Looking to the Past, not ISIS, for the True Meaning of Islam

Emir Abdelkader, 19th century Muslim humanist and sheikh

[Ed. note – British journalist Robert Fisk has published an interesting historical retrospect on Abdelkader ibn Muhieddine, or Emir Abdelkader, an Algerian Muslim leader of the 19th century who fought against French imperialism and was a great champion of human rights–of all people. Abdelkader intervened at one point to save a community of Christians in Damascus, Syria, where he spent a portion of his life, and while Fisk doesn’t bother to point it out, his act of saving Syrian Christians is something he shares in common with the present-day leader of Syria, Bashar Assad.

I thought it timely to post such an article since we’ve just seen a deranged individual arrested in Portland, Oregon after allegedly stabbing three people, killing two of them, while spouting hatred for Muslims–a man whose last name is “Christian” no less. So you’ll see a lengthy excerpt from Fisk’s essay on Abdelkader, along with a link to the original article, and just below that I’m also tossing in a video of a group of Syrians, including about 3,000 students, taking a walking tour of Aleppo’s recently-liberated historic areas. A Syrian woman you’ll see interviewed in the video, Anushka Arakelyan, says she hopes that the city will one day be “the same as it was before the war.”

“There are no nationalities here. All people love each other; all live together, rejoice together, cry together and wait together,” she added.

“Aleppo will be the same as it was before the war. We hope and wait,” Arakelyan said.

“As one Russian song says, we hope and wait, and we will wait and hope,” she added.

“We love Aleppo very much. Aleppo is a very good city, very hospitable city. I’m very happy to live here. Here, there are no nationalities. All people love each other; all live together, rejoice together, cry together and wait together,” she concluded. (Uprooted Palestinians )

It would seem, from this lady’s remarkable words, that there are plenty of Muslims who today carry on in the spirit of Abdelkader, and that therefore we don’t have to look to the past to find “the true meaning of Islam”–plenty of examples we can point to in the present. ]

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We must look to the past, not Isis, for the true meaning of Islam

By Robert Fisk

After the Manchester massacre… yes, and after Nice and Paris, Mosul and Abu Ghraib and 7/7 and the Haditha massacre – remember those 28 civilians, including children, killed by US Marines, four more than Manchester but no minute’s silence for them? And of course 9/11…

Counterbalancing cruelty is no response, of course. Just a reminder. As long as we bomb the Middle East instead of seeking justice there, we too will be attacked. But what we must concentrate upon, according to the monstrous Trump, is terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. And fear. And security. Which we will not have while we are promoting death in the Muslim world and selling weapons to its dictators. Believe in “terror” and Isis wins. Believe in justice and Isis is defeated.

So I suspect it’s time to raise the ghost of a man known as the Emir Abdelkader – Muslim, Sufi, sheikh, ferocious warrior, humanist, mystic, protector of his people against Western barbarism, protector of Christians against Muslim barbarism, so brave that the Algerian state insisted his bones were brought home from his beloved Damascus, so noble that Abe Lincoln sent him a pair of Colt pistols and the French gave him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. He loved education, he admired the Greek philosophers, he forbade his fighters to destroy books, he worshipped a religion which believed – so he thought – in human rights. But hands up all readers who know the name of Abdelkader.

We should think of him now more than ever.

He was not a “moderate” because he fought back savagely against the French occupation of his land. He was not an extremist because, in his imprisonment at the Chateau d’Amboise, he talked of Christians and Muslims as brothers. He was supported by Victor Hugo and Lord Londonderry and earned the respect of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III) and the French state paid him a pension of 100,000 francs. He deserved it.

When the French invaded Algeria, Abdelkader Ibn Muhiedin al-Juzairi (Abdelkader, son of Muhiedin, the Algerian,1808-1883, for those who like obituaries) embarked on a successful guerrilla war against one of the best equipped armies in the Western world – and won. He set up his own state in western Algeria – Muslim but employing Christian and Jewish advisors – and created separate departments (defence, education, etc), which stretched as far as the Moroccan border. It even had its own currency, the “muhamediya”. He made peace with the French – a truce which the French broke by invading his lands yet again. Abdelkader demanded a priest to minister for his French prisoners, even giving them back their freedom when he had no food for them. The French sacked the Algerian towns they captured, a hundred Hadithas to suppress Abdelkader’s resistance. When at last he was defeated, he surrendered in honour – handing over his horse as a warrior – on the promise of exile in Alexandria or Acre. Again the French betrayed him, packing him off to prison in Toulon and then to the interior of France.

Yet in his French exile, he preached peace and brotherhood and studied French and spoke of the wisdom of Plato and Socrates, Aristotle and Ptolemy and Averoes and later wrote a book, Call to the Intelligent, which should be available on every social media platform. He also, by the way, wrote a book on horses which proves he was ever an Arab in the saddle. But his courage was demonstrated yet again in Damascus in 1860 where he lived as an honoured exile. The Christian-Druze civil war in Lebanon had spread to Damascus where the Christian population found themselves surrounded by the Muslim Druze who arrived with Isis-like cruelty, brandishing swords and knives to slaughter their adversaries.

