„Liberated“ Libya: female human rights activist Salwa Bughaighis killed

This is Libya, a(nother) place „liberated“ by NATOs airforce and qatari paid and armed islamist militias:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28031537

More about the disaster produced in Libya as a result of „humanitarian intervention“ and „responsibility to protect“ (R2P):
https://100wordz.wordpress.com/category/libya/

 

 

 

„Peaceful“ (and of course democratic) Israel once again attacked Syria

Has anyone noticed that Israel recently – once again – attacked Syrian army positions, killed ten soldiers and destroyed some tanks and other vehicles?
http://news.antiwar.com/2014/06/23/israeli-airstrikes-kill-10-syrian-soldiers/

As usual (and as usual undisputed by the pro-Israeli euro-American governments and media outlets) Israel was quick to „justify and explain“ the attack and its allegedly underlying reasons:
An attack from Syrian soil had killed an Israeli settler. Interestingly one going by the not very settler typical name of „Muhammad“. Now, its no secret that the Syrian Israeli border area along the Golan heights is mostly in the hands of various Syrian rebel groups and factually out of Syrian government control.
To prove the nature of the culprit and (attempt to) make clear that this can only have been the Syrian army and NOT the rebels the Israelis said that the victims vehicle was hit by a (wireguided) Kornet anti-tank missile, which they claimed only the Syrian army possesses.

This is complete nonsense, as there are dozens of video clips showing Syrian rebels destroying Syrian tanks in the same area.
What a hypocrisy that the Israeli attack which pretends to be retaliation for the killing of a single Muslim Arab happened just at a time when the Israeli army has left a trail of blood in the Palestinian West Bank by killing several people during the search for three allegedly kidnapped Israeli teenagers.

It is a shame and disgusting that „western“ politicians and international institutions such as the UN do not bother to condemn Israels repeated aggressions or even criticize them.

Iraq will be doomed if Sunnis should gather behind ISIS

For one, it is clear that ISIS alone surely did not capture Mossul and Tikrit within few days. Local Sunni tribal fighters as well as former Baath party officers had also their share, with the latter being behind a long term planning of the events.

At the same time nobody should have doubts that ISIS is the „muscle“ of what many disgruntled Iraqi Sunnis consider a „Sunni revolution“. Trying to play down ISIS´ role as the primary and most lethal fighting force would be a repetition of similar illusory claims regarding the Al-Nusra front in Syria, which western powers and Arab countries behind the Syrian opposition for a very long time tried to detract from.
In Syria the so called „Free Syrian Army“ had tens of thousands of fighters and was even „assisted“ by the already mentioned hardcore Salafi fighters of the Al-Nusra, but still ISIS managed to fight and rout these groups in eastern Syria and inflict heavy casualties on them elsewhere in that country.
There is little reason to assume that ISIS will „perform“ weaker in Iraq. Other Sunni groups including the more regionally interested tribal fighters as well as the more nationalist and secular minded former Baath party forces are welcome to cooperate with ISIS and contribute but ISIS will demand and enforce to have the final say and call the shots.

Should the Sunnis decide to „enjoy“ ISIS and tolerate the leadership of the „islamic state“, this will be the end of Iraq as a sovereign state as ISIS openly and proudly announces it´s firm will to fight the Shia majority of the country. ISIS is not a mere (and legitimate) resistance movement against an unjust, Shia led government but a vehemently sectarian, supremacist and violent movement, which considers all Shia as infidels who deserve death. But Iraq is not Pakistan where the Shia are basically defenseless. In Iraq the Shia make up a majority of 70-75% among the Arab population and have tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of battle-experienced fighters willing to die when existentially threatened.

Sectarian language and threats seems to exclusively come from radical Sunnis

It is interesting that in Iraq Sunnis and Shias are BOTH accused of sectarian language and threats, but I don´t remember a single powerful or influential Shia leader insult and threat the entire Sunni community. Sure, the Shia leaders use the word Takfiri but this applies only to a small extremely radical portion of the Sunnis. When the (radical) Sunnis, however, speak of the „Rafidha“, again they intentionally target and incriminate ALL Shias.
Even the so called „radical“ or „firebrand“ Shia cleric and leader of the Mahdi army at no time spoke in even a remotely sectarian way as one of the ISIS leaders does here:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/13/why-the-new-iraq-war-could-be-more-savage-than-the-last/

„the Lord alone who overpowers the Shia. Praise be the Lord who brings terror to their hearts.”“
„Do not concede territory gained to the Shia unless they walk over your dead bodies to retrieve it. March towards Baghdad. Do not let them [the Shia] breath.”
„The Shia are a disgraced people,” he says, accusing them of being polytheists “who worship the dead and stone.”

Interestingly such radicals, call them Salafi or Wahhabi or whatever, consider themselves to be the real, the authentic muslims and to be perfectly familiar with the religion of Islam, but they commit the grave sin of „takfir“ (calling others „unbelievers“) on entirely erroneous grounds.
The Shia „worship“ the dead just as much as football fans „worship“ Lionel Messi or Ronaldo, namely not at all.

 

The distortive and misleading western narrative of the „ISIS crisis“

Major parts of the western media are serving their audience „facts“ which are non or at best half-truths when it comes to the current crisis in Iraq involving ISIS and the Iraqi armed forces.
Here some corrections:
1. ISIS is no real representative of the Iraqi and/or Sunni community. As a matter of fact they have not only massacred many thousands of Shia civilians (but also police and soldiers) in Iraq, they have also killed in total thousands of Sunni arab fighters in Syria and hundreds of Sunnis in Iraq including members of the „Sahwa“, tribal chiefs, politicians and ordinary civilians.
2. For some of the reasons given above ISIS is not waging a „holy war“ against the Shias whom they consider „infidels“ but against the Iraqi state.
3. The Iraqi government and armed forces are definitely Shia dominated and there has been systematic and wide scale discrimination against Sunnis, but it is totally untrue that Sunnis are prohibited from being part of the government or army and police. This is nonsense. The Iraqi system is despite all of it´s corruption and power abuse still definitely less sectarian than the Bahraini government where the Shia majority is totally absent in the security forces.
4. The volunteers who want to fight against ISIS are not entirely Shias and when Shia cleric Sistani urged Iraqis to resist ISIS he did not single out the Shia by explicitly calling on them.
5. Much is said about Maliki and his devastating political mistakes, mainly his marginalization but the violence of the more radical militant elements of Iraqs Sunni community is not merely a reaction to Malikis policies. Deadly large scale attacks on Shia mosques, pilgrims, funeral processions, markets, Cafes…started as early as 2003 short after Saddams loss of power. There were high casualty suicide and car bombings against Shia civilians as well as their religious notables by the hands of Zarqawi and his followers even long before the official start of the 2006/7 civil war.
A good book about those events is this one:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Occupation-War-Resistance-Iraq/dp/184467164X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402684132&sr=8-1&keywords=cockburn+occupation

„Excellent“ US idea: (Further) arm islamists (and hope they fight RADICAL islamists)…

„Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, said the US would „ramp up“ its support to the moderate Syrian opposition, Isis’s ostensible rivals for control of the Syrian resistance to Bashar Assad.“
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/11/mosul-isis-gunmen-middle-east-states?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

This shows the unending idiocy of a senior member of the US administration. Still, her only silly and unsubstantiated approach towards the ISIS or „radical islamist“ dilemma is to attempt to boost the laughable and tiny Syrian non-islamist opposition. An opposition with a phantom, „ghost“ character, hardly playing any role in reality.

The US admin fails to understand that any „ramp up“ of Syrias allegedly „moderates“ has almost definitely one of the following consequences:

a) The moderates sell or forward the weapons to the radicals who are the more battle-hardened and experienced fighters, willing to die (and kill ruthlessly)

b) The radicals which are not only ISIS, but also „Nusra Front“, „Islamic Front“ or „Syrian revolutionary front“ (and thus according to Israeli sources 80% of the rebels) simply overcome the CIA-vetted „moderates“ and take their weapons

c) Many formerly „moderates“ discover that their companions are opportunists merely interested in building themselves a power base (just like the afghan militias in the 90s) and decide to join the „real mujahedeen“

After 13 years of „anti-terror“ war, „enduring freedom“, „mission accomplished“ and other garbage, Al Qaeda and affiliates are stronger than ever, while the oh so bad Bashar al Assad and his Iranian and Russian backers have been the best powers to fight Al Qaeda.

