فرنسا وسلفيّوها.. هل بدأت الحرب؟

باريس – نضال حمادة

لم يمض عشرة أيام على خطاب الرئيس الفرنسي الذي شنّ فيه حملة غير مسبوقة على ما أسماه الإسلام السياسي الانعزالي (انظر مقالة البناء يوم 6 الشهر الحالي بعنوان: ماكرون يحارب الإسلام انتخابياً) حتى وقع ما حذّر ما منه وكنا نخشاه، وحصلت جريمة ذبح أستاذ الجغرافيا والتاريخ في مدرسة في إحدى ضواحي باريس على يد مهاجر شيشاني بسبب اتهام بعض أهالي الطلاب للمعلم بالإساءة للنبي محمد عبر تخصيص حصة حول الرسوم الكاريكاتوريّة التي نشرتها صحيفة شارلي أبدو قبل أعوام.

هذه الجريمة البشعة والتي لا يمكن سوى إدانتها وشجبها، لم تأت من فراغ ولم تحصل صدفة أو لأن هناك أشخاصاً أو شخصاً قرّر ارتكابها، كما أنها ليست حالة منفردة ونخشى أنها لن تكون الأخيرة في مسلسل الصدام الذي بدأ بين فرنسا وسلفيّيها الذين طالما احتضنتهم وربّتهم وسهّلت لهم كل سبل القوة طمعاً بالأموال القطرية والسعودية التي لا تتوقف عن إمداد هؤلاء السلفيين تحت أعين الأجهزة الفرنسية ومعرفة الساسة في فرنسا، فضلاً عن سعي فرنسا للعب دور سياسي وعسكري في العالم العربي عبر استخدام مجاميعها من السلفيين في ليبيا ومن ثم على نطاق أوسع في سورية.

الآن وبعد حصول هذه الجريمة التي نكرّر إدانتنا لها، وبدلاً من أن تعمل الحكومة الفرنسية والرئيس الفرنسي على إعادة النظر في الحملة التي بدأها ماكرون على الإسلام كدين وعلى مسلمي فرنسا بحجج واهية محملاً إياهم مسؤولية وجود مجموعات سلفية في أوساطهم متناسياً أن هؤلاء السلفيين كانوا الجهة المدللة للحكومات الفرنسية المتعاقبة منذ عهد شيراك حتى اليوم. هذه الحكومة وهذا الرئيس صعّدوا من هجومهم على الإسلام وعقد الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون اجتماعاً شبه عسكري وامني طارئ يوم أول أمس الأحد حضره كل من وزير الداخلية ووزير الدفاع والخارجية والتربية وقائد أركان الجيش ومدعي عام الجمهورية الخاص بقضايا الإرهاب نتج عنه قرار من الرئيس بتسريع الإجراءات والقرارات التي اتخذها قبل عشرة أيام؛ وهي في خلاصتها تضع الإسلام كدين في خانة التجريم والمسلمين كبشر في خانة الاتهام المستمر ووضعهم تحت نظام حالة طوارئ، في مسعى انتخابي واضح وفرت له جريمة الجمعة الماضية أسباب الاستغلال الرخيص والخطر.

أخشى ما أخشاه أن تكون جريمة الجمعة الماضية ليست سوى بداية الصدام بين متطرفي الحكم في فرنسا ومتطرفين سلفيين طالما عملوا سوياً وكانوا حلفاء في سورية وليبيا، والآن انقلبوا على علاقتهم القديمة لأسباب انتخابية وأمنية وسياسية سوف نشرحها في مقالات مقبلة..

Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged by Western Govt Contractors and Media

Source

Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged by Western Govt  Contractors and Media — Strategic Culture

September 26, 2020

Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network.

Ben NORTON

Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile. These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK’s Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV.

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and “influencers,” and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to “re-brand” Syria’s Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by “softening its image.” ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that “aired almost every day on” major Arabic-language TV networks.

Virtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed.

The files confirm reporting by journalists including The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal on the role of ARK, the US-UK government contractor, in popularizing the White Helmets in Western media. ARK ran the social media accounts of the White Helmets, and helped turn the Western-funded group into a key propaganda weapon of the Syrian opposition.

The leaked documents consist mainly of material produced under the auspices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. All of the firms named in the files were contracted by the British government, but many also were running “multi-donor projects” that received funding from the governments of the United States and other Western European countries.

In addition to demonstrating the role these Western intelligence cutouts played in shaping media coverage, the documents shine light on the British government program to train and arm rebel groups in Syria.

Other materials show how London and Western governments worked together to build a new police force in opposition-controlled areas.

Many of these Western-backed opposition groups in Syria were extremist Salafi-jihadists. Some of the UK government contractors whose activities are exposed in these leaked documents were in effect supporting Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and its fanatical offshoots.

The documents were obtained by a group calling itself Anonymous, and were published under a series of files entitled, “Op. HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] Trojan Horse: From Integrity Initiative To Covert Ops Around The Globe. Part 1: Taming Syria.” The unidentified leakers said they aim to “expose criminal activity of the UK’s FCO and secret services,” stating, “We declare war on the British neocolonialism!”

The Grayzone was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the documents. However, the contents tracked closely with reporting on Western destabilization and propaganda operations in Syria by this outlet and many others.

UK Foreign Office and military wage media war on Syria

A leaked UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office report from 2014 reveals a joint operation with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development to support “strategic communications, research, monitoring and evaluation and operational support to Syrian opposition entities.”

The UK FOC stated clearly that this campaign consisted of “creating network linkages between political movements and media outlets,” by the “building of local independent media platforms.”

The British government planned “Mentoring, training and coaching for enhanced delivery of media services, including digital and social media.”

Its goal was “to provide PR and media handling trainers, as well as technical staff, such as cameramen, webmasters and interpreters,” along with the “production of speeches, press releases and other media communications.”

An additional 2017 government document explains clearly how Britain funded the “selection, training, support and communications mentoring of Syrian activists who share the UK’s vision for a future Syria… and who will abide by a set of values that are consistent with UK policy.”

This initiative entailed British government funding “to support Syrian grassroots media activism within both the civilian and armed opposition spheres,” and was targeted at Syrians living in both “extremist and moderate” opposition-held territory.

In other words, the UK Foreign Office and military crafted plans to wage a comprehensive media war on Syria. To establish an infrastructure capable of managing the propaganda blitz, Britain paid a series of government contractors, including ARK, The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), Innovative Communication & Strategies (InCoStrat), and Albany.

The work of these firms overlapped, and some collaborated in their projects to cultivate the Syrian opposition.

Western government contractor ARK plays the media like the fiddle

One of the main British government contractors behind the Syria regime-change scheme was called ARK (Analysis Research Knowledge).

ARK FZC is based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It brands itself as a humanitarian NGO, claiming it “was created in order to assist the most vulnerable,” by establishing a “social enterprise,  empowering local communities through the provision of agile and sustainable interventions to create greater stability, opportunity and hope for the future.”

In reality ARK is an intelligence cutout that functions as an arm of Western interventionism.

In a leaked document it filed with the British government, ARK said its “focus since 2012 has been delivering highly effective, politically-and conflict-sensitive Syria programming for the governments of the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Canada, Japan and the European Union.”

ARK boasted of overseeing $66 million worth of contracts to support pro-opposition efforts in Syria.

On its website, ARK lists all of these governments as clients, as well as the United Nations.

ARK contractor Syria UK US Australia Canada

In its Syria operations, ARK worked together with another UK contractor called The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), which is directed by Richard Barrett, a former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6.

ARK apparently had operatives on the ground inside Syria at the beginning of the regime-change attempt in 2011, reporting to the UK FCO that “ARK staff are in regular contact with activists and civil society actors whom they initially met during the outbreak of protests in spring 2011.”

The UK contractor boasted an “extensive network of civil society and community actors that ARK has helped through a dedicated capacity building centre ARK established in Gaziantep,” a city in southern Turkey that has been a base of intelligence operations against the Syrian government.

ARK played a central role in developing the foundations of the Syrian political opposition’s narrative. In one leaked document, the firm took credit for the “development of a core Syrian opposition narrative,” which was apparently crafted during a series of workshops with opposition leaders sponsored by the US and UK governments.

ARK trained all levels of the Syrian opposition in communications, from “citizen journalism workshops with Syrian media activists, to working with senior members of the National Coalition to develop a core communications narrative.”

The firm even oversaw the PR strategy for the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the leadership of the official armed wing of Syria’s opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). ARK created a complex PR campaign to “provide a ‘re-branding’ of the SMC in order to distinguish itself from extremist armed opposition groups and to establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.”

ARK admitted that it sought to whitewash Syria’s armed opposition, which had been largely dominated by Salafi-jihadists, by “Softening the FSA Image.”

ARK contractor Syria soften FSA image

ARK took the lead in developing a massive network of opposition media activists in Syria, and openly took credit for inspiring protests inside the country.

In its training centers in Syria and southern Turkey, the Western government contractor reported, “More than 150 activists have been trained and equipped by ARK on topics from the basics of camera handling, lighting, and sound to producing reports, journalistic safety, online security, and ethical reporting.”

The firm flooded Syria with opposition propaganda. In just six months, ARK reported that 668,600 of its print products were distributed inside Syria, including “posters, flyers, informative booklets, activity books and other campaign-related materials.”

In one document spelling out the UK contractors’ communications operations in Syria, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN boasted of overseeing the following media assets inside the country: 97 video stringers, 23 writers, 49 distributors, 23 photographers, 19 in-country trainers, eight training centers, three media offices, and 32 research officers.

ARK emphasized that it had “well-established contacts” with some of the top media outlets in the world, naming Reuters, the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Times, Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabic, Orient TV, and Al Arabiya.

The UK contractor added, “ARK has provided regular branded and unbranded content to key pan-Arab and Syria-focused satellite TV channels such as Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, BBC Arabic, Orient TV, Aleppo Today, Souria al-Ghadd, and Souria al-Sha’ab since 2012.”

“ARK products promoting HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) priorities by fostering attitudinal and behavioural change are broadcast almost every day on pan-Arab channels,” the firm bragged. “In 2014, 20 branded and un-branded Syria reports were produced on average by ARK each month and broadcast on major pan-Arab television channels such as Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, and Orient TV.”

“ARK has almost daily conversations with channels and weekly meetings to engage and understand editorial preferences,” the Western intelligence cutout said.

The firm also took credit for placing 10 articles per month in pan-Arab newspapers such as Al Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat.

US-UK program Basma cultivates Syrian media activists

The Syrian opposition media war was organized within the framework of a project called Basma. ARK worked with other Western government contractors through Basma in order to train Syrian opposition activists.

With funding from both the US and UK governments, Basma developed into an enormously influential platform. Its Arabic Facebook page had over 500,000 followers, and on YouTube it built up a large following as well.

Mainstream corporate media outlets misleadingly portrayed Basma as a “Syrian citizen journalism platform,” or a “civil society group working for a ‘liberatory, progressive transition to a new Syria.’” In reality it was a Western government astroturfing operation to cultivate opposition propagandists.

Nine of the 16 stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained through the US/UK government’s Basma initiative, ARK boasted in a leaked document.

In an earlier report for the UK FCO, filed just three years into its work, ARK claimed to have “trained over 1,400 beneficiaries representing over 210 beneficiary organisations in more than 130 workshops, and disbursed more than 53,000 individual pieces of equipment,” in a vast network that reached “into all of Syria’s 14 governorates,” which included both opposition- and government-held areas.

ARK UK contractor Syria media map

The Western contractor published a map highlighting its network of stringers and media activists and their relationships with the White Helmets as well as newly created police forces across opposition-controlled Syria.

ARK UK contractor Syria opposition media map

In its trainings, ARK developed opposition spokespeople, taught them how to speak with the press, and then helped arrange interviews with mainstream Arabic- and English-language media outlets.

ARK described its strategy “to identify credible, moderate civilian governance spokespeople who will be promoted as go-to interlocutors for regional and international media. They will echo key messages linked to the coordinated local campaigns across all media, with consortium platforms able to cover this messaging as well and encourage other outlets to pick it up.”

In addition to working with the international press and cultivating opposition leaders, ARK helped develop a massive opposition media super-structure.

ARK said it was a “key implementer of a multi-donor effort to develop a network of FM radio stations and community magazines inside Syria since 2012.” The contractor worked with 14 FM stations and 11 magazines inside Syria, including both Arabic- and Kurdish-language radio.

To propagate opposition broadcasts across Syria, ARK designed what it called “Radio in a Box” (RIAB) kits in 2012. The firm took credit for providing equipment to 48 transmission sites.

ARK also circulated up to 30,000 magazines per month. It reported that “ARK-supported magazines were the three most popular in Aleppo City; the most popular magazine in Homs City; and the most popular magazine in Qamishli.”

A Syrian opposition propaganda outlet directly run by ARK, called Moubader, developed a huge following on social media, including more than 200,000 likes on Facebook. ARK printed 15,000 copies per month of a “high-quality hard copy” Moubader magazine and distributed it “across opposition-held areas of Syria.”

The British contractor TGSN, which worked alongside ARK, developed its own outlet called the “Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office (RFS),” a leaked document shows. This confirms a 2016 report in The Grayzone by contributor Rania Khalek, who obtained emails showing how the UK government-backed RFS media office offered to pay one journalist a staggering $17,000 per month to produce propaganda for Syrian rebels.

Another leaked record shows that in just one year, in 2018 – which was apparently the final year of ARK’s Syria program – the firm billed the UK government for a staggering 2.3 million British pounds.

This enormous ARK propaganda operation was directed by Firas Budeiri, who had previously served as the Syria director for the UK-based international NGO Save the Children.

40 percent of ARK’s Syria project team were Syrian citizens, and another 25 percent were Turkish. The firm said its Syria team staff had “extensive experience managing programmes and conducting research funded by many different governmental clients in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq and other conflict-affected states.”

Western contractor ARK cultivates White Helmets “to keep Syria in the news”

The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing “an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work.”

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign, a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently “following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams” that The Syria Campaign “selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news,” the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office.

“With ARK’s guidance, TSC (The Syria Campaign) also attended ARK’s civil defence training sessions to create media content for its #WhiteHelmets campaign which launched in August 2014 and has since gone viral,” the Western contractor added.

In 2014, ARK produced a long-form documentary on the White Helmets, titled “Digging for Life,” which was repeatedly broadcast on Orient TV.

While it was running the White Helmets’ social media accounts, ARK bragged that it was boosting followers and views on the Facebook page for Idlib City Council.

The Syrian city of Idlib was taken over by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which then went on to publicly execute women who were accused of adultery.

While effectively aiding these al-Qaeda-aligned extremist groups, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN also signed a document with the FCO hilariously pledging to follow “UK guidance on gender sensitivity” and “ensure gender is considered in all capacity building and campaign development.”

Setting the stage for lawfare on Syria

Another leaked document shows the Western government-backed firm ARK revealing that, back in 2011, it worked with another government contractor called Tsamota to help develop the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA). In 2014, SCJA changed its name to the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA).

The Grayzone exposed CIJA as a Western government-funded regime-change organization whose investigators collaborated with al-Qaeda and its extremist allies in order to wage lawfare on the Syrian government.

ARK noted that the project initially worked “with seed funding from the UK Conflict Pool to support investigative and forensic training for Syrian war crimes investigators” and has since “grown to become a major component of Syria’s transitional justice architecture.”

Since the US, European Union, and their Middle East allies lost the military phase of their war on Syria, CIJA has taken the lead in trying to prolong the regime-change campaign through lawfare.

InCoStrat creates media network, helps them interview al-Qaeda

In the leaked documents, another UK government contractor called Innovative Communications Strategies (InCoStrat) boasted of building a massive “network of over 1600 journalists and key influencers with an interest in Syria.”

InCoStrat stressed that it was “managing and delivering a multi donor project in support of UK Foreign Policy objectives” in Syria, “specifically providing strategic communication support to the moderate armed opposition.”

Other funders of InCoStrat’s work with the opposition in Syria, the firm disclosed, included the US government, the United Arab Emirates, and anti-Assad Syrian businessmen.

InCoStrat served as a liaison between its government clients and the Syrian National Coalition, the Western-backed parallel government that the opposition tried to create. InCoStrat advised senior leaders of this Syrian shadow regime, and even ran the National Coalition’s own media office from Istanbul, Turkey.

The Western contractor took credit for organizing a 2014 BBC interview with Ahmad Jarba, the then-president of the opposition National Coalition.

The firm added that “journalists have often reached out to us in search of the appropriate people for their programmes.” As an example, InCoStrat said it helped plant its own Syrian opposition activists in BBC Arabic reports. The firm then added, “Once making the initial connections we encouraged the Syrians to maintain the relationships with the journalists in the BBC instead of using ourselves as the conduit.”

Like ARK, InCoStrat worked closely with the press. The firm said it had “extensive experience in engaging Arab and international news media,” adding that it worked directly with “heads of regional news in major satellite TV networks, press bureaus and print media.”

“Key members of InCoStrat have previously worked as Middle East correspondents for some of the world’s largest news agencies including Reuters,” the Western contractor added.

Also like ARK, InCoStrat established a vast media infrastructure. The firm set up Syrian opposition media offices in Dera’a, Syria; Istanbul and Reyhanli, Turkey; and Amman, Jordan.

InCoStrat worked with 130 stringers across Syria, and said it had more than 120 reporters working inside the country, along with “an additional five official spokesmen who appear several times a week on international and regional TV.”

InCoStrat also established eight FM radio stations and six community magazines across Syria.

The firm reported that it penetrated the armed opposition by developing “strong relationships with 54 brigade commanders in Syria’s southern front,” that involved “daily, direct engagement with the commanders and their officers inside Syria,” as well as defected officers Free Syrian Army (FSA) units in government-held Damascus.

In the leaked documents, InCoStrat boasted that its reporters organized interviews with many armed opposition militias, including the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Don’t just plants media stories; “initiate an event” to create your own scandals

In its media war on Damascus, InCoStrat pursued a two-pronged campaign that consisted of the following: “a) Guerrilla Campaign. Use the media to create the event. b) Guerrilla Tactics. Initiate an event to create the media effect.”

The intelligence cutout therefore sought to use the media as a weapon to advance tangible political demands of the Syrian opposition.

In one case, InCoStrat took credit for a successful international campaign to force the Syrian government to lift its siege of the extremist-held opposition stronghold of Homs. The Grayzone contributor Rania Khalek reported on the crisis in Homs, which was besieged by Damascus after the far-right Sunni fundamentalists that controlled it began carrying out sectarian massacres against religious minorities and kidnapping Alawite civilians.

“We connected international journalists with Syrians living in besieged Homs,” InCoStrat explained. It organized an interview between Britain’s Channel 4 and a doctor in the city, which helped raise international attention, ultimately leading to an end to the siege.

In another instance, the UK contractor said it “produced postcards, posters and reports” comparing the secular government of Bashar al-Assad to the fundamentalist Salafi-jihadists in ISIS. Then it “provided a credible, Arabic-English speaking Syrian spokesperson to engage the media.”

The campaign was very successful, according to InCoStrat: Al-Jazeera America and The National published the firm’s propaganda posters. The British contractor also organized interviews on the topic with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, The Times, Buzzfeed, Al-Jazeera, Suriya Al-Sham, and Orient.

InCoStrat Syrian opposition media Assad ISIS

After regime change comes Nation Building Inc.

InCoStrat has apparently been involved in numerous Western-backed regime-change operations.

In one leaked document, the firm said it helped to train civil society organizations in marketing, media, and communications in Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. It even trained a team of anti-Saddam Hussein journalists inside Basra, Iraq after the joint US-UK invasion.

In addition to contracting for the United Kingdom, InCoStrat disclosed that it has worked for the governments of the United States, Singapore, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, and Libya.

After NATO destroyed the Libyan state in a regime-change war in 2011, InCoStrat was brought in in 2012 to conduct similar communications work for the Libyan National Transitional Council, the Western-backed opposition that sought to take power.

Coordinating with extremist militias, cooking news to “reinforce the core narrative”

The leaked documents shed further light on a UK government contractor called Albany.

Albany boasted that it “secured the participation of an extensive local network of over 55 stringers, reporters and videographers” to influence media narratives and advance UK foreign policy interests.

The firm helped create an influential Syrian opposition media outfit called Enab Baladi. Founded in 2011 in the anti-Assad hub of Daraya, at the beginning of the war, Enab Baladi was aggressively marketed in the Western press as a grassroots Syrian media operation.

In reality, Enab Baladi was the product of a British contractor that took responsibility for its evolution “from an amateur-run entity into one of the most prominent Syrian media organizations.”

Albany also coordinated communications between opposition media outlets and extremist Islamist opposition groups by hiring an “engagement leader (who) has deep credibility with key groups including (north) Failaq ash-Sham, Jabha Shammiyeh, Jaysh Idleb al Hur, Ahrar ash-Sham, (center) Jaysh al Islam, Failaq al Rahman, and (south) Jaysh Tahrir.” Many of these militias were linked to al-Qaeda and are now recognized by the US Department of State and European governments as official terrorist groups.

Unlike other Western government contractors active in Syria, which often tried to feign a semblance of balance, Albany made it clear that its media reporting was nothing more than propaganda.

The firm admitted that it trained Syrian media activists in a unique “newsroom process” that called to “curate” news by “collecting and organising stories and content that support and reinforce the core narrative.”

In 2014, Albany boasted of running the Syrian National Coalition’s communications team at the Geneva Peace talks.

Albany also warned that revelations of Western government funding for these opposition media organizations that were being portrayed as grassroots initiatives would discredit them.

When internal emails were leaked showing that the massive opposition media platform Basma Syria was funded by the United States and Britain, Albany wrote, “the Basma brand has been compromised following leaks about funding project aims.”

The leaks on social media “have damaged the credibility and trustworthiness of the existing branded platform,” Albany wrote. “Credibility and trust are the key currencies of the activities envisaged and for this reason we consider it essential to refresh the approach if the content to be disseminated is to have effect.” The Basma website was taken down soon after.

