, and by taking up a cynical view of these books, one can circumvent a great deal of stupidity, which may or may not have been authentic.
There are two further principles which make Shia Islam more capable of conforming to modernity:
Firstly, Shia are encouraged to refrain from that which gives Islam a bad image. This is generally agreed to include prescriptions found in Hadith but not in the Quran. For example, the punishment of stoning adulterers is only found in narrations, and thus Iran has found it within their liberty to temporarily suspend the use of such punishments.
Secondly, the Usuli (the mainstream school of Shia Islam) are much like Jews in that they stress that while the laws remain the same, their interpretation and circumstances surrounding them change.
However in some ways, Shia Islam undoubtedly more extreme. For example in the case of apostasy, the Sunni schools believe that only the state can try and execute apostates, but in Shia Islam, the duty can fall upon civilians as well (the same is true of blasphemy ). This causes a great many problems for obvious reasons.
And whereas in Sunni Islam, no differentiation is made between those apostates born to a Muslim father (Murtad Fitri) and one who converts and then apostasizes (Murtad Milli): both are asked to rejoin Islam, with a potential waiting period. In Shia Islam the former is killed regardless of their repentance, and the latter is given one opportunity and no waiting period.
The predictions in the post are fairly accurate, although I wouldn’t call Syria a failed state. I am certainly committed to the idea that the future of Islam is interred in the West.
– An agnostic Shia
Ali was too caught up in suppressing the Kharwaji to engage in conquest…
The Kwarwaji were like today’s takfiris and to a lesser extent the Wahhabis.
…and apparently (in a Shia Hadith), Ali criticized the previous three caliphs for their oppression of Dhimmis.
This is interesting. I wonder how exactly he criticized their treatment. I know that Iran does treat most religious minorities fairly well compared to how they are treated in a lot of Sunni states with the except of the Bahai, whom they view as heretics.
The predictions in the post are fairly accurate, although I wouldn’t call Syria a failed state.
I fretted about that myself. I suppose the state is still quite powerful in Syria. The state might even be stronger in Syria than it is in Iraq.This despite the fact that Syria has lost a lot of territory. The USSR lost a lot of territory in WW2, but it never became a failed state. It did become a warzone though. Syria is more like a warzone.
…To me, (Sunni) Islam is basically an Arab/pan-Arab civilizational push, or it’s just a veneer over Arabized power. Let me recollect what I posted here before:
1) Arabic is said to be language of Paradise.
2) Arabs are said to be a superior race. Superiority of the race of Arabs over non-Arabs
3) Though faggotry is condemned, large % of Arab/Muslims are closet fags as long as the closet is tightly shut and doesn’t embarrass the establishment.
4) The strictest sect of Islam, the Wahhabi Saudis, allied with the British and French kufirs during WW1 to topple the Ottoman Turk Caliphate, treason of the worst kind I must say, yet they consider themselves guardians of Islam. What a farce and shame.
I personally don’t think the Sunni Arabs have much of an economic future (Persians could be an exception that their Shiite Islam is more flexible, like they allowed sex change). I also foresee an Euro/Mediterranean Jihad One, after which the Middle East will be further fragmented…
Most of this is correct.
Sunni Islam is indeed an Arab or Pan-Arab civilizational project, and it is also a thin veneer over Arabized power. In addition, it is a vehicle for Arab supremacy.
1 is correct. They do speak Arabic in Paradise, and the only true Qurans are those written in Arabic, for God transmitted the Quran to Mohammad in Arabic. There are many translations of the Quran into all sorts of languages, but many Muslims consider them to be nearly illegitimate, as the only proper Quran is the one written in Arabic.
2 is also correct. If you go to Islamic sites on the web, you will see articles along the lines that Arabs are a superior to non-Arabs. No doubt all of these sites were written by Arabs, but nevertheless, Islam is a sort of an Arab Supremacist religion.
3 is true, but some Islamic countries tolerate it more than others.
4 is sadly true, and it is quite a blight on the Saudis’ claim to be the ultimate in hardline Islamists. Instead they seem traitors to the umma.
I personally don’t think the Sunni Arabs have much of an economic future (Persians could be an exception that their Shiite Islam is more flexible, like they allowed sex change).
I do not know what to say about this. The Sunni Arabs are definitely sitting on a lake of oil and gas that isn’t going away soon. Some of the Gulf countries have started to branch out away from an oil rentier economy. Dubai is now an international port city, one of the largest on Earth.
About the rest of the Sunni Arab states, I do not know what to say. Iraq, Syria, and Libya appear to be failed states right now, and Yemen is turning into one awful fast. There is some violence in Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon, but state structures appear to be largely intact. Palestine is a war zone and increasingly so is the Sinai.
Indeed the Shia do not appear to be going on jihad now or anytime soon. They do not believe in offensive jihad like the Sunnis do, and Shiism is quite a bit more progressive than Sunnism. Like Catholicism with its Pope, Shiism has its clergy. As the Pope and Vatican continue to update Catholicism to keep up with a changing world, the Ayatollahs and clergy in Lebanon and Iran do the same with Islam. The clergy in the latter two lands are surprisingly progressive, but those in Iraq, not so much. I know little about the Houthi Shia in Yemen.
The only people involved in the global jihad right now are radical Sunnis. The Shia, instead of being involved in this project, are victims of it, as global jihadists see the Shia as heretics to be killed on sight if not exterminated altogether. So the Shia, like the Arab Christians, are literally fighting for their lives against global jihad and are much more victimized by it than the Christian West is. Almost all terrorism in the world today is committed by Sunnis. In fact, the Shia are responsible for little terrorism outside of attacks on Israelis outside of Israel. There is some state terrorism being practiced by the Shia Iraqi state against Iraqi Sunnis.
I also foresee an Euro/Mediterranean Jihad One, after which the Middle East will be further fragmented…
I have no idea if this is going to occur, but it seems like it already is at a low to high variable level, right? Surely the Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptian, Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian parts of the Mediterranean are heating up, and a few are out and out jihad war zones right now. Turkey is increasingly starting to resemble the beginnings of a war zone. Terrorism in Europe is at a fairly low level, but the few attacks have been spectacular and there is a steady drumbeat of low level attacks happening in the background.
Comments along with your own predictions are welcomed.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Gulf countries tolerate it well, and it is said to be epidemic in places like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. There is also quite of bit of it in Syria, Egypt and Morocco.
It is not tolerated at all in Iran, Iraq, or Shia Lebanon, as Shia Islam is much more condemning of male homosexuality than Sunni Islam.
It is not that Sunni Islam necessarily is more tolerant of male homosexuality but that there is more variation in the Sunni world.