Abdelkader sent his Algerian Muslim guards – his personal militia – to bash their way through the mob and escort more than 10,000 Christians to his estate. And when the crowds with their knives arrived at his door, he greeted them with a speech which is still recited in the Middle East (though utterly ignored these days in the West).

“You pitiful creatures!” he shouted. “Is this the way you honour the Prophet? God punish you! Shame on you, shame! The day will come when you will pay for this … I will not hand over a single Christian. They are my brothers. Get out of here or I’ll set my guards on you.”

Muslim historians claim Abdelkader saved 15,000 Christians, which may be a bit of an exaggeration. But here was a man for Muslims to emulate and Westerners to admire.

His fury was expressed in words which would surely have been used today against the cult-like caliphate executioners of Isis. Of course, the “Christian” West would honour him at the time (although, interestingly, he received a letter of praise from the Muslim leader of wildly independent Chechnya). He was an “interfaith dialogue” man to please Pope Francis.

Abdelkader was invited to Paris. An American town was named after him – Elkader in Clayton County, Iowa, and it’s still there, population 1,273. Founded in the mid-19th century, it was natural to call your home after a man who was, was he not, honouring the Rights of Man of American Independence and the French Revolution? Abdelkader flirted with Freemasonry – most scholars believe he was not taken in – and loved science to such an extent that he accepted an invitation to the opening of the Suez Canal, which was surely an imperial rather than a primarily scientific project. Abdelkader met De Lesseps. He saw himself, one suspects, as Islam’s renaissance man, a man for all seasons, the Muslim for all people, an example rather than a saint, a philosopher rather than a priest.

But of course, Abdelkader’s native Algeria is a neighbour of Libya from where Salman Abedi’s family came, and Abdelkader died in Syria, whose assault by US aircraft – according to Abedi’s sister – was the reason he slaughtered the innocent of Manchester. And so geography contracts and history fades, and Abedi’s crime is, for now, more important than all of Abdelkader’s life and teaching and example. So for Mancunians, whether they tattoo bees onto themselves or merely buy flowers, why not pop into Manchester’s central library in St Peter’s Square and ask for Elsa Marsten’s The Compassionate Warrior or John Kiser’s Commander of the Faithful or, published just a few months ago, Mustapha Sherif’s L’Emir Abdelkader: Apotre de la fraternite?

They are no antidotes for sorrow or mourning. But they prove that Isis does not represent Islam and that a Muslim can earn the honour of the world.

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The Complete History of Nasser, the Icon of Arabism [English Subtitles]

A must see to understand why Syria and its LION are WANTED

 

Islamic State Eyes North Africa: Hot Issue on Global Agenda

Islamic State Eyes North Africa: Hot Issue on Global Agenda
PETER KORZUN | 10.04.2017 | WORLD

Islamic State Eyes North Africa: Hot Issue on Global Agenda

The Islamic State (IS) fighters are trying to flee Mosul. No doubt, the US-supported Iraqi forces will establish control over the city pretty soon. At first, IS militants will leave Iraq for the province of Deir-ez-Zor, Syria, to intensify fighting there. But with Syria no longer a safe haven, they’ll have to move elsewhere looking for weak points, like the countries of Maghreb.

Roughly, 8-11 thousand jihadi fighters come from Maghreb countries. The numbers vary according to different estimates. Some of the militants will lose lives on the battlefield, some will lay down their arms, but a large part will continue the efforts to reach the coveted goal of establishing a caliphate. With the battle experience received in Syria and Iraq, these seasoned fighters will pose a great threat to the stability of their respective homelands.

It has already started. Algeria faces a security challenge. The war against jihadism has turned Algeria into one of Africa’s top military powerhouses. In the past 20 years, Algeria has spent more on its military than all three of its immediate neighbors — Mo­rocco, Libya and Tunisia — com­bined.

Algeria is a country with a 1,200 km coastline. If waves of asylum seekers hit Europe from there, the Old Continent will be in real trouble. Besides, the country is a key supplier of oil and gas to the West. The implications of internal conflict in Algeria could be a real nightmare. Russia helps to prevent it and, thus, save Western Europe.

At least 6 thousand of IS fighters are Tunisians. Some of them hold prominent positions in the IS and the Nusra Front (Jabhat Fatah al-Sham) in Syria. Many Tunisian extremists are affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which is active in a half-dozen countries across North Africa. Tunisia is at odds over what to do if and when they come home. These fighters would have the capabilities and cultural familiarity to potentially create a formidable and sustained destabilizing force in Tunisia. Meanwhile, Tunisian security forces break up one IS recruiting cell after another.

Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco face threats from the East as well as from the South, where they have to counter the emerging «Sahara-Sahel Front». Islamists from Mali, Niger and Mauritania are regrouping to expand the zone of influence. For instance, Al-Qaeda militants have recently attacked a Malian army post near the border of Burkina Faso.