These files provide clear insight into how the Syrian opposition was cultivated by Western governments with imperial designs on Damascus, and was kept afloat with staggering sums of cash that flowed from the pockets of British taxpayers – often to the benefit of fanatical militiamen allied with Al Qaeda.

While Dutch prosecutors prepare war crimes charges against the Syrian government for fighting off the onslaught, the leaked files are a reminder of the leading role that Western states and their war-profiteering companies played in the carefully organized destruction of the country.

thegrayzone.comThe views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

The Covert Financial War Against Hezbollah: Lebanon’s Money Trail

February 27, 2020

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

The new Lebanese Government has been pre-destined to fail; and for no wrong doing on its part. Actually, PM Diab formed the cabinet on the 22nd of January 2020, and as I sit down to write this on the 26th of February, I would have to say that, irrespective of the conditions upon which Diab was chosen to be the new PM, he has not yet had the chance to prove his worth or otherwise.

The popular street anger that emerged in Lebanon on the 18th of October 2019 has forced former PM Hariri to resign. Among other reform requests, the protesters demanded a cabinet comprised of new non-political faces, and Diab’s cabinet as well as Diab himself, are technically-speaking indeed new on the Lebanese political arena. But even before Diab formed the new cabinet, he himself was touted to be a Hezbollah supporter, and this made him unacceptable by the protestors. And after he named his cabinet members, more such claims were made; and I am not in a position to assert them or otherwise.

In a series of articles that were published on my blog, https://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2020/02/lebanons-dilemma-revolving-identity_27.html, I focused on the on-going Lebanese unrest from an identity-based perspective and the conflict of loyalties. But money, as some say, makes the world go round.

This article is not intended to address history as such and/or Diab’s alleged loyalties. It is rather about what is behind the money trail that has been part-and-parcel of all political developments in Lebanon ever since 1975 and before.

When the Lebanese Civil War broke out in 1975, the exchange rate of the Lebanese Lira (LL) to the US Dollar (USD) was in the vicinity of 3 LL to 1 USD . And, even though the war devastated the country whose economy was primarily underpinned mainly by tourism and banking services, the Lebanese economy did not seem to suffer, at least significantly. There were times when certain commodities were hard to find, but that was mainly due to transport-related problems caused by road closures, and not due to economic conditions that stood in the way of their availability.

The LL remained strong, but eventually slipped and took a minor dive towards the end of 1984. By September 1984, the exchange rate was 5 LL to 1 USD. Even though that 5:1 mark generated panic, in hindsight, it reflected further fiscal strength of the LL given that this landmark happened more than nine whole years into the war. And, between 1984 and 1990 or so, it slipped to 1500 LL to 1 USD.

There was much turmoil during this period and many retirees and ex-pats lost their life-long savings. As for those still at a working age, they suffered severely until their wages were eventually indexed and the LL maintained its 1500-1 ratio to the USD for a very long time; actually till the time the recent uprisings commenced just 3 months ago.

In hindsight, there is no mystery or divine intervention behind the rather strong Lebanese economy during the first 9 years of the Civil War and which kept the exchange rate steady.

The buck stops with war money and the war money trail.

Seven years into the Lebanese Civil War, Israel invaded Lebanon and the PLO was forced out. Two years later, the LL began to slump.

Coincidence? Perhaps not.

During the first few years of the Civil War, Lebanon lost its traditional “golden age” sources of income, but it was inundated with war money.

The main donors were Gaddafi, Saddam and Saudi Arabia.

Some would argue that the CIA made heavy investments, and this is quite possible. But the CIA and similar agencies, including the Mossad, had their individual operatives. On the other hand, Gaddafi, Saddam and Saudi Arabia were sponsoring whole armies; so to speak.

Virtually all Left wing Lebanese political parties sent delegations to Libya seeking financial support. This includes what was referred to in Lebanese political terms as political “shops”. Some of those “shops” were comprised of small groups with a dozen fighters. They all came back with millions of USD, some with tens of millions.

The Saudis were very keen to finance the emerging Salafist militia (even though they were not referred to as such back then) because those militia were fighting the Right wing “Christian infidels”. At the same time, they were happy to finance those same “Christian infidels” because they were fighting the Communists (who were party to the Lebanese political Left).

Saddam, the Iraqi Baathist, on the other hand was very keen to sponsor any group that stood up against the rival Syrian Government of the other Baath Party faction.

The Kuwaitis, Gulfies and Qataris played more or less the same game as that of the Saudis.

All up, there were huge sums of war money pouring into Lebanon. Adding to that was what the Lebanese ex-pats sent their families and what they invested into their savings. The Lebanese banking system found alternatives to tourism and foreign investment, and the economy remained prosperous despite the devastating civil war that was destroying much of what the eye could see.

But the Lebanese political parties and “shops” were not the only recipients of “brotherly” aid and not the largest ones either. By far, the biggest recipient was the PLO in all of its branches and subdivisions.

Whilst most of the monies “invested” in the Lebanese Civil War were spent on munitions, operatives on the ground were canvassed, employed as mercenary fighters with most generous pay. One would not zero out the possibility that the Lebanese banking system benefited from those transactions.

Throughout the first decade of the Civil War years of Lebanon, there was no shortage of money or jobs for those prepared to literally cut throats for a living. Pragmatically-morbid as this may sound, war money and its willful recipients kept unemployment levels low and the economy buoyant.

Now, was the initial slump of the LL exchange rate in 1984 a direct result of the expulsion of the PLO and its associated funds from Lebanon? No one can answer this question with reliable economic accuracy. That said, the timing of the events begs the question.

What we do know is that between 1984 and the year the war ended in 1989, the LL slumped from 5:1 USD, to 1500:1 USD.

As the Civil War eventually came to an end in 1989, Rafiq Hariri emerged on the scene as a savior. He made huge investments in rebuilding certain aspects of the Lebanese infrastructure. The self-made billionaire, Lebanese by birth, but a dual national of Saudi Arabia, who eventually became Lebanon’s PM, bolstered the economy not only by bringing in his own investments, but also by presenting and ensuring a strong Saudi regional backup to his ventures.

Hariri also established the philanthropic “Hariri Foundation” which sponsored tens of thousands of Lebanese youth to receive tertiary education at home and abroad.

Hariri also created jobs as he rebuilt downtown Beirut, and certainly his American style election campaigns injected millions of dollars into the streets.

Hariri resurrected the confidence in the Lebanese economy and the LL. As a result, the LL maintained its exchange rate of LL 1500 to 1 USD and the Gaddafi/Saddam war funds were superseded and made redundant by the “peace” Hariri/Saudi funds. In any event, by then, the demise of Saddam was just around the corner.

The Rafiq Hariri money injections replaced the lost PLO war money, which in turn replaced the original Lebanese golden age economy pillars of banking and tourism that supported the Lebanese economy during its “golden age”.

When Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in 2005, change was on the horizon.

His son, Saad, carried his legacy and continued to fund his father’s initiatives at all levels.

When the war on Syria began, with the help and facilitation of Saad Hariri, the Saudis and Qataris injected huge sums of money into Lebanon in order to lure jihadi recruits, arm them and send them into Syria. The northern city of Tripoli was the main hub for this influx. And, because Tripoli had its own internal conflict between Bab el Tabbana fighters who were loyal to the then Hariri/Saudi/Qatari camp in their fight with the Alawite fighters of Jabal Mohsen, money kept flowing in.

In the most dire of situations therefore, in peace and in war, the Lebanese economy has always had a lifebuoy.

Furthermore, the Lebanese Government was able to receive international aide and grants, especially after major escalations. All up, in the so-called Paris 1, 2 and 3, together with the so-called Cedar 1 fundraisers, the plan was to provide Lebanon with USD 17 Bn to be provided according to a schedule that terminates in 2025. The fund providers were the EU, the USA and the Arab oil states. It is not clear how much has already been received.

The Lebanese people cannot see where these funds have gone to, and now the government has repayment commitments to make and which it cannot meet and this is public knowledge.

What is pertinent here, is that all war funds have now run dry, with the exception of the Iranian aid to Hezbollah. That aid however, never really had a significant effect on the economy in the past, and it is not expected to have one now either.

Gaddafi and Saddam are long gone, the Saudis are no longer in partnership with the Qataris, but neither party is sponsoring any warring entity in Lebanon at the moment. Hariri’s Saudi Oger giant construction company has gone bankrupt, and even though Saad Hariri is believed to have quarantined at least a billion dollars for himself, he has closed all charity organizations, electoral offices and payments to his loyal troops.

But this is not all, even the scheduled “legitimate” foreign aid has stopped, and that was before the recent street uprising.  https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/lebanon-to-receive-no-foreign-aid-before-government-is-formed-say-diplomats-1.8260216

The situation now is much more untenable for current PM Diab, because he knows that it would be pointless of him to even try to approach the well-financed Arab states seeking help, so he is not even trying.  https://www.mtv.com.lb/news/مــحــلــيــات/1022176/لماذا_يتريّث_دياب_في_طَرق_الأبواب_الخارجية؟

There is no doubt at all that all benefactors that have traditionally been assisting Lebanon are quite aware of the corruption and theft, and they must be growing sick and tired of being constantly asked to give more; especially that they know beforehand that their funds will be squandered. Ironically however, many of them did not worry about the fate of their funds when they were financing warring factions. Nonetheless, they are employing the issue of corruption to hold back on providing loans and finance to Lebanon.

For the first time in its history, neither the Lebanese people nor the political parties or government are receiving any lifeline funds.

To add insult to injury, Lebanese banks have implemented draconian measures to limit withdrawals. The figures have improved slightly, but the withdrawal limit is still around USD 200 a month. Even if one has millions invested, he/she has to stop at this limit. This includes businesses and as a result many employers have had to dismiss their workforce. As if this alone is not bad enough, it is preventing hundreds of thousands of Lebanese expats from sending money to their savings accounts and relatives at home. Expat money had always been one of the corner stones of Lebanese economy.

Any of the above factors can alone cripple the back of a country’s economy; let alone all combined. And even if Diab was clean as a whistle and willing and able to stamp out corruption and move forward, to say that he is not allowed to succeed is not a far-fetched statement to make. One does not have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that the different economic strangleholds imposed currently on Lebanon did not line up accidently.

What does not meet the eye here is that Lebanese people are deliberately being squeezed into the corner of poverty, even starvation, so that they revolt. But the main target of inducing this anger is not to affect reform against corruption, but rather to inflame the anti-Hezbollah passion in order to disarm it and keep Israel safe from its rockets.

Because the Axis of Resistance has been victorious, corruption is now used by its enemies to cripple Lebanon economically in order to bring Hezbollah to its knees and provide Israel with it has not been able to achieve by force.

The big irony here, is that none of the politicians who are corrupt and have been named to have thieved from the public purse is a Hezbollah official. Admittedly though, Nabih Berri (leader of Amal) and Gibran Basil (son-in-law of President Aoun) have been named as highly corrupt, but they are allies of Hezbollah, not members; and there is a big difference. The list of corrupt officials however, includes virtually all officials from all traditional Lebanese parties and dynasties; not Hezbollah.

And even though protestors in the streets are demanding reform and the return of stolen funds and chanting out “Killon Yani Killon” (ie “all of them means all of them”), the anti-Hezbollah/Syria/Iran fervor is very specifically high on their agenda.

They have been playing videos showing thugs carrying Hezbollah flags and chanting Shiite slogans, attacking the peaceful demonstrators. If Hezbollah wanted to attack the demonstrators, would it be so unsavvy to carry flags? But ironically, no one questions the identity of those thugs and who is really behind them. Such videos are further inflaming the sentiments and the calls for disarming Hezbollah. This is exactly what Israel wants. This is social engineering 101, but some even moderate-thinking Lebanese are now reiterating that disarming Hezbollah is part-and-parcel of the reform needed.

Lebanon is not under any Western sanctions as such. It is under siege, a covert siege, a covert financial war against Hezbollah and the way out of it requires wisdom and diligence.

MAP UPDATE: MILITARY SITUATION IN NORTHWESTERN HAMA AFTER RECENT SYRIAN ARMY’S ADVANCES

South Front

Map Update: Military Situation In Northwestern Hama After Recent Syrian Army's Advances

Click to see the full-size image

Hostilities have resumed in the southern part of the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone after the collapse of another attempt to establish a ceasefire in the area.

On August 5, the Syrian Armed Forces released a warning to militants that, if they continue to violate the ceasefire rgime, the SAA would have to resume miltiary operations. On August 6, violations continued. On August 7, the SAA resumed its advance in northern Hama.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Syrian Army Breaks Militants’ Defense In New Push In Northwestern Hama (Map)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:10 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has scored a major victory in northern Hama today after seizing a key town from the militant forces.

Led by the Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army began their assault on the key town of Zakah last night after seizing nearby Arbaeen from the militants of Jaysh Al-Izza.

Following a night of intense clashes, the Syrian Army was able to push Jaysh Al-Izza outside of Zakah and force them to retreat to the nearby towns of Kafr Zita and Al-Latamnah.

As a result of this operation, the Syrian Army now possesses the high ground over the Jaysh Al-Izza strongholds of Kafr Zita and Al-Latamnah.

A source from the army believes that Al-Latamnah is likely to fall next if the militants do not launch a swift counter-offensive to retake their lost territory.

Related Videos

Related News

Boris Johnson, Brexit and the Deep State

August 01, 2019

by Nick Griffin for The Saker Blog

Boris Johnson, Brexit and the Deep State

Nick Griffin, a life-long opponent of the European Union and former Member of the European Parliament, explains why – after three years of believing that the rulers of Britain would block Brexit, he now believes it is more likely than not to be delivered.

Are the British people really going to get Brexit? For years, the answer given by well-informed realists has had to be ‘No!’ The UK’s ruling elite was so thoroughly Europhile that they would do whatever it took to block the will of the British people, and Brussels would go along with this deceit, just as they did when the French, the Dutch and the Irish were sold out to the EU by their own masters.

But today I’m going to tell you that it is now more likely than not that Brexit WILL happen. Indeed, assuming the new Boris Johnson regime manages to cling on to power, or is forced into a general election in which Johnson reaches some sort of deal with Nigel Farage, it is now virtually guaranteed.

Of course, there is a faint possibility that the whole Johnson business is a giant game of three-dimensional chess, and that he’s running an elaborate scam with no intention of getting Britain out. But, realistically, if that was the plan, there would be absolutely no purpose in delaying such a betrayal, still less in raising so many expectations.

To encourage and then dash such hopes would be ludicrously self-defeating, so we have to assume that Johnson and Co are serious and that – barring a series of events outside of their control, they WILL deliver Brexit.

So what has changed? Has the Europhile British elite suddenly had a change of heart and decided to do the decent thing by the people who pay their inflated salaries?

Of course not. Leopards don’t change their spots. But, in the case of the UK elite, it was always divided into two leopards, with very different spots. One of them, for years now the stronger animal, was blue with yellow, spots – a thoroughly European beast.

The colours of the, until recently, smaller animal are harder to discern. At first glance, they could be seen to resemble the American flag although, of course, that’s just part of the camouflage. Look closer and the thing’s coat actually looks more like a mass of intertwined dollar signs and Israeli flags!

Even within the USA, opinion has been divided on Britain’s membership of the European Union. Obama, for example, more or less ordered the Brits to vote to Remain – a factor in the decision of quite a few of them to vote to Leave! The neo-cons, by contrast, have become much more hostile to Brussels – particularly since the EU started to display alarming degrees of sympathy for the Palestinians.

It wasn’t always like that. During the Cold War, the US elite was more or less unanimously in favour of British membership of the EU, which right from the start was consistently promoted by the CIA as a block to balance the Soviet Union.

When the Communist regime collapsed in 1989, the US power elite gradually shifted its position on the EU. It moved from fervent support to a sort of agnostic, nothing to do with us boredom. But then it gradually became clear that the European Union was steadily becoming the pawn of the German industrial complex.

Even worse, the Germans were beginning to cosy up to Russia. Within just a few years, the combination of German manufacturing, the European market and Russia’s raw materials were clearly presenting a future threat to the global hegemony of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the American military-industrial complex.

On top of this, the in-built liberal-socialist majority within the EU was making it an increasingly large stumbling block to the globalist privatisation free-for-all favoured by the ultra-capitalist ideology promoted by the extremely influential followers of Ayn Rand.

Franco-German moves to create a European Army were seen as a challenge to NATO and to its Stateside leadership, and only served to strengthen the arguments of the anti-EU faction within the US elite.

All this led a significant section of the US Deep state to move towards hostility to the European Union, and to put in place measures to undermine it. From about 2008, this included the relentless media promotion (and, no doubt, funding) of dissident, Euro-sceptic political movements, particularly UKIP in Britain and the Five Star Movement in Italy.

Extremely well-funded globalist and neo-con think tanks, particularly the Henry Jackson Society and the London-based Policy Exchange, began to organise. Their mission – to lay the theoretical groundwork for a globalist, economically liberal, Atlanticist faction within British politics to challenge the pro-EU majority.

To cut a long story short, that faction has just grabbed control of the British ship of state! The Europhile elite have not changed their minds, the highly honed survival instinct of the British Conservative party, which has made it the oldest political party in the world, has simply handed the reins of power to a different bunch of politicians, in hock to a different foreign power. The UK just lurched even further out of the orbit of the Brussels bureaucrats and even closer to the Anglo-Zionist Empire.

Johnson and his gang really do appear committed to delivering Brexit, but before those who voted for it in the first place get too excited, it has to be said that, in delivering the letter of what the people voted for, this bunch will go on to drive a coach and horses through the spirit of that vote.

Because the British people voted Brexit fundamentally in a collective cry of anger and pain over being turned into marginalised outsiders in their own country. Brussels rule was conflated not just with losing our traditional weights and measures, but with the destruction of the old industries – fishing, coal, steel, ship-building – and the devastation of the working class communities that relied on them.

And, of course, with mass immigration, including that from former British colonies in the Third World, an influx which if anything was slowed down by the more recent arrival of generally far more assimilable East Europeans, courtesy of the EU.

On top of that was all the unease of millions of normal people over the political elite’s Gaderene rush to embrace social ultra-liberalism, in particular dripping wet law and order policies and a mania for LGBTQ+ triumphalism. Relentless newspaper headlines about crackpot rulings by the European Court of Justice led to ‘Europe’ getting the blame for a breakdown in law and order and in traditional justice.

Finally, with the majority of the political class urging people to vote to Remain, voting to Leave became a way of punishing the political elite, not just in Brussels, but in Westminster as well.

And yet, looking at the new Boris Johnson cabinet, and listening to his first few speeches as new Prime Minister, it is already all too clear that, while we are going to get Brexit, it certainly will not be the Brexit that the majority of Brits thought they were voting for!

To illustrate this, let’s take a brief, non-exhaustive look at some of the key players in the Johnson regime.

Let’s start with the man himself, noting the speed with which he spoke out about his pride in his partial Turkish Muslim and east European Jewish ancestry and the way in which, if ‘Islamophobia’ or ‘anti-Semitism’ rear their heads, he automatically finds himself thinking in terms of those ancestral loyalties, rather than what is good for Britain – as the British people are surely entitled to insist on in their Prime Minister.

Then, in one of his final campaign speeches, Johnson told the LGBT+ Conservatives (the tautology neatly sums up the state of the party and, more generally, Britain’s ruling political and media classes) that he has their back:

“I will continue to champion LGBT+ equality, get tough on hate crime and ensure that we break down barriers to a fairer society,” Johnson said, according to the group.

“We must do more to ensure that trans rights are protected and those who identify as trans or intersex are able to live their lives with dignity,” he continued, noting that he was one of the first senior party leaders to support same-sex marriage.

Following his meeting with the queen to officially accept the premiership, Johnson specifically mentioned the LGBTQ+ community in his speech outside No. 10 Downing Street.

“[The U.K.’s] brand and political personality is admired and even loved around the world for our inventiveness, for our humour, for our universities, our scientists, our armed forces, our diplomacy for the equalities on which we insist — whether race or gender or LGBT …….. and for the values we stand for around the world,” he said

Once upon a time, British political leaders justified going to war by speaking of making the world safe for democracy. Boris Johnson started his premiership by committing Britain to a global struggle to make the world safe for buggery!

Nor is this fixation with LGBTQ+ new. Although the never-satisfied ‘gay’ lobby is whining about a couple of throwaway ‘homophobic comments’ he made decades ago, Johnson voted in 2003 to repeal Section 28 of the Local Government Act of 1988, by which Margaret Thatcher prohibited local authorities from “promoting homosexuality” or “pretended family relationships.”

This vote opened the door to the indoctrination of school-children with homosexual propaganda. Johnson also voted for civil partnerships for homosexuals and attacked the institution of marriage as ‘bourgeois convention’.

Johnson has also wasted no time reiterating his support for an amnesty for huge numbers of illegal immigrants and boasting of sharing the views of pro-immigration Labour party MPs. Ominously, he has also refused to pledge even to attempt to stick to the upper limits on immigration promised – but of course not delivered – by his predecessor Theresa May.

With Brexit making it harder for Poles and Hungarians to come to Britain, it is already clear from Johnson’s waffle about making the UK ‘open’ and ‘welcoming immigrants’, that, far from stopping immigration as millions of voters expected, Johnson’s Brexit will merely swap Polish immigrants for more Pakistanis, Bulgarians for Botswanans.

Johnson probably will set Britain free from Brussels, but he is also openly committed to speeding up the process by which the duly ‘liberated’ Brits are replaced in their own country by a further flood of immigrants. And the social liberals posing as Johnson’s fake conservatives will urge the stupid Brits to suck it up and celebrate their added diversity.

We’ve already seen the start of this process in Johnson creating what he refers to as a “cabinet for modern Britain” – wording that The Guardian’s Kehinde Andrews rightly described as a “euphemism for non-white”.

Leading Johnson’s Great Replacement charge will be Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has spoken gushingly of how the new government will “ continue to push for a dynamic, global Britain that is outward looking ……Our vision is for a truly global country – one where we welcome the brightest and best, where we are more outward facing, and where we decide who comes here based on what they have to offer.”