Palestine is not tolerant of male homosexuality at all, as gay men are frequently killed there. They are also commonly killed in Iraq and Iran. Syria used to be relatively more tolerant, but the parts of Syria taken over Islamists are very intolerant of gay men to the point where they are murdering them.
I have no data on male homosexuality in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan or Sunni Lebanon.
I also know nothing about it in the Muslim Sahel, Horn of Africa and West Africa.
I know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Europe such as Bosnia and Albania, although I assume it is more tolerated there than elsewhere.
Turkey is a mixed bag, as there is said to be a lot of male homosexuality, but it is also officially not tolerated. Sort of a don’t ask, don’t tell thing.
I know nothing of male homosexuality in the Caucasus, Muslim Russia, the Stans, India and Xinjiang.
I do not know what it was like before, but a lot of gay men are being murdered now in Bangladesh. I think there have been 30-40 such murders in the past couple of years. Gay rights advocates rather than gay men in general have been targeted.
I also know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Thailand, Muslim Burma, Muslim Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Southern Philippines. Male homosexuality is pretty well tolerated in Thailand and the Philippines, but I am not sure how ok it is in the Muslim parts of those nations.
Admittedly I am not the best person to ask about the situation for male homosexuality and gay men in the Muslim World.
Any further information would be interesting.
That’s what I have been doing a lot of these days. I do not like the execution videos, and I have seen enough executions anyway.
But there are a lot of really cool combat videos, and those are really cool to look at. Basically firefights with automatic weapons, RPG’s, machine guns, technical vehicles with guns, various types of mortars, rockets, and antiaircraft guns. There is a fair amount of night fighting, which is a trip.
It’s just guys shooting at each other and blowing stuff up, so you hardly see any gore in the battle videos. However, at the end, sometimes they go to the position that they overran, and among all of the other things present at the camp there are typically the dead bodies of some of the folks that ISIS is fighting. They also have really cool music in the background. There are interviews with ISIS fighters, but I have no idea what they are saying.
The worst ISIS of all seem to be in Iraq. They look like a bunch of very, very pissed off guys. Boy are they mad!
The one thing that shines right through their rage and hatred is one word…revenge. ISIS in Iraq seems to be out for revenge. For what I am not sure, but 30% of ISIS in Iraq is former Iraqi military. I assume they are still angry that their country and leader was taken away from them in a US invasion and conquest whereby afterwards, an Iranian puppet regime was put in in place. The Iraqi Army was transformed from a radical Arab nationalist and pro-Sunni organization into a mostly Shia and objectively anti-Shia force. The Shia militias which operate separately from the Iraqi Army are particularly despised.
I have heard that the many of the people in back of ISIS at the very top are Baath Party people and former Iraqi military. Obviously they are out for revenge for the last 13 years. They want paybacks, and paybacks are a bitch.
The ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan don’t seem to be as pissed off, but I have not watched a lot of their videos out of Syria.
There’s nothing to be worried about watching these videos. I am sure that hundreds of thousands if not millions of people watch at least some of those videos. I know that the site I found the videos on is a US site, and almost all of the commenters have a savage hatred of ISIS. So the idea that watching ISIS videos means you’re a terrorist is crap. I would say far more ISIS haters watch their videos than ISIS supporters.
Just for the record, I utterly hate these scumbuckets, and if it ever comes down to it, I will grab an automatic weapon myself and try to kill them. I am very much afraid of death, but dying fighting for your homeland and lifestyle against these hellions would actually be worth it. I would rather die fighting them than live under their rule, let’s put it that way, ok?
Great piece by Eric Walberg on Ayatollah Khamenei’s latest speech. Khamenei is a very wise man, and he doesn’t support terrorism against the West. He’s not a Salafi Jihadi. He’s Shia, and the radical Sunnis think that the Shia are infidel heretics who need to be killed. I enjoy his speeches, and I also enjoy those of the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah.
Shia Muslims are generally a lot easier to get along with than Sunni Muslims. For one thing. they have been persecuted themselves by Sunnis for centuries, so they have an idea of what it means to be a persecuted on the basis of one’s religion.
In Hezbollah controlled areas of Southern Lebanon, the Shia leave the Christians completely alone. There are many Christian villages there, and Hezbollah lets them do whatever they want. They are not subject to Sharia or Muslim dress codes, and Hezbollah doesn’t enforce Sharia anymore even on the Muslims it controls. Shia Muslim women in Hezbollah controlled areas are not even obliged to wear a headscarf.
There are also Sunni, Christian and Druze members of Hezbollah, and the non-Shia Hezbollah members experience no discrimination.
You can go into Hezbollah-controlled areas of Southern Lebanon and walk into a bar and order a beer. It’s not a problem at all.
The Shia have always been the more progressive Muslim sect as, like Catholics, they believe that Islam is a living religion that must be continuously interpreted to keep up with the times. Hence, Islam is continuously being interpreted by Ayatollahs as Catholicism is constantly being interpreted by Popes to be relevant with the times in which Shia Muslims are living.
This leads to a lot interesting thinking and rulings. Iran’s Ayatollahs have decided that transsexualism is compatible with Islam, and one of the highest ranking Iranian clerics is a transwoman or a man who has now turned into a woman.
Prostitution is also quite common in Iran, and the Ayatollahs see prostitutes are more of a persecuted group of women who need protection than carriers of vice. Recently there has been a lot of talk among the Iranian leadership about making prostitution legal and housing prostitutes in houses with madams overseeing them.
This would be done under the rubric of temporary marriage, a Shia custom that allows Shia to have sex even outside of marriage.
In fact, in the extremely religious city of Qom, the headquarters of the religious clergy, there is a thriving prostitution scene, and the male religious students studying there regularly buy prostitutes. There are many prostitutes plying their trade in Qom.
This also is done under the rubric of temporary marriage. The male religious student simply selects a prostitute, and the two of them go to one of the many religious clergy in town and say they want to have a temporary marriage. The clergyman then grants them a temporary marriage lasting usually about three days.
The student and the prostitute then go somewhere to have sex. Somewhere often means one of the large local cemeteries where believe it or not, prostitutes ply their trade in the underground tombs! The three day marriage often lasts more like a couple of hours, as the two do the deed and then part.
A high ranking woman in the Iranian government has made use of temporary marriage to have sex with ~50 male clerics over the years. She has been quite outspoken about her religiously sanctioned promiscuity, and apparently the Ayatollahs are just fine with it too.
When it comes to Islam, the Shia are clearly a different bird altogether.