In North and West Africa, Al Qaeda is on the rise again. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has withstood the chokehold of the Algerian security services, US drones, and the French-led intervention in Mali, to launch a range of attacks in recent years, whether storming a beach resort in Ivory Coast or conducting a low-level insurgency in northern Mali.

A number of terrorist groups operating in Mali and neighboring areas – Ansar Dine, al-Mourabitoun, the Massina Brigades, the Sahara Emirate – united this February into one organization called Nusrat-ul-Islam. The newly formed group pledged allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah, al-Qaida leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and the leader of al-Qaida’s North African franchise Abu Musab Abdul Wadud.

Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are challenged by the IS. In November 2016, the Islamic State in Greater Sahara was formed, led by Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi.

The IS militants may regroup in the war-torn Libya. This country is probably the weakest link among Maghreb states. Defense officials have said the hardline Sunni Muslim militants are considering moving their headquarters to that country. A US military intervention is an option. According to Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, head of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, «The instability in Libya and North Africa may be the most significant near-term threat to U.S. and allies’ interests on the continent». Russia has been asked to intervene by Libyan political and military leaders.

The armed forces of Maghreb countries are getting prepared. The Moroccan military has just held exercises Flintlock-2017 with the US. Weapons systems, like, for instance, Russian Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters, are procured to make the counterterrorist operations more effective. On March 15th, 2016, King Mohamed VI visited Moscow to sign several important agreements, including the agreement on mutual protection of classified information on military and military-technical matters and the declaration on the fight against international terrorism. Morocco is interested in strengthening its military capabilities with Russian weapons.

Last year, Russia provided Algerian and Tunisian authorities with intelligence and military aid to strengthen counterterrorism efforts. The package included Russian high-resolution satellite imagery of key Algerian border crossings with Tunisia, Libya, Chad and Mali. The imagery has enabled Algerian authorities to thwart several attempts by terrorists and insurgents to infiltrate Algerian borders. Algeria has shared this data with Tunisia.

Russia has close military cooperation with the states of the region. A country with a significant Muslim minority, about 10% of its popula­tion, it has been battling jihadists in the Caucasus for a number of years. It understands the problem and has vast experience to share. Unlike the US and other Western powers, Russia does not accompany its aid with lectures about human rights or political demands pushing for «democra­tic reforms». As Rus­sian armaments have proven themselves on the battlefield, it seems likely that Maghreb governments under terrorist threat will increasingly turn towards Moscow.

Today, Islamists of all kinds, especially the IS, are emerging as a very serious threat for the United States, its NATO allies and Russia. Despite the existing differences on Ukraine and a host of other issues where Russia and the West are on opposite side of the barricades, cooperation on fighting the threat is possible and necessary. After all, the enemy is common and its deadly activities go far beyond the scope of a regional threat.

Russia and the West could coordinate activities in Libya. Sharing intelligence and cooperating in joint special operations against key targets could be a start of a broader process. Russia and the US-led West could launch preliminary talks on the wording of a hypothetical UN Security Council resolution to make it approved if an international effort will be required to keep the region from abyss.

North Africa should not become a divisive issue to complicate the relations between Russia and the West. The situation calls for cooperation and dialogue. The IS will soon become a thing of the past if Russia and the West set aside what divides them and concentrate on what brings them together. This approach will benefit all.

The Western roots of “Middle-Eastern” terrorism

February 14, 2017

By Amir NOUR[1]

The Western roots of “Middle-Eastern” terrorism

Convinced that terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, is unacceptable and unjustifiable, member States of the United Nations were finally able to adopt, on September 8, 2006, a common approach within the framework of the “United Nations global counter-terrorism strategy ». But, ten years later, the “international community” has yet to agree on a consensus definition of the common enemy, which continues to grow and expand, thus inflicting devastation and untold misery, mainly to the States and the peoples of the Arab and Muslim world.

However, in a bitter irony, and in total defiance of established historical truths, these very victims and their majority religion -Islam- are accused by some of the crime of sponsoring transnational terrorism, hence jeopardizing international peace and security.

But who is really to be held liable for the birth and expansion of the phenomenon of violence in modern times, against the consequences of which a number of visionary thinkers like Malek Bennabi and Eric E. Hobsbawm had yet forewarned the world a century ago already?

The opinions exposed in this paper on this burning topic aren’t expressed by Muslim officials or thinkers. They are those of Westerners, at different levels of authority and moral and political responsibility, representing the obverse and the reverse of the terrorism medal, and pointing out the historical responsibility of some Western governments They are representative of a “politically incorrect” voice whose echo is barely audible in the middle of the media tumult skillfully orchestrated by the new “self-righteous”.

Terrorism, Islam and treason of the clerks

Recently, magistrate Vincent Sizaire, author of the book titled “L’Imposture sécuritaire”, explained[2]that the characterization of terrorism is more about political calculation than legal hermeneutics, since it is necessarily the result of a process of balance of power and political assessment, at the end of which the powers to be tend to apply it in a more or less discretionary manner to a particular criminal rather than another. Sizaire highlights how it is problematic, today, to use the same term to refer to activities undertaken by fanatical and obscurantist groups, and to actions of political opponents of authoritarian regimes.