The Brits can’t say they weren’t warned. Because capitalism demands not just cheap labour, but also an endless supply of new consumers. Even the worse educated and least assimilable featherless biped on the planet thus has plenty to offer big business. The door is going to open wide to them all.

Patel was forced to resign two years ago after holding secret meetings with Israeli ministers. The meetings included a visit to an Israeli army field hospital in the occupied Golan Heights, where wounded Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters were patched up and sent back to continue fighting against the pro-Christian government in Syria. Patel asked officials within her department to look into whether British aid money could be funneled into this medical centre.

The same dangerous obsequiousness to Israel has also been shown by Johnson’s new Chancellor, Sajid Javid. Two years after becoming MP, Javid told the Conservative Friends of Israel annual lunch that as a British born Muslim if he had to go and live in the Middle East, he would not go to a Muslim majority country: “There is only one place I could possibly go. Israel. The only nation in the Middle East that shares the same democratic values as Britain”.

He is talking, let us remind ourselves, about the last openly racist state on the planet, whose supporters around the world insist on the right of Jews to have their own exclusive homeland, at the very same time as denouncing any attempt by any white nation to restrict immigration or preserve traditional ethnic identities as ‘neo-Nazi’. And the state which has done more than any other –except Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Barak Obama’s White House – to fund, arm and aid the Islamist head-cutters at war in Syria.

In her resignation letter Patel admitted she “fell below the high standards that are expected of a Secretary of State.” Not for the first time! In the past she has been criticised for taking trips to Bahrain funded by that country’s repression Salafist regime, and attending a conference in Washington paid for by the Henry Jackson society.

As already noted, the Henry Jackson operation is one of the best-funded and most dangerous of all the trans-Atlantic neo-con think tanks. It constantly agitates for hostility to Russia, Iraq-war style meddling in the Middle East on behalf of Eretz Israel and Big Oil, and for a poisonous mixture of ultra-right-wing economics and social liberalism – including the privatisation of national assets and the promotion of LGBTQ+ agendas at the expense of traditional values.

The same sort of poison is promoted in Britain by the closely connected Policy Exchange think-tank. This was founded by Michael Gove, who Johnson just appointed as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in many ways his political Chief of Staff in parliament.

Gove’s counterpart within the government itself is Munira Mirza, who Johnson just appointed Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit. She was previously Development Director at Policy Exchange and also worked on a range of its publications, including Living Apart Together: British Muslims and the paradox of multiculturalism.

As with all the other material coming out of the Johnson camp about multi-culturalism, this argued that the chief problem with Islam is that it hinders ‘integration’ – i.e. the process by which traditional British cultural and ethnic identity is replaced by the ultimate corporate dream of an atomised mass of rootless, identical consumers. And by which the traditional values once upheld by Christians and now defended mainly by Muslims are to be replaced by the anti-morality of the LGBTQ+ brigade and corporations greedy for pink pounds and rainbow dollars.

As with so many neo-cons on both sides of the Pond, Mirza started off as a Trotskyite. She was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party. When it was dissolved in 1987 she followed other key comrades into the Living Marxism operation and then Spiked magazine, which has very successfully operated a policy of entryism into what passes for politica thought in Britain. Her Wiki entry quotes an article in the London Review of Books which noted that “Many of Munira’s ex party members have become influential in Conservative or Eurosceptic circles since the dissolution of their party, whilst remaining closely associated with each other’s endeavours.”

This includes the former party leader Frank Furedi, whose wife Ann is one of Britain’s most powerful abortionists. Strange ‘conservatives’ indeed! But, there again, one reading of these ‘ex’-Trotskyites’ new-found fondness for ultra-right-wing economics and privatisation is that the resulting exploitation and public anger will lead to the revolutionary crisis that eluded them when they were all wearing Che T-shirts in the late sixties! Or perhaps, it just pays better!

Coming back closer to Johnson, his campaign chief was Gavin Williamson. When Defence Secretary, Williamson was a notorious hawk against Russia and China, and for greater UK involvement in the Middle East. He also spoke out vigorously against Britain’s continued participation in Galileo, the global navigation satellite system created by the European Union. He is one of those pushing for a new UK system, compatible with the American GPS, and fully integrated with Five Eyes, the intelligence alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the UK. As with all such manoeuvres, it is hard to see where money gives way to ideology and power-politics and, of course, they are hopelessly entangled.

It is Williamson who has given one of the clearest glimpses into the Atlanticist obsession of the new regime: “Tthe cornerstone of European security is not the European Union, it is Nato. Let’s be absolutely clear. Our involvement in Nato is going to be there, long, enduring and for many, many defence secretaries after me.”

Another part of the Anglo-American elite can also be seen when you turn over another stone in the Johnson camp.

.Andrew Griffith, the new chief business adviser to Number 10 is a former Rothschild investment banker who joined Rupert Murdoch’s Sky in 1999, and became finance chief for the group in 2008.

Johnson has been spending up to 13 hours a day at Griffith’s lavish £9.5m townhouse,

A Johnson campaign source said Griffith had kindly opened up his home to let members of the transition team meet there. If paying the piper leads to the donor calling the tune, how much more power accrues to the Rothschild/Murdoch man providing the dancers with a 9.5 million pound house?

Finally, we just have time to consider Johnson’s new Chief Whip, Mark Spencer. Taking the new regime’s enthusiasm for LGBTQ+ issues towards its logical liberal intolerant end, he has said that Christian teachers who dare to voice opposition to same-sex marriage should be subject to ‘Extremism Disruption Orders’. In other words, legislation brought in supposedly to stop Islamist hate-preachers recruiting terrorists is to be used against Christians who stand by the teachings of the Bible!

So, yes, we can now expect Brexit from Johnson. But Britain is also going to get more mass immigration. And ruthless demonization of anyone who dares oppose it. More LGBTQ+ propaganda for children – and ruthless repression of anyone who dares oppose it.

More pressure for British participation in neo-con, Zionist and Salafist wars in Syria, Iran and Yemen. More insane and dangerous sabre-rattling against traditionalist and Christian Russia.

And more looting of what remains of Britain’s common wealth by the privatisation vultures. Finishing off the monetisation of the NHS is sure to surface as a great ambition for this corporate puppet regime sooner rather than later. Almost certainly a couple of months before Johnson delivers Brexit and obliterates Jeremy Corbyn in a snap general election.

It remains to be seen whether the globalist kleptomaniacs behind the new regime will also find a way to turn the removal of EU subsidies into an opportunity to arrange a massive transfer of farmland in Britain from farmers, workers’ pension funds and the old landed aristocracy and into the hands of global corporations. If that’s on the agenda too, remember where you heard it first!

All the above presupposes, of course, that the juvenile and utterly irresponsible anti-Russian, anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese sabre-rattling – of which the Johnson regime is as guilty as its predecessors – doesn’t actually start World War Three. Because, if it does, there’ll be nothing left to privatise and loot except the last tin of beans in the irradiated rubble.

Don’t get me wrong: This is not to condemn Brexit. The British people voted for it, and its delivery will be a Good Thing (not least because it has added, and will continue to add, to the instability in the EU which has disrupted the efforts of its bureaucratic rulers to maintain a firmly anti-Russian line, and because, however imperfect, Brexit is a blow for national sovereignty against a particularly nasty little imperial project.

All of us who, one way or another, helped set in motion or advance the process which defeated the pro-EU whores who had sold Britain to Brussels can be rightly proud of having done their bit to break the claws of the largest leopard in the London-based elite.

But you can also be sure that the British majority are going to be mightily disappointed with the new Johnson regime leopard and how Brexit turns out. They voted to restore the old Britain, particularly the Old England. What they will get instead is an even faster dissolution than we saw under EU rule.

They voted against ‘political correctness gone mad’ and in a bid to cling on to traditional values. What they will get is a quasi-Trotskyite cultural Marxist regime – all the more destructive for having the label ‘conservative’ – which grinds their faces – and especially the faces of their children and grandchildren – in LGBTQ+ filth.

They voted Brexit hoping to stop immigration. Instead, the next ten years will see an absolutely swamping change in Britain’s demographics, as the dying early Baby Boomers are replaced with Johnson’s ‘New Britons’ from all corners of the world.

They voted to kick out a Brussels Occupation Government. What they will get instead is a New York Occupation Government. Which is a polite way of putting it, for there is in fact really nothing American about America’s neocons.

“Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss”, is how the Who put it. But it was all summed up even better by the great English visionary William Morris, in A Dream of John Ball, his revolutionary classic about the very first English Peasants’ Revolt against an alien elite:

“I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.”

Turkey’s Multipolar Turn: Ankara and Beijing Come to Terms on Uyghurs Issue

Global Research, July 23, 2019

China’s relationship to its ethnic minority Uyghur population has been the central issue driving a wedge between China and the Muslim world in recent years. However, the situation is already beginning to change before our eyes – Pakistan, Turkey and many nations throughout the Middle East have suddenly stopped calling the Uyghur education centers in Xinjiang “concentration camps,” while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said that the Uyghurs live “happily” in Xinjiang. These are all indications of large-scale changes on the geopolitical map and the formation of new poles of cooperation.

Context

The Uyghurs (the second largest Muslim population in China after the Hui (回族) who number around 11 million) live in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China. The area became a part of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, after Mao Zedong led the country’s communist movement to victory over the Guomindang; Xinjiang has been a zone of political instability ever since.

The Uyghurs are indigenous Turkic people of Eastern Turkestan and Sunni Muslims. Western human rights organizations have recently been paying a great deal of attention to the Uyghurs in Xinjiang (e.g., Amnesty International’s 2013 report, Human Rights Watch’s 2018 report, reports from the Munich-based human rights organization World Uyghur Congress), while leading Western publications (CNN, BBC, Foreign Policy) have systematically criticized China’s policies in relation to the ethnic minority group.

The emergence of a number of articles criticizing China’s Xinjiang policies during the escalation of U.S.-China trade relations in 2018 can hardly be seen as a coincidence. For China, Xinjiang is a source of constant risk, since it has become a hub for radical Wahhabist strains of Islam [supported by foreign governments] which have begun to spread among the Muslim population. Most of the recent terrorist acts in China were committed by radicalized Uyghurs.

Assimilating the Uyghurs into Chinese society has been a very difficult process: their writing is based on the Arabic alphabet and their religion is rooted in Sunni Islam. While Sufism had traditionally been the central strain of Islam throughout Central Asia, in recent decades it has increasingly come under the influence of Salafist and Wahhabi tendencies under the influence of Saudi Arabia and in accordance with the USA’s plans to destabilize the region. The efforts of these countries have created a breeding ground for extremism and terrorism.

During the Arab Spring, Chinese authorities were seriously concerned about the possibility of regional destabilzation in Xinjiang as a result of the spread of radical Islam – at that time, Uyghur social networks were brought under direct control (This was accomplished via tools such as the JingWang Weishi app, which monitors photos, audio messagers and video materials online, and also has access to users private messages on WeChat). The Xinjiang region also has 20 million video cameras that can identify any person in the area in a remarkably short time (no more than 7 minutes). While all of this might seem draconian, such security policies are undoubtedly justified – over the past decade, a large number of Uyghurs have come under the influence of radical Islam, such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement  (ETIM).

To fight the spread of this dangerous ideology and to better integrate the Uyghurs into Chinese society, the Chinese authorities opened special education centres that teach the basics of Chinese political culture, Chinese language and conduct a course on the history of the People’s Republic of China. The process is called “transformation through training” or “counterterrorism training.”

The Western media, using an investigation by Human Rights Watch as a basis, has called the centers “concentration camps” (seemingly confusing them with prisons for offenders in the province). Moreover, the Western media and various human rights reports have accused the Chinese authorities of resorting to torture in these institutions, although there is no clear distinction between prisons for criminal offenders and the education centres in the reports. There is the information in these reports that Uyghurs in the education centres are allegedly being forced to renounce Islam. In September 2018, the U.S. government was considering the possibility of imposing sanctions against high-ranking Chinese officials and companies over the alleged violations of the Uygher’s rights and the supposed detention and restriction of freedoms in the “camps.”

More than 20 countries, including Japan and the United Kingdom, have recently issued a joint statement condemning China’s mass detention of Uyghurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang region. In a letter to Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, these 22 countries called for an end to “mass arbitrary detentions and related violations” and demanded Beijing grant UN experts access to the region.

The Conversation

@ConversationUK

Chinese officials have repeatedly termed the criticism of their treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang region as Western media politicising the issue.

37 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, UAE, seem to agree with China’s position. http://bit.ly/2JSLdnR 

China is building a global coalition of human rights violators to defend its record in Xinjiang –…

A group of 37 countries, including North Korea, Russia and Saudia Arabia, signed a letter in support of China’s human rights record.

theconversation.com

See The Conversation’s other Tweets
The mass media has devoted numerous articles to the issue, describing how the Chinese authorities do not allow Uughurs to perform religious pilgrimage (hajj), and preventing them from fulfilling their obligations during Ramadan.

Concentration camp, prisons or education centers?

The training has only one purpose: to learn laws and regulations…to eradicate from the mind thoughts about religious extremism and violent terrorism, and to cure ideological diseases. If the education is not going well, we will continue to provide free education, until the students achieve satisfactory results and graduate smoothly.
—Speech by Chinese Communist Youth League Xinjiang Branch, March 2017

Human Rights Watch’s report of 9 September 2018 published a report entitled “Eradicating Ideological Viruses’, which describes the Chinese authorities’ policy on Uyghurs as a policy of destoying the and violating ‘fundamental rights to freedom of expression, religion, and privacy’, practicing  ‘torture and unfair trials’. HRW note that China’s policy is a violation of international law prohibiting discrimination.

The Human Rights Organization report recommends western governments impose sanctions against the secretary of the party, Chen Quango, and other high-ranking officials. “Party Secretary Chen Quanguo and other senior officials responsible for the Strike Hard Campaign should face targeted sanctions – through tools such as the US Global Magnitsky Act and visa protocols.”    The organization also concludes that in order to address the situation in Xinjiang, countries should tighten export control regimes to prevent the development of Chinese technology.

It is important to note that the materials devoted to the issue of the Uyghur population in China began to be actively published in Western media during the escalation of the ongoing trade war between China and the United States. Interestingly, Trump’s protectionist policy against the PRC was joined by globalist corporations and influence groups, which, unlike Trump, see China as a threat not only to the U.S. economy, but also to the liberal globalist doctrine. This has become particularly evident over the past two years as the relationship between Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin grows closer, while Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative has increasingly shown China’s commitment to multipolarism.

It should be noted that, for China, the main goal in building education centers for the Uyghurs is to prevent the emergence of a domestic strain of radical Islam. China is in many ways an excellent breeding ground for the development of radical Islamic ideology,  which is useful for China’s enemies who want to weaken China by fermenting internal destabilization. According to Chinese authorities, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in China is responsible for more than 200 terrorist attacks which have killed more than 160 people and injured more than 400.

In the absence of countermeasures such as education centres, radical Wahhabi ideas could easily spread among the Uyghur population, gradually creating a situation in China similar to the one which tore apart Syria.

With the trade war between the U.S. and China raging for more than a year, such a development would undoubtedly play into the hands of globalists opposed to China’s rising power and influence. New geopolitical strategies have emerged that pose a serious threat to globalism’s enemies without the need to resort to outright military conflict, such as using proxies to destabilize regions. It is no coincidence that Syria, a country that had no external debt before the war, became a target for terrorism.

What is really China’s policy?

Assimilation of the Uyghurs into Chinese society is gradually taking place on a large scale – for the majority of Uyghurs – Chinese has become a second or even first/native language. The Uyghurs have been granted privileges when it comes to entering universities and Chinese schools, as well as in starting up private businesses.

Uyghur children: “The population that is not there.”

One of the peculiarities of Xinjiang’s demographic picture is the conflict between China’s birth control measures (until the end of 2015/beginning of 2016, the “one family, one child” demographic law was in force, today it is the “one family, two children” demographic law) and Islamic tradition, especially in regard to polygamy which is practiced among Uyghurs and the simplicity of divorce measures, which also do not restrict women from remarriage and having more children.

This has resulted in a significant proportion of Xinjiang’s population not having official registration, i.e. citizenship, which naturally severely restricts their rights, access to education, medicine, legal earnings and travel both within and outside China. This environment of an illegal and unrecorded population deprived of legal status has become the basis for recruiting terrorists, Salafist jamaats and the spread of extremist ideology.

Possible solutions

To address the problem, the PRC needs to establish Confucian schools to integrate Uyghurs into PRC culture. In addition, an important step would be to establish Islamic education schools for the Uyghurs, where mullahs would teach the basics of Islam, which could be an important step in China’s fight against international terrorism.

The creation of Uighur integration centres into Chinese society in the Uyghur language could also be extremely effective. Such centres could be a cultural bridge to establishing a dialogue between two cultures with centuries-old histories.

It is crucial to counter Salafi and Wahhabi teachings with traditional Islam, and Sufism in particular. Chinese leadership has so far failed to significantly utilize this approach, despite that these traditional Islamic structures have already helped to stabilize some regions outside China, such as Turkey, Iraq, Syria and the Northern Caucasus in the Russian Federation.

Between Turkey and China

Turkey had heavily criticized China’s Uyghur policy until February 2019. In 2009, during the Uyghur riots in Urumqi in July, the Turkish government stated its disagreement with the Chinese authorities’ assessment of the situation: a member of the Justice and Development Party resigned from his post in the China-Turkey Interparliamentary Friendship Group, and the Minister of Industry and Trade called for a boycott on Chinese goods as a result.  After a series of protests in Ankara and Istanbul, Erdoğan himself condemned China’s policy towards the Uyghurs, calling it “genocide”. The situation was resolved some time later, but tensions between Turkey and China on the Uyghur issue remained until this year.

Interestingly, Turkey’s Kemalist faction, who are close to the Turkish military, have condemned the anti-Chinese position of the Turkish leadership for years. During a speech in Ürümqi (Xinjiang), Doğu Perinçek, the leader of the Vatan Partisi, argued that “the propaganda and lies aimed at China over the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region target Turkey as well, because China’s friendship with Turkey is necessary to both our security and economy. Clearly conscious of this fact, we immediately took a decisive stance against the torrent of lies concerning the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region.”

In July 2019, during his official visit to China, Erdogan admitted that the Uyghurs live happily in China.This was a radical change of position for the Muslim leader who had long criticized China’s policies. Erdogan, who is known for his support of some rather radical Islamic movements, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, described Erdogan’s unexpected change of heart as a “betrayal.” However, only representatives of the Western media seemed to agree, as Erdoğan’s approval was quickly mirrored by other representatives of the Muslim world.

The globalist mass media has claimed that the reason Erdogan changed his position on the issue was predominantly economic.

In the period from 2013 to 2018, China invested 186.3 billion dollars in the framework of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). According to Morgan Stanley, Chinese investments in the BRI project will reach $1.3 billion by 2027. It is important to note that Turkey’s participation in the BRI is not only economic, but also ideological, as the country also increasingly orients itself toward a multipolar outlook.

Chinese political scientist Eric Li, in an article in Foreign Affairs, noted that the death of “globalism does not mean the end of globalization.” Today, China is developing and offering its partners a new vision of globalization – dialogue and partnership. This vision of globalization is devoid of the liberal dimension of a hegemon mediating between different cultures and states.

Turkey is moving away from its historic cooperation with the U.S., in part due to their support of Muhammed Fethullah Gülen’s anti government putsch three years ago. Turkey is joining the fight against globalism, a movement which is predominantly led by China. This reorientation is vividly demonstrated in Turkey’s deal with the Russian Federation to buy S-400 missile defense systems against Washington’s will. Die Welt called Ankara’s acquisition of the S-400s a de facto “refusal to support their allies in the West.” The publication notes that Turkey is currently reaching a “point of no return”, which may result in sanctions from the EU and the U.S., as well as the impossibility of purchasing F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. as planned.

Today, Turkey has the prospect to become a key player in the Chinese Belt and Road project, which has become the primary movement fighting globalist hegemony. Their participation could represent a significant step forward in the creation of a new, multipolar world.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

All images in this article are from UWI

BBC Says China Building Schools is “Bad”

BBC Says China Building Schools is “Bad”

July 14, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – China’s recent building-spree of schools in its underdeveloped and remote region of Xinjiang – in a saner world – would be good news. But for editors at the BBC it is being depicted as sinister and dystopian.

The BBC’s article, “China Muslims: Xinjiang schools used to separate children from families,” attempts to depict boarding schools – a concept popular in the UK itself – as a “form of interment” and “cultural re-engineering.”

The BBC’s article claims:

China is deliberately separating Muslim children from their families, faith and language in its far western region of Xinjiang, according to new research. At the same time as hundreds of thousands of adults are being detained in giant camps, a rapid, large-scale campaign to build boarding schools is under way.

The “new research” conducted by the BBC is admittedly not even being done in China itself. The BBC admits:

China’s tight surveillance and control in Xinjiang, where foreign journalists are followed 24 hours a day, make it impossible to gather testimony there. But it can be found in Turkey.

“Testimony” gathered in Turkey – one of the nations abetting US efforts to fuel radicalism and separatism in Xinjiang in the first place – is accompanied by satellite photos taken from outer space of vacant lots in Xinjiang being transformed into newly built schools complete with football pitches and jogging tracks.

The images are only proof that China is building schools in Xinjiang. Not of any of the claims being made by the BBC of “internment” or “cultural re-engineering.” The inclusion of the images is meant to serve as convincing stand-ins where actual evidence of the BBC’s otherwise baseless accusations should be.

The BBC Omits the Real “Cultural Re-Engineering” in China’s Xinjiang 

The BBC has been one of the leading voices promoting claims of Xinjiang “concentration camps,” “one million Muslims” being detained, and now the “internment” of children in schools.

The BBC – however – has been relatively quiet for years over genuine cultural re-engineering taking place in Xinjiang – funded by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and abetted by nations like Turkey and even the UK itself through its propaganda and political support of such efforts.