Ayatollah Khamenei: “Westerners Mourning French Tragedy Should Pause for a Moment”
by Eric Walberg
The leader of the Islamic Revolution has once again addressed Western youth who either for the most part are misinformed about Islam because of the bias in media and society in favor of Israel and Zionism, or are Muslim but living in a climate of Islamophobia and in desperation have drifted to the militant jihadist movement which began in Afghanistan in 1979 with US blessing and is now a permanent feature of world politics. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls on them to “reconsider the threat of terrorism in the world, its roots and to find a deep insight into Islam.”
The tone of the Ayatollah’s reflections is calm and friendly, the content intelligent and at the same time heartfelt. You can feel his spirit of universal love and his anguish at the suffering that terrorism brings. It is sad to note that Western media and politicians have an obsession against Iran despite Iran’s constant reaching out and attempts to help the West fight terrorism. The reasons, of course, are Iran’s staunch support for Palestine and its refusal to submit to the dictates of imperialism. Both unforgivable ‘sins’.
These are not rational reasons. Following 9/11, Iranian intelligence shared information with US intelligence – until President Bush found out and put a stop to it. Iran made intelligent proposals to resolve the nuclear energy stand-off for the past decade, all rejected by the US. The world is blessed by Iran’s support for Palestine, as the Arab states are just not up to the task.
Like his earlier appeal, once again the Ayatollah calls for dialogue on the most painful matters to “create the grounds for finding solutions and mutual consultation”, or the situations will continue to spin out of control.
For the Ayatollah, each life is important and each unnatural death is a tragedy. “The sight of a child losing his life in the presence of his loved ones, a mother whose joy for her family turns into mourning, a husband who is rushing the lifeless body of his spouse to some place, and the spectator who does not know whether he will be seeing the final scene of life – these are scenes that rouse the emotions and feelings of any human being…whether they occur in France or in Palestine or Iraq or Lebanon or Syria. The Muslim world shares these feelings and are revolted by the perpetrators”.
The supreme leader explained that Muslims have suffered far more than anyone else due to colonial occupation and the trauma that Israel inflicts daily on Palestinians. Westerners mourning the French tragedy should pause for a moment.
“If the people of Europe have now taken refuge in their homes for a few days and refrain from being present in busy places – it is decades that a Palestinian family is not secure even in its own home from the Zionist regime’s death and destruction machinery. What kind of atrocious violence today is comparable to that of the settlement constructions of the Zionist regime?
“This regime…every day demolishes the homes of Palestinians and destroys their orchards and farms. This is done without even giving them time to gather their belongings or agricultural products and usually it is done in front of the terrified and tear-filled eyes of women and children who witness the brutal beatings of their family members.
Shooting down a woman in the middle of the street for the crime of protesting against a soldier who is armed to the teeth – if this is not terrorism, what is? This barbarism, just because it is being done by the armed forces of an occupying government, is it not extremism? Or maybe only because these scenes have been seen repeatedly on television screens for sixty years, they no longer stir our consciences.”
The Ayatollah laments the ongoing invasions and violation of the Muslim World by the West, “another example of the contradictory logic of the West. The assaulted countries, in addition to the human damage caused, have lost their economic and industrial infrastructure. Their movement towards growth and development has been thrown back decades.”
The Ayatollah looks to the youth of today, who he hopes will be educated to understand the beauty of Islam, and its compatibility with both Christianity and Judaism, its long history of peaceful relations, its rejection of imperialism and colonialism. They must “discover new means for building the future and be barriers on the misguided path that has brought the West to its current impasse.”
The Iranian leader optimistically assumes that people in the West mostly understand of the true nature of modern politics. That Westerners understand the role of the US in “creating, nurturing and arming al-Qaeda, the Taliban and their inauspicious successors, [that] these forces behind terrorism are allies of the West, while the most pioneering, brightest and most dynamic democrats in the region are suppressed mercilessly.”
I wish his words reflected the reality that I see around me in Canada. People are willfully ignorant about these matters, not wanting to see their governments as guilty of nurturing terrorism. My goal in writing is to inform people in these matters, but it is hard to get the message out. It is primarily time-servers who are welcomed by the mainstream media to ‘inform’ citizens.
I admire the Iranian leader’s honesty in pointing out that it is Western ‘culture’ that promotes “aggression and moral promiscuity”, and tries to destroy other cultures. “The western world with the use of advanced tools is insisting on the cloning and replication of its culture on a global scale. I consider the imposition of Western culture upon other peoples and the trivialization of independent cultures as a form of silent violence and extreme harmfulness.”
He does “not deny the importance and value of cultural interaction, but warns against “inharmonious interactions”. That conjures up the image of Westernized youth sneaking into a Russian Orthodox cathedral or a Tehran public place and loudly promoting a Western ‘human rights’ agenda with Western photojournalists on hand, waiting to send some distorted image out on the internet. The upshot is either Russophobia or Islamophobia, whereas the real violation is of national dignity.
This shows that Western culture is in fact non-culture, and promotes apathy, decadence, or nihilism which oppresses us all today. But, disillusioned as I am with Western media and its brainwashing, I was heartened after the Paris bombings to hear sensible Canadians reject the jihadists’ plan to promote Islamophobia, forcing Muslims to join them in their will-o’-the-wisp Caliphate.
There are many Muslims in Canada now – eleven of them are members of Parliament in the ruling Liberal Party. A 30-year-old Afghan woman Maryam Monsef is Minister of Democratic Institutions. Muslims are first rate Canadians – hard working, quiet, educated, devout. They are slowly transforming Canada for the better, including acting as examples of what Islam can do to benefit society.
I am also encouraged by the election of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister, ousting the ultra-Zionist Iranophobe Stephen Harper. Muslim Canadians voted for Trudeau en masse. All eleven Muslim MP’s are Liberals. He has a silver bullet against terrorism: the only way to fight ISIS responsibly is to ‘do the right thing’, and expose their policy of violence as bad for Muslims, bad for everyone. Already thousands of communities across the country have pledged to sponsor Syrian families and are busy hosting fundraisers.
Terry Nelson, Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs Organization, says Manitoba’s plans to bring refugees in from other countries should not be impacted by events in Europe. “There’s been an invitation for 2,500 Syrian people to be here in Winnipeg,” he said. “They should not be judged by a small minority of people that are terrorists. We live in the greatest country in the world. The most peaceful country in the world. We are blessed.”
I do not believe that US Muslims are a problem in and of themselves. Sure, some are a problem, but the overwhelming majority seem to be ok. Muslims are like Blacks. Sure some Blacks are criminals and give the group a bad name, but Blacks are not a problem in and of themselves because so many Blacks are living perfectly decently like you, me or anyone else. Saying all US Muslims are evil is like saying all US Blacks are evil – it’s as bunch of stupid racist bull.
We have Yemeni, Pakistani and Palestinian Muslims in this town. These Muslims in my town are causing exactly zero problems. They are not even very radical. I would say that I am far more of an America-hater than any Muslim in my town.