Therefore, there can obviously be no question for the need to put forward a new definition of this concept, one less equivocal. Indeed, it should be pointed out that, to date, no one definition of terrorism has gained universal acceptance. Alex Schmid and Albert Jongman identify 109 different definitions[3]. The United Nations still can’t find an agreed upon definition among its member States since December 17, 1996, date of adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 51/210, by which it was decided to create a special Committee to develop a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. It’s so controversial a debate that, according to Oliver Libaw, even in the United States -where the “Global War on Terror” was launched in 2001- “it turns out that no one is all that sure just what ‘terrorism’ is”[4].

Thus, the future still looks bright for the famous and often-cited claim that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”[5]. Never mind! For one school of thought in the West, terrorism, barbarity and intolerance are consubstantial to Islam as a religion. Consequently, in the face of the “crazy Muslim zealots” who “see progress as an evil, tolerance as a weakness and pacifism as a sin”, and “call for murder and destruction”, resistance and relentless struggle are to be opposed within a “long Fourth World War”[6], akin to those waged by the “Free World” against fascism and nazism during the First and Second World Wars, and against communism during the third world war, presumably completed with the end of the cold war in 1989.

Nothing seems to shake the certainties of the proponents of this “dominant thought” often described as neoconservative, mainly conveyed by Western and Israeli think tanks, and relayed by their powerful mainstream media. And it would be pointless to remind them, for instance, that in the absence of a comprehensive international convention on terrorism-a result of the lack of a consensus definition that should be distinguished from the legitimate struggle of peoples for self-determination and which should include “State terrorism”- Arab and Muslim States have developed their own legal instruments within their regional groups; that in the 1990s, a country like Algeria fought alone against terrorism -before a suspicious international silence- that cost her more than 200,000 deaths and economic losses estimated at more than $ 30 billion; that 95% of lives lost to “terrorist barbarity” are to be found among Muslims[7]; that the highest official authorities of Islam have condemned without appeal both the ideology and actions of terrorist groups; and that the overwhelming majority of Muslim populations reject terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as confirmed by statistics provided by Western survey institutes and agencies themselves.

In his time, Julien Benda denounced the “betrayal of the clerks”. More recently, Pascal Boniface pin the “intellectual counterfeiters” who bear a heavy responsibility in “the place occupied by lies in the public debate”. He targets in particular those who tend to equate Islam and terrorism by referring to “fascislamism” and contribute to nurture a neoconservative approach that thrives in the West since the 9/11 attacks.

We have already addressed this issue of Islam as a mobilizing and unifying scarecrow in the West[8]. We have reported “a dangerous semantic shift that we constantly observe since the fall of the Berlin Wall: from ‘counter-terrorism’ actions, we jumped to war against ‘Islamic terrorism’, and then to the fight against ‘Islamic extremism’ “. And we have, inevitably, raised the following question: “Are we soon going to abandon superfluous adjectives and hypocritical euphemisms to openly claim the war against Islam itself ?”. Since then, time and events seem to have proved us right…

Responsibility of the West regarding transnational terrorism

Some people believe that radical Islamism and jihadism are not an exclusive “creation” of the West. To think otherwise, they argue, would be to overestimate the Western influence in areas where many other local and international factors have contributed to their development over a long period of time. That is certainly right, and so is the fact that certain misguided policies pursued by Western powers, particularly by Anglo-Saxon countries, have greatly contributed to the emergence and expansion of these phenomena, especially since the iconic events of 9/11 and their disastrous ‘by-products’: the Afghan and Iraqi military expeditions.

Britain’s role

This view is shared by Mark Curtis, who documented in a book[9] the collusion of the United Kingdom with Islamism since the last century. Based on reliable documentation and government archives, he dissects an aspect of British foreign policy, which has remained curiously ignored or deliberately obscured by the mainstream media. This collusion, he says, has “a long history which has contributed not only to the rise of radical Islam itself, but also to that of international terrorism, which the new strategy of national security of the UK Government has designated as the biggest threat to the country”, and that the highest ranking officer of the British army has identified as “the fight of our generation, maybe our Thirty Years’ War”.

Curtis says that the share of responsibility of London in the emergence of the terrorist threat goes well beyond the impact its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have had on a few individuals. The most important fact in this story is, according to him, that the successive labour and conservative governments have, for decades, connived with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have, sometimes, trained and financed them in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives, with a view to desperately preserving what was left of British power and influence internationally, mainly in areas considered as sensitive but where it was no longer possible to impose their will and interests unilaterally or by relying on other local allies.