The LA Times in a 2016 article titled, “In China, rise of Salafism fosters suspicion and division among Muslims,” would reveal:

Salafism is an ultra-conservative school of thought within Sunni Islam, espousing a way of life and prayer that harks back to the 6th century, when Muhammad was alive. Islamic State militants are Salafi, many Saudi Arabian clerics are Salafi, and so are many Chinese Muslims living in Linxia. They pray at their own mosques and wear Saudi-style kaffiyehs.

The article also noted (emphasis added):

Experts say that in recent years, Chinese authorities have put Salafis under constant surveillance, closed several Salafi religious schools and detained a prominent Salafi cleric. A once close-knit relationship between Chinese Salafis and Saudi patrons has grown thorny and complex.

And that:

…Saudi preachers and organizations began traveling to China. Some of them bore gifts: training programs for clerics, Korans for distribution, funding for new “Islamic institutes” and mosques.

This pervasive radicalism has translated directly into real violence – another fact omitted completely from the BBC and other Western media coverage of events in Xinjiang.

China’s efforts to reverse the growing influence of Salafism – such as collecting deliberately mistranslated copies of the Koran published and distributed by Saudi Arabia to promote radicalism – have been depicted by the Western media as religious oppression with all context intentionally omitted.

That the BBC claims China building schools teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture in China is “cultural re-engineering” while overlooking Saudi Arabia building Salafist networks thousands of miles away from its borders fuelling very real extremism in western China to begin with – helps fully reveal recent BBC reports on Xinjiang and China’s Muslim community as pure propaganda.

Salafism as a Geopolitical Tool 

Not only does the BBC intentionally omit mention of extremism and violence in regions like Xinjiang or how it came to be, the BBC is also omitting the fact that Salafism itself was admittedly spread worldwide by Saudi Arabia as a geopolitical tool.

In the pages of the Washington Post, the Saudi Crown Prince would recently admit:

Asked about the Saudi-funded spread of Wahhabism, the austere faith that is dominant in the kingdom and that some have accused of being a source of global terrorism, Mohammed said that investments in mosques and madrassas overseas were rooted in the Cold War, when allies asked Saudi Arabia to use its resources to prevent inroads in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union.

Wahhabism is closely related to Salafism and the terms are often used interchangeably. The Crown Prince’s admission refers specifically to the Cold War and the Soviet Union, but it is abundantly clear that these networks didn’t simply vanish with the collapse of the Soviet Union, they evolved.

They are now used to help feed extremists into Washington’s many proxy wars around the globe including in Libya and Syria. They are also being used to pressure nations across Asia and to create a pretext for a continued US military presence in Asia-Pacific.

And clearly they are being used to fuel US-backed separatism inside China.

Just as the Western media deliberately misrepresented terrorists waging proxy war on the West’s behalf against Libya and Syria – the Western media is deliberately misrepresenting China’s Uyghur minority, the extremists within that minority, who funds and encourages them, and why.

We’re left with articles like the BBC’s – attempting to undermine China’s global standings by depicting very real efforts to confront very real extremism as “oppressive” and “authoritarian.” It is partly to help provide cover for ongoing efforts to divide China from within, but also to demonize China among global Muslim communities.

Never mentioned by the BBC in its efforts to depict China as persecuting all Muslims – rather than a minority of extremists who just so happen to be Muslims – is the fact that China’s oldest and most important ally in Eurasia is Pakistan – a Muslim-majority nation. Also omitted is the fact that China has many other Muslim minority groups within its borders who live without conflict.

These facts – along with ham-handed attempts by the BBC and others to depict newly constructed schools in a previously underdeveloped and remote region as “oppressive” – help one understand the true obstacles impeding global stability and progress. It is not Beijing – it is those claiming Beijing building schools and confronting real radicalism through reform rather than perpetual war are “villains.”

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

The Caliphate Project, Made in America. Declassified U.S. Government Documents Confirm the US Supported the Creation of ISIS

Global Research, June 12, 2019
Washington’s Blog 24 May 2015

Global Research Editor’s Note:

First published in May 2015, this article reveals not only that the ISIS is a creation of US intelligence, it  also confirms that the Caliphate Project was designed in Washington.

See Screenshots Below from the title page as well as excerpts:

“… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime …. ” (Washington Blog, see below)

March 13, 2016

Judicial Watch has – for many years – obtained sensitive U.S. government documents through freedom of information requests and lawsuits.

The government just produced documents to Judicial Watch in response to a freedom of information suit which show that the West has long supported ISIS.   The documents were written by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency on August 12, 2012 … years before ISIS burst onto the world stage.

Here are screenshots from the documents. We have highlighted the relevant parts in yellow:

Why is this important? It shows that extreme Muslim terrorists – salafists, Muslims Brotherhood, and AQI (i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq) – have always been the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

This verifies what the alternative media has been saying for years: there aren’t any moderate rebels in Syria (and see thisthis and this).

The newly-declassified document continues:

Yes, you read that correctly:

… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime ….

In other words, the powers supporting the Syrian opposition – the West, our Gulf allies, and Turkey wanted an Islamic caliphate in order to challenge Syrian president Assad.

Sure, top U.S. generals – and vice president Vice President Joe Biden – have said that America’s closest allies support ISIS.  And mainstream American media have called for direct support of ISIS.

But the declassified DIA documents show that the U.S. and the West supported ISIS at its inception … as a way to isolate the Syrian government.  And see this.

This is a big deal.  A former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism intelligence officer and a former MI5 officer confirm that the newly-released documents are a smoking gun.

This is a train wreck long in the making.

Foreign backed terrorism in Iran: Part two – US/Israeli backed insurgency and separatism in western Iran

April 18, 2019

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Foreign backed terrorism in Iran: Part two – US/Israeli backed insurgency and separatism in western Iran

In the previous article, we examined the prevalence of US/Israeli backed terrorism in eastern Iran where Baluchi Salafists have received arms and funding from the CIA and Mossad. In this second part of the article series we will examine the US/Israeli support for terrorists and separatists in western Iran among the Kurdish ethnic group.

The Kurdish situation in western Iran

The Kurdish question in Iran is a long running one that stretches back to the WWII era. While Kurdish revolts occurred already during the 1920s these were not motivated out of nationalist sentiment but rather out of tribal opposition to the monarchy’s attempts to centralize the state of Iran. The Qajar dynasty and later the Pahlavi dynasty attempted to consolidate power around Tehran in a time when the Iranian nation was fragmented into areas of tribal and ethnic influence. Simko Shikak was one of the powerful Kurdish chieftains that with Ottoman backing led the first revolt in 1918, against the Qajar dynasty, as the Ottoman’s were fierce rivals of the severely weakened Iranian state, attempted to gain influence over western Iran. Another reason for the Ottoman involvement was motivated by the slaughter of the large Iranian Armenian population in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. But it was not only the Ottomans that backed these separatist tribal ambitions as Tehran repeatedly called out British influence and support for the tribal rebellions. The British role was mainly motivated by their desire to remove the Qajar dynasty from power and install a new Shah that they could more easily control, thus also triumphing over the Russian Empire in the struggle for influence over Iran.

British intervention in Persia was at its height during the coup d’etat of 1921. Although the coup itself was executed by Persians, it received vital assistance from, and was probably actually initiated by, certain British military officers and officials in Iran, most importantly Major-General Sir Edmund Ironside, Commander of Norperforce, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Smyth, who was unofficially and “almost secretly” attached to the Cossacks at Qazvin, and Walter A Smart, the Oriental Secretary.

After the coup, Reza Shah Pahlavi, the new Shah of Iran ultimately crushed the Kurdish tribal rebellion and the subsequent ones imitated during 1929 and 1941. It wasn’t until 1946 when the real danger of separatism became prevalent in Iran with the Iranian crisis of 1946 and the aftermath of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran during WWII. One of the first crises of the Cold War was initiated in 1946 when Stalin refused to relinquish occupied Iranian territory as the Soviets felt that the successor to Reza Shah Pahlavi, his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a staunch anti-communist was a danger to Soviet interests, especially with regards to the Truman doctrine. By mid-December 1945, with the use of troops and secret police, they had set up two pro-Soviet “People’s Democratic Republics” in northwestern Iran, the Azerbaijan People’s Republic headed by Sayyid Jafar Pishevari and the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad under Pesheva Qazi Muhammad and Mustafa Barzani, father to current US puppet Mahmoud Barzani who was the previous president of the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq before last year’s scandalous attempt at independence for the KRG (Kurdish regional government). Though Mustafa Barzani fled Iran and went back to Iraq, so called Marxist oriented parties such as Komala and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDP-I) continued their hostilities not just with the Pahlavi regime but also later on with Islamic Republic after 1979, although these parties moved on from advocating separatism to specific demands and requests. This is due to the relatively low interest in separatism among the Kurdish public in Iran, mainly because of the close cultural, linguistic and historical relations that the Kurdish people and the rest of the Iranian society share.

Kurdish Insurrection after the Islamic Revolution and Israeli activities in western Iran

Since 2004, an armed conflict has been ongoing in the western provinces of Iran between the Iranian government forces and the so called “Party for a free life in Kurdistan” (PJAK). The group is said to be a branch of the PKK terrorist group in Turkey. The group settled in the area controlled by the PKK on the slopes of Mount Qandil, less than 16 kilometres from the Iranian border. Once established at Qandil and operating under the PKK’s security umbrella, the group began conducting sporadic attacks on Iranian border guards and security forces until a ceasefire commenced in 2011.

With the outbreak of the Syrian and Iraqi wars against terrorism, and with Iran focusing heavily on supporting the Syrian and Iraqi governments, the conflict resurged and intensified in 2016, this time with several other Kurdish militant groups also joining in, as US and Israeli support for Kurdish groups across the Middle East escalated. In an obvious show of solidarity with the Zionist state’s growing worries about the JCPOA (Iran Nuclear Deal), the KDP-I stated that it was returning to militancy after two decades of cessation of hostilities: “Since Iran has signed the atomic [nuclear deal] agreement, Iran thinks whatever they do, the outside world does not care. That is why we were forced to choose this approach,” Hassan Sharafi, the deputy leader of the PDKI said. Conveniently for the Zionist state and Washington, PJAK and leftist group Komalah immediately expressed their support for renewed hostilities and began attacking Iranian security forces respectively in the midst of Iran’s struggle against Takfiri terrorists across the region.

The Zionist state has for long had close relations to Kurdish groups across the Middle East as part of their “Alliance of the periphery” doctrine which calls for Israel to develop close strategic alliances with non-Arab Muslim states in the Middle East to counteract the united opposition of Arab states. After the fall of the Iranian monarchy and with Turkey’s recent Islamic resurgence, the strategy is mainly applied towards the Kurdish people, with Israeli government officials providing extensive support to Kurdish political parties and their aspirations for greater self-government and even independence. The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has maintained open ties with Israel and is an influential lobby for the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between Israel and Iraq. Israel remains today the closest regional ally of the YPG forces in Syria as well as the KRG in Iraq.

Documents leaked in 2010 by Wikileaks prove that Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan wanted to use Kurds and ethnic minorities to topple the Iranian government. The Israeli spy service wanted to have a weak divided Iran, like in Iraq where the Kurds have their own government, the spy chief told an U.S. official. According to a memo from August 2007, Dagan described to Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns the five pillars of Israel’s Iran policy, among them the desire to spark a revolution. The memo noted, ‘instability in Iran is driven by inflation and tension among ethnic minorities. This, Dagan said, “presents unique opportunities, and Israelis and Americans might see a change in Iran in their lifetimes.”

Dagan noted that Iran could end up like Iraq. “As for Iraq, it may end up a weak, federal state comprised of three cantons or entities, one each belonging to the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias.” He added that Iran’s minorities are “raising their heads, and are tempted to resort to violence.”

“It’s Realpolitik. By aligning with the Kurds Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran,” observed a former Israeli intelligence officer. Interestingly, PJAK themselves claim they receive no support from Washington or Tel Aviv. In an interview with Slate magazine in June 2006, PJAK spokesman Ihsan Warya stated that he “nevertheless points out that PJAK really does wish it were an agent of the United States, and that [PJAK is] disappointed that Washington hasn’t made contact.” The Slate article continues stating that the PJAK wishes to be supported by and work with the United States in overthrowing the government of Iran in a similar way to the US eventually cooperated with Kurdish organisations in Iraq in overthrowing the government of Iraq. Surely by now it is no secret that Kurdish chieftains and officials love to be the staunch vassals of Washington and Tel Aviv.

The KRG has even been so generous to offer its territory as a base for Mossad terrorists to launch operations inside Iran. According to several sources, the Mossad operates in the KRG to launch covert operations inside Iran and acquire intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program. “Israeli drones are said to be operating against Iran from bases inside the KRG,” wrote Patrick Seale, a British expert on the Middle East.

The London-based Sunday Times reported that, according to “Western intelligence sources,” during early 2012 Israeli commandos and special forces members carried out missions in Iran that were launched from the KRG. The Zionist terrorists, dressed in Iranian military uniforms, entered Iran in modified Black Hawk helicopters and travelled to Parchin, the site of an Iranian military complex just 30 kilometres southeast of Tehran, and Fordow, an Iranian military base with an underground uranium enrichment facility. The report claims that these forces utilized advanced technology to monitor radioactivity levels and record explosive tests carried out at the military facilities. Whether this report is true or part of a psychological war, I guess we’ll never know.

In addition to all of this, Arab separatism is on the rise in the western Khuzestan province where a large Arab minority reside. The 2018 Ahvaz Military Parade terrorist attack where 29 people were killed was evidence of a recent surge in Arab separatist activities. The Islamic Republic suspects that both Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states offer political and financial support to Arab separatist groups and personalities operating in the West, who in turn funnel the cash to militant networks inside Iran. Suspicions that regional rivals had a hand in the terror attack was intensified by pathetic comments made by Abdul Khaliq Abdullah, a former advisor to the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, that the Ahvaz attack did not constitute an act of terrorism since it was aimed at a military target. The significance of this inflammatory remark lies in Saudi Crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s statement that Saudi Arabia would take the battle “inside” Iran. Since the Saudi monarchy themselves are Zionist agents, we should again look for Washington and Tel Aviv’s hand in this latest campaign targeting yet another minority group in Iran.

The Islamic Republic is under attack from all sides with Washington and Tel Aviv specifically targeting ethnic minorities living in the border areas in the eastern and western regions of Iran. As Washington and Tel Aviv have admitted in the past, a full scale invasion of Iran is highly unlikely due to the size of the country and the large popular support the Islamic Republic enjoys, instead the Zionist Empire has deemed insurgency and fomenting a civil war to be the best way to weaken their adversaries, just like they did in Syria and Iraq. I expect these campaigns to escalate as the Islamic Republic gains more influence across the region and the Zionist Empire growing more and more frustrated each day.

(Video): Mecca or Las Vegas? Why Saudis destroyed Islam’s holiest sites – English Subtitles

The destruction of sites associated with early Islam is an ongoing phenomenon that has occurred mainly in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, particularly around the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The demolition has focused on mosques, burial sites, homes and historical locations associated with the Islamic prophet Muhammad and many of the founding personalities of early Islamic history. In Saudi Arabia, many of the demolitions have officially been part of the continued expansion of the Masjid al-Haram at Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and their auxiliary service facilities in order to accommodate the ever-increasing number of people performing the pilgrimage.

Concerns are growing among Muslims as Saudi authorities plan to destroy the birthplace of Prophet Mohammad in the holy city of Mecca. Reports say under the plan, the historic site will be destroyed and replaced with a royal palace for King Abdullah for his visits to Mecca. The work is part of a multibillion-dollar construction project in the holy city which has already resulted in the destruction of hundreds of historic monuments. Saudi Officials claim that the plan aims to expand al-Masjid al-Haram, or the Grand Mosque to host more pilgrims. Riyadh is under fire for mass destruction of historic buildings in Mecca. Some reports say up to 95 percent of Mecca’s millennium-old buildings have been destroyed to be replaced with luxury hotels and shopping malls.

 

Khashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

 

December 04, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker BlogKhashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

File it under “things we’d like to be true…so we never examine it”: The West’s unstated belief that their politics are exponentially morally superior to those of Saudi Arabia. “We only work with them – we are not at all like them,” is what it boils down to.

This article aims to show just how similar “Oriental despotism” is to “Occidental domination” in 2018 by revealing the similarity of Jamal Khashoggi’s socio-political vision to that of Westerners.

This is the final part in a 4-part series which aims to pull the sheet off Khashoggi, who is as much as a “reformer” as Hillary Clinton was a “leftist” or Emmanuel Macron was “centrist”. I think it’s necessary because there has been so much talk about Khashoggi, but very little examination of “Khashoggi-Thought” – what he espoused and stood for.

Part 1 showed what true “dissidents” in the Muslim World look like and why the elite-defending Khashoggi does not qualify; Part 2 showed how his rabid anti-Iran warmongering and his hysterical anti-Shia sectarianism precluded any possibility of his being even merely a “reformer”; Part 3 demystified and stripped the Islamophobia from “Salafism” to show that many in the West want to “return to a golden era” – like 1776 in America – just as Khashoggi and other Salafists want to return to 676; and also reminded readers that the West and the Muslim World are the only two regions of the world where we still find supporters of monarchy, which is an inherently reactionary and inegalitarian concept in 2018.

Khashoggi, just like Western conservatives and centrists, denied any sort of modern leftist political movement – socialism, Islamic socialism, etc. – which could undermine the social powers as apportioned up until the 19th century.

Pushing technocratic & elitist bourgeois democracy, anti-socialist economics, window-dressing cultural liberality, and rationalising warmongering is what modern fake-leftism is; because this definition fits Khashoggi, the Clintons, Macron, Blair and others, we now see how similar they are. Therefore, the death, and alleged martyrdom, of Khashoggi allows us to show what Western democracy truly wants to defend: we will see it stands 100% in favor of modern despotism – either/or monarchical or bourgeois – both in the Orient and the Occident.

Non-jingoistic Westerners should not be dismayed at such a thesis: it allows us to increase global unity by showing the similarity of the 1%.

Rationalising China’s success is a must across the West, but how do they do it in Saudi Arabia?

A good test to see if someone is a fake-leftist is to get their views on China. Everybody loves Cuba – music, dancing, beaches, cigars – so supporting them is too easy; it takes a real leftist to squint hard at China and see their leftist commitment and beauty.

If someone claims to be a leftist but only talks about the only-crimes-and-never-successes of the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution, instead of their 266% GDP increase since 2008…this person is a centrist at best – i.e. a fake-leftist. (I write from the Lost Decade-denying Eurozone, which is at -12% since 2008) Such persons get seriously annoyed at being properly pegged on the global political spectrum like this…but I did not invent the spectrum.

Absolutely everybody is starting to notice China’s huge leaps amid the West’s austerity-imposed suicide. But how do they explain it?

Is it the result of their rock-solid socialist constitution, written in 1982? Or is it by accusing the Chinese of having a totalitarian system? Or is it by accusing them of being “radishes” – only red on the outside. Due to their undeniable success, we journalists simply must make some explanation – what did Khashoggi choose?

Khashoggi provided the answer in this article run by Saudi media giant Al-Arabiya, Saudi Arabia, the Chinese model and Vision 2030.

It’s an interesting article because he basically tries to equate the Saudi monarchical governing class with the Chinese Communist Party. LOL, unexpected, no? The Long March, the Cultural Revolution, the Century of Humiliation – all that produced something…just like the blood-red commie “House of Saud Party”, if you believe Khashoggi!

“In fact, the Chinese economy has always been and continues to be a fair economy compared to similar totalitarian regimes. Moreover, the Chinese economy is suitable for all classes of the society and displays a firm determination to fight corruption to the point that leaders, who get involved in corruption, including receiving briberies or committing frauds, are executed.

I think Saudi Arabia can achieve the same because of its cultural background. It is an Islamic country….”

Seemingly no Muslim outside of Saudi Arabia would say that Saudi Arabia is an “Islamic country”; it is the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and not even the “Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”. As I related in Part 3, a common line in the Muslim world is “Saudi Arabians are not Muslims, they are Wahhabis.”

Beyond the Islamic objections…it is rather hilarious that a total monarchist – a system based purely on class elitism, anti-democratic disempowerment, intimidation, and blood instead of brains – thinks that the House of Saud can all of a sudden produce something which “is suitable for all classes of the society”.

Such a misguided idea, since we must classify it in order to fully understand it, is an 18th century idea known as benevolent despotism…and it is totally reactionary. It’s unofficial motto of “Everything for the people, nothing by the people” is not remotely similar in essence or practice to the Peoples Democratic Dictatorship in China; it is, however, extremely similar to the ideal in Western Liberal Democracies in the 21st century, as they expound a (allegedly) merit-based, “benevolent technocratism”.

Benevolent technocratism – which was essentially the campaign platform of Hillary Clinton, and which provides the justification for (still-failing) economic policy domination by the Eurozone’s “best” economists – is 100% fake-leftism.

Benevolent technocratism is the same old despotism of the bourgeois, and thus fake-leftism

Khashoggi’s view of ideal governance is perfectly described for us in this same article:

“I like to simplify things for a better understanding before I try to make others understand them. That’s why I try to imagine the National Center as an operating room where in the middle is the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as the chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs surrounded by ministers, members of the Council, and other experts.

Right in front of them, I imagine personal computers linked to the room’s database and a few meters far many screens showing numbers and graphics with goals set for each ministry and government institution. I also imagine the chairman of the Council zooming in on one screen to see the reasons behind flaws and the concerned minister explaining why they occurred and suggesting solutions to tackle them. This system, as I imagine it, is able to make every minister work hard and held accountable.

From this scope, can the plan be monitored and its executors held accountable with complete transparency without an elected Council and without the basis of democracy to achieve the success of both the transformation plan and the Vision? Personally, I think this is possible but it can only happen in Saudi Arabia considering its social and cultural background, which is based on Islamic ethos and considering the fact that others have done it as well.”

Does anyone not envision Eurozone/EU leadership operating in the same “too smart to be touched by commoners” style? Khashoggi’s vision is basically to be a West European-aping technocracy where the “talented tenth” rules with assumed but unproven moral aims.