I know each of these Muslims pretty well, but I know the Yemenis better than the others. In fact, a number of them are friends of mine. These Yemenis are not causing any problems at all.
A few of them are out and out patriotards. One graduated from Georgetown University and is in with US government types. At first he wanted to work for the FBI as an Arabic interpreter. He flies back to DC for political conferences sponsored by the State Department.
He is a very strong supporter of US foreign policy. In fact, when he opens his mouth, he sounds like a mixture of Hillary Clinton, Ashton Carter and John Kerry. He buys into all the Deep State propaganda of the corporate media 100%. The guy’s a lost cause. He’s not an America-hater at all. In fact, he’s and out and out neocon patriotard!
I don’t think they hate non-Muslims one bit. I have never heard them say anything against non-Muslims, not one word. They don’t even like to talk bad about Jews. In fact, they worry about me because they think I am an antisemite, and they think antisemitism is uncool. The older man told me that Yemeni Muslims and Yemeni Jews get along in the US quite well, as they put aside whatever differences they might have had in the homeland. He said many Yemeni Muslims work together with Yemeni Jews in New York running stores.
If they hate anyone, it’s Shiites and Iranians, but the old man doesn’t mind the Shia, and he doesn’t care about Iran either. He hates the Saudis worse than anyone else in the region. This opinion is apparently common, as many Yemeni nationalists despite the Saudis since Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen over and over and treats Yemen like a colony. The older guy in fact is supporting the Shia Houthis in their war against the Saudi, UAE, Egyptian, Sudanese, Jordanian, US and UK aggressors and invaders.
He told me that the Zaidi Shia of Yemen are just about Sunnis theologically. They only differ in one or two minor ways. In fact the “Shia” Zaidis are themselves diverse as not all of them even identify as Shia! Some “Shia” Zaidis say that they are actually Sunnis, and others say that they are both Sunni and Shia at the same time. They characterize themselves in these odd ways because Zaidism is so close to Sunnism doctrinally.
I have a very hard time understanding why these Muslims in my town are some sort of enemy within. Sure there are radicalized US Muslims, but I’ve never met one myself.
Discuss Severaid’s quote and my examples given below, agreeing, disagreeing or expanding on the notion.
The chief cause of problems is solutions
– Eric Sevareid
I think this guy is onto something.
War on Terror – Solution was all out war on “terrorism” – really just disobedient Muslim states and some international guerrilla/terrorist groups.
The “solution” did not solve the problem at all, and in fact it made it much worse and introduced quite a few new problems.
The “solution” to the “Muslim terrorism problem” did nothing to alleviate the problem, and the problem only expanded massively, in the process destroying much of the secular Muslim world and replacing it with ultra-radical, armed and ultraviolent fundamentalists. Several new failed states were created out of functioning but authoritarian secular regimes.
A wild Sunni-Shia war took off with no end in sight. A new Saudi-Iran conflict expanded to include all of the Sunni world against Iran and some Shia groups.
The policy was incoherent – in places (Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Libya) secular nationalists were overthrown and replaced with radical fundamentalist regimes (Iraq, Palestine) or failed states teeming with armed fundamentalist actors (Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Mali). In other places, fundamentalist regimes were overthrown and secular nationalists were put in (Egypt).
We alternately attacked and supported radical groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. An awful Russia-Turkey conflict took off on the Middle east with the US and NATO siding with Al Qaeda and ISIS supporting Turks. The US attacked and armed fundamentalists to attack Shia Iranian, Hezbollah and Houthi armies waging all out war on Al Qaeda and ISIS. In Yemen we actively attacked the Shia who were fighting Al Qaeda while supporting Al Qaeda and fundamentalist Sunnis with intel and weaponry.
Some Kurds were called terrorists and support was given to those attacking them. Other Kurds were supported in their fight against ISIS. In actuality, all of these Kurd represented the same entity. There really is no difference between the PKK, the YPG and the rulers of the Kurdish region. Meanwhile, Kurds fighting for independence were supported in Iran and Syria and attacked in Turkey though they were all the same entity.
Billions of US dollars and thousands of US lives were wasted for essentially no reason with no results or actually a worsened situation. Russia, one of the most effective actors in the war against Al Qaeda and ISIS, was declared an enemy and attacks on them by our allies were cheered on.
A horrible refugee crisis was created in Europe.
Muslim populations in the West were substantially radicalized.
Instead of ending Islamic terrorism, Islamic terrorist, conventional and guerrilla attacks absolutely exploded in the Middle East and to a lesser extent in Europe, Canada, Australia and the US. It also exploded in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Thailand, the Philippines and of course Syria and Iraq. There was considerable fighting and terrorism in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Morocco and Jordan. The Palestinians ended up much better armed than before and the conflict exploded into all out war on a few occasions.
Terrorism and guerrilla war exploded in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Somalia and Kenya with some new attacks in Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Uganda. Somalia took a turn for the worse as a huge Al Qaeda force set up shop there and the country turned into the worst failed state ever with nothing even resembling a state left and the nation furthermore split off into three separate de facto nations.
The “solution” failed completely and simply ended up creating a whole new set of problems that were vastly worse than the original problem for the which the solution was directed.
Technology: Technology itself could be regarded as a lousy fix to many problems.
This is an excellent article that lays out what I had always expected, that what everyone believes, that the Syrian Civil War started when “Assad” opened fire on peaceful protests, is a great big fat lie.
Here is what really happened:
In February, a true peaceful reform movement began in Syria. This movement had begun as early as 2005 and involved secular protesters opposing corruption and the Baath Party’s monopoly on power (Wikstrom 2011; Otrakji 2012). This was a legitimate movement.
These protests continued for some time, possibly a month, with little drama. The protesters made some early demands, and Assad quickly tried to appease them by making a number of the changes that they had asked for. But by the time he had made the changes, the protests had been hijacked by Islamists who were not appeased by the changes and insisted that the regime must go (al-Khalidi 2011).
Only one month went by before some teenagers were arrested in Deraa by local authorities for writing the North African-influenced graffiti, “The people want to overthrow the regime.” They were reportedly abused by the local Deraa police. Assad intervened, the governor was fired and the teenagers were released.
There were reports early on that either these or some other teenagers had been tortured to death by “Assad.” Obviously these boys were not tortured to death. There is a confirmed report of one teenage boy who was indeed tortured to death which was widely blamed on “Assad,” but he was later found to have been killed by the armed opposition.
On March 17-18, violence broke out at protests in Deraa. The Western media says that peaceful protests in Deraa were attacked by government snipers on rooftops who started shooting the peaceful protesters. This is the line that everyone knows about. However, it is completely untrue.
What really happened is laid out below. There were protests in Deraa on these days along with large pro-government protests – the presence of large pro-government protests is another lie that is spread by omission by the Western press – the media says that all early protests were anti-government, however, even from the very start, the large anti-government protests were almost inevitably met by equally large pro-government protests.
Actually, the police at these rallies in Deraa were armed with only riot gear. Army forces were present, but they were not at the rally itself, instead they were on the outskirts of town. At some point during the rally, all Hell broke loose. Unknown snipers began firing from the Al-Omari Mosque. It is important to note that these mysterious snipers opened fire on both protesters and police.
Yes, a number of protesters were indeed killed and injured at these rallies, but quite a few police were also killed an wounded by these very same snipers. It is absolutely not possible that “Assad” would have mysterious snipers open fire on both protesters and police, killing both.
Why would “Assad” open fire on his own police, killing and wounding them? It is senseless. There is an interview with a Syrian police officer who was at that rally on Youtube in which he states that the police had only riot gear and that snipers shot both police and demonstrators. He states the numb er of killed and wounded among the police.
It was later determined after police raided the al-Omari Mosque that the snipers were Muslim Brotherhood people firing from the roof of the mosque with weapons that had been smuggled in from Saudi Arabia.
In fact, shipments of these arms had been seized at the Iraq-Syrian border by border guards earlier. They had been bought in Baghdad and were on their way to Muslim Brotherhood people in Syria (Reuters 2011). The weapons were paid for by Saudi Arabia. It was these weapons shipments that were later used in the shootings at the demonstrations.
You notice that snipers opened fire on both police and protesters. This exact same thing happened in Ukraine when Maidan people paid snipers to come from Lithuania and open fire on both the Berkut police and the demonstrators.
As soon as the shooting started, other violence ensued. The same day that the mysterious snipers opened fire from the al-Omari Mosque, Baath Party Headquarters and the local police station were burned down (YaLibnan 2011, Queenan 2011). Medical teams came to the site to help injured protesters and police but were fired on by by the MB snipers. Members of an ambulance team and a doctor were killed.
Even several days after these attacks, Assad was trying to calm things down. Assad issued an order that live ammunition should not be used even if security forces themselves were coming under attack.
Funerals for demonstrators followed the killings in Deraa. At every one of these funerals, mysterious snipers opened fire on both police and demonstrators (Maktabi 2011). Once again, why would “Assad” kill and wound his own police officers?
Early reports mostly from the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera stated that it was snipers working for the government who fired on the crowds (Al Jazeera 2011b). However, these reports made no sense, as Syrian police would never shoot at their own people, and anyway, they were only armed with riot gear. The Western press soon picked up on the line that it was “Assad” who was shooting at the protesters and police.
Saudi government officials later confirmed that the Saudi government has sent arms to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and that Saudi arms had been used by shooters at the al-Omari Mosque (Truth Syria 2012).
Only a week later, the “peaceful protesters” were already heavily armed and were carrying out attacks on the army. An army patrol was ambushed outside Deraa at the beginning of April only two weeks after the Deraa events, and 19 Syrian troops were killed (Narwani 2014). However, Assad ordered this attack covered up because he did not want to inflame tensions even further. For sometime after that, the government refused to comment on deaths of security forces.
The problem with the government cover up of security forces’ deaths was that while this cover up was going on, the Western media was reporting all of the deaths in this early conflict as “protesters” killed by the army(Khalidi 2011). In other words, if armed rebels killed 19 Syrian army troops at an ambush, the entire Western press would report this as “19 peaceful protesters were killed by the Syrian army.”
All through April, 88 Syrian troops were killed all over Syria by armed rebels. The government covered up all of these killings, and every one of these deaths was reported by the Western press as “Syrian troops killing peaceful protesters.” The Western media blacked out all of these reports and simply refused to acknowledge them.
Reports soon came out, spread by the CIA-linked Human Rights Watch, that Syrian soldiers were being shot by other Syrian troops for refusing to fire on protesters (HRW 2011b). Even the extremely biased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a one-man operation run by a Syrian exile out of London, said that reports of Syrian forces killing their own for refusing to fire on protesters were false. Nevertheless, the Western media was awash with reports of Syrian troops firing on their own who refused to obey orders to open fire on protesters.
The armed rebels soon set provocateurs loose to destroy and damage Sunni mosques throughout Syria. One jihadist from Tunisia admitted that he had been hired by the rebels to write graffiti on Sunni mosques saying, “There is no God by Bashar” (Eretz Zen 2014). This is a sacrilegious slogan made in an attempt to encourage Sunni soldiers in the Syrian army to defect. This interview can be found on Youtube.
By this time, there was a war on. Quite a few on both sides, both rebels and the Syrian army, were suffering casualties. Every day rebel sources gave a figure for the number killed that day with no explanation. Most of these deaths were of armed rebels and Syrian army forces, but they were all reported by the opposition as “peaceful protesters killed by the Syrian army.” The Western media followed suit and did the same, reporting all casualties of armed fighters on both sides as peaceful civilian protesters.
Since all of the many casualties among the armed groups were reported in the West as peaceful protesters, US officials began making loud demands that Assad step down because supposedly he was the one slaughtering all these peaceful protesters (Shaikh 2011, FOX News 2011).
For the next several months, every time a protest took place, armed Islamists appeared in the crowd and soon opened fire on security forces (Jaber 2011). Security forces would often fire back at the armed elements in the crowd and there would often be killed and wounded on both sides.
A vicious sectarian element was present in the protests from early on. By May, there were already chants of “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave!” (Blanford 2011). Soon this sectarian chant was heard at every protest.
For the next year, Human Rights Watch (the voice of the CIA) and other liars reported that the vast majority of the casualties were peaceful protesters (Clinton 2011). In fact by early 2012, a good report showed that of 5,000 casualties, 50% were security forces (OHCHR 2012: 2, Narwani 2014).
The lie was spread, spearheaded by Human Rights Watch, the protests had been overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011 (HRW 2011a, HRW 2012), when supposedly so many peaceful protesters had been killed that the protest movement was forced to take up arms to defend itself (Allaf 2012).
A Big Lie had been laid down. Even today, the vast majority of people who know about the Syrian Civil War say that the war started when the Syrian government opened fire on repeatedly on peaceful protesters, killing so many of these unarmed innocents that eventually by September 2011, the peaceful protesters were forced to take up arms as they had no other choice.
History of US-NATO’s “Covert War” on Syria: Daraa March 2011
Another Islamist Insurrection
By Prof. Tim Anderson
Global Research, November 29, 2015
The following text is Chapter IV of Professor Anderson’s forthcoming book entitled The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research Publishers, Montreal, 2016 (forthcoming).