The role of the United States of America

In his book[10] published in 2005, Robert Dreyfuss meticulously documents the American role in this “Devil’s Game”. Drawing on archival research and interviews with policymakers and officials of the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department, he analyzes the consequences of “sixty years of misguided efforts” on the part of the United States in order to dominate the economically and strategically vital Middle East region. Dreyfuss argues that America’s historic alliance with the Islamic right is greatly to blame for the emergence of Islamist terrorism. He concludes by stating that “far from promoting democracy and security”, this policy, which continues to this day, “ensures a future of blunders and blowback”.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of the late U.S. President J.F. Kennedy, also considered the long history of the violent interventions of his country in the region. He explains in a long article[11] in “Politico” magazine why we should look beyond convenient explanations of religion and ideology and examine instead the more complex rationales of history and oil “and how they often point the finger of blame back at our own shores”. He also describes how “over the past seven decades, the Dulles brothers, the Cheney gang, the neocons and their ilk have hijacked that fundamental principle of American idealism and deployed our military and intelligence apparatus to serve the mercantile interests of large corporations and particularly, the petroleum companies and military contractors that have literally made a killing from these conflicts”.

Moreover, a Foreign Policy Journal article[12] tells us that the White House had made the decision to support the armed radical Jihadists in Syria (that would later emerge as ISIL and Jabhat Al-Nusra) despite the warnings of the intelligence agencies, which provided for the advent of the Islamic State. This amazing information was confirmed by former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lieutenant General Michael Flynn –after he resigned from his post in April 2014, much to everyone’s surprise- who was previously the Director of information for the Center of command of special operations and, in that capacity, had the main mission to hunt down Usama Bin Laden and dismantle Al-Qaeda.

It is worth noting that this piece of information and other related revelations have been reported in a documentary film[13] broadcast by ARTE-TV channel, which explains “how, from Bush to Obama, America has left prosper the blind terror that Daesh took over”. In this film, former members of the intelligence community, representatives of U.S. forces in Iraq, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and terrorism experts trace, with supporting evidence and archives, the thirteen years of “the lost war on terror”.

Last but not least, during the 2016 presidential campaign, the GOP nominee, Donald Trump, said[14]that he meant exactly what he had declared previously in Florida, when he called President Barack Obama the “founder of ISIS”. And when the conservative radio show host, Hugh Hewitt, tried to clarify Trump’s position by saying he understood him to mean “that he (Obama) created the vacuum, he lost the peace”, D. Trump objected, declaring “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton”.

France’s role

In his latest book[15], French philosopher Michel Onfray states that “terrorist Islam” was partially created by the bellicose West. Denouncing what he calls “contemporary colonial wars” conducted by some Western countries including France, he argues that Islamic regimes only started to threaten the West once, and only once the latter had indeed threatened them by brutal force.

For his part, Pierre Conesa, former senior official in the Ministry of defense, said[16] that his country “is paying a high price for a war that is not its own”. In this regard, he cites the example of the intervention in Libya where France has “done on its own account what Bush did in Iraq, which is destroying a regime and leaving behind chaos it has no ability to manage”.

In Syria, especially during the period when Laurent Fabius was the head of the Quai d’Orsay, this dubious interventionist policy resulted in total support to the rebels fighting against Al-Assad regime. Believing that the departure of the latter “is only a matter of weeks”, Fabius said in August 2012 “Bashar Al-Assad would not deserve to be on Earth”. And in December of the same year, reacting to Washington’s decision to place Jabhat Al-Nusra on its list of terrorist organizations, he declared: “All Arabs were fiercely against” the American position “because, on the ground, they (the elements of Al-Nusra) do a good job”[17].

In conclusion, we would like to invite the public to ponder the wisdom of a thinker who once said that in the past weapons were manufactured to wage wars, but today wars are manufactured to sell weapons.

Yet unfortunately, it has to be recognized that the rhetoric on the “clash of civilizations”, constantly and tirelessly repeated by some since the end of the cold war and the subsequent disappearance of the “indispensable enemy”, seems to have achieved the objective assigned to it, chiefly by those who benefit from and pull the strings of the perpetuation of conflicts all over the world. This rhetoric has thus produced a dangerous “clash of fundamentalisms’, which is updating the notions of “revenge of God”, “Crusades” and “Jihad”, and adding new ones such as “islamofascism”. The consequence of this dramatic turn of events is illustrated, on the sought and obtained ground of confrontation, by a “clash of barbarities”.

In today’s increasing international turmoil, nobody should be blind to the fact that the biggest danger associated with this change is that since the end of the second world war, the world has entered the age of the “supreme weapon” –the atomic bomb- and other weapons of mass destruction, and that extremists on all sides are promising and fervently promoting a “Cosmic War” for “the triumph of Good over Evil”. For some of them, it is a religious war, the ultimate war prior to the Apocalypse or the end of the world, whose theatre of operations one party sets in “Armageddon” and the other in “Dabiq”, both places situated in the Levant, comprising Syria which is being today put to fire and sword…

Isn’t it insane to believe that our civilized world is unable to find a path other than the one leading toward Mutually Agreed Destruction?

* * *

  1. Algerian researcher in international relations, author of the book “L’Orient et l’Occident à l’heure d’un nouveau Sykes-Picot” (East and West in time of a new Sykes-Picot”, Alem El Afkar, 2014.
  2. In Le MONDE Diplomatique, “Une notion piégée: quand parler de terrorisme ?” (A Tricky notion: When to talk about terrorism?), August 2016.
  3. A. Schmid & A. Jongman, “Political Terrorism“, 1988.
  4. O. Libaw, “How Do You Define Terrorism ?“, ABC News Network, October 11, 2015.
  5. C. Friedersdorf, “Is One Man’s Terrorist Another Man’s Freedom Fighter ?”, The Atlantic, May 16, 2012.
  6. Norman Podhoretz, “World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism”, Doubleday, 2007.
  7. 2015 Global Terrorism Index report shows that terrorist attacks are concentrated in just five countries with a Muslim majority: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria, totalling 78% of all deaths and 57% of all attacks; the West is remarkably safe from terrorism as 2.6% ‘only’ of terrorist deaths occurred there since the beginning of the 21st century (excluding the 3,000 deaths from September 11, 2001, this proportion falls to 0.5%).
  8. In our book “L’Orient et l’Occident…”, op. cit.
  9. M. Curtis, “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion With Radical Islam“, Serpent’s Tail, 2010.
  10. R. Dreyfuss, “Devil’s Game: How The United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam“, Metropolitan Books, 2005.
  11. http://www.politico.eu/article/why-the-arabs-dont-want-us-in-syria-mideast-conflict-oil-intervention/
  12. B. Hoff, “Rise of Islamic State Was a Willful Decision“, 7 August 2015.
  13. Titled “Du 11 septembre au Califat: l’histoire secrète de Daesh” (From 9/11 to the Caliphate: The Secret History of ISIS), August 30, 2016.
  14. Tal Kopan, “Donald Trump: I meant that Obama founded ISIS, literally”, CNN, August 12, 2016.
  15. M. Onfray, “Penser l’Islam” (Thinking Islam), éditions Bernard Grasset, Paris, 2016.
  16. See: “Les attentats sont la suite logique des bombardements” (Attacks are the logical result of the bombings”, Le Temps, July 16, 2016.
  17. See B. Collombat and J. Monin’s investigation: “Daesh: Autopsie d’un monstre” (ISIS: Autopsy of a Monster), November 20, 2015.

After Aleppo: the State of Syria

Source

The Syrian Arab Army now controls Aleppo, which means that the Syrian government once more is in charge of the main population centres in the country. Opposition armed forces are hemmed in around Damascus and in Idlib, while the Islamic State (IS) still holds the northern city of Raqqa. These forces, including IS, are on the back foot, disorganised, weakened logistically and disoriented. Largely abandoned by their benefactors — the West, the Gulf Arabs and Turkey — these fighters have either moved to great desperation in their violence or to near surrender. A ceasefire brokered on December 30, 2016 holds in most parts of the country. Peace talks are to begin on January 23 in Astana (Kazakhstan). Iran, Russia, the Syrian government, sections of the Syrian opposition, Turkey and the United Nations will have seats at the table. The United States and the Europeans will not be there.

The war will not end in Astana. Extremist groups such as the IS and the al-Qaeda-backed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham continue to hold territory. Frustrated extremists who are unwilling to accede to the new situation have already begun to trek to the IS and the al-Qaeda proxy. For them, there is little to be gained from surrender or reconciliation.

Western miscalculations

For the past five years, the main slogan from the Syrian opposition and its Gulf Arab, Turkish and Western allies was ‘Assad Must Go’. It now turns out that the government of Bashar al-Assad will remain. It appeared, even in 2011, that the fall of Mr. Assad without major Western military intervention was unlikely. The Syrian military was far more disciplined than the Libyan military, which had begun to crumble before the NATO bombing on Libya. There was also far less daylight between the Syrian government and its military than there was between the Egyptian government and its military. Absent massive military force, there was going to be no regime change in Syria.

Direct Western military intervention was curtailed — thanks to the fiasco in Iraq — by the lack of domestic appetite in the West for the use of sufficient numbers of troops to fight in Syria. Regime change in Libya and its disastrous aftermath closed the door for a UN authorisation for war on Syria. By 2012, this meant that the Assad government could not be easily defeated. The policy shifted from direct overthrow to a much more cynical use of power. Covert shipments of arms went to rebels of various stripes to help delegitimise the government. Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups came across the Turkish border and from Iraq as well as from the prisons of the Syrian government. Casualty rates edged upwards, with over half a million dead. The impossible promise of Western bombardment kept the war going in the hope that this would force Mr. Assad to negotiate.

The West miscalculated. On September 22, 2016, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made some off-the-cuff remarks at the Dutch Mission to the United Nations. The tape from that meeting, released by WikiLeaks, reveals the general Western consensus on the Syrian conflict. Mr. Kerry indicated that the U.S. had watched the growth of IS, and had hoped to use it as a bargaining chip against the Assad government. As it turned out, Mr. Assad turned to Iran and Russia for help, which is when the Russians intervened directly in September 2015 — ending any possibility of regime change in Damascus and of an IS capture of Damascus. With Mr. Assad now safe, the Russians have begun to draw down their forces, largely to build confidence towards the Astana meeting.

By 2015, it had become clear to the Turkish government that neither would Mr. Assad’s government fall nor could Turkey protect itself from the detritus of its own making — attacks by the IS inside Turkey and a reopened war with the Kurdish resistance movement. Turkey’s government lashed out at its critics — who had much to be critical about — and sought a rapprochement with Russia for economic and political reasons. This new alignment for Turkey meant that its border — long used to resupply the rebels in northern Syria — had to close, substantially reducing the ability of the extremists in Aleppo. The Syrian government, which had waited four years, then moved with great force. It was the Turkish shift that allowed Mr. Assad to take Aleppo.

On January 5, Iraq’s National Security Adviser met Mr. Assad in Damascus to discuss their mutual fight against the IS, just as Iraqi forces cleared the road from Haditha to al-Qa’im, which is on the Iraq-Syria border. These public meetings, a senior Egyptian military officer informs me, mirror the more private interactions between the militaries of Egypt, Iraq, Algeria and Syria. In November, Egyptian army officers went to Syria to re-establish connections that have frayed over the past few years. Now Egypt is ready to send ‘peacekeepers’ to help manage the ceasefire. Meanwhile, the Syrian and Turkish governments have met secretly in Algeria over the past five months to begin a conversation about the status of the Syrian Kurdish enclave on the Turkish border. Algeria is now openly talking about the restoration of legitimacy to the Assad government.

The end is far

The frustration of the extremists will not produce an easy end to this conflict. Harsh violence is the more expected outlet. Attacks in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — all accused, rightly, of abandoning the uprising — will continue to be a serious problem. Iraq, already accustomed to violence since the illegal U.S. invasion in 2003, saw over 6,000 civilians killed last year alone. It is often strategically targeted against Shia neighbourhoods and religious places in order to deepen the trough of sectarianism. After a spate of attacks in Baghdad, Sunni leader Sheikh Mahdi al-Sumaidaie, the Grand Mufti of Iraq, made a plea on January 5 that echoes across the Arab world: “I confirm that Shias and Sunnis will meet and hold accountable all who betrayed, deceived and burned Iraq.” It was a statement of patriotism out of desperation. This seam of patriotism will be hard for the extremists to rip apart.

North-west of Damascus is Souq Wadi Barada. The al-Fija spring there is a crucial source of water for the capital. Extremist groups have held this source for the past several years and on at least six previous occasions cut off the water supply to Damascus. The fall of Aleppo has led to new fighting in the area, with water now firmly cut off from all but one tank, which the military controls. Damascus faces great hardship. Negotiations are on to let the water flow again. When it does, it will show that reconciliation is possible in these societies.

A version of this essay originally appeared in The Hindu.

Vijay Prashad’s most recent book is No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2015).

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Foreign Report: Spy Ring Working for «Israel» Exposed in Algeria

Local Editor

An international spy network, comprised of at least 10 agents, operating for the “Israeli” entity was exposed and subsequently arrested in Algeria, according to Channel 2 citing Arab media networks Friday.

Soldiers

Reports indicated that the spies were operating in southern Algeria and held citizenship in a variety of African countries including Libya, Mali, Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria and Kenya.

The suspects were arrested on charges of espionage, attempt to create anarchy and damaging national security.

Communications equipment used by the suspects was also seized by authorities.

Arab media reported that the “Israeli” entity’s foreign intelligence agency, Mossad, assassinated in December a Hamas member operating out of Tunisia.

The target, Mohhamed Zawari, known to the “Israeli” entity’s security echelon as “The Engineer,” was found shot to death inside his vehicle in the city of Sfax, local media reported.

Five suspects were later detained by Tunisian authorities, along with multiple vehicles, weapons and mobile devices.

One Tunisian journalist said the killing was carried out by the Mossad, who had been following Zawari for some time, Channel 10 added.

Zawari, an aviation engineer and scientist, was shot three to seven times by unknown assailants in his car near his home.

Though, the motive behind his shooting remains unclear.

According to Channel 10, the nationalities of the detainees included one suspect from the Netherlands, one from Morocco and the rest from varying European countries.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

14-01-2017 | 09:40

THIS MAY HURT YOUR FEELINGS FRANCE, BUT HELL NO, I AM NOT GOING TO PRAY FOR NICE

by Jonathan Azaziah

Here we go again. Zionist media rolls out a narrative and like clockwork, the lemmings sickeningly and predictably start their French-flag-waving and “Pray For Nice” social media campaigns. Well. I’m not going to do that nor am I going to declare one scintilla of solidarity with France. In fact… FUCK FRANCE. To hell with the colonialist, terrorist, Zionist, genocidal French regime. Straight down to the fire! This is the same gang of arrogant, Rothschild-financed psychopaths that colonized Algeria for 132 years and slaughtered millions. This is the same gang of lunatics that unleashed the most monstrous atrocities against the people of Vietnam (then known as Indochina) for 67 years of colonial occupation; the shelling of Haiphong alone comes to mind off the cuff, in which the French left over 6,000 Vietnamese murdered. This is the same gang of sanguinary maniacs that went on a murdering and raping spree in Madagascar for 61 years, leaving 100,000 innocents dead in the carnage. This is the same gang of Judeophiles that helped ‘Israel’ build its illegal nuclear weapons program and backs the Zionist tumor to the hilt up until this moment. This is the same gang of criminal hypocrites that annihilated Libya, looted Mali’s gold, supported (and continues to support) death squads in Syria and gives droves upon droves of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the grandsire of Wahhabi-Takfiri terrorism, to crush unarmed Bahrainis and mutilate Yemenis from land, air and sea.