Khashoggi admits – and without shame – that this fantasy lacks democracy, but this fantasy is also robotic, technocratic, clinical and nearly inhuman. There is no way any of these so-called experts have spent a day sweating in the Saudi sun, yet they sit in total removal from Saudi society and decide policy for 33 millions. (Oh, and they’re all related, LOL; or, like in France, they all went to the same school.)

Crucially, because they have the data and computers then of course they will have the same success as China! Too bad political science is not a “science”, and that moral motivations matter. What Khashoggi fails to realize is that China’s “technocrats” get to the top by having a PhD in something not offered in any Western university: socialism (with Chinese characteristics).

The US, being not Western Europe, also aspires to ape this aristocracy, but for various reasons they only recently became even less class-mobile than Europe. This is why the loss of Hillary was so significant – it was a blow against this aristocratic technocratism which long-ago swept the West’s intellectual centre, Europe.

Contrarily, China’s President Xi spent seven years in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution (LOL, or according to The New York Times where he “fled” to), where he taught farmers how to read by firelight. In Cuba an admired and beloved small-town cobbler who just got elected to help keep Cuban parliament real – an unthinkable development in Western Liberal Democracies. In Iran there are plenty of representatives of the lower class all throughout the government, and this policy has been cemented by the totally-misunderstood Basij, which I tried to explain here.

Never uttered in the West: they believe that technocratism is more important than democracy

“The second frame of reference is China’s huge economic success, comes alongside arguments related to democracy being a precondition for progress. Therefore, we are witness to a new ‘Chinese model’ different from the commonly spread model of Western democracy.”

Khashoggi is obviously implying that China has had success despite not having democracy, therefore anti-democratic Saudi Arabia can do the same.

Too bad that Khashoggi’s frame of reference – the alleged anti-democracy of China – is not at all accurate. The Chinese frame of reference is “socialist democracy”, which is qualitatively different from “Western bourgeois / liberal democracy”. Calling socialists “anti-democratic” is as false as socialists who say the liberal democratic West is “anti-democratic”: the two are structurally different, making both sides right about each other, but only partially. Liberal Democracy, I must admit, does have certain freedoms socialist democracies do not…these freedoms are not universally-guaranteed, but are reserved for those with money, but that is technically a “freedom”.

Again, Khashoggi is failing to see socialism’s motivations, concerns, demands and goals anywhere – he sees Chinese success solely as resulting from technocratism.

But in socialist democracy, where non-elite-born hold at least SOME top posts, then we will inevitably find that all technocrats do not interpret all social data the same: this is the exact point of conflict where Western Liberal Democracy totally collapses and reveals its essential, unmodern elitism.

Khashoggi, like Macron or Hillary, does not want this socialist-style of representation in their governance, nor do they want socialist-style policies, because such policies are not 100%-focused on maintaining the elitist lifestyle of the bourgeois/monarchical/1% class which they are a part of.

But any objective reading of postwar China – a country under blockade, refusing foreign investment, long-banned from top international organisations (like modern Iran), pulling itself out of swamps caused by a “century of humiliation” solely via their own policies, efforts and domestic investments – shows that China’s success is due solely to socialism. The same goes for Iranian Islamic Socialism, which has had similarly spectacular redistributive success amid similar global Cold War. Not so to Khashoggi who, like all journalists and commentators, must find an explanation for China’s astounding success in the past decade:

“The reason might be principles of Confucianism”, which is more utter nonsense.

China had Confucianism all through their Century of Humiliation…and also totally undemocratic inequality. They had it in the Ming and Ching eras and long, long before…and totally undemocratic inequality. I adore Confucianism, but as a social-moral model – as a political model it is totally outdated. Pushing pure Confucianism is “Chinese Salafism”, and this is what China’s Cultural Revolution explicitly overturned: the political disempowerment of the rural Chinese peasant caused by politically-outdated Confucianism.

But a Salafist’s only tool is an old calendar – they want to wax nostalgic and turn the pages backwards, never forwards.

Khashoggi is an anti-socialist, monarchy-loving Salafist – he will always only hunt around China’s past for its success, and never objectively examine its present.

Trump’s entire “Make America Great Again” hinges 100% on mining an allegedly-perfect late 18th century past.

Macron, in combination with EU-technocratism, is a Petainist Salafist – a few days after a far-right assassination plot was uncovered, Macron praised the Nazi collaborator Petain as an inspiration for today.

In a time when France’s president enforces detested policies by decree, when democratic votes are ignored across Europe, we should see that there is very little difference between modern Muslim un-democracy and Western un-democracy.

The only people who don’t admit this are ethnocentric Europeans, who can apparently subsist on the pride produced by flattering themselves with feelings of superiority, and also by those Christians who refuse to have fraternal feelings towards Muslims as Muslims have towards their fellow Abrahamic believers (those who are also not imperialists, of course). Such flattery is indeed the manna of their far-right, but also the Western fake-left, and this is the point of this article.

Fake-leftism means never admitting the small circle democracy is limited to

When we start calling things by their proper names, “fake-leftism” becomes more and more obvious in journalists like Khashoggi.

Fake-leftism leads to absurdly unreflective statements such as this, which have no basis in modern facts: “Western countries are adept at finding the reasons behind low voter turnout in elections or to determine why people are unhappy with the parliament’s performance.”

I suppose Western countries are adept…compared to Arab monarchies. Turnout is quite low and in 2016, when this article was written, any citizen-observer of the Eurozone (as well as the European Union) could see that disapproving performance registered no “democratic” impact on economic policy whatsoever. Both Khashoggi or a self-aggrandising Westerner could have written that sentence – both are fake-leftists.

Fake-leftism means someone who is out of touch with what Leftism means on the global scale, as they assume “left” and “right” only matter domestically; but it also means someone who pretentiously believes they are in tune with the average person despite spending their entire lives pointedly avoiding the average person. Khashoggi revealed this in an article titled The Saudi labor ‘shop’ must close, undergo reforms:

“I listened to the new Education Minister Ahmed al-Issa talk of his plan to transform education and enable it to produce competitive youth by launching “independent” public schools. He said children in private schools do not exceed 15 percent of the kingdom’s students, while 85 percent attend public schools. This surprised me as I used to think the rate of those in private schooling was higher, since that is the preference of all of my relatives and acquaintances.

I discovered then that those of us at the GCF (the annual Saudi Global Competitiveness Forum) are a small minority in a much bigger community that was totally absent, despite being the target of the forum. This community is supposed to be the working class to whom ministers keep promising hundreds of thousands of jobs year after year. Although the organizers want the whole Saudi economy to be more competitive, most citizens who graduate or fall out of public schools and universities are unable to compete.

Competition

If we want King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) to be more appealing than Dubai or the free-trade zone in Ethiopia, for example, we must make our environment more competitive for business investments.”

The first paragraph reveals what Khashoggi is: A journalist who was totally out of touch with the 99% of Saudi Arabia…or at least the 85% (“99%” is, of course, not statically accurate, but it has become a useful byword and tool of understanding). He’s also a bad journalist for not knowing such a basic fact of life about his own country – it is reminiscent of a parliamentarian from Macron’s party who recently provoked outrage from a “Yellow Vest” protester on TV because she did not know the minimum wage.

I included the 2nd and 3rd paragraph because it’s important to show how abruptly his line of thought ends: Khashoggi does have a class epiphany, and he even relates it honestly…but he blames his fellow citizens for being “unable to compete”. He then drops the idea altogether and moves on to “Competition” and free trade.

Furthermore, he clearly believes that in this article he has established a plausible link between societal-domestic-interpersonal competition between citizens and competition between businesses, corporations, trade zones and nations. That is so wrong and so false that I do not have the time to disprove it; if you have to ask, you’ll never know, as Louie Armstrong said about jazz.

“Arab citizens are losing faith in democracy even though it has been at the forefront of their demands.”

Reading Khashoggi finds that he specialises in this type of nonsense typified by Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times, truly one of the world’s greatest fake-leftists. (Indeed, it is amazing that such a warmonger and elitist votes for the “left party” – only in the West…) For the average Muslim or Saudi Arabians it is just as shocking to see Khashoggi described as a “reformer”. Again, there is no difference in 2018 between the Oriental or the Occidental despot.

Anyway, the truth is that Arab citizens are losing faith in one type of democracy – Western Liberal…and so are Westerners themselves. This realisation is great because it increases global unity, so why resist it? Socialist Democracy, however, is in bull form in any country which can withstand the decades of capitalist-imperialist blows, and the failure to recognise these trends and to abandon socialism makes someone a fake-leftist, as we all know.

I could go on and on dissecting Khashoggi’s writing for “fake Muslim leftism”, but the point has been established. I doubt anyone with an income under $100,000 / not working at a major Western NGO thought for a single moment that Khashoggi was a “reformer”, but hopefully this article showed how he is truly no different from Western rightists, centrists and fake-leftists.

Conclusion: Why Kare for Khashoggi? Why anything in the Muslim world? Answer: more imperialism

Western shareholder control of Aramco would give them the most powerful economic weapon in the world today. Talk about Google and Apple and smartphones all you want, but the global economy rises and falls according to the price of oil; because of this fact, Western capitalist logic dictates that they must control oil-producing nations.

The introduction of Western Liberal Democracy & their constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia would inevitably result in the control of Arabia’s oil by the international 1%. What that nefarious group has now is merely secondary control, with primary control held by the House of Saud.

Say what you want about Saudi Arabia – their leaders control their oil, at least. Say what you want about Iran – their People control their oil (which is why the West wants to ban Iranian oil, as if it contained the contaminating ideas of Muslim democracy, Islamic socialism, etc.). Saudi Arabia is also one of the world’s relatively untapped markets for international capitalists, much like Iran. Both nations have economies which are hugely state-controlled – and this cannot be tolerated in neoliberal capitalism, and thus it inexorably moves to change them & to Westernise them. Even if the Pentagon and Tel Aviv want no changes to the status quo in the region, we must see that the forces of capitalism are stronger than the forces of nationalism (or Zionism), and we all see this painfully plainly in Europe today.

Crucially, many in the House of Saud are anti-neoliberal (but not anti-capitalist) because they correctly understand that the monarchy cannot stand in 2018 without explicitly anti-neoliberal economic measures: two-thirds of all Saudi workers are employed by the government, major welfare programs, etc. Few leftists will objectively remark on this fact, but that is leftist economics in a very significant, real-world sense: Just as all capitalism is not “neoliberal”, not all socialism is “perfect socialism”, and the House of Saud is undoubtedly using socialist-related economics to buy their People’s support.

Double-crucially, while the old guard of the House of Saud realises this reality, many of the younger princes do not. Like the younger generation of Westerners, their young princes have been inculcated in anti-socialist neoliberal capitalism, and this inherently imperils the monarchy’s ability to buy off the Arabian People.

This line of thinking was rendered excellently by the prolific Whitney Webb for MintPress (whose leftist analyses were not ruined by her study of religion in university, I note) in her article The Real Reason the Knives are Out for MBS, so I only need to make a brief summation here:

What is of primary importance to the Western ruling factions are the Aramco Initial Public Offering and the $6 trillion in potential privatisation schemes of Vision 2030. However, as Webb notes: where does Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman really stand on the economic spectrum? Foreign investment into Saudi Arabia has plummeted, the IPO for Aramco (the world’s most profitable company) still has not taken place, and maybe MBS is not such a neoliberal traitor after all? He thus incarnates this shifting conflict between the neoliberal, younger generation of princes (and their Western puppeteers) and the older generation which grasps that neoliberalism – foreign control of a nation’s economy – can only lead to the loss of the monarchy’s absolute control and thus their pampered existence.

Let’s not forget why the West needs traitors in charge: Saudi Arabia’s collusion with Washington is what allows the “exorbitant privilege” of the US (petro)dollar, which makes the US financially impregnable; Saudi oil money is truly the liquidity which fuels the many risky investments of Wall Street; the Saudis make enormous US arms purchases not just for themselves but for the entire region.

We must look at the defense of Khashoggi by the West via the economic lens (which, of course, is verboten in Western mainstream discourse): how can international high finance finally get full control over Saudi oil, especially if MBS is not so neoliberal anymore yet remains in power?

Answer: Reduce the power of the Saudi absolute monarchy to a Western Liberal Constitutional monarchy (like the UK, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, etc.), which would create bourgeois “rule of law” and thus allow Saudi assets to be sold to Western capitalists.

I have demonstrated that there are myriad capitalist pressures pushing the West to make Saudi Arabia conform and to not be independent: and, after all, conformity merely means “Western Salafism”, i.e. Western Liberal Democracy in the form of constitutional monarchy. Khashoggi was playing the leading propaganda role in this effort calling for a constitutional monarchy, which amounts to a soft coup against the absolute monarchy of the House of Saud.

And that is ultimately why MBS had Khashoggi killed.

By killing the West’s head propagandist MBS is saying: there will be no bourgeois, Western constitutional monarchy. The West is so up in arms over Khashoggi because it is a red flag that they are perhaps dealing with a Crown Prince who will not play neoliberal ball, as he had falsely promised to Western puppeteers in order to get their approval to ascend to Crown Prince.

Because the Western 1%, and the Mainstream Media they own, wants to obscure this lens – how the defense of Khashoggi fits in with the inevitable capitalist pressure from international high finance to get control over Saudi oil – they thus want us to believe that Khashoggi was a “reformer”. But the West doesn’t care at all about democratically empowering the 99% in Saudi Arabia, of course; and the mere step up from absolute to constitutional monarchy is no “reform” in the 21st century – modern political thought declares that this is a bogus reform.

Webb did not stress enough the existence of an alternative – socialist democratic control of Saudi oil. Nor did she stress that Khashoggi was actually facilitating this neoliberal takeover, not hindering it.

Khashoggi was no journalist but a pro-Western, pro-neoliberal propagandist – he had no importance to MBS otherwise.

Capitalism-imperialism always plays multiple destabilising games at once – in order to ensure their interests prevail: thus, there is no conflict between their supporting MBS but also supporting Khashoggi at WaPo as a back-up plan. However they get control of Saudi resources is fine – whether it’s via a puppet or a soft coup, they don’t care.

Khashoggi was no “dissident” against the monarchy, but I’ve reminded readers that this was no problem for the monarchy- and bourgeois-loving West; he was tapped to be the Western 1%’s “Head Saudi Propagandist” because his writings clearly show that he wanted a Western-style bourgeois technocracy & constitutional monarchy in order to rule Saudi Arabia more “efficiently”…which means becoming Westernised as much as possible, economically unequal as much as possible, and Socialist Democratic not at all.

Time well tell: Mehdi Ben Barka, PressTV’s Serena Shim and others will be remembered as true martyrs for the Muslim world and for all of humanity; Jamal Khashoggi will soon be forgotten, except for the gruesome details, and that is because he was no friend nor supporter of the People but of the elite of which he was a part and which he unquestioningly and immorally supported. I hope this series shed light on that.

But I also hope that this series showed how Khashoggi is no different from the fake-leftists in the Western world. Muslims and Saudi Arabians are not any different from those in any other global region, and emphasising, clarifying and promoting our common humanity – and the common struggles of the 99% worldwide – is the goal of leftism.

***********************************

This is the final article in a 4-part series which examines Jamal Khashoggi’s ideology and how it relates to the Islamic World, Westernization and Socialism. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Khashoggi, Ben Barka & PressTVs Serena Shim: A 4-part series

Khashoggi Part 2: A reformer’…who was also a hysterical anti-Iran/Shia warmonger?

Khashoggi Part 3: Liberal Democratic Salafism’ is a sham, Islamic Socialism’ isnt

Khashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

Mecca or Las Vegas? Why Saudis destroyed Islam’s holiest sites – English Subtitles

Source

Related

7 minutes 13:00 to 20:00

Brotherhood, Wahabism: Two Faces of the Same Coin

 

Apr 13, 2012

نارام سرجون:بعد النصر .. استعدوا لخوض الحرب الأصعب والأقسى؟؟ .. اللحم سيقاتل العظم

“لانعرف حتى اللحظة كيف سيمكننا اجراء عملية فصل الاسلام عن التراث وفصل المسلم عن التراث دون أن نفصل المسلم عن الاسلام …… انها عملية تشبه فصل اللحم عن العظم .. فالتراث المنقول هو لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام .. ولحم التراث مليء بالاسرائيليات والمتناقضات ومليء بالطفيليات وبالعداء للتفكير والمنطق والفلسفة والعقل ..”

تعليق المحرر على المقالة

اتفق مع الكاتب بان الحرب مع مع داعش واخواتها من الحركات الاسلاموية (الوهابية واخوان الشياطين وحزب التحرير الاسلاموي…… الخ الخ) ، تنتهي بانتصار ناجز لا لبس فية، بدون “فصل المسلم عن الثراث المنقول لكني  لا اتفق مع مقولته عن “لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام” لأني ازعم ان الهياكل العظمي التي حملت لنا التراث المنقول ( العنعنة، وتابعه علم الرجال وعلم الناسخ والمنسوخ والاصول والمعلوم من الدين …..) هم  “علماء” و”فقهاء ” السلطان الاموي والعباسي و… و  والعثماني، والازهر وأم القرى وحميع حركات الاسلام السياسي الذين هجروا القران واعتبروا التراث المنقول وحيا ثانيا لا يمكن ان نفهم التنزبل الحكيم بدونه

وهنا لا بد من لفت انتباه الكاتب بان المشكلة لا تقتصر على العقل العربي المسلم فقط وانما العقل العربي “الداعشي” المسلم المسيحي والعلماني والملحد وكل عقل يدعي امتلاك الحقيقة المطلقة ويكفر الآخر

قال تعالى

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا 

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

قال تعالى:

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

 [الجزء: ٢٢ | سبأ ٣٤ | الآية: ٢٤]

 في الآية يخبر الله رسوله أن الرزق للمؤمن والمشرك  من الله

وويقول له ان الحقيقة الآنسانية نسبية ولا احد يمتلك الحقيقة المطلقة سوى الله

 : قل يا محمد:  “….. ۖ وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

اي : وانا (محمد) او اياكم (المشركين )

قال (او)  ولم يقل (و)

اي انا او انتم علي هدى

او انا أو انتم على ضلال مبين

هذه رسالة امر الله عزوجل رسوله الاعظم ان يبلغها ليس للمشركين فقط وانما للناس وخصوصا للذين نصبوا انفسهم ناطقين باسمه وباسم نبيه فحددوا من يدخل النار واختصروا الطريق الى الجنة بتلاوة كذا او كذا ووزعوا صكوك الغفران وبوالص التامين النبوي:

الدعوة الى سبيل الله

قال تعالى

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

 [الجزء: ١٤ | النحل ١٦ | الآية: ١٢٥]

قال: بالحكمة ولم يقل بالحكمة الحسنه لنفهم ان الحكمه حسنة بالضرورة ولا وجود لحكمة سيئة

وقال: بالموعظة الحسنة لنفهم ان الموعظة قد تكون حسنة وقد تكون سيئة

كلمة (الحسنة) ليست زائدة وليست حشوا

اذا هناك موعظة سيية

والدليل الحاسم هو فضائيات التكفير على اختلاف تلاوينها

وقال: وجادلهم بالتي هي احسن

اي لا تجادلهم بالتي هي اسوأ

اي  الجدال قد يكون سيء وقد يكون حسن وقد يكون احسن

والمطلوب هو الجدال الاحسن

وهل هناك احسن من يتواضع نبي ورسول ومبلغ رسالة لا تنطق عن الهوى فيقول للمشركين:

وانا او اياكم على هدى او في  ضلال مبين؟

وقال

وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

 [الجزء: ٢٤ | فصلت ٤١ | الآية: ٣٤]

قال ادفع ولم يقل ادفش والدفع هنا لا يعني تسديد الدين

بل يعني الدفاع عن حرية الرأي والتعبير ليس بالسيف والتكفير والاتهام بالنفاق  واقامة الحجة بالتي هي أحسن وأخير ماهو سبيل الله وما هي كلمة الله التي سبقت

قال تعالى

وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ۖ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ – إِلَّا مَن رَّحِمَ رَبُّكَ ۚ وَلِذَٰلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ ۗ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ (119)

 صدق الله العظيم انظر حولك فالناس مختلفين كما اخبرنا الله في تنزيلة الحكيم باستثاء من رحم ربي وهم الانبياء   ،  والرسل، وهو يخبرنا انه خلق الناس أحرار ليختلفوا بارادتهم الحرة، وباختلافهم تمت كلمته التي سبقت. وعلية فحيث يكون النسان حرا تكون كلمة الله هي العليا

Related videos

عن ازمة العقل العربي انصح الكاتب والقراء بقراءة كتب المفكر الاسلامي الدكتور مهندس محمد شحرور ومشاهدة سلسلة المقابلات الرمضانية التالية  – 30 حلقة – حول قرائته المعاصرة للتنزيل الحكيم

=====

نارام سرجون:بعد النصر .. استعدوا لخوض الحرب الأصعب والأقسى؟؟ .. اللحم سيقاتل العظم

وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبار ية

دعونا نتوقف الآن لالتقاط الانفاس ونقول ان هذه الحرب مع التيارات الاسلامية في المنطقة ستنتهي سريعا بانتصار ناجز لالبس فيه .. ولكن على هونكم ياسادة .. فلا تستعجلوا قرع الكؤوس والأنخاب وتبادل التهاني .. ولاتسترخوا .. لأنها فقط احدى جولاتها وهي الجولة الاطول والاقسى والاعنف وستتلوها هدنة طويلة الامد ولكن الحرب سجال ويجب على المنتصر الأن ان لايرقد مسترخيا بل أن يبدأ في الاعداد للحرب القادمة .. وهي الأقسى والأصعب ..