“The protest movement in Syria was overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011”- Human Rights Watch, March 2012, Washington
“I have seen from the beginning armed protesters in those demonstrations … they were the first to fire on the police. Very often the violence of the security forces comes in response to the brutal violence of the armed insurgents” – the late Father Frans Van der Lugt, January 2012, Homs Syria
“The claim that armed opposition to the government has begun only recently is a complete lie. The killings of soldiers, police and civilians, often in the most brutal circumstances, have been going on virtually since the beginning”. – Professor Jeremy Salt, October 2011, Ankara Turkey
A double story began on the Syrian conflict, at the outset of the armed violence in 2011 in the southern border town of Daraa. The first story comes from independent witnesses in Syria, such as the late Father Frans Van der Lugt in Homs. They say that armed men infiltrated the early political reform demonstrations to shoot at both police and civilians.
This violence came from sectarian Islamists. The second comes from the Islamist groups (‘rebels’) and their western backers. They claim there was ‘indiscriminate’ violence from Syrian security forces to repress political rallies and that the ‘rebels’ grew out of a secular political reform movement.
Careful study of the independent evidence, however, shows that the Washington-backed ‘rebel’ story, while widespread, was part of a strategy to delegitimize the Syrian government, with the aim of fomenting ‘regime change’. To understand this it is necessary to observe that prior to the armed insurrection of March 2011 there were shipments of arms from Saudi Arabia to Islamists at the al Omari mosque. It is also useful to review the earlier Muslim Brotherhood insurrection at Hama in 1982 because of the parallel myths that have grown up around both insurrections.
US intelligence (DIA 1982) and the late British author Patrick Seale (1988) give independent accounts of what happened at Hama. After years of violent sectarian attacks by Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, by mid-1980 President Hafez al Assad had ‘broken the back’ of their sectarian rebellion which aimed to impose a Salafi-Islamic state. One final coup plot was exposed, and the Brotherhood ‘felt pressured into initiating’ an uprising in their stronghold of Hama. Seale describes the start of that violence in this way:
At 2am on the night of 2-3 February 1982 an army unit combing the old city fell into an ambush. Roof top snipers killed perhaps a score of soldiers … [Brotherhood leader] Abu Bakr [Umar Jawwad] gave the order for a general uprising … hundreds of Islamist fighters rose … by the morning some seventy leading Ba’athists had been slaughtered and the triumphant guerrillas declared the city ‘liberated’ (Seale 1988: 332).
However the Army responded with a huge force of about 12,000, and the battle raged for three weeks. It was a foreign-backed civil war with some defections from the army. Seale continues:
As the tide turned slowly in the government’s favour, the guerrillas fell back into the old quarters … after heavy shelling, commandos and party irregulars supported by tanks moved in … many civilians were slaughtered in the prolonged mopping up, whole districts razed (Seale 1988: 333).
Two months later a US intelligence report said: ‘The total casualties for the Hama incident probably number about 2,000. This includes an estimated 300 to 400 members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s elite ‘Secret Apparatus’ (DIA 1982: 7).
Seale recognizes that the Army also suffered heavy losses. At the same time, ‘large numbers died in the hunt for the gunmen … government sympathizers estimating a mere 3,000 and critics as many as 20,000 … a figure of 5,000 to 10,000 could be close to the truth’ He adds:
‘The guerrillas were formidable opponents. They had a fortune in foreign money … [and] no fewer than 15,000 machine guns’ (Seale 1988: 335). Subsequent Muslim Brotherhood accounts have inflated the casualties, reaching up to ‘40,000 civilians’, thus attempting to hide their insurrection and sectarian massacres by claiming that Hafez al Assad had carried out a ‘civilian massacre’ (e.g. Nassar 2014).
The then Syrian President blamed a large scale foreign conspiracy for the Hama insurrection. Seale observes that Hafez was ‘not paranoical’, as many US weapons were captured and foreign backing had come from several US collaborators: King Hussayn of Jordan, Lebanese Christian militias (the Israeli-aligned ‘Guardians of the Cedar’) and Saddam Hussein in Iraq (Seale 1988: 336-337).
The Hama insurrection helps us understand the Daraa violence because, once again in 2011, we saw armed Islamists using rooftop sniping against police and government officials, drawing in the armed forces, only to cry ‘civilian massacre’ when they and their collaborators came under attack from the Army. Although the US, through its allies, played an important part in the Hama insurrection, when it was all over US intelligence dryly observed that: ‘the Syrians are pragmatists who do not want a Muslim Brotherhood government’ (DIA 1982: vii).
In the case of Daraa and in the attacks that moved to Homs and surrounding areas in April 2011, the clearly stated aim was once again to topple the secular or ‘infidel-Alawi’ regime. The front-line US collaborators were Saudi Arabia and Qatar and then Turkey. The head of the Syrian Brotherhood, Muhammad Riyad Al-Shaqfa, issued a statement on 28 March which left no doubt that the group’s aim was sectarian.
The enemy was ‘the secular regime,’ and Brotherhood members ‘have to make sure that the revolution will be pure Islamic, and with that no other sect would have a share of the credit after its success’ (Al-Shaqfa 2011). While playing down the initial role of the Brotherhood, Sheikho confirms that it ‘went on to punch above its actual weight on the ground during the uprising … [due] to Turkish-Qatari support’, and to its general organizational capacity (Sheikho 2013).
By the time there was a ‘Free Syrian Army Supreme Military Council’ in 2012 (more a weapons conduit than any sort of army command), it was said to be two-thirds dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood (Draitser 2012). Other foreign Salafi-Islamist groups quickly joined this ‘Syrian Revolution’. A US intelligence report in August 2012, contrary to Washington’s public statements about ‘moderate rebels’, said:
The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq, later ISIS] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria … AQI supported the Syrian Opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media (DIA 2012).
In February 2011 there was popular agitation in Syria to some extent influenced by the events in Egypt and Tunisia. There were anti-government and pro-government demonstrations and a genuine political reform movement which for several years had agitated against corruption and the Ba’ath Party monopoly. A 2005 report referred to ‘an array of reform movements slowly organizing beneath the surface’ (Ghadry 2005), and indeed the ‘many faces’ of a Syrian opposition, much of it non-Islamist, had been agitating since about that same time (Sayyid Rasas 2013).
These political opposition groups deserve attention in another discussion (see Chapter Five). However only one section of that opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Salafists, was linked to the violence that erupted in Daraa. Large anti-government demonstrations began, to be met with huge pro-government demonstrations.
In early March some teenagers in Daraa were arrested for graffiti that had been copied from North Africa ‘the people want to overthrow the regime’. It was reported that they were abused by local police, President Bashar al Assad intervened, the local governor was sacked, and the teenagers were released (Abouzeid 2011).
Yet the Islamist insurrection was underway, taking cover under the street demonstrations.
On 11 March, several days before the violence broke out in Daraa, there were reports that Syrian forces had seized ‘a large shipment of weapons and explosives and night-vision goggles … in a truck coming from Iraq’. The truck was stopped at the southern Tanaf crossing, close to Jordan. The Syrian Government news agency SANA said the weapons were intended ‘for use in actions that affect Syria’s internal security and spread unrest and chaos.’
Pictures showed ‘dozens of grenades and pistols as well as rifles and ammunition belts’. The driver said the weapons had been loaded in Baghdad and he had been paid $5,000 to deliver them to Syria (Reuters 2011). Despite this interception, arms did reach Daraa, a border town of about 150,000 people.
This is where the ‘western-rebel’ and the independent stories diverge, and diverge dramatically. The western media consensus was that protesters burned and trashed government offices, and then ‘provincial security forces opened fire on marchers, killing several’ (Abouzeid 2011). After that, ‘protesters’ staged demonstrations in front of the al-Omari mosque but were in turn attacked.
The Syrian government, on the other hand, said there were unprovoked attacks on security forces, killing police and civilians, along with the burning of government offices. There was foreign corroboration of this account. While its headline blamed security forces for killing ‘protesters’, the British Daily Mail (2011) showed pictures of AK47 rifles and hand grenades that security forces had recovered after storming the al-Omari mosque.
The paper noted reports that ‘an armed gang’ had opened fire on an ambulance, killing ‘a doctor, a paramedic and a policeman’. Media channels in neighboring countries did report on the killing of Syrian police on 17-18 March.
On 21 March a Lebanese news report observed that ‘Seven policemen were killed during clashes between the security forces and protesters in Syria’ (YaLibnan 2011), while an Israel National News report said ‘Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed … and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched’ (Queenan 2011). These police had been targeted by rooftop snipers.
Even in these circumstances the Government was urging restraint and attempting to respond to the political reform movement. President Assad’s adviser, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, told a news conference that the President had ordered ‘that live ammunition should not be fired, even if the police, security forces or officers of the state were being killed’.
Assad proposed to address the political demands such as the registration of political parties, removing emergency rules and allowing greater media freedoms (al-Khalidi 2011). None of that seemed to either interest or deter the Islamists.
Several reports, including video reports, observed rooftop snipers firing at crowds and police during funerals of those already killed. It was said to be ‘unclear who was firing at whom’ (Al Jazeera 2011a), as ‘an unknown armed group on rooftops shot at protesters and security forces’ (Maktabi 2011).
Yet Al Jazeera (2011b) owned by the Qatari monarchy, soon strongly suggested that that the snipers were pro-government. ‘President Bashar al Assad has sent thousands of Syrian soldiers and their heavy weaponry into Derra for an operation the regime wants nobody in the word to see’, the Qatari channel said. However the Al Jazeera suggestion that secret pro-government snipers were killing ‘soldiers and protesters alike’ was illogical and out of sequence. The armed forces came to Daraa precisely because police had been shot and killed.
Saudi Arabia, a key US regional ally, had armed and funded extremist Salafist Sunni sects to move against the secular government. Saudi official Anwar Al-Eshki later confirmed to BBC television that his country had sent arms to Daraa and to the al-Omari mosque (Truth Syria 2012). From exile in Saudi Arabia, Salafi Sheikh Adnan Arour called for a holy war against the liberal Alawi Muslims, who were said to dominate the Syrian government: ‘by Allah we shall mince [the Alawites] in meat grinders and feed their flesh to the dogs’ (MEMRITV 2011).
The Salafist aim was a theocratic state or caliphate. The genocidal slogan ‘Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave’ became widespread, a fact reported by the North American media as early as May 2011 (e.g. Blanford 2011). Islamists from the FSA Farouq Brigade would soon act on these threats (Crimi 2012). Canadian analyst Michel Chossudovsky (2011) observed: ‘The deployment of armed forces including tanks in Daraa [was] directed against an organized armed insurrection, which has been active in the border city since March 17-18.”
After those first few days in Daraa the killing of Syrian security forces continued but went largely unreported outside Syria. Nevertheless, independent analyst Sharmine Narwani wrote about the scale of this killing in early 2012 and again in mid-2014. An ambush and massacre of soldiers took place near Daraa in late March or early April. An army convoy was stopped by an oil slick on a valley road between Daraa al-Mahata and Daraa al-Balad, and the trucks were machine gunned.
Estimates of soldier deaths from government and opposition sources ranged from 18 to 60. A Daraa resident said these killings were not reported because: ‘At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed’. Anti-Syrian Government blogger Nizar Nayouf records this massacre as taking place in the last week of March. Another anti-Government writer, Rami Abdul Rahman (based in England and calling himself the ‘Syrian Observatory of Human Rights’) says:
‘It was on the first of April and about 18 or 19 security forces … were killed’ (Narwani 2014). Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, himself a resident of Daraa, confirmed that: ‘this incident was hidden by the government … as an attempt not to antagonize or not to raise emotions and to calm things down – not to encourage any attempt to inflame emotions which may lead to escalation of the situation’ (Narwani 2014).
Yet the significance of denying armed anti-Government killings was that in the western media all deaths were reported as (a) victims of the Army and (b) civilians. For well over six months, whenever a body count was mentioned in the international media, it was usually considered acceptable to suggest these were all ‘protesters’ killed by the Syrian Army.
For example, a Reuters report on 24 March said Daraa’s main hospital had received ‘the bodies of at least 37 protesters killed on Wednesday’ (Khalidi 2011). Notice that all the dead had become ‘protesters’ despite earlier reports on the killing of a number of police and health workers.
Another nineteen soldiers were gunned down on 25 April, also near Daraa. Narwani obtained their names and details from Syria’s Defence Ministry and corroborated these details from another document from a non-government source. Throughout April 2011, she calculates that eighty-eight Syrian soldiers were killed ‘by unknown shooters in different areas across Syria’ (Narwani 2014).
She went on to refute claims that the soldiers killed were ‘defectors’ shot by the Syrian army for refusing to fire on civilians. Human Rights Watch, referring to interviews with 50 unnamed ‘activists’, claimed that soldiers killed at this time were all ‘defectors’, murdered by the Army (HRW 2011b).
Yet the funerals of loyal officers shown on the internet at that time were distinct. Even Rami Abdul Rahman (the SOHR), keen to blame the Army for killing civilians, said ‘this game of saying the Army is killing defectors for leaving – I never accepted this’ (Narwani 2014). Nevertheless the highly charged reports were confusing.