Is „ISIS“ the Taliban of this decade?

It might be a coincident that the „Islamic State of Iraq and Syria“ (ISIS) attacked and took over Iraqs second biggest city Mosul – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27778112 – just as the Pakistani Taliban attacked the airport of Karachi, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27777449

There is more than one parallel between both groups/organizations if one knows the story of the Taliban.

Back in the mid 90s, apart from a very short while when Afghan people thought that the new „students“ movement would bring peace, security and even freedom for their country, disillusion dawned upon the broad majority of Afghans of all ethnicities.
The Talibans adherence to a hitherto unknown extreme understanding of the islamic law, their total lack of familiarity with Afghan history and customs, their unlimited intolerance and hostility towards religious and ethnic minorities alienated and intimidated the population, especially outside of the so called Pushtun belt.
It can be highly recommended to read Ahmed Rashids book about the Taliban movement:
http://www.amazon.com/Taliban-Militant-Fundamentalism-Central-Second/dp/0300163681/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402425017&sr=1-1&keywords=ahmed+rashid+taliban

The Taliban were not interested in gaining anyone’s sympathy, nor where they seriously interested in coalitions, power sharing or any kind of compromise. While they were clearly sectarian (means anti-Shia/anti-Iran) their biggest enemy was the mainly Sunni „Northern Alliance“, led by Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud. They massacred thousands of Shia civilians but also Sunni Uzbek POWs, just as they poisoned the wells and destroyed the livestock of the mostly Sunni Tajik inhabitants of the Shamali plain.
They simply did  not care about anyone.

ISIS appear to be similar. While the majority of their ruthlessly killed victims are Shias (the majority civilians) they do not hesitate to suicide bomb Sunni clan chiefs, „Sahwa“ militias and civilians.
The Taliban fielded thousands of Pakistanis and hundreds of Arabs, Chechens, Uzbeks, Uighurs and others. ISIS fighters also consist of North African and Gulf Arabs, Pakistanis, Chechens and even European Salafis.
Just as the Taliban shocked the world in the 90s, ISIS does very much the same in recent years. They by far exceed the extremism of other islamist organization, among them even such that themselves are militant Salafis. As a consequence ISIS succesfully and simultaneously fights completely different forces: The predominantly Shia army of Iraq, the mostly Sunni extremist rebels in Syria, the Kurdish militias in North Eastern Syria and at times the Syrian Arab Army.

Both the Taliban and ISIS have their ideological roots and a major portion of their financial backing in Saudi Arabia and to a smaller extent in other Wahhabi dominated Arab countries in the Persian Gulf. The official line of the Saudi government is to declare and regard ISIS an enemy, but the government is at best unable and at worst unwilling to prevent „private donors“ from funding the salaries, the training, the arming and the logistics of ISIS:
https://100wordz.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/al-qaeda-in-syria-and-the-private-donors-from-the-gulf-monarchies/
It was the same with the Taliban. It were the Saudis who bankrolled their offensives by supplying hundreds of gun-mounted Datsun pickup trucks over and over again, while Pakistani Madrassas – often funded by Saudis and preaching Wahhabism – provided the man power.

While the Saudi approach might appear irrational at first sight, it is indeed very rational at least in the short and midterm run:
1. The takfiri Jihadis are identified
2. They are kept away from Saudi Arabia (and the Gulf) by being constantly involved in „Jihad“ from Libya over Syria to Iraq
3. They are inflicting heavy damage and casualties on Shias and their allies

As a side effect but definitely all but incidentally Israel and the US are (at least in secret) very happy that Syria, Hezbollah and also Iran are bleeding and getting damage.

Still, it is puzzling how a seemingly small militia without airpower and heavy weapons has been able to humiliate Iraqs at least 500.000 men strong armed forces.