ان منتهى الخيال أن نعتقد أننا خضنا المعركة الأخيرة مع الاسلام السياسي الذي انطلق مع غياب آخر الخلافات وهي الخلافة العثمانية .. وظل الشغل الشاغل للأجيال منذ ذلك اليوم هو اعادة الخلافة أو شبه الخلافة .. لأن العقل الشرقي الاسلامي لايزال مقتنعا أن المؤامرة التي أسقطت الخلافة ستبقى في وجهه لمنع اعادتها وقيامها مجددا .. وعقب كل هزيمة عسكرية وانتهاء جيل من الاسلاميين يقر الجيل اللاحق بأن من سبقوهم أخطأوا التخطيط والتسديد .. ومايجب على الجيل القادم هو تلافي هذه الأخطاء وتطوير التجربة لأن الله سينصر عباده المؤمنين في نهاية المطاف !! .. وهم على موعد مع نصر حتمي قدره الله .. بدليل تعدد نسخ التجارب الجهادية في معظم بلدان المنطقة وكلها تعيد انتاج نفسها وبطرق عنف مختلفة تدل على أنها ليست مأزومة فقط بل مقتنعة تماما ان العنف الداخلي (الذي يسمى جهادا) هو السبيل الوحيد لاعادة الخلافة لأن ماسقط بالحرب لن يعود الا بالحرب .. وليس بالحب .. ولعل أكثر عبارة تدل على أن المعركة انتهت فقط مع هذا الجيل من الاسلاميين وان الجيل اللاحق يستعد هو عبارة يرددها الكثيرون ببراءة وسذاجة مفادها: (هذا الذي رأيناه ليس الاسلام الحقيقي) .. ولكن هذه العبارة هي التي ستشكل الحامل والرافعة للمشروع القادم الذي سيخترع أصحابه نسخة أخرى “حقيقية” جاءت كما ياتي المخلّص .. ويعتبرون ماحدث من هزائم حتى الآن هو جولات وعملية حقن الاسلام بلقاحات متنوعة يتعرض لها الجسم العسكري الاسلامي في سيرته الجهادية الطويلة .. ولذلك فانه من الطبيعي أن يتعرض لطفرات جديدة أو لعملية لقاح بالهزيمة تكسبه مزيدا من المناعة ..

وهنا لاأريد أن يفهم من كلامي انني ارى ان مافعله داعش هو الاسلام الحقيقي لأنني انا فعلا مقتنع أن ماقدمه داعش والنصرة هو برنامج اسلام من قماش تلمودي موسادي ووهابي التطريز .. ولكن العبارة (هذا ليس الاسلام الحقيقي) بحد ذاتها رغم دلالتها الكبيرة على أنها عملية القبول والاعتراف والتسليم بهزيمة المشروع الاسلامي مرحليا فان فكرة الهزيمة النهائية لاتزال غير مقبولة في نظر الاسلاميين بل ينظر اليها لى أن ماحدث مجرد معركة .. مثل معركة (أحد) مثلا لابد ان يتلوها نصر وفتح مبين ..

أبني كلامي واستنتاجي على قاعدة

أن جميع التنظيمات الجهادية اليوم مشتقة من بعضها وهي رغم تفاوتاتها وخلافاتها الفقهية فانها تملك ذات الجذر وذات المراجع الفقهية والرؤية التاريخية والفلسفية فالفرق بين الاخوان المسلمين وداعش يبدو شاسعا في السطح ولكنه في العمق متماه كثيرا من حيث فكرة التكفير والعلاقة مع الأغيار من غير المسلمين أو حتى من المذاهب المنشقة عن مذهب أهل السنة أو حتى المدارس السنية التي تخالفهم الرأي والاجتهاد .. بدليل أن الاخوان المسلمين لايمكن مثلا أن يصدروا بيانا يقولون فيه رأيا يخالف داعش من حيث تكفير الشيعة والدروز والعلويين والمسيحيين وغيرهم .. لأن هؤلاء جميعا كفار في نظر داعش والاخوان المسلمين وجبهة النصرة .. ومافعله داعش فقط أنه وسع دائرة الكفار حتى شملت أهل السنة والجماعة الذين يختلفون عنه .. ولو انه اكتفى بدائرة التكفير الاخوانية التقليدية لما تلعثم الاخوان المسلمون في تأييدهم لخلافة على منهاج النبوة تشبههم ولم يتأتئوا في تعبيرهم عن الانسجام مع أفكارها وبقيت الخلافات الفقهية الأخرى اجتهادات أخطأ فيها الدواعش ولهم فيها أجر واحد فقط لا أجران !!! .. هو ثواب المجتهد ..

وسنكون واقعيين جدا في الاعتراف بأن عملية نزع فتيل الصاعق من القنبلة “الاسلامية” لن تنجح بهذه البساطة لأنهم ببساطة ذخيرة للغرب ورصاص يوجهه الى صدورنا في أية لحظة لأن مفهوم الوطن مغيب لدى الاسلاميين أمام سطوة فكرة الخلافة التي تبتلع الأوطان جميعا وتضعها تحت عباءة خليفة .. فالاسلاميون الوهابيون احتلوا الحجاز ونجد وعطلوا فريضة الجهاد المكي ضد الغرب واسرائيل مما أوقف مليار مسلم عن عملية التطوع لنصرة فلسطين “الا بالدعاء” .. ولكن الغرب أيضا أطلق الاسلام الجهادي ضد الروس والسوفيت وضد الايرانيين وضد البعثيين القوميين العروبيين أيضا في سورية والعراق وضد المقاومة في لبنان ..

أما الاخوان المسلمون فهم النسخة الأخرى للوهابية وهما من ذات فصيلة الزواحف .. والفوارق هي في التكوين والبيئة .. فالوهابيون يشبهون في قسوتهم التماسيح التي تنهش فريستها بوحشية .. أما الاخوان فهم زواحف الدم البارد والأفاعي ذات الجلود الناعمة والتي تحقنك بالسم .. ثم تبتلعك بهدوء .. ولكن كلها زواحف ..

مسؤول “الاخوان” سعيد رمضان مع الرئيس الأمريكي إيزنهاور في البيت الأبيض عام 1953.

وقد جاء الربيع العربي ليثبت أن الاسلاميين على اختلاف مشاربهم ذخيرة عظيمة للغرب لن يساعدنا الغرب على التخلص منها بل سيعيدها الى الحظائر مؤقتا لاجراء صيانة وتزويد خطاباتها بقطع الغيار والملونات والمذاقات التي تخفي خطاب الكراهية ..

ويجب هنا الانتباه الى أن أي محاولة بريئة لاطلاق تيارات اسلامية موازية لامتصاص قوة هذه التيارات وانتزاع الجيل من الانتماء اليها بحجة أن اطلاق الاعتدال سيخفف من التطرف فاننا سنكون واهمين لأن أي خلل في الميزان سيجعل عملية الهجرة الى معسكر التطرف سهلة طالما أن المشتركات الفقهية كثيرة وعملية الانزياح في الاتجاهين واردة جدا وتتبع عوامل متحولة ..

ومانكون قد فعلناه هو اننا هيأنا جيشا رديفا للتطرف سينضم اليه عند أول تلاعب في الخطاب الديني كما حدث اليوم في حرب السنوات السبع عندما كانت المنطقة كلها معتدلة ومضبوطة بفعل العامل القومي الذي ما ان تراجع حتى تسلمت التيارات المتطرفة قيادة جزء من الجماهير المعتدلة بل والجماهير القومية والعلمانية .. لان عملية الانزياح هنا ليست بين دين ودين .. وليست بين مذهبين .. وبين سنة وشيعة .. بل تماه بين اتجاهين في نفس المذهب وعناصر في نفس الاناء ..
وهنا تكمن المعضلة .. لأننا لانريد أن نحاصر الاسلام ولكن في حصارنا للتيارات الفكرية الاسلامية سنجد أننا نبدو وكأننا في مواجهة مع الاسلام وفكر الاسلام وتبدو عملية الفرز والتمييز والفصل مستحيلة بين فكر الاسلام وبين أسلمة الفكر ..
ولذلك فان القطيعة مع الاسلاميين دون التأثير على الاسلام كعنصر هوية للمنطقة وموروث حضاري لايمكن أن تنجح الا بمشروع شامل يبدأ تأثيره من لحظة نزول الوحي في القرن السابع الميلادي وحتى هذه اللحظة .. والحقيقة أننا نقف جميعا حائرين أمام هذه المعضلة في عملية تقطير الاسلام ونزعه من مخالب الحزبية السياسية وتحويله الى كينونة ثقافية مندمجة في مشاريع التطوير الحضاري المتنوعة .. ورغم أن الاسلام الشيعي يعاني من نفس المعضلة الا أنه يبقى في تأثيره محصورا في جزء صغير من الأمة لأن العالم الاسلامي هو عالم سني في غالبيته .. فمهما حدث في الساحة الشيعية فان الهزات الارتدادية التي تصل الى العالم السني ضعيفة نسبيا وتبقى محصورة ..

لاأحد يملك جوابا عن مرحلة مابعد الربيع الاسلامي الأخير .. وكيف سيتم التعامل مع مفرزات هذه المرحلة وأنقاضها الخطيرة ودروسها .. ولانعرف حتى اللحظة كيف سيمكننا اجراء عملية فصل الاسلام عن التراث وفصل المسلم عن التراث دون أن نفصل المسلم عن الاسلام .. انها عملية تشبه فصل اللحم عن العظم .. فالتراث المنقول هو لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام .. ولحم التراث مليء بالاسرائيليات والمتناقضات ومليء بالطفيليات وبالعداء للتفكير والمنطق والفلسفة والعقل ..

اننا أمام عملية هي أصعب من مرحلة الحرب .. وهي استخلاص دروس الحرب التي تقاتل فيها اللحم مع العظم .. لأن الاستنتاجات الخاطئة أخطر مما نتوقع وهي تشبه الهزيمة .. اي خضنا حربا وانتصرنا ولكننا حصلنا على نتائج الهزيمة عندما لم نحول التجربة الى نتيجة وخلاصة .. لذلك يجب اطلاق هجوم معاكس في الحال بالضوء على الظلام .. يبدأ برنامجه في سطور التراث ومن رفوف الكتب وفي عملية التعليم .. ويعمل في قلب المساجد وحلقات الذكر وليس في التلفزيون من بعيد .. ويعتكف المفكرون والتنويريون لايجاد افضل طريقة لتحويل مسار الموجة الاسلامية القادمة على ابنائنا لتكون بردا وسلاما ..

ويجب أن نقوم بتدريس هذه المرحلة من الحرب على سورية بدقة وأمانة في المناهج والاعتراف بكل الأخطاء التي وقعت فيها جميع الأطراف .. ولكن ماهو مهم جدا هو أن يتم تخصيص جهد تأريخي واعلامي متواصل طوال العقدين القادمين لرواية الرواية السورية الوطنية دون انقطاع والاستفادة من جو الهزيمة العسكرية للاسلاميين التكفيريين ومن اعادة اعلام العرب وكلابه الى حظائره .. وأن يكون شرط اعادة العلاقات مع اي دولة عربية ان تعيد تقديم الرواية السورية على حقيقتها في اعلامها وافساح المجال للرواية السورية أن تقدم نفسها لأول مرة من دون تزوير .. لأن الجمهور العربي المغفل لايزال هو ماأنتجته الجزيرة .. فهو باختصار “ضحية” الجزيرة التي أرضعته طوال سبع سنوات ولايزال حليب ثدييها في فمه وفي عروقه .. ويجب أن تغسل أمعاؤه ودماؤه بالماء الصابون ..

ومع هذا فان أفضل علاج برأيي سيكون هو محاصرة و تدمير نموذج الدولة الدينية اليهودية في المنطقة التي قدمت نفسها على أنها الدولة الدينية الأولى ونموذج ملهم للاسلاميين وينظر لها من قبلهم على أنها ثمرة من ثمار سقوط الخلافة .. وأنها مشروع ديني ناجح يمكن تكراره بنسخة اسلامية حتى بطريقة تكوينها العنيفة .. وان اسقاط هذه الثمرة اليهودية لن يكون الا باعادة الخلافة الاسلامية التي أسقطت من أجل تسهيل قيام اسرائيل .. فيعود الاسلاميون كل مرة الى عاصمة عربية يرفعون فيها شعار أن الطريق الى القدس يمر من هنا .ولذلك لاأظن أنه يمكن ايقاف المد الاسلامي الا بايقاف المد اليهودي .. فكلاهما يتلاقحان وبتفاعلان ويتبادلان الخبرات والوجود .. بدليل تكرار تجربة الدولة اليهودية ونموذجها العنيف الارهابي بالتطهير العرقي في تجربة داعش التي كانت نسخة اسلامية عن اسرائيل ..

Related Videos

You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

By Alastair Crooke

July 14, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  BEIRUT — The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”

It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.

Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan — please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da’ish (ISIS) — and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia’s direction and discourse.

THE SAUDI DUALITY

Saudi Arabia’s internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom’s doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.

One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)

The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz’s subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.

But this “cultural revolution” was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab’s Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him — hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.

MUSLIM IMPOSTORS

The American author and journalist, Steven Coll, has written how this austere and censorious disciple of the 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab, despised “the decorous, arty, tobacco smoking, hashish imbibing, drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca.”

In Abd al-Wahhab’s view, these were not Muslims; they were imposters masquerading as Muslims. Nor, indeed, did he find the behavior of local Bedouin Arabs much better. They aggravated Abd al-Wahhab by their honoring of saints, by their erecting of tombstones, and their “superstition” (e.g. revering graves or places that were deemed particularly imbued with the divine).

All this behavior, Abd al-Wahhab denounced as bida — forbidden by God.

Like Taymiyyah before him, Abd al-Wahhab believed that the period of the Prophet Muhammad’s stay in Medina was the ideal of Muslim society (the “best of times”), to which all Muslims should aspire to emulate (this, essentially, is Salafism).

Taymiyyah had declared war on Shi’ism, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He spoke out, too against visiting the grave of the prophet and the celebration of his birthday, declaring that all such behavior represented mere imitation of the Christian worship of Jesus as God (i.e. idolatry). Abd al-Wahhab assimilated all this earlier teaching, stating that “any doubt or hesitation” on the part of a believer in respect to his or her acknowledging this particular interpretation of Islam should “deprive a man of immunity of his property and his life.”

One of the main tenets of Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine has become the key idea of takfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead.

Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote.

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.

There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” (i.e. the mosque).

It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.

BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818

Abd al-Wahhab’s advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town — and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab’s novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear.

Ibn Saud’s clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.

In the beginning, they conquered a few local communities and imposed their rule over them. (The conquered inhabitants were given a limited choice: conversion to Wahhabism or death.) By 1790, the Alliance controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula and repeatedly raided Medina, Syria and Iraq.

Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: “They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein… slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants …”

Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, “we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.’”

In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab’s followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.

But in November of 1803, a Shiite assassin killed King Abdul Aziz (taking revenge for the massacre at Karbala). His son, Saud bin Abd al Aziz, succeeded him and continued the conquest of Arabia. Ottoman rulers, however, could no longer just sit back and watch as their empire was devoured piece by piece. In 1812, the Ottoman army, composed of Egyptians, pushed the Alliance out from Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. In 1814, Saud bin Abd al Aziz died of fever. His unfortunate son Abdullah bin Saud, however, was taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, where he was gruesomely executed (a visitor to Istanbul reported seeing him having been humiliated in the streets of Istanbul for three days, then hanged and beheaded, his severed head fired from a canon, and his heart cut out and impaled on his body).

In 1815, Wahhabi forces were crushed by the Egyptians (acting on the Ottoman’s behalf) in a decisive battle. In 1818, the Ottomans captured and destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The first Saudi state was no more. The few remaining Wahhabis withdrew into the desert to regroup, and there they remained, quiescent for most of the 19th century.

HISTORY RETURNS WITH ISIS

It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th century Wahhabism did not just wither in Nejd, but it roared back into life when the Ottoman Empire collapsed amongst the chaos of World War I.

The Al Saud — in this 20th century renaissance — were led by the laconic and politically astute Abd-al Aziz, who, on uniting the fractious Bedouin tribes, launched the Saudi “Ikhwan” in the spirit of Abd-al Wahhab’s and Ibn Saud’s earlier fighting proselytisers.

The Ikhwan was a reincarnation of the early, fierce, semi-independent vanguard movement of committed armed Wahhabist “moralists” who almost had succeeded in seizing Arabia by the early 1800s. In the same manner as earlier, the Ikhwan again succeeded in capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. Abd-al Aziz, however, began to feel his wider interests to be threatened by the revolutionary “Jacobinism” exhibited by the Ikhwan. The Ikhwan revolted — leading to a civil war that lasted until the 1930s, when the King had them put down: he machine-gunned them.

For this king, (Abd-al Aziz), the simple verities of previous decades were eroding. Oil was being discovered in the peninsular. Britain and America were courting Abd-al Aziz, but still were inclined to support Sharif Husain as the only legitimate ruler of Arabia. The Saudis needed to develop a more sophisticated diplomatic posture.

So Wahhabism was forcefully changed from a movement of revolutionary jihad and theological takfiri purification, to a movement of conservative social, political, theological, and religious da’wa (Islamic call) and to justifying the institution that upholds loyalty to the royal Saudi family and the King’s absolute power.

OIL WEALTH SPREAD WAHHABISM

With the advent of the oil bonanza — as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to “reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world … to “Wahhabise” Islam, thereby reducing the “multitude of voices within the religion” to a “single creed” — a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were — and continue to be — invested in this manifestation of soft power.

It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection — and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America’s interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam — that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz’s meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.

Westerners looked at the Kingdom and their gaze was taken by the wealth; by the apparent modernization; by the professed leadership of the Islamic world. They chose to presume that the Kingdom was bending to the imperatives of modern life — and that the management of Sunni Islam would bend the Kingdom, too, to modern life.

On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.

But the Saudi Ikhwan approach to Islam did not die in the 1930s. It retreated, but it maintained its hold over parts of the system — hence the duality that we observe today in the Saudi attitude towards ISIS.

On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.

ISIS is a “post-Medina” movement: it looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs, rather than the Prophet Muhammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis’ claim of authority to rule.

As the Saudi monarchy blossomed in the oil age into an ever more inflated institution, the appeal of the Ikhwan message gained ground (despite King Faisal’s modernization campaign). The “Ikhwan approach” enjoyed — and still enjoys — the support of many prominent men and women and sheikhs. In a sense, Osama bin Laden was precisely the representative of a late flowering of this Ikhwani approach.

Today, ISIS’ undermining of the legitimacy of the King’s legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.

In the collaborative management of the region by the Saudis and the West in pursuit of the many western projects (countering socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence), western politicians have highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse.

After all, the more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan — and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.

Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar’s Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS? And why should we be surprised — knowing a little about Wahhabism — that “moderate” insurgents in Syria would become rarer than a mythical unicorn? Why should we have imagined that radical Wahhabism would create moderates? Or why could we imagine that a doctrine of “One leader, One authority, One mosque: submit to it, or be killed” could ever ultimately lead to moderation or tolerance?

Or, perhaps, we never imagined.

Part II

Middle East Time Bomb: The Real Aim of ISIS Is to Replace the Saud Family as the New Emirs of Arabia

By Alastair Crooke

ISIS is indeed a veritable time bomb inserted into the heart of the Middle East. But its destructive power is not as commonly understood. It is not with the “March of the Beheaders”; it is not with the killings; the seizure of towns and villages; the harshest of “justice” — terrible though they are — that its true explosive power lies. It is yet more potent than its exponential pull on young Muslims, its huge arsenal of weapons and its hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.”

Its real potential for destruction lies elsewhere — in the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East. We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.

The clue to its truly explosive potential, as Saudi scholar Fouad Ibrahim has pointed out (but which has passed, almost wholly overlooked, or its significance has gone unnoticed), is ISIS’ deliberate and intentional use in its doctrine — of the language of Abd-al Wahhab, the 18th century founder, together with Ibn Saud, of Wahhabism and the Saudi project:

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the first “prince of the faithful” in the Islamic State of Iraq, in 2006 formulated, for instance, the principles of his prospective state … Among its goals is disseminating monotheism “which is the purpose [for which humans were created] and [for which purpose they must be called] to Islam…” This language replicates exactly Abd-al Wahhab’s formulation. And, not surprisingly, the latter’s writings and Wahhabi commentaries on his works are widely distributed in the areas under ISIS’ control and are made the subject of study sessions. Baghdadi subsequently was to note approvingly, “a generation of young men [have been] trained based on the forgotten doctrine of loyalty and disavowal.”

And what is this “forgotten” tradition of “loyalty and disavowal?” It is Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine that belief in a sole (for him an anthropomorphic) God — who was alone worthy of worship — was in itself insufficient to render man or woman a Muslim?

He or she could be no true believer, unless additionally, he or she actively denied (and destroyed) any other subject of worship. The list of such potential subjects of idolatrous worship, which al-Wahhab condemned as idolatry, was so extensive that almost all Muslims were at risk of falling under his definition of “unbelievers.” They therefore faced a choice: Either they convert to al-Wahhab’s vision of Islam — or be killed, and their wives, their children and physical property taken as the spoils of jihad. Even to express doubts about this doctrine, al-Wahhab said, should occasion execution.

“Through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.”

The point Fuad Ibrahim is making, I believe, is not merely to reemphasize the extreme reductionism of al-Wahhab’s vision, but to hint at something entirely different: That through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.

For it was precisely this idealistic, puritan, proselytizing formulation by al-Wahhab that was “father” to the entire Saudi “project” (one that was violently suppressed by the Ottomans in 1818, but spectacularly resurrected in the 1920s, to become the Saudi Kingdom that we know today). But since its renaissance in the 1920s, the Saudi project has always carried within it, the “gene” of its own self-destruction.

THE SAUDI TAIL HAS WAGGED BRITAIN AND U.S. IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Paradoxically, it was a maverick British official, who helped embed the gene into the new state. The British official attached to Aziz, was one Harry St. John Philby (the father of the MI6 officer who spied for the Soviet KGB, Kim Philby). He was to become King Abd al-Aziz’s close adviser, having resigned as a British official, and was until his death, a key member of the Ruler’s Court. He, like Lawrence of Arabia, was an Arabist. He was also a convert to Wahhabi Islam and known as Sheikh Abdullah.