And the indigenous White French, in near unanimity, not to mention MORE THAN A FEW House Muslims/Arabs/Browns/Blacks, supported (and continue to support) all of it. But now, after all these crimes, after all this colonialism and ongoing neo-colonialism, after all the services provided to ‘Israel’, I’m supposed to cry over a bunch dead Frogs? What the fuck do I look like, an anaconda whose secondary food supply just dried up? Get the fuck outta here. And here’s the obligatory disclaimer:

I CONDEMN ALL BAD THINGS DONE BY ALL BAD PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD FOREVER AND ALWAYS AND AFTER THAT PLUS CHERRIES ON TOP.

You happy now? Is my humanity officially validated because I made it clear that murdering innocent Europeans is wrong? ‘Cause, you know, y’all weren’t cognizant of that shit already. You need the Moozu-Booza-lum-lum-lums to actually say out loud that killing is, under whatever circumstances, bad, for you to truly know that we’re not all savage, bloodthirsty, deranged dune-devils and desert-demons, right? Again I say, get the flying fuck outta here.

While we’re at it, any Muslim, and I mean ANY Muslim, going out of his or her way to condemn something that has nothing to do with us–as Takfirism, if that’s what the Nice attack is a product of, is a Western-Zionist invention, not an extension of Islam–when the French didn’t utter a word, or stage a protest, or shed a tear, or express solidarity, or condemn their regime for complicity in the terrorism that has made Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Somalia bleed in recent weeks, you’re as much of a problem as the Imperialists in Paris themselves. For you have internalized the Orientalist “be a good Native” pathology they’ve aggressively pushed for us to accept since 9/11 and adopted the identity of a “Goy”, that is, a cattle, in every sense of the word, just like the Jewish Power Configuration wanted you to. The oppressors’ propaganda only works when you fail to resist it and fail harder to stick to your principles which are supposed to safeguard you from spiritually harmful narratives and lifestyles. We should STAY with the rejection of whatever the monsters and their media outlets are telling us to think, do and/or say because they STAY lying through their teeth.

Besides, what took place in Nice bears all the hallmarks of a Mossad/DGSE false flag, regardless of whether Daesh or another like-similar Wahhabi terror group were the trigger-men. The ‘Israeli’ one-woman-Islamophobia-machine Rita Katz has already flooded the web and MSM with “reports” about ISIS celebrating the attacks; the damage is already done. And while the trollish Hollande has already declared that France will ramp up operations in Iraq and Syria in “revenge”, the fact of the matter is, this is routine for any one of these events. Civilians weren’t terrorized and killed in Nice as a pretext to justify more intervention against Damascus and Baghdad, they were killed because there has been a hateful Jewish serial war on Islam since Mossad knocked down the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001. And the only way to keep that war going, to keep the conflict between White Westerners and the peoples of the Arab-Islamic world flowing in a “clash of civilizations”, to keep the march towards Netanyahu’s “100-year battle with militant Islam” on track, is for attacks like this to occur with regularity. All geopolitical analysis that leaves out this critical point misses the mark miserably.

So while it is tragic that more than 80 innocents have lost their lives, at the end of damn day, I actually give more fucks about ants that I may potentially step on than I do about the ultra-bigoted French. I look at France and see it working day and night to silence Dieudonne, the only person in the whole country with the courage to stand up to the Jewish “elites”. Imagine, a nation whose motto is “liberty, equality, fraternity” is scared of a man who can make peoples of all backgrounds laugh their asses off. I look at France and I see a system centered around a Prison-Industrial-Complex that disproportionately targets young Brown and Black men, who are almost always Muslim, and keeps them in abject poverty.

I look at France and see nightmarish visions of the Samson Option coming to fruition because French leaders thought it was a good idea to help Halakhic-Talmudic fanatics build nukes.

I look at France and see Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, one of Lebanon’s staunchest revolutionaries, rotting in a hellhole where he has been for 29 years for a crime he didn’t commit. I look at France and see nothing but death and destruction across the entire Global South. And now, that very same death and destruction has struck Nice. False flag, “blowback” or otherwise, Malcolm X (R.A.) had a hell of a saying for instances like this: The chickens have come home to roost. Wake up and smell the evil of your regime and the “chosenites” pulling its strings French people, or the roosting has only just begun.

#PrayForNiceMyFoot #IAintCharlie #ToHellWithFrance #RIPToTheMartyrsOfFrenchColonialism

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