The violence spread north with the assistance of Islamist fighters from Lebanon, reaching Baniyas and areas around Homs. On 10 April nine soldiers were shot in a bus ambush in Baniyas. In Homs, on April 17, General Abdo Khodr al-Tallawi was killed with his two sons and a nephew, and Syrian commander Iyad Kamel Harfoush was gunned down near his home.
Two days later, off-duty Colonel Mohammad Abdo Khadour was killed in his car (Narwani 2014). North American commentator Joshua Landis (2011a) reported the death of his wife’s cousin, one of the soldiers in Baniyas. These were not the only deaths but I mention them because most western media channels maintain the fiction to this day that there was no Islamist insurrection and the ‘peaceful protesters’ did not pick up arms until September 2011.
Al Jazeera, the principal Middle East media channel backing the Muslim Brotherhood, blacked out these attacks and also the reinforcement provided by armed foreigners.
Former Al Jazeera journalist Ali Hashem was one of many who resigned from the Qatar-owned station (RT 2012), complaining of deep bias over their presentation of the violence in Syria. Hashem had footage of armed men arriving from Lebanon, but this was censored by his Qatari managers. ‘In a resignation letter I was telling the executive … it was like nothing was happening in Syria.’ He thought the ‘Libyan revolution’ was the turning point for Al Jazeera, marking the end of its standing as a credible media group (Hashem 2012).
Provocateurs were at work. Tunisian jihadist ‘Abu Qusay’ later admitted he had been a prominent ‘Syrian rebel’ charged with ‘destroying and desecrating Sunni mosques’, including by scrawling the graffiti ‘There is no God but Bashar’, a blasphemy to devout Muslims. This was then blamed on the Syrian Army with the aim of creating Sunni defections from the Army. ‘Abu Qusay’ had been interviewed by foreign journalists who did not notice by his accent that he was not Syrian (Eretz Zen 2014).
US Journalist Nir Rosen, whose reports were generally critical of the Syrian Government, also attacked the western consensus over the early violence:
The issue of defectors is a distraction. Armed resistance began long before defections started … Every day the opposition gives a death toll, usually without any explanation … Many of those reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters but … described in reports as innocent civilians killed by security forces … and every day members of the Syrian Army, security agencies … are also killed by anti-regime fighters (Rosen 2012).
A language and numbers game was being played to delegitimize the Syrian Government (‘The Regime’) and the Syrian Army (‘Assad loyalists’), suggesting they were responsible for all the violence. Just as NATO forces were bombing Libya with the aim of overthrowing the Libyan Government, US officials began to demand that President Assad step down.
The Brookings Institution (Shaikh 2011) claimed the President had ‘lost the legitimacy to remain in power in Syria’. US Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman said it was time ‘to align ourselves unequivocally with the Syrian people in their peaceful demand for a democratic government’ (FOX News 2011). Another ‘regime change’ campaign was out in the open.
In June, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton dismissed the idea that ‘foreign instigators’ had been at work, saying that ‘the vast majority of casualties have been unarmed civilians’ (Clinton 2011). In fact, as Clinton knew very well, her Saudi Arabian allies had armed extremists from the very beginning. Her casualty assertion was also wrong.
The United Nations (which would later abandon its body count) estimated from several sources that by early 2012, there were more than 5,000 casualties and that deaths in the first year of conflict included 478 police and 2,091 from the military and security forces (OHCHR 2012: 2; Narwani 2014). That is, more than half the casualties in the first year were those of the Syrian security forces.
That independent calculation was not reflected in western media reports. Western groups such as Human Rights Watch along with US columnists (e.g. Allaf 2012) continued to claim even after the early 2012 defeat of the sectarian Farouq-FSA in Homs and well into 2012 that Syrian security forces had been massacring ‘unarmed protesters’, that the Syrian people ‘had no choice’ but to take up arms, and that this ‘protest movement’ had been ‘overwhelmingly peaceful until September 2011’ (HRW 2011a, HRW 2012). The evidence cited above shows that this story was quite false.
In fact, the political reform movement had been driven off the streets by Salafi-Islamist gunmen, over the course of March and April. For years opposition groups had agitated against corruption and the Ba’ath Party monopoly.
However most did not want destruction of what was a socially inclusive if authoritarian state, and most were against both the sectarian violence and the involvement of foreign powers. They backed Syria’s protection of minorities, the relatively high status of women and the country’s free education and health care, while opposing the corrupt networks and the feared political police (Wikstrom 2011; Otrakji 2012).
In June reporter Hala Jaber (2011) observed that about five thousand people turned up for a demonstration at Ma’arrat al-Numan, a small town in northwest Syria, between Aleppo and Hama. She says several ‘protesters’ had been shot the week before, while trying to block the road between Damascus and Aleppo. After some negotiations which reduced the security forces in the town, ‘men with heavy beards in cars and pick-ups with no registration plates’ with ‘rifles and rocket-propelled grenades’ began shooting at the reduced numbers of security forces.
A military helicopter was sent to support the security forces. After this clash ‘four policemen and 12 of their attackers were dead or dying. Another 20 policemen were wounded’. Officers who escaped the fight were hidden by some of the tribal elders who had participated in the original demonstration. When the next ‘demonstration for democracy’ took place, the following Friday, ‘only 350 people turned up’, mostly young men and some bearded militants (Jaber 2011). Five thousand protesters had been reduced to 350 after the open Salafist attacks.
After months of media manipulations disguising the Islamist insurrection, Syrians such as Samer al Akhras, a young man from a Sunni family who used to watch Al Jazeera because he preferred it to state TV became convinced to back the Syrian government. He saw first-hand the fabrication of reports on Al Jazeera and wrote, in late June 2011:
I am a Syrian citizen and I am a human. After 4 months of your fake freedom … You say peaceful demonstration and you shoot our citizen. From today … I am [now] a Sergeant in the Reserve Army. If I catch anyone … in any terrorist organization working on the field in Syria I am gonna shoot you as you are shooting us. This is our land not yours, the slaves of American fake freedom (al Akhras 2011).
Abouzeid, Rania (2011) ‘Syria’s Revolt, how graffiti stirred an uprising’, Time, 22 March.
Haidar, Ali (2013) interview with this writer, Damascus 28 December. [Ali Haidar was President of the Syrian Social National Party (SSNP), a secular rival to the Ba’ath Party. In 2012 President Bashar al Assad incorporated him into the Syrian government as Minister for Reconciliation.].
Truth Syria (2012) ‘Syria – Daraa revolution was armed to the teeth from the very beginning’, BBC interview with Anwar Al-Eshki, YouTube interview, video originally uploaded 10 April, latest version 7 November, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGmrWWJ77w.
Seale, Patrick (1988) Asad: the struggle for the Middle East, University of California Press, Berkeley CA.