St. John Philby was a man on the make: he had determined to make his friend, Abd al-Aziz, the ruler of Arabia. Indeed, it is clear that in furthering this ambition he was not acting on official instructions. When, for example, he encouraged King Aziz to expand in northern Nejd, he was ordered to desist. But (as American author, Stephen Schwartz notes), Aziz was well aware that Britain had pledged repeatedly that the defeat of the Ottomans would produce an Arab state, and this no doubt, encouraged Philby and Aziz to aspire to the latter becoming its new ruler.

It is not clear exactly what passed between Philby and the Ruler (the details seem somehow to have been suppressed), but it would appear that Philby’s vision was not confined to state-building in the conventional way, but rather was one of transforming the wider Islamic ummah (or community of believers) into a Wahhabist instrument that would entrench the al-Saud as Arabia’s leaders. And for this to happen, Aziz needed to win British acquiescence (and much later, American endorsement). “This was the gambit that Abd al-Aziz made his own, with advice from Philby,” notes Schwartz.

BRITISH GODFATHER OF SAUDI ARABIA

In a sense, Philby may be said to be “godfather” to this momentous pact by which the Saudi leadership would use its clout to “manage” Sunni Islam on behalf of western objectives (containing socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet influence, Iran, etc.) — and in return, the West would acquiesce to Saudi Arabia’s soft-power Wahhabisation of the Islamic ummah (with its concomitant destruction of Islam’s intellectual traditions and diversity and its sowing of deep divisions within the Muslim world).

“In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success. But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous ‘gene’ within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.”

As a result — from then until now — British and American policy has been bound to Saudi aims (as tightly as to their own ones), and has been heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia for direction in pursuing its course in the Middle East.

In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success (if taken on its own, cynical, self-serving terms). But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous “gene” within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.

Winning western endorsement (and continued western endorsement), however, required a change of mode: the “project” had to change from being an armed, proselytizing Islamic vanguard movement into something resembling statecraft. This was never going to be easy because of the inherent contradictions involved (puritan morality versus realpolitik and money) — and as time has progressed, the problems of accommodating the “modernity” that statehood requires, has caused “the gene” to become more active, rather than become more inert.

Even Abd al-Aziz himself faced an allergic reaction: in the form of a serious rebellion from his own Wahhabi militia, the Saudi Ikhwan. When the expansion of control by the Ikhwan reached the border of territories controlled by Britain, Abd al-Aziz tried to restrain his militia (Philby was urging him to seek British patronage), but the Ikwhan, already critical of his use of modern technology (the telephone, telegraph and the machine gun), “were outraged by the abandonment of jihad for reasons of worldly realpolitik … They refused to lay down their weapons; and instead rebelled against their king … After a series of bloody clashes, they were crushed in 1929. Ikhwan members who had remained loyal, were later absorbed into the [Saudi] National Guard.”

King Aziz’s son and heir, Saud, faced a different form of reaction (less bloody, but more effective). Aziz’s son was deposed from the throne by the religious establishment — in favor of his brother Faisal — because of his ostentatious and extravagant conduct. His lavish, ostentatious style, offended the religious establishment who expected the “Imam of Muslims,” to pursue a pious, proselytizing lifestyle.

King Faisal, Saud’s successor, in his turn, was shot by his nephew in 1975, who had appeared at Court ostensibly to make his oath of allegiance, but who instead, pulled out a pistol and shot the king in his head. The nephew had been perturbed by the encroachment of western beliefs and innovation into Wahhabi society, to the detriment of the original ideals of the Wahhabist project.

SEIZING THE GRAND MOSQUE IN 1979

Far more serious, however, was the revived Ikhwan of Juhayman al-Otaybi, which culminated in the seizure of the Grand Mosque by some 400-500 armed men and women in 1979. Juhayman was from the influential Otaybi tribe from the Nejd, which had led and been a principal element in the original Ikhwanof the 1920s.

Juhayman and his followers, many of whom came from the Medina seminary, had the tacit support, amongst other clerics, of Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Bin Baz, the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Juhayman stated that Sheikh Bin Baz never objected to his Ikhwan teachings (which were also critical of ulema laxity towards “disbelief”), but that bin Baz had blamed him mostly for harking on that “the ruling al-Saud dynasty had lost its legitimacy because it was corrupt, ostentatious and had destroyed Saudi culture by an aggressive policy of westernisation.”

Significantly, Juhayman’s followers preached their Ikhwani message in a number of mosques in Saudi Arabia initially without being arrested, but when Juhayman and a number of the Ikhwan finally were held for questioning in 1978. Members of the ulema (including bin Baz) cross-examined them for heresy, but then ordered their release because they saw them as being no more than traditionalists harkening back to the Ikhwan— like Juhayman grandfather — and therefore not a threat.

Even when the mosque seizure was defeated and over, a certain level of forbearance by the ulema for the rebels remained. When the government asked for a fatwa allowing for armed force to be used in the mosque, the language of bin Baz and other senior ulema was curiously restrained. The scholars did not declare Juhayman and his followers non-Muslims, despite their violation of the sanctity of the Grand Mosque, but only termed them al-jamaah al-musallahah (the armed group).

The group that Juhayman led was far from marginalized from important sources of power and wealth. In a sense, it swam in friendly, receptive waters. Juhayman’s grandfather had been one of the leaders of the the original Ikhwan, and after the rebellion against Abdel Aziz, many of his grandfather’s comrades in arms were absorbed into the National Guard — indeed Juhayman himself had served within the Guard — thus Juhayman was able to obtain weapons and military expertise from sympathizers in the National Guard, and the necessary arms and food to sustain the siege were pre-positioned, and hidden, within the Grand Mosque. Juhayman was also able to call on wealthy individuals to fund the enterprise.

ISIS VS. WESTERNIZED SAUDIS

The point of rehearsing this history is to underline how uneasy the Saudi leadership must be at the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Previous Ikhwani manifestations were suppressed — but these all occurred inside the kingdom.

ISIS however, is a neo-Ikhwani rejectionist protest that is taking place outside the kingdom — and which, moreover, follows the Juhayman dissidence in its trenchant criticism of the al-Saud ruling family.

This is the deep schism we see today in Saudi Arabia, between the modernizing current of which King Abdullah is a part, and the “Juhayman” orientation of which bin Laden, and the Saudi supporters of ISIS and the Saudi religious establishment are a part. It is also a schism that exists within the Saudi royal family itself.

According to the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper, in July 2014 “an opinion poll of Saudis [was] released on social networking sites, claiming that 92 percent of the target group believes that ‘IS conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.’” The leading Saudi commentator, Jamal Khashoggi, recently warned of ISIS’ Saudi supporters who “watch from the shadows.”

There are angry youths with a skewed mentality and understanding of life and sharia, and they are canceling a heritage of centuries and the supposed gains of a modernization that hasn’t been completed. They turned into rebels, emirs and a caliph invading a vast area of our land. They are hijacking our children’s minds and canceling borders. They reject all rules and legislations, throwing it [a]way … for their vision of politics, governance, life, society and economy. [For] the citizens of the self-declared “commander of the faithful,” or Caliph, you have no other choice … They don’t care if you stand out among your people and if you are an educated man, or a lecturer, or a tribe leader, or a religious leader, or an active politician or even a judge … You must obey the commander of the faithful and pledge the oath of allegiance to him. When their policies are questioned, Abu Obedia al-Jazrawi yells, saying: “Shut up. Our reference is the book and the Sunnah and that’s it.”

“What did we do wrong?” Khashoggi asks. With 3,000-4,000 Saudi fighters in the Islamic State today, he advises of the need to “look inward to explain ISIS’ rise”. Maybe it is time, he says, to admit “our political mistakes,” to “correct the mistakes of our predecessors.”

MODERNIZING KING THE MOST VULNERABLE

The present Saudi king, Abdullah, paradoxically is all the more vulnerable precisely because he has been a modernizer. The King has curbed the influence of the religious institutions and the religious police — and importantly has permitted the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence to be used, by those who adhere to them (al-Wahhab, by contrast, objected to all other schools of jurisprudence other than his own).

“The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom. If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.”

It is even possible too for Shiite residents of eastern Saudi Arabia to invoke Ja’afri jurisprudence and to turn to Ja’afari Shiite clerics for rulings. (In clear contrast, al-Wahhab held a particular animosity towards the Shiite and held them to be apostates. As recently as the 1990s, clerics such as bin Baz — the former Mufti — and Abdullah Jibrin reiterated the customary view that the Shiite were infidels).

Some contemporary Saudi ulema would regard such reforms as constituting almost a provocation against Wahhabist doctrines, or at the very least, another example of westernization. ISIS, for example, regards any who seek jurisdiction other than that offered by the Islamic State itself to be guilty of disbelief — since all such “other” jurisdictions embody innovation or “borrowings” from other cultures in its view.

The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom.

If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.

 

“They hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of ‘purity’ lost”

 

In short, this is the nature of the time bomb tossed into the Middle East. The ISIS allusions to Abd al-Wahhab and Juhayman (whose dissident writings are circulated within ISIS) present a powerful provocation: they hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of “purity” lost and early beliefs and certainties displaced by shows of wealth and indulgence.

This is the ISIS “bomb” hurled into Saudi society. King Abdullah — and his reforms — are popular, and perhaps he can contain a new outbreak of Ikwhani dissidence. But will that option remain a possibility after his death?

And here is the difficulty with evolving U.S. policy, which seems to be one of “leading from behind” again — and looking to Sunni states and communities to coalesce in the fight against ISIS (as in Iraq with the Awakening Councils).

It is a strategy that seems highly implausible. Who would want to insert themselves into this sensitive intra-Saudi rift? And would concerted Sunni attacks on ISIS make King Abdullah’s situation better, or might it inflame and anger domestic Saudi dissidence even further? So whom precisely does ISIS threaten? It could not be clearer. It does not directly threaten the West (though westerners should remain wary, and not tread on this particular scorpion).

The Saudi Ikhwani history is plain: As Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab made it such in the 18th century; and as the Saudi Ikhwan made it such in the 20th century. ISIS’ real target must be the Hijaz — the seizure of Mecca and Medina — and the legitimacy that this will confer on ISIS as the new Emirs of Arabia.

Alastair Crooke, a former top British MI-6 agent in the Middle East, is author of Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution.

This article was first published by Huffington Post 

See also

U.S. Doubled Support for Saudi Bombing Campaign in Yemen

Saudi Arabia boosting extremism in Europe, says former ambassador

Theresa May buries report feared to show Saudi links to extremism

The West Must Face Reality: Saudi Regime Is the Root Cause of Islamist Terrorism

Thanks to State Department Cables, a Torture Victim Won a Rare $10 Million Settlement

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Wahabi Wall of Sham around Shi’ite city of Al-Awamiya

Saudi regime forces build wall around Shiite city to prevent people from leaving

By Leith Fadel

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – Saudi regime forces have constructed a makeshift wall around the predominately Shi’ite city of Al-Awamiya, blocking thousands of civilians from fleeing the area.

Initially, the Saudi regime forces besieged the city by deploying tanks and other armored military vehicles to block any civilians from exiting.

However, with the three weeks into this siege, the Saudi regime forces have decided to concentrate the bulk of their forces to one area around the city, while blocking all exits with makeshift walls.

According to Saudi state media, their forces are combating armed “terrorists” in Al-Awamiya, but this operation has been criticized by the international community, most notably the United Nations, for the inhuman treatment of the city’s residents.

Abu Trump al-Amriki

Embattled at home in a do-or-die war (or “witch hunt”) against powerful factions of the deep state, President Trump, in the first stop of his first foreign trip, lands with pomp and circumstance in the ultimate totalitarian theocracy.



A brilliant analysis and comment by Pepe Escobar on Sputnik News 

Trump will be lavishly entertained by a parasite monarchy that for decades exports the ideological matrix of all forms of Salafi-jihadi terrorism; a regime that denies the rights of its own population and teaches them to hate foreigners, non-Muslims, women, art and a culture-heavy past (as in bombing priceless historical sites in Yemen).

The same regime still denies, as a state, any implication in financing the most extreme terror outfits – without, for that matter, preventing influent pious nationals of doing so on an individual basis; interferes in the religious culture of Sunni Muslim nations all over the world and sterilizes any possible debate about Islam; foments an ethnic-confessional war between Sunnis and Shi’ites that envelops the whole Middle East in fire and blood with the only objective of enfeebling geopolitical rival Iran, all the while meekly invoking American protection.

Talk about a nasty theocracy with no redeeming qualities.
And that’s only the short version.


Trump’s lavish Riyadh get-together is being billed as part of his drive to support the renaissance of US manufacturing. That translates in fact as yet another bonanza for the industrial-military-security-surveillance complex, in the form of a series of mega-deals that include the totalitarian theocracy buying over $100 billion – and possibly more than $300 billion — in US weaponry.

On the side, Trump will propose his Arab NATO scheme – which is essentially the formalization of an already existing NATO-GCC symbiosis. This Arab NATO will – in theory — fight some strands of Islamic fundamentalism (Daesh, but not, for instance, Jabhat al-Nusra), but most of all what the GCC bills as the “existential threat” of Iran as well as, subtext applies, Shi’ism.

This will all be enshrined at a banquet shared by the whole GCC petrodollar gang and over 50 Muslim-majority nation leaders, all guests of the Alzheimer-suffering House of Saud nominal head, King Salman. Both Syria and Iran have not been invited. Trump is bound to deliver a speech to the Muslim world – a portentous temerity in itself.

The Arab NATO will be de facto led by none other than Trump himself, with his second-in-command none other than Saudi Warrior Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS.

The massive, brand new US weaponizing will be deployed – as the NATO-GCC spin goes – for “defense” against Iran, and most of all “defense” against Syria and Yemen, which, as the record shows, are guilty of not being led by Wahhabi fanatics.

Every grain of sand in the Arabian desert knows the main jihadi brigades in Syria, the so-called Army of Conquest, led by al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda, are funded by House of Saud-linked Wahhabi fanatics. Nusra will immensely benefit from the new weapon extravaganza.

On Iran, the House of Saud can even count on being fully supported by Trump’s generals, “Mad Dog” Mattis at the Pentagon and National Security Adviser HR McMaster, who’ve both been to Iraq and see Tehran as Evil incarnated.

When we add the cozy accommodation between Israel and Daesh, the whole panorama explodes any Dadaist/surrealist thermometer. Wounded Nusra jihadis have been routinely treated in Israeli military hospitals. When Daesh accidentally shelled Israelis in the occupied Golan Heights, Moshe Yaalon, former Israeli Minister of Defense, breathlessly stressed, the jihadis “immediately apologized to Israel.”

Of course they did. Daesh works to advance the key Israeli strategic objective across “Syraq”; to keep secular Arab states weak, fragmented, bleeding from perpetual wars. That also happens to be the exact same strategic objective of the US deep state, Trump or no Trump. The brand new massive weapons deal perfectly fits the bill.

So there could not be a more graphic illustration of how the battle lines are now drawn; on one side we have Washington, the House of Saud, GCC and Israel (the GCC is dying to strike a deal with Tel Aviv, selling the Palestinians down the drain for good); on the other side we have Iran, Syria – and Russia.

It’s raining cash for weapons!

The mere visit itself – with the whole House of Saud and its sprawling media empire gleefully prostrated in front of His Masters’ Voice – shows how little has changed since the good ol’ Roosevelt/King Saud USS Quincy days. Once again, the House of Saud is buying US protection – and the War Party Mafia certainly knows an “offer you can’t refuse” when it sees one.

The alliance between Abu Trump al-Amriki and deputy crown prince MBS is one for the ages. A selfish, aggressive warmonger posing as an economic expert, MBS is fast collecting powerful enemies in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is a lowly rentier state, the Bedouin version, infested by paternalism. The Saudi population was estimated at 26 million last year; active population at 18 million. There are at least 9.4 million immigrant workers, and at least 2 million illegals. In practice, we have no more than 8 million Saudis in the workforce, with only 41% actually working full-time.

MBS has been all over the West’s capitals promoting the “Vision 2030” program which would – in theory – reduce Saudi dependency on oil. That includes, among other things, lower salaries for state functionaries; fewer energy subsidies; selling plots of land around Mecca; and most of all selling 5% of oil giant Aramco to foreign investors through a massive IPO to take place next year, possibly generating over $100 billion to be invested in nuclear and solar energy projects.

That’s all in the conditional. What’s certain is that while preaching austerity, MBS took only a few hours in summer last year to buy the yacht of Russian billionaire Yuri Sheffler for 550 million euros after he saw it during his holiday in the Cote d’Azur.

Then there’s Yemen — for all practical purposes the House of Saud’s and especially MBS’s Vietnam. As a direct consequence of MBS’s war, the UN estimates 17 million Yemenis are “food insecure,” a.k.a. starving, including 3.3 million pregnant and breast-feeding mothers and children. Trump fully supports the war on Yemen.

On Daesh, first-class Algerian writer Kamel Daoud has nailed it: “Daesh has a mother, the invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father, the ideological industry of Saudi Arabia.” Since 2009 WikiLeaks has made it clear that private donors in Saudi Arabia are the main source of financing for Salafi-jihadis.

Don’t expect Trump advisers to clue him in. Whatever it’s called, Salafism or Wahhabism, the official doctrine remains an ultra-puritan Islamism calling for an expansionist jihad. The House of Saud and a jihadi Caliphate are both sides of the same totalitarian theocracy coin. Trump welcomed by the House of Saud to fight Daesh qualifies as the ultimate Monty Python sketch.

Still, the House of Saud may always count on gullible/greedy Westerners – the same ol’ Roosevelt/King Saud effect. All it needs is a diversionist tactic. Enter, for instance, MBS’s interview broadcast a few weeks ago on al-Arabiya TV and Saudi TV, where he proclaims, “We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia, but we will work so the battle is there in Iran,” claiming, risibly, that Iranian Shi’ites want to seize Mecca. Actually, for years there have been secret CIA scenarios gaming exactly that – perpetrated by US commandos.

When MBS promised, like a Drama Queen, ahead of Trump’s visit, to carry “the war” against Iran into Iranian territory, he may have bitten more than he can chew. It might just be possible that Trump won’t frontally antagonize Tehran from now on, as he needs both Iran and Russia for some sort of peace deal in Syria (as Trump, Tillerson and Lavrov discussed at the White House).

So, for the moment, why not bask in the glow of Saudi adulation? It’s raining cash for weapons, and no one better than Abu Trump al-Amriki knows there’s no business like (proxy) war business.


The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.



… RELATED  VIDEOS …
(…repetita iuvant…)

Trump signs $380bn weaponry deal with Saudi’s regime,
diffuser of criminal Wahhabism,
best terrorist-gangs’ supporter in Middle East.


This just mean: Money for the USA war lobby, Weapons for Terrorism, Death for Middle Eastern Peoples
… and beyond …


Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia to reset ties

US President Donald Trump gets a royal Saudi welcome during his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

US First Lady Melania Trump, First daughter Ivanka Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are among those accompanying the president in the trip. The Saudi King Salman personally welcomed Trump at the airport. The two sat together in the Saudi Royal court. Finalizing a U-S proposed arms deal worth billions of dollars is on the trip’s agenda. Riyadh is a major importer of US arms and has used them to wage one of the most horrible wars on the Yemeni nation killing thousands of civilians.


Under siege in Washington,
Trump reaps Saudi arms deal, stronger ties

US President Donald Trump has traveled to Saudi Arabia in his first trip abroad. Trump and the Saudi king signed a controversial multi-billion dollar arms deal amid Riyadh’s bleak human rights record.
The arms agreement would funnel arms worth up to 3-hundred billion dollars into Saudi Arabia over the next ten years. This is while Riyadh has unleashed a horrible war against its southern neighbor Yemen since March 20-15. Over 12-thousand Yemenis have fallen victim to the brutal war which goes on amid international silence. Riyadh is the biggest arms importer from the United States. Trump would travel to Israel, Italy, and Belgium after leaving Saudi Arabia.


Trump visits Saudi Arabia first, signs $380bn deal

Donald Trump’s received a lavish, royal welcome in Saudi Arabia, where he’s kicking off his first foreign tour as U.S. president. Trump’s signed a number of defence and business deals totalling in excess of $380bn, including an arms deal worth $110bn. Trump is the first American president to make Saudi Arabia, or any Muslim-majority country, his inaugural stop overseas and he’s pleased with his progress so far.


the show must go on

Saudi Night Fever:
Trump with traditional Arabian sword dance

Before His Election We Could Not Imagine Him
to Be So Much Buffoon

US President Donald Trump was spotted enjoying himself with dancers in a traditional Saudi sword ‘Ardha’ performance, Saturday, on his first overseas visit as president to Riyadh. Earlier in the day, Trump was decorated with the kingdom’s top civilian honour after a warm reception by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Saudi royal family. The two leaders also signed a series of agreements aimed at boosting their countries’ military and economic partnerships.


WHO warns of 300,000 Cholera cases
in Yemen within 6 months

The World Health Organization says the Cholera epidemic in Yemen could reach 300-thousand cases within six months.
A representative of the U- health agency has warned of an extremely high death toll, describing the outbreak as unprecedented. At least 242 people have died of cholera across Yemen over the past three weeks alone. Tens of thousands of others have been diagnosed with the disease. Humanitarian organizations say Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen and its crippling sea and naval blockade are to blame for the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. According to the U-N, one child dies every ten minutes from preventable causes in the Arab country. This, as the United States is set to give the go-ahead for a huge controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia.


… and  more …


They Think You’re Stupid


Trump Dancing With The Devil (+18!)


SOURCES:
Sputnik News, by Pepe Escobar
archive from 'The Real Syrian Free Press'
archive from 'The Real Syrian Free Press'
archive from 'The Real Syrian Free Press'
~
Submitted by SyrianPatriots
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/abu-trump-al-amriki/
~

Wikileaks publishes documents showing how Google helped Al-Qaeda in Syria

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:12 P.M.) – Google has helped Al-Qaeda and other Salafist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood gain new members at the dawn of the Syrian conflict, secret documents and e-mails published by Wikileaks show.

The then director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen coordinated actions to support the groups often dubbed as rebels with then U.S. Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton and Deputy U.S. State Secretary William Burns. Google employed it’s expertise in the IT sector to help the conflict in Syria gain traction.

In July 2012 Google provided a software tool, with which defections in Syria were to be tracked and the thereby gained informations spread in Syria with the help of Al-Jazeera. According to the plotting of U.S. officials and Google, this should encourage more people to take up arms and join the ranks of the rebels. Then Director of Policy Planning for Obama, Jake Sullivan let Hillary Clinton, for which he served as an advisor in the last presidential election, know that, “this is a pretty cool idea.”

The U.S. administration back in 2012 was already aware of the fact, that the opposition in the Syrian conflict mainly consists of Al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups. In a then secret, now publicly available internal report of the U.S. administration on the Syrian conflict is stated, that “the salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

Furthermore the rise of the Islamic State was anticipated to result out of an empowered Al-Qaeda along the Syrian-Iraqi border: “If the situation there unravels, there is the possibilty of establishing a declared or undeclared salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasakah and Deir Ezzor) and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want.”

Supporting Al-Qaeda it seems, was already feasible for the U.S. administration in 2012, just 11 years and 2 wars after the Twin Towers in New York were hit by planes. Sullivan wrote in another mail reporting to Clinton about the Syrian conflict in 2012 that “Al-Qaeda is on our side in Syria.”

Google which tries to gain users trust with it’s slogan -Don’t be evil- since year 2000, has also evolved. In 2015 the company was restructured, with Alphabet now being the parent organisation of the subbranches like Google, Verily and Google Ideas. It has also become part of the U.S. military industrial complex, which provides products and services essential for the deployment and sustenance of military operations, as NSA director Keith Alexander assessed.

Alphabet’s head Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen envisioned this new status for Google: “What Lockheed Martin was for the twentieth century, technology and cyber-security companies will be for the twenty-first.”

SAA REPORTS: Al-Qaaboon Liberated

Source

The first tranche of flea-bitten rodents left Al-Qaaboon for northwestern Syria yesterday after most accepted offers of amnesty and clemency from the government. 

The last group [of mercenary-terrorists] has now left neighboring Al-Barza in order to live in the Wahhabist enclave of Idlib. 

Brigadier General, Kamaal Saarim of the Syrian Army confirmed that his forces have killed over 1000 terrorists during the last 3 months of combat in Al-Qaaboon

The key to the collapse of the terrorist presence in the two suburbs of Damascus was the discovery of over 29 tunnels that led to the East Al-Ghouta


The first tunnel in al-Qaboun, which was used by mercenary-terrorists to transfer their arms and members


Once the tunnels were sealed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), so was the fate of the terrorist Wahhabi-supported vultures.


The second tunnel used to smuggle weapons for the mercenary-terrorists in the neighborhood of al-Qaboun before the Syrian Arab Army operations


It has been revealed that some rodents escaped to ‘Irbeen or Harastaa through the tunnels before they were detonated by the SAA-Engineering Corps.

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.003003&lon=38.430176&z=7&m=bs

click on map to enlarge ~ here for the original link


SOURCES:
Excerpts are from a SyrianPerspective post by Ziad Fadel
Videos are from Syrian Army Military Information Centre
Submitted by SyrianPatriots
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/al-qaaboon-liberated/
~

الفنانة رغدة: أستغرب كيف يستطيع الأسد النوم!

2017-05-14

وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبارية

يقال عادة عن شخص مشهور بأنه “غني عن التعريف”، أما الفنانة السورية رغدة، فرغم شهرتها، لا يمكن إلا أن يعاد التعريف بها مرة تلو مرة، فهي امرأة لا تهدأ، ولا تكفّ عن خوض الحياة لحظة بلحظة. ” أنا الإنسان الذي صادف أنه يتكلم العربية، وصادف أنه تربى تربية عسكرية، صادف أنه لا يهمل ما يقوله قلبه وإحساسه حتى إن تعارض مع العقل، كما صادف أنه يخاف، لكن خوفه لا يمنعه من التصرف” تقول رغدة بثقة في لقائنا بها إبان زيارتها لدمشق، الزيارة التي لم تكن سوى محطة مؤقتة في مشروعها الخاص لهذه الزيارة : حلب!

من دمشق إلى حلب حملت رغدة إرادتها الصلبة، وراحت لتلتقي جنود سورية الذين حرروا أرضها، تقبّلهم، تتحدث معهم، تأخذ منهم الإرادة والثقة، وتمنحهم كل ما فيها من حبّ.

ليس لحاقها بـ”الخطر” جديدا عليها، فحين ضرب الأمريكان العراق بقذائف اليوارنيوم المنضب كانت رغدة هناك، وكانت أيضا في خضم الإنتفاضة الفلسطينية الثانية، كما كانت في مقدمة المظاهرة التي اتجهت إلى قطاع غزة لفك حصار الصهاينة عنه، و في الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت حين كانت القاذفات الصهيونية تحاول تدمير إرادتها (2006).

وفي سورية ظهرت مرارا وتكرارا في مناطق قريبة من الميدان، أو إثر عمل إرهابي ما لتقول أنها هنا مع شعبها وجيشها في حرب قسمت السوريين، قسمت حتى العائلة الواحدة.
قبل أن تمضي لما تعده أجمل ما في زياراتها لوطنها، لقائها جنوده الأبطال، التقت وكالة أنباء آسيا بالفنانة السورية وأجرت معها هذا الحوار:

غياب عن الشاشة السورية
– منذ زمن طويل لم تنجزي أعمالا في الدراما السورية، ونادرا ما تظهرين على الشاشات الوطنية، هل هناك ما يعيق؟
* لم يعرض علي أحد من سورية مثل هذا العمل!.. ربما كنت سأرفض أو أوافق.. كأي فنان آخر، ولا أعرف سببا لهذه المقاطعة، ربما تكون بعض شركات الإنتاج مرتبطة بالتمويل الخليجي في تسويق أعمالها، وبالتالي تخضع لشروطه، وفي القطاع العام لم أتلق أيضا أي عروض، ولهذا القطاع ومشاكله المعروفة على كل حال.

أما فيما يخص استضافتي، فلأقل أنني أقمت “جبهة إعلامية” للدفاع عن وطني خارج سورية. لكن ما الذي سأقوله على الشاشة الوطنية للناس الذي يعيشون هنا؟ يعيشون الحرب بكل تفاصيلها ويعرفونها أكثر مني وهم الصامدون على أرضها؟ اعتذرت أكثر من مرة لهذا السبب.

لكن، للأسف، بعض الإشكاليات تبقى غير مفهومة، فمثلا حين أنجزت فيملي الوثائقي عن المليحة (ريف دمشق) بعيد أن حررها الجيش، رفض التلفزيون السوري عرضه رغم أنني قدمته هدية! وحتى الآن لا أعرف لماذا قاطعه؟

رغدة المحجبة !
Image result for ‫الشيخ الصوفي الشهير محمد عبدالله الشامي‬‎– رغدة الروحانية التي كانت في حلب، هل ما زالت في داخلك؟
* في حلب التقيت الشيخ الصوفي الشهير محمد عبدالله الشامي، كنت ما زالت في الجامعة، الشيخ الشامي علمني الكثير، وهو الذي جعلني أعرف وأحب ابن الفارض والحلاج ومن مثلهما.
دأبت على متابعته حتى صرت من أتباعه، وارتديت الحجاب وقتها لبعض الوقت.

هذا الشيخ البسيط الرائع لم يوافق أهواء الأخوان المسلمون وقتها، فاغتالوه في المسجد، تلك الروح الصوفية ما زالت في داخلي، وحتى اليوم أمارس بعض تلك الروحانيات بطريقتي.

– لماذا ذهبت إلى مصر وكيف بدأت مسيرتك هناك؟
* لعدة أسباب، منها اغتيال الشيخ الشامي، وحرب الأخوان ضدي، والصعوبات الأمنية الكثيرة التي واجهتها، كل ذلك ساهم باتخاذي القرار بالذهاب إلى مصر، إذ لم يعد هناك ما أفعله هنا.
في القاهرة بدأت عملي كمتدربة في مؤسسة “الهلال” العريقة بـ 17 جنيه شهريا، أمضيت فيها سنوات طويلة تعرفت خلالها على قامات الأدب العربي: نجيب محفوظ ويوسف إدريس وصلاح عبد الصبور وأمل دنقل وغيرهم.. صرت تلميذتهم.. كانوا أناسا دافئين ممتلئين.

ومن الهلال المصرية إلى الشرق الأوسط السعودية والحياة اللندنية وزهرة الخليج الإماراتية والكثير من الصحف المصرية، أمضيت وقتا طويلا في عالم الصحافة، كتبت في السياسة والمجتمع والأدب والفن، أما الشعر فقد كان رفيقي منذ طفولتي، وأصدرت ديوانين منه.

رحل أكثر هؤلاء من عالمنا، والآن يمر الوطن العربي بحالة خواء في هذا المجال، لكن أيضا هناك ما يمكن الأمل به، فشباب جدد يشقون طريقهم بصعوبة، بعضهم تلاميذ أولئك الذين رحلوا، وربما سيعوض هؤلاء ما خسرناه.

خدعة لوكربي!
– قمت بالتحقيق الوحيد الذي قدمته الصحافة من داخل قاعة “محاكمة لوكربي”، كيف فعلت ذلك؟
* ببساطة، خدعتُ القضاة، كان القرار بمنع الصحفيين من دخول القاعة، والجميع انتظر خارجا، لكنني كنت على علاقة طيبة مع نبيل العربي (قبل أن يتلوث)، فاتصلت به واتفقنا أن أدخل القاعة بصفتي من فريقه، وفعلا هذا ما حدث، وكنت الوحيدة التي تمكنت من نقل وقائع المحاكمة من داخل القاعة، حتى تفاصيل ثياب القاضي.
أذكر أن السفيرة الأمريكية كانت تتسلى بـ”طق العلكة” بطريقة مزعجة، نبهتها أن تتوقف عن ذلك، فاضطرت لرميها.

الدولة وليس النظام..
– لقبك البعض بـ”الشبيحة” لشدة دفاعك عن سورية وشعبها وجيشها في كل محفل، لكنك قلما انتقدت النظام فيها، هل أنت راضية عنه؟
* دافعت دائما عن سورية وشعبها وجيشها، عن وطني، وليس عن أي نظام، حتى رجال النظام هنا يعرفون رأيي وبعضهم يوافقوني الرأي أيضا، وسبق أن انتقدت سلوكيات محددة كثيرا، خاصة الأمنية منها، بل واصطدمت أيضا مع هذه الأجهزة.

اعتقل أخي نكاية لأنني رفضت زيارة شخص ظن نفسه إلها، واعتقلوا زوجة أخي بسبب “تقرير كيدي”، وحتى ابن اخي اعتقل بتقرير كيدي أيضا. مع ذلك رفضت التدخل في كل المرات رغم توفر العلاقات الشخصية، فهذه قضايا يعانيها شعبي ويجب أن تحل حلا عاما، لا عبر معرفة فلان أو فلانة.
في إحدى المرات كان عبد الحليم خدام في زيارة لمصر، وصادف أنني كنت حاضرة. رفضت أن أقوم من مكاني لأسلم عليه، فغضب ومنع ذكر اسمي لسنوات طويلة، حتى مجرد ذكر في الإعلام السوري!

مؤامرة.. ولكن
– هل تتعرض سورية لمؤامرة كونية؟ ألا تعتقدين أننا مسؤولون عما وصلنا إليه؟
Image result for ‫مجلس قطر فاونديشن‬‎* لا شك بأنها مؤامرة، مؤامرة محبوكة قبل 2011 بزمن طويل.
عملت لعدة سنوات في “مجلس قطر فاونديشن”، وأتاح لي عملي فرصة الإطلاع على كثير من القضايا من داخلها، أعرف جيدا ماذا كان يحضّر داخل البلاط القطري لسورية. وحاولت مساعدة بلدي قدر ما أستطيع، حتى أنني في إحدى المرات حملت أسماء أشخاص سوريين سيدخلون سورية عن طريق مطار دمشق لينشروا أفكارهم التخريبية فيها، إلى الأجهزة المختصة، لكن أحدا لم يفعل شيئا لمنعهم من الدخول، دخل هؤلاء الأشخاص علنا، ومارسوا دورهم، وما زالت تلك الجهات تنكر أنهم دخلوا من مطار دمشق، لا سرا ولا تهريبا!.

إنها مؤامرة بالتأكيد، لكن الوضع السيئ في الداخل لعب دورا أيضا، دور لا يمكن بحال أن يصير مبررا لمن خان وطنه، أنا شخصيا تضررت كثيرا، وأنت اعتقلت مرارا وتكرارا، الآلاف من السوريين تضرروا بأشكال مخلتفة من هذه الممارسات، وجميعنا رفضنا أن يكون هذا الضرر “مطية” لنطعن وطننا، فالوطن هو المعيار.

لم ولن أدافع عن دويلات داخل الدولة، لا أمنية ولا مافياوية. أدافع عن وطني وشعبي، عن وجودي كمواطنة وإنسان، وسيأتي يوم لنخلص فيه من كل تلك الظواهر السلبية.
قد لا يكون بالإمكان الخلاص اليوم من كل تلك الفوضى، فنحن في حرب طاحنة منذ 7 سنوات، وأضرت كثيرا بنا نحن المدافعين عن سورية وشعبها وجيشها، لكن السلطات ليست وحدها من يتحمل المسؤولية، نحن أيضا نتحمل المسؤولية، لدينا ما يمكن تسميته “ثقافة شعبية” تقوم على الحسد والكيدية ومراقبة بعضنا البعض وو..
هذه الثقافة شكلت أساسا للفوضى، وحرمتنا من أن نكون كغيرنا من البلدان التي كان لها تجارب مماثلة لحالتنا ، لكنها خاضت حروبا وجودية بأقصى الإلتزام والنزاهة.

النخب وعمرو خالد!
– كأنك تقولين بأن الديموقراطية ليست حلا مناسبا لنا؟
* قلتها مرارا بكل وضوح: نحن لسنا مؤهلين لحكم ديموقراطي، النخب تتشدّق بالديموقراطية لأسباب كثيرة ليس من بينها إيمانها بها. هي أصلا لا تفقه الديموقراطية ولا تمارسها، هم يختلفون حتى على من يترأس جلسة، وما إن يستلم أحدهم لجنة تافهة في أمر ما حتى يبقى مسيطرا عليها حتى مماته أو طرده، يدّعي أحدهم الحرية ويمارس دور الطاغية تجاه أسرته!

هل تصدق: في كل زياراتي السابقة إلى سورية، قبل الأزمة، كانت تلك “النخب” تطلب شيئا واحدا مني : أشرطة الداعية الإسلامي عمرو خالد، نخب مثقفة تدعي الديموقراطية والحرية وكل ما تهتم به هو هذه التسجيلات؟!

قلقة.. ولكن متفائلة
-تصاعد الحديث عن تقسيم سورية.. هل تخشين ذلك؟
* هناك ما يقلق بالتأكيد، الأمر لم يعد مسألة أنبوب غاز هنا أو هناك، أو قضية حرية وديموقراطية، الأتراك يحتلون بعض أرضنا شمالا، نزعات انفصالية في الشمال الشرقي، ضغط شديد غير واضح في الجبهة الجنوبية، مسائل كثيرة تثير القلق بالتأكيد، خاصة أن من استثمر كل هذه الأموال والسنوات في دعم تدمير الدولة السورية لن يقبل بسهولة أن ينتصر جيش سورية وشعبها. القوى الكبرى لن تتركنا بهذه البساطة.

مع ذلك لا أستطيع العيش بلا تفاؤل، تفاؤل ينبع من داخلي وتفاؤل يفرضه الواقع، فحتى لو خربت البلد حتى آخر حجر، سيعيد شعبنا بناءها، ستعيدها حلب الصامدة كأسطورة، سيعيدها أهالي الشهداء الذين انزرعوا في ترابها، سيعيدها ذلك الرجل العجوز الذي كان “يشكّ التبغ”، قدماه ممدودتان ومشققتان، دفن أبناءه الثلاثة في سبيل وطننا، وقال بكل ثقة: “والله سأقاتلهم حتى بهذه (مشيرا إلى “المسلة” المستخدمة في شك الدخان)، وأموت على هذه الأرض، ولا أسمح لهم بتدنيسها”.
هؤلاء من أثق بهم. إلى جانب جيشي الذي لا أشك لحظة أنه لن يتخلى عن ذرة من تراب من وطني.

– بعيداً عن الأضواء، دخلت الكثير من المناطق والبيوت في سورية، ماذا رأيت؟


* لأختصر على النحو التالي: تجولت لأكثر من 13 يوما متواصلة في عشرات القرى السورية، رأيت قرى للنساء والعجائز والأطفال، قرى خالية من الشباب الذكور، رأيت أمهات الشهداء وزوجاتهم وأخواتهم وبناتهم وهم من أبقوا الحياة في هذه المناطق، رأيت حبال غسيل ليس عليها سوى ثياب الحداد السوداء!
رأيت ما جعلني أقول بثقة: أولى أولوياتنا هنّ هؤلاء النساء، ذوي الشهداء.

كلنا نعرف أن الشهداء وذويهم يباعون ويشترون في سوق أسود من قبل بعض السلطات المحلية، ويتم ابتزازهم، إذلالهم، سرقتهم، الشهداء يموتون مرة في الحرب، ومرات على أيدي هذه السلطات المحلية. الجنود الجرحى والمعوقون يرمون دون أي اهتمام، أعداد كبيرة اليوم في وطننا من اليتامى والأرامل والمطلقات وجرحى الحرب وو.. ، هؤلاء ما يجب أن يكونوا على رأس أولوياتنا.

السوريات ضحايا النخاسة

– ادّعى السلفيون أنك شتمت مقدسا لهم في أوبرا مصر، ما الذي جرى؟
* لطالما فضحت السلفيين والأصوليين، وهذه المرة رأيت بعيني ملصقا على جامع “الحصري” يدعو الرجال كي “يتزوجن” النساء السوريات مثنى وثلاث ورباع كي “ينالوا ثوابا”.
أنا امرأة سورية وأرفض أن أسكت على هذا الترويج لسوق نخاسة حقيقي، فكتبت قصيدة وألقيتها في أوبرا مصر، فضحتهم فيها وأظهرت حقيقة ما يؤدي إليه الخضوع لهؤلاء الأصوليين، ولأنهم عاجزون عن الرد على الحقيقة تلاعبوا ببعض الكلمات التي كتبتها بالعامية، كي يظهروا الأمر كما لو أنني تعرضت لشخص محدد بشتيمة، وهذا غير صحيح، فالنص منشور ومن يقرأه يفهم جيدا ما أقوله.

القصيدة وما قلته عن هؤلاء ليس سوى “رأس جبل الجليد” فيما أفعله في هذا المجال، يوميا أساعد نساء سوريات في جوانب مختلفة، وفي إحدى المرات قمت بتهريب فتاة سورية (16 عاما) كان أهلها على وشك بيعها بـ 500 جنيه لسلفي عجوز، وساعدت آخرين على العودة إلى سورية.

بل عرضت على السلطات السورية، حين كان الطيران السوري ما زال ينزل في مطار القاهرة، أن يمنحوا مقاعد مجانية في رحلة العودة إلى دمشق للسوريين والسوريات الراغبين بالعودة إلى سورية، أصلا كانت الطائرة تعود فارغة إلى مطار دمشق. لكن تلك السلطات رفضت بكل بساطة، وبلا أي مبرر!
يصعب إنهاء الحديث مع رغدة السورية الأصيلة، يصعب أيضا أن تمنع نفسك من الذهاب معها في كل تفصيل من حياتها الغنية ورؤاها المثيرة، يصعب أن لا تبحش أكثر وأكثر في عمقها ونبضها، ومع ذلك أنت مضطر لتضغط زر إيقاف التسجيل في لحظة ما!

قبل أن تحين هذه اللحظة، خطر لي سؤال تقليدي: ما أول قرار تتخذينه لو صرت رئيسة لسورية اليوم، في هذه اللحظة من الحرب؟
“شوف”، ترد رغدة بجدية مطلقة: “لو أعطوني الرئاسة اليوم وفوقها الكثير الكثير من الامتيازات، لقلت: لا، شكرا، الجبال التي تحمل مسؤوليات أكبر من طاقاتها تنهار، أما الرئيس بشار الأسد فتقول رغدة بدهشة وإعجاب: “حقيقة لا أعرف كيف ينام؟ كيف يأكل ويشرب ويضحك ويمضي بعض الوقت مع أسرته وأولاده؟ هذا الرجل الذي يحمل المسؤولية اليوم يواجه العالم كله في حرب معقدة، حصار اقتصادي وسياسي من كل مستوى، فساد وأزمات داخلية، حرب تدخل سنتها السابعة، ومع كل ذلك تراه شخصا متزنا لا يكتفي بالقيام بمهماته كلها على أكمل وجه فحسب، بل أيضا لا تفارق الإبتسامة وجهه، من هذا الرجل؟ كيف يستطيع ذلك؟”

في زمن آخر، بعد الحرب، سترحب بأن تكون رئيسة، وسيكون أول قرار تتخذه من منصبها هو أن تأتي بهؤلاء الذين “باعوا البلد متوهمين أنهم سيستولون على سورية ببضعة أيام كما حصل في تونس ومصر، سأجمعهم وأضعهم في معرض عام مسوّر، وسأدعو السوريين ليأتوا مع أطفالهم في نزهة كي يتفرجوا عليهم، يرمون لهم البذر والموز وفتات الخبز، هذا أفضل ما يجب أن يحصل لهؤلاء، فأن ضد عقوبة الإعدام على كل حال”!

بسام القاضي – انباء اسيا

Related Videos

 Related Posts

%d bloggers like this: