Saturday, January 31, 2015

Another Islamic State Opportunity

"The attackers opened fire inside the hotel, killing four foreigners, two men and two women, who are believed to be from East Asian countries."
Omar Khadrawi, Tripoli head of security

"The Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States strongly condemn yesterday’s attack on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya. We express our deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We reject such appalling acts of terrorism, which should not be allowed to undermine Libya’s political process. We call on Libyans to condemn this and all acts of terrorism and to seek an end to the ongoing conflict, which only exacerbates the terrorist threat."
U.S. State Department
Image grab from AFPTV video shows fire and smoke rising in front of the Corinthia hotel in Tripoli, Libya, on January 27, 2015, after gunmen stormed the luxury hotel (AFP Photo/)

It's not, one imagines, that Mr. Khadrawi isn't doing his job, ensuring security for Libyans and those who visit the country to which Islamic State terrorists have made inroads of compatibility with the tribal and sectarian Islamists making a mockery of central government. It is just that when terrorists are infused with the zeal of inflicting their deadly contempt and hatred -- by portioning out death to all those who by their nature rejecting radicalization, earn it -- they feel quite entitled to do so.

And such deathly rampages are nothing if not difficult to stop in their tracks. A car bomb set to explode as a distraction, allowing gunmen to storm the hotel popular with foreigners and foreign embassy staff. Which explains why it is the attack took place there, and why it is that an American security contractor is listed among the dead, alongside a French national, a Filippina and a woman from South Korea. Wrong place, right time. Or is that right place, wrong time...

The five gunmen fired  their guns in the lobby while battling security guards. Staff and guests were shot for good measure, and then the gunmen taking several hostages took to the top floor of the hotel. Where the gunmen either blew themselves to smithereens or were killed, their six captives freed by security forces. Now that's a lucky break for the captives, since the goal is in becoming martyrs to take as many of the 'enemy' with them as possible.

The Tripoli Province of ISIS has issued its trill of conquest, a self-congratulatory paean of praise that they killed nine people; amazing grace in honour of Islam, the Prophet and Allah. ISIS has spread its deadly tentacles, operating training camps in Libya and luring recruits from among the many tribal Islamists for whom there is no recognition of a national government in in the country.

Apart from Libya having defaulted to becoming a country of utter lawlessness whose territory represents prime Islamic State expansionist geography it has the distinction of having been a resource for terrorist groups everywhere in North Africa and the Middle East availing themselves of the vast treasury of weapons that were amassed and released when Moammar Ghadafi's military abandoned safekeeping duties.

Prime gain in a prime game for Islamic State.

Labels: ,

Friday, January 30, 2015

ISIS's Ignominious Defeat in Kobani

"ISIL's defeat in Kobane further shatters the organization's claims to invincibility, particularly as it coincides with the group's retreat from Kurdish and other Iraqi forces in northern and central Iraq." 
Mohammed Salih, Al Jazeera

"IEDs cover a huge area, from Rabia in the northwest, to Jalawla and Sadia in the southeast. In between is a long line of 1,000 km contaminated with IDs, TNT, explosives."
"There have been many casualties from IDPs [internationally displaced people] returning to booby-trapped homes. We warn returning civilians that everything in the occupied area can be trapped."
"They [four deminers] had no special equipment or training in dealing with IEDs and booby traps. They were dealing with IEDs based on their experience with mines and UXO [unexploded ordnance'."
Ako Aziz, director, Mine Risk Education, Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency

A Kurdish fighter flashes a victory sign in Kobani. Osman Orsal/Reuters

The Islamic State was quick to use its slick propaganda to boast to the world that it was advancing in its goal to expand its territory within Syria and Iraq for its caliphate. The same propaganda that the world found so abhorrent, with its triumphalism over having routed the Iraqi military, taking the country's second largest city, Mosul, its slaughter of Yazidis, mass rapes, enslavement of women and children, captivated and enthralled foreign fighters from Australia, Canada, Europe and across the Middle East, 1,200 of whom were killed in Kobani under the Islamic State flag.

Islamic State isn't too likely to be boasting on propaganda videos that its conquest of Kobani was complete, nor that in the three-month assault it lost a significant number of fighters. That will remain, for the Islamic State, a silent no-go topic. Which hardly signifies that its zeal for conquest has been stifled to any degree. It will now simply continue to look elsewhere for other towns, villages and cities that look like easy capture; places where the peshmerga are not to be found.

"The entire notion of this organization [ISIS], that it is on the march and the inevitable expansion and inevitable momentum has been halted at Kobani", signals "Mission accomplished" a U.S. State Department warned would be premature. The fight against the Islamic State is in its initial stages, despite the Kurdish win with Kobani. The caution long ago was stated that this would be a prolonged push-back against viral Islamism; one victory does not end the war. 

In the meanwhile, however, the tens of thousands of Kurdish refugees from Kobani who sought temporary shelter in Turkey at the border with Syria, are now returning to their homes, to find much of their city shattered, but determined to rebuild. They are, however, being cautioned to have a care in their return. Warned by the peshmerga that even the most innocuous items like televisions, light switches and flashlights have been rigged to explode when handled.

And the peshmerga itself, skilled at rendering some types of explosives harmless have suffered their own casualties, de-miners killed and wounded in attempting to clear houses in a northern Iraqi village. They are, therefore, approaching Kobani with the caution due its uncertain state when the retreating Islamic State fighters, true to their malevolent message and delivery, set traps in the hopes of achieving more deaths.

Improvised explosive devices are the cause of 70% of casualties to peshmerga, the Kurdish armed forces - according to the Kurdish Minister of Peshmerga Mustafa Sayid Qadir. On Tuesday he met with Canada's ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Saccomani, who formally handed over six remotely operated de-mining robots, at a blastproof compound outside Erbil. 

"Thanks to these robots, we will be able to clear areas of IEDs much quicker. I'm sure these robots will save many many lives", Mr. Qadir said at a ceremonial hand-over. Peshmerga engineers have yet to be trained by the company in Canada that has supplied the robots, Med-Eng Holdings. There is no question but that de-mining is urgent, however. 

Freeing Kobani from the aspirations of the Islamic State is fundamentally important to the people who call it home and who are now returning. Its release also has an important message, that the most stable ethnic group in the region, the Kurds, have benefited from the U.S.-led coalition's engagement against the Islamic State. 

But ISIS commands 20,000 square miles of territory across Syria and Iraq. Despite the thousands of airstrikes by the coalition, ISIS remains well entrenched in its controlled area, with ample access to new recruits responding to its jihadist-enticing propaganda. "It's not the beginning of the end" for ISIS, not yet, stated Dlawer Ala'aldeen, president of the Middle East Research Institute in Erbil.

Labels: , ,

Jordanian Public Opinion

"Public opinion in Jordan is putting huge pressure on the government to negotiate with the Islamic State group."
"If the government doesn't make a serious effort to release him, the morale of the entire military will deteriorate and the public will lose trust in the political regime."
Marwan Shehadeh, ultra-conservative Islamic scholar, Jordan
Safi al-Kassasbeh, the father of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh (portrait), who was captured by Islamic State (IS) group militants on December 24, protests outside the Royal court in Amman on January 28, 2015 (AFP Photo/Khalil Mazraawi)

The Jordanian public is hugely averse to their government's position in taking up arms alongside the United States and its Western and Middle East allies to combat the Islamic State. It's worth bearing in mind that the Islamic State has taken under its regional occupation as an expanding caliphate, vast territory of two neighbouring states. It cannot be a secret to Jordanians that Syria and Iraq are in a state of collapse from within.

Jordan has, after all, taken in hundreds of thousands of desperately fleeing Sunni Syrians, refugees anxious to escape death from the Syrian military obeying the commands of Syrian Shiite Alawite President Bashar al-Assad who has rewarded their pleas for citizenship equality with barrel bombs and chemical attacks, using mass starvation as an instrument of war to inflict maximum pain on helpless civilian subjects.

What was Syria's affair has become Jordan's affair. Yet Jordanians viewing from afar -- but not too far -- the predations and vicious slaughter, mass rape, enslavement of minority ethnic and religious groups of neighbouring countries, feel it is not incumbent upon their government to use their military to meet the Islamic State in combat.

The most immediate victims of the advance of the jihadist Islamic State terrorists once the countries they've occupied become completely pacified, will be to march toward neighbouring states and Jordan's citizens could be next in line for the appropriation of their territory, and the slaughter of their families. ISIS will not take kindly to citizens of a country that has defied their agenda, but on the other hand, if Jordan withdrew from the opposing coalition it would no more ensure its safety.

Which means that Jordanians must surely realize that their stability and security is under potential threat. The only hope they have to avoid becoming victims themselves of the Islamist terrorists is that enough nations will be prepared to mount an effective offense against their seemingly inexorable advance, during which they post videos trumpeting the most excruciating atrocities they mount, inviting the world to witness the level of their degraded humanity.

Islamic State represents a finite number of fighters, even though they attract recruits from across the Muslim world and numbers throughout Europe. The Arab states in the region have large standing armies and they have equipped their militaries with advanced weaponry. They have the capacity to mount a collective, and effective strike to eliminate the Islamic State, yet they have never ventured to do anything so useful.

The zeal to do so when it came to conquering Israel never failed them, though their campaigns to destroy the Jewish State did meet with failure.

It seems more than abundantly clear that the very same Middle East countries that deplore the presence of the United States in their geography -- the Western nation that exemplifies for them the very topmost exploiter of Arab resources, the country that most interferes with Middle East sovereignty, with the reputation of invasions to remove dictators, resulting in the unleashing of sectarian violence -- expect the United States to enter the situation with Islamic State and mop up the threat they live under.

In criticizing the decision of King Abdullah to lend his military to the collective offence against ISIS, Jordanians signal their disinterest in their region's future, let alone their own country's. There is no regional loyalty, there is only tribal and sectarian loyalty. "Listen, Abdullah, the son of Jordan [the pilot] must be returned home", chant protesters outside the king's palace in Amman. Urging their government to move the heavens to effect the release of the captured Jordanian pilot.

Ensuring in the process, that more captives will be abducted, more such exchanges of mass murderers be demanded, and the cycle of violence and retribution by the vicious jihadist terrorists will continue unabated.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Who Is Advising Putin Now?

Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters      Russian President Vladimir Putin (c.) chairs a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on Tuesday.

"In Russia, decision-making is the most obscure realm of all. This system is top secret. Nobody, not even top officials, know for sure who or what Putin is listening to."
"Anything anyone tells you about how Putin decides things is either disinformation, or error."
Alexander Dugin, right-wing scholar, founder of "Eurasian" school of political philosophy

"Putin meets with people based on the importance of the jobs they do."
"The Putin-era oligarchs had the mission to develop Russian business at home and abroad, with the purpose of strengthening Russia's integration with the global economy. That hasn't worked out at all, and as a result the relevance of those billionaires for Putin has fallen sharply. On the other hand, the importance of siloviki – security people – has grown amid the current challenges. So, he spends more time with them. It's a fact that the siloviki tend to be more anti-Western, and obviously this will influence his views."
"Of course we have no solid information about who Putin meets with and listens to. But Putin is known to be a good manager. He will move to restore the balance between the different groups that are close to him. He needs them to help formulate new policies to minimize the economic losses and neutralize the political trends that could threaten his power. He's a rational player, and he's very interested in his own political survival."
Nikolai Petrov, professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Vladimir Rodionov/Presidential Press Service/RIA Novosti Kremlin/AP

The straitened economic position Russia founds itself in now with the double wallop of sanctions and the astonishingly low price per barrel of oil, has put a crimp in the Kremlin's plans to promote the Russian federation at the expense of its former satellites. The Sochi Winter Games, exquisitely planned by Vladimir Putin to dazzle the world community with its off-handed expense account and its ability to mount a world-class event outdoing even China's pride of presentation, was to have been the introduction to Russia's ambitious aspirations to claim its former status as a world power equal to the U.S.

Things went off the rails fairly swiftly when two events occurred; first the Islamic Republic of Iran's plans at nuclear attainment, aided and abetted by a more than willing Kremlin with Russian engineering know-how helping to build Iran's nuclear plants, creating a huge concern for the Gulf States and in particular Saudi Arabia, shuddering at the prospect of Shiite Iran aggressively presenting itself as the Aryan (Shiite) Muslim leader in the Arab (Sunni) Middle East. Iran seemed to be able to weather Western sanctions, but Saudi Arabia had a better plan and engineered cheap oil to really slug it to Iran.

The fallout of which is where Moscow finds itself at the present time, suffering under its own economic sanctions imposed by the West as a genteel but firm punishing admonition over its ambitious annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, and its covert support for the Ukrainian-Russian rebels who insist on joining the geography they claim with that of Russia, transferring land and allegiance from Kyiv to Moscow, to the delight of the Kremlin.

In choosing to target Vladimir Putin's closest friends and colleagues whom he had placed in a position to enrich themselves as powerful oligarchs whose loyalty to Mr. Putin was undisputed, the West reasoned that their displeasure at how they were targeted through sanctions creating a diminishment of their wealth, pressure would be placed upon the Russian president to curtail his territorial ambitions.

Instead, his resolve has been heightened, just as his popularity among the Russian people has soared at the spectacle of their president thumbing his nose at Western leaders pressuring Russia to stand down from its aggression against its neighbours. Russians view their president as a hero for resisting outside pressure and forging on with the intention of restoring Russia's past greatness as a world power, evidenced by the vast treasury spent on acquiring new military technology.

Those whose wealth has been dealt a blow by Western displeasure over Russia's expansionist imperialism have become resentful of their president's ambitions. The 21 most wealthy in the country have lost a collective $61-billion in the last yer alone as a result of the U.S. and European sanctions, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Political consultant Sergei Markov relates that businessmen who have been close to Mr. Putin are now "on the periphery". Russia's economic plight has been tremendously exacerbated by the low per-barrel world market price. Zap!

The core group that Vladimir Putin has now assembled around him has been altered, led by Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Federal Security Service head Alexander Bortnikov, Foreign Intelligence Service chief Mikhail Fradkov, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, if Mr. Markov is to be believed -- and why would he not be? Those who were tasked as ministers and state functionaries to counter the economic slowdown in the country have complained that their recommendations haven't been welcomed.

"It's a very difficult time for Putin. He's being criticized from both sides, the liberals and the hawks. Many people in the Kremlin believe Russia should adopt an even tougher stance", explained Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist who has noted the rise of the security services under President Putin. Although the Russian population supports Russia's involvement in Ukraine with the intensified fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk, the Moscow elite are alarmed about the political and financial costs.

Two former prominent government officials have called on Vladimir Putin to find an exit in the fighting. Russia must avoid "self-isolation" over Ukraine and keep the door open to cooperation with NATO and the U.S. according to Yevgeny Primakov, a former premier, foreign minister and spymaster. "We lost our country as a great power" without that collaboration, Mr. Primakov wrote last week in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Former finance minister Alexi Kudrin, a longtime Putin ally, who now sits on the president's Economic Council, last month claimed that Russia faces a "full-fledged" economic crisis if it fails to repair its damaged ties with the United States and Europe. But none of these concerns address the more signal problem devastating Russia's finances; its reliance on high oil prices per barrel to keep its ambitions afloat....

Labels: , , , , ,

Gatestone Institute

Europe's policies of encouraging groups such as Hamas, which constantly espouse violence, demolishes the Palestinian effort to achieve a responsible Palestinian state that finally could end the conflict with Israel.
The West has been duped. The French have naïvely taken the bait: they now associate Palestinian "Resistance" with the courageous French underground Résistance that fought the Germans in World War II. They incorrectly assume that the Palestinian "Resistance' must be a good thing, too.
But the Palestinian Resistance bears no resemblance to the French Résistance of Word War II. There is no way to compare them. The Palestinian "Resistance" is nothing more than terrorist organizations repressing their own people. They do not resist an evil force; they are an evil force.
The truth is that the Europeans do not really care about the Palestinians, only about destroying Israel.
Now the International Criminal Court is planning to investigate Israel because it had the gall to defend itself against terrorism, while what did Europe do? Europe, in the face of terrorism, invited every terrorist-sponsoring dictator to join it in a march to protest the very murders that these dictators had paid for.
There is no difference between Hamas's aspirations to be "liberated from the Zionist occupation," and radical Islam's aspirations to be liberated from the "Christian occupation" of Europe.
All "Resistance" should be against radical Islam as embodied by groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic State, among others. They are the ones we should resist. They should not be allowed to rule us in some Islamist "Palestinian State."
Europeans, both civilians and law enforcement personnel, may well be on tenterhooks, wondering what thousands of young Muslim men and women, who left their countries of origin to join the Islamist terrorist organizations in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Africa, will do when they return. Europeans have reason to be concerned: many of the returning jihadists were trained to murder civilians.

When they come back to the countries to which their parents fled to escape the political and economic distress of the Arab and Muslim world, many of these mujahideen plan to kill their hosts in the name of extremist Islam. They will call their hosts "infidels," and kill them for the "crime" of not being Muslims.

Although Western countries mistakenly turn the spotlight on the Middle East, the real danger is in their own backyards. Thousands of young men are still being brainwashed by imams in mosques throughout Europe. Those who return from Syria and Iraq operate openly -- organizing, and waiting for orders – all in the name of freedom of expression.

When these orders come, bombs and rifles will not require trips to the Middle East; they have already been put in place.

The imams in the mosques and the Muslim field operatives hide behind democracy's ideology, its freedom of speech and worship, its individual liberty and pluralism – just as Muhammad did during the days of jahiliyya (the period of ignorance before Islam), when he began spreading Islam in a polytheistic Mecca -- which also allowed freedom of speech at that time.

Conditions for Islamic activity in Europe are perfect. The West has only good intentions: it desires to integrate its Muslims socially and economically. Yes, most Muslims are not terrorists, but that most terrorists are Muslims is slowly being internalized by a public suffering from naiveté and a serious lack of understanding of radical, violent Islam.

The refusal of people in the West to believe that extremist Muslims are serious when they state that their plan is to take over the world and impose sharia on it, may possibly be the result of fear -- either of physical, financial or political harm -- or possibly of political correctness. At best it blurs, and at worst conceals, radical Islam's intentions. Anyone who does reveal these intentions is condemned an "Islamophobe" a "racist" or accused of "hate speech."

These accusations are specifically designed to neutralize all opposition before it begins. The Westerners do not understand the Islamists' plan of action. Accusations make them helpless; their helplessness is broadcast to the Islamists. The Islamists then smell blood in the water and ratchet up their demands and murderous activities even more.

The most serious problem of the Western intelligence agencies is that most of their agents do not understand Arabic. This shortcoming makes it impossible to follow the nuances of both the imams and the field operatives. Worse yet, the Westerners seem not understand the Arabic mentality. The imams and operatives work ceaselessly and with great sophistication in their communities to accelerate the process of isolation and alienation. They nurture the poverty-stricken Muslims' sense of deprivation and rejection. They whip up a fabric of Islamist success. They talk about the partial victories of the Islamist terror organizations in the Middle East. They glorify the reputation of terrorism, and they instill a fear of radical Islam as a threatening rising power.

A Salafist demonstration in Solingen, Germany on May 1, 2012, moments before it degenerated into a violent riot. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

While radical Islam has been gaining strength and influence, Europe has been increasingly helpless regarding its Christian and Jewish populations, and has been seriously demonizing its Jews.

As Islamists increase in both numbers and power, they become more feared, more violent, and more attractive to young, neglected and marginalized Muslim youths, attracted to their power and happily recruited to a new "home."

The only active reaction in the West is the rise of various groups that say they will return Islam to what they say is its proper place. The patience of these groups seems to be wearing thin; a violent clash seems possible.

It is unfortunate that neither the radical Islamist ideologues nor the leaders of the moderate Muslim world understand either Europe's pluralist spirit or the damage they are doing by increasing this tension. A clash will harm most those Muslims living in Europe who seek nothing more than a normal life.

Sadly, the Muslim states that sponsor and incite global terrorism -- Sunni Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as Shi'ite Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah -- are now paving the way for the destruction of their own Islamic communities in Europe, in the name of a regressive and extremist Islam.

To pour oil on the flames of the European protestors, Turkey's President Erdogan is now hinting that Europe and Israel are to blame for the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket massacres in Paris, while the Egyptian Mufti has threatened Europe with hellfire and a bloodbath if cartoons "insulting the prophet" continue to be published.

The moderates in the Islamic communities in Europe understand the tragedy waiting in the wings for Muslim-Christian peaceful coexistence, and have made efforts to condemn the extremists responsible for them. But their voices are often too weak to be heard. These brave, non-extremist imams and neighborhood leaders know that terrorist operatives often attack as "infidels" anyone who dares to condemn their actions. They are understandably afraid of what will happen to them if they openly oppose violence and incitement.

Meanwhile, as Europe's economy disintegrates, immigrants, most of them Muslims from Turkey and Africa, continue to flood into Europe. As the indoctrination of hatred toward the West continues to escalate, no European country – or even the United States -- has found a way to keep radical, violent Islamist indoctrinations out of its mosques, community centers and hiding places.

Europeans so badly want to believe that the legacy of Islam is free from incitement to violence against the West. They hold close the notion that a non-violent Islam exists, which will not turn the Islamic legacy into a model for violence and terrorism. A non-violent, non-extremist Islam does exist, but it is not the one being marketed by charlatan imams and other extremist operatives pretending to be "moderate."

The West has been duped. Billions of dollars, including the laundered proceeds of crime, have been sent from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran, to fund incitement and terrorist activities in schools, universities, and radical Islamic charities and institutions in the West. The governments of the West have been victimized and tricked by oil money, Islamic sophistry, voter blocs and political correctness.

By sticking its head in the sand and not taking legitimate steps, which indeed may occasionally impinge on some individual rights, to preserve the right to life, the West keeps itself and its population from understanding the real threat posed by extremist Islam. If Europe wants to take the necessary steps to protect itself, it is losing the race.

It does not take a prophet to see what is coming, or even a simple observer such as Libya's late leader, Colonel Muammar Gadhafi, who said that Europe would fall to the Muslims without a shot being fired.

The truth is, to understand how Europe is deteriorating and careening towards self-destruction, one should look at the limp-wristed policy of appeasement used by the EU in general, and France in particular, when dealing with the conflicts in the Middle East -- the years of dedicated cynicism, corruption, cowardice and the distortion of the truth in the service of narrow, short-term self-interests.

Europe's policies harm first the Palestinians because they encourage radical organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and now the Islamic State [IS], which halt progress towards a Palestinian state. When Europe claims that Hamas is a "legitimate resistance organization" -- rather than a vicious, terrorist organization with no recognizable standard of ethical behavior or morality -- it torpedoes all chances of creating a decently governed State of Palestine -- one that will not be ruled, now or in the future, by rampaging Islamist terrorists.

Like it or not -- and frankly this author does not -- the last bulwark keeping radical Islamism from engulfing Europe is Israel. Nevertheless, for decades France has supported the Arab-Muslim world against Israel, the result of latent and not-so-latent anti-Semitism, oil, and most of all, the political pressure of its indoctrinated Islamic community.

France's hypocrisy and treachery are famous throughout history. In its weakness, France tries to curry favor with the Arabs and radical Islam, thereby inviting blackmail and setting the table for its own submission.

In view of the conduct of Europe in general, and France in particular, it should come as no surprise that by yoking us Palestinians like farm animals to our leaders, who are the real beasts, they are betraying the Palestinians.

Europe's policies of encouraging groups such as Hamas, which constantly espouse violence, demolishes the Palestinian effort to achieve a responsible Palestinian state that finally could end the conflict with Israel.

The French have naïvely taken the bait: they now associate the Palestinian "Resistance" with the courageous French underground Résistance, which fought the Germans during World War II. As they admire the French Résistance, they incorrectly assume that the Palestinian "Resistance" must be a good thing, too.

But, as they well know, there is no way to compare them. The Palestinian "Resistance" is nothing more than terrorist organizations repressing their own people. They do not resist an evil force; they are an evil force.

The problem is that in setting up the Arabs to get rid of the Jews -- so the Europeans can pretend to themselves that they had nothing to do with it -- the people they are hurting are not only the Jews and Palestinians. By encouraging Hamas, Islamic Jihad and now even the Islamic State in the region, they are obtusely hurting themselves.

That is why overtly and covertly, the French hypocritically support Palestinian terrorism instead of supporting genuine efforts for a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They are betting on the wrong pony.

That is also why the French support the UN and UNRWA, which perpetuate the Palestinian problem, instead of demanding that the Arab states, where many of the Palestinians reside, absorb them, grant them citizenship and set them free. The truth is that they do not really care about the Palestinians, only about destroying Israel. That is why the European Union so easily removed Hamas from its terrorist list. Similar to this was the French decision unilaterally to recognize the "State of Palestine" -- despite the fact that the Palestinian national consensus government is made up of Hamas and the PLO. Both are unrepentant terrorist organizations. Both not only openly incite terrorism and violence and call for Israel's extinction, but also train their own children for nothing but violence when they are not using them as cannon fodder. All that would seem to show what France really cares about, and it has nothing to do with free speech, democracy, good governance and least of all the well-being of the Palestinians. The only thing it is clear they care about is getting rid of the Jews.

France's hypocrisy in calling the Israelis "occupiers" ignores the fact that Israel did not invade, conquer and occupy a Palestinian state: there never has been a Palestinian state. France also ignores the fact that in fairness, the Israelis have never said they wish to destroy the Palestinian people, while, to be frank, every day we Palestinians speak and make plans about how we will destroy Israel.

France further ignores the fact that that so-called Palestinian "resistance" -- in the form of the PLO, Fatah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Popular Resistance Committees -- has, since its inception and throughout its history, done nothing but murder and maim Jewish civilians.

Now, in new summits of hypocrisy, the International Criminal Court [ICC] is planning to investigate Israel for war crimes because it had the gall to defend itself against terrorism, while what did Europe do? Europe -- in the face of slaughter, bloodshed and atrocities committed by extremist Muslims -- invited every terrorist-sponsoring dictator to join it in a march to protest the very murders that these dictators had paid for.

Europe dozes as the Palestinian terrorist organizations continue their ceaseless efforts to destroy the Palestinians, as well as Israel and the Jews. Then Europe awakens periodically to support the Palestinian "Resistance," which bears no resemblance whatever to the French Résistance of World War II.

An Arab proverb says, "a dog will have a crooked tail even if you put it in splints for forty years." There is no difference between Hamas's aspirations to be "liberated from the Zionist occupation," and radical Islam's aspirations to be liberated from the "Christian occupation" in Europe -- from France to Andalusia to Vienna -- to enable Islam to take over the world.
The willingness of the French to view terrorism, whether Palestinian or Hezbollah, as "legitimate Resistance" is an all-time low.

No terrorism is legitimate: Not terrorism against Jews, not terrorism against Palestinians, not terrorism against Christians in the Middle East and not terrorism against cartoonists in France. For the sake of the future State of Palestine, all "Resistance" should be against radical Islam, as embodied by groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State, among others. They are the ones we should resist. They should not be allowed to rule us in some Islamist "Palestinian State."
Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.
Related Topics:  Bassam Tawil

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

The Imaginary Islamic Radical


The debate over Islamic terrorism has shifted so far from reality that it has now become an argument between the administration, which insists that there is nothing Islamic about ISIS, and critics who contend that a minority of Islamic extremists are the ones causing all the problems.
But what makes an Islamic radical, extremist? Where is the line between ordinary Muslim practice and its extremist dark side?
It can’t be beheading people in public.
Saudi Arabia just did that and was praised for its progressiveness by the UN Secretary General, had flags flown at half-staff in the honor of its deceased tyrant in the UK and that same tyrant was honored by Obama, in preference to such minor events as the Paris Unity March and the Auschwitz commemoration.

It can’t be terrorism either. Not when the US funds the PLO and three successive administrations invested massive amounts of political capital into turning the terrorist group into a state. While the US and the EU fund the Palestinian Authority’s homicidal kleptocracy; its media urges stabbing Jews.

Clearly that’s not Islamic extremism either. At least it’s not too extreme for Obama.
If blowing up civilians in Allah’s name isn’t extreme, what do our radicals have to do to get really radical?

Sex slavery? The Saudis only abolished it in 1962; officially. Unofficially it continues. Every few years a Saudi bigwig gets busted for it abroad. The third in line for the Saudi throne was the son of a “slave girl”.

Ethnic cleansing? Genocide? The “moderate” Islamists we backed in Syria, Libya and Egypt have been busy doing it with the weapons and support that we gave them. So that can’t be extreme either.
If terrorism, ethnic cleansing, sex slavery and beheading are just the behavior of moderate Muslims, what does a Jihadist have to do to be officially extreme? What is it that makes ISIS extreme?

Our government’s definition of moderate often hinges on a willingness to negotiate regardless of the results. The moderate Taliban were the ones willing to talk us. They just weren’t willing to make a deal. Iran’s new government is moderate because it engages in aimless negotiations while pushing its nuclear program forward and issuing violent threats, instead of just pushing and threatening without the negotiations. Nothing has come of the negotiations, but the very willingness to negotiate is moderate.

The Saudis would talk to us all day long while they continued sponsoring terrorists and setting up terror mosques in the West. That made them moderates. Qatar keeps talking to us while arming terrorists and propping up the Muslim Brotherhood. So they too are moderate. The Muslim Brotherhood talked to us even while its thugs burned churches, tortured protesters and worked with terrorist groups in the Sinai.

A radical terrorist will kill you. A moderate terrorist will talk to you and then kill someone else. And you’ll ignore it because the conversation is a sign that they’re willing to pretend to be reasonable.
From a Muslim perspective, ISIS is radical because it declared a Caliphate and is casual about declaring other Muslims infidels. That’s a serious issue for Muslims and when we distinguish between radicals and moderates based not on their treatment of people, but their treatment of Muslims, we define radicalism from the perspective of Islamic supremacism, rather than our own American values.

The position that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and Al Qaeda is extreme because the Brotherhood kills Christians and Jews while Al Qaeda kills Muslims is Islamic Supremacism. The idea of the moderate Muslim places the lives of Muslims over those of every other human being on earth.

Our Countering Violent Extremism program emphasizes the centrality of Islamic legal authority as the best means of fighting Islamic terrorists. Our ideological warfare slams terrorists for not accepting the proper Islamic chain of command. Our solution to Islamic terrorism is a call for Sharia submission.

That’s not an American position. It’s an Islamic position and it puts us in the strange position of arguing Islamic legalism with Islamic terrorists. Our politicians, generals and cops insist that the Islamic terrorists we’re dealing with know nothing about Islam because that is what their Saudi liaisons told them to say.

It’s as if we were fighting Marxist terrorist groups by reproving them for not accepting the authority of the USSR or the Fourth International. It’s not only stupid of us to nitpick another ideology’s fine points, especially when our leaders don’t know what they’re talking about, but our path to victory involves uniting our enemies behind one central theocracy. That’s even worse than arming and training them, which we’re also doing (but only for the moderate genocidal terrorists, not the extremists).

Secretary of State Kerry insists that ISIS are nihilists and anarchists. Nihilism is the exact opposite of the highly structured Islamic system of the Caliphate. It might be a more accurate description of Kerry. But the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood successfully sold the Western security establishment on the idea that the only way to defeat Islamic terrorism was by denying any Islamic links to its actions.

This was like an arsonist convincing the fire department that the best way to fight fires was to pretend that they happened randomly on their own through spontaneous combustion.

Victory through denial demands that we pretend that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. It’s a wholly irrational position, but the alternative of a tiny minority of extremists is nearly as irrational.

If ISIS is extreme and Islam is moderate, what did ISIS do that Mohammed did not?
The answers usually have a whole lot to do with the internal structures of Islam and very little to do with such pragmatic things as not raping women or not killing non-Muslims.

Early on we decided to take sides between Islamic tyrants and Islamic terrorists, deeming the former moderate and the latter extremists. But the tyrants were backing their own terrorists. And when it came to human rights and their view of us, there wasn’t all that much of a difference between the two.

It made sense for us to put down Islamic terrorists because they often represented a more direct threat, but allowing the Islamic tyrants to convince us that they and the terrorists followed two different brands of Islam and that the only solution to Islamic terrorism lay in their theocracy was foolish of us.

We can’t win the War on Terror through their theocracy. That way lies a real Caliphate.
Our problem is not the Islamic radical, but the inherent radicalism of Islam. Islam is a radical religion. It radicalizes those who follow it. Every atrocity we associate with Islamic radicals is already in Islam. The Koran is not the solution to Islamic radicalism, it is the cause.

Our enemy is not radicalism, but a hostile civilization bearing grudges and ambitions.
We aren’t fighting nihilists or radicals. We are at war with the inheritors of an old empire seeking to reestablish its supremacy not only in the hinterlands of the east, but in the megalopolises of the west.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
Subscribe to Frontpage’s TV show, The Glazov Gang, on YouTube and LIKE it on Facebook.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

According to Plan A

"Hadi was extraordinarily important. He made it easy to co-operate with Yemeni military and intelligence. His loss is a major loss."
"[The] upheaval will make it more and more difficult to get intelligence."
Bill Roggio, managing editor, Long War Journal
Photo, Hani Mohamad, In this Saturday, January 26 photo, Protesters chant slogans against Yemeni Houthi rebels who hold the capital city hostage to their political demands.

Washington, in light of the serious set-backs to security and government stability in Yemen, has resolved to carry on its fight against al-Qaeda. A U.S. drone strike sent a missile toward an al-Qaeda stronghold in central Yemen yesterday, killing a number of its fighters, Yemeni and Saudi. The strike was confirmed by Yemeni tribal and security officials.

There's not too much comfort to be taken by that single strike and its mild success in extinguishing a handful of jihadists. A U.S. backed ground strategy against the terrorist group has had its legs kicked out from under by the disintegration of the armed forces of the country which have received millions in U.S. military aid. A situation reflective of the aid and military training support lavished on any number of Arab and Muslim countries, to little avail.

From Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya to Yemen, the United States has ransacked its treasury to shore up the defensive strategies of countries in the Middle East to aid them in their struggle against fundamentalist Islamist terrorists with little of benefit to show for it. Egypt is certainly nor representative of that typical failure, and nor is Saudi Arabia, yet.

Yemen on the Brink: Rebels Seize Presidential Palace
Shiite Houthi rebels seized the presidential palace in San'a on Tuesday following the collapse of a ceasefire. The presence of the president is unknown. Photo: AP

Looming above all the most recent restiveness in the Middle East is the Islamic Republic of Iran, burnishing its credentials as the new authoritative leader in the region, having established a crescent of Shiite-majority or -threatening movements allied with Iran and its track toward ultimate power. The Hezbollah, Syria, Iran trifecta has been joined now by Yemen with its minority Shiite Houthis backed by Iran, turning Yemen away from the West and toward Iran's power struggle with the Gulf States.

Might Bahrain be next, with its minority Shias taking power? With the aid of Iran, of course. An Iran whose threat would be multiplied with the ascendance of its status as a nuclear power, that is. Syria, ruled by a minority Shiite Alawite government, has laid waste to the country, creating millions of majority Sunni refugees. Lebanon's Party of God, another minority group, has bulldozed its terrorist militias into quasi-legitimacy as part of the government.

And Yemen, battling al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as a regional partner with the United States, the original home of the bin Laden family, has now seen its minority Houthi Shiites dismantle the majority Sunni government of U.S.-backed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi; his cabinet resigning in denying demands by the Houthi rebels for increased power.

The Middle East once again resigned to its implacable hatreds; Sunni against Shiite, launching conflicts and shift-shaping allegiances, showering the sands of the region with the blood of Muslims who just happen to be considered by one side or the other apostates, finding a common mission of transitory solidarity in only one instance, the labelling of the State of Israel as their common enemy whom they pledge to destroy.

Saudi Arabia once again finds itself in an agony of self-doubt, that its efforts to establish itself as Yemen's most trusted neighbour has been forestalled with the reality of Iran's proxy Houthi tribes destabilizing the country, creating new concerns of allegiances inimical to Saudi Arabia's status as the senior commanding nation of the Arab/Muslim Middle East.

A position, of course, that other Sunni-majority countries in the geography would be happy to line up for as candidates; Egypt and Turkey, for example.

Labels: , , , , ,

Gatestone Institute

The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies." — Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam.
The word has turned into a place where free speech is confused with hate speech, and people in positions of responsibility, who take that responsibility seriously, such as the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, are bullied, marginalized and brought to trial.
So, to a degree are we all mentally ill, but not all mental illnesses are socially acceptable and not every mentally ill person channels his mental illness through a prism of religion that glorifies homicide.
Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the "Christian terrorism" of the Ku Klux Klan or anti-abortion violence simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, "Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian terrorists as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists."
When violence and domination in a religion are so deeply rooted -- and sanctioned with promises of rewards -- fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute. It is a magnificent ready-made outlet for people who wish to be violent and dominate, or identify with a cause bigger than themselves.
That is why Islamic theology, ideology and goals desperately need to be discussed. They deeply affect the life choices most Muslims make.
Shhhh! We can talk today of all religions but one. We can question all religions but one today. We know that any question of Islam can be taken as a criticism, and put our lives at risk, as seen most recently in Paris with the murders of the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine. It is the only religion that people -- including the apologists for "Islamophobia" -- have to think ten times before discussing. At the same time, it is the same religion that is perpetually associated with "peace."

Why should anyone be afraid of a "religion of peace"? Because some of its supporters threaten to kill you, and often do.

Is there even one critic of Islam who has not received a threat, or been able to live freely without worrying about his or her safety? We are now living in a world where, if a prominent critic of Islam stays alive, or out of a court of law, it is considered almost a miracle -- in both the Muslim world and the West.

We are living in a world where, in Britain, Muslim rape gangs and sharia law courts abound, but where defenders of liberty, such as Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Susanne Winter, Lars Hedegaard or Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff are variously banned, sued or threatened with jail -- if they are not first murdered, as was Theo van Gogh or the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, by the people or groups that they were trying to warn us about. Worse yet, in a blame-the-victim inversion that could be out of Orwell, if you do speak up and are harmed, it is all too often considered your fault: if you had just kept quiet, so the thinking goes, nothing would have happened to you. Just try telling that to the aid workers beheaded in their orange jump suits, or, among many others, the victims of Britain's 7/7, America's 9/11, Spain's train bombings, Toulouse, the Jewish museum in Belgium, the Canadian Parliament, a massacre in Boston or Fort Hood, in Australia or a Parisian supermarket.

The world has turned into a place where free speech is confused with hate speech; and where people in positions of responsibility, who take that responsibility seriously, such as Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders, are bullied, marginalized and brought to trial.

Geert Wilders was brought in for interrogation by Dutch authorities, who want to prosecute him for a remark made during a March 2014 speech, in which he asked, "Do you want more or fewer Moroccans?" (Image source: video screenshot)

The apologists for Islamophobia have many tales to tell to hinder free speech. Every time Islam is brought up, they bring up the issue of violence committed against individuals who provide abortions. But anti-abortion violence is not "Christian terrorism," and nowhere in the New Testament does a single teaching command that people who either have or provide abortions must be murdered or assaulted.

Verses of violence in any scripture that are open-ended commands to kill should, instead, like the violent verses in the Old Testament, be stories that relate to history, restricted by their historical context, not interpreted as requirements for piety. Christians no longer engage in the Inquisition.

Every time the Quran is discussed, apologists for Islam say "Oh, what about the violent verses in the Old Testament?" But there are qualitative and quantitative differences between the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, even if they do not want to see that.

The Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, Bill Warner, compares Islamic doctrine to other religions quantitatively and qualitatively. Islamic books are neither peaceful nor are their violent verses restricted by their historical context.
"The real problem goes far beyond the quantitative measurement of ten times as much violent material [as in the Hebrew Bible]; there is also the qualitative measurement. The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies. The violence remains a constant threat to all non-Islamic cultures, now and into the future. Islam is not analogous to Christianity and Judaism in any practical way. Beyond the one-god doctrine, Islam is unique unto itself."[1]
He notes that, "There is no admonition towards political violence in the New Testament." He might also have added that the violence in Islam remains a threat also to many Islamic sects: Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, Ahmadiyya, Alawite.

After the Islamic State [IS] started beheading and raping innocent people wholesale in Iraq and Syria, people were so shocked that they attempted to find explanations for these vicious acts. Some of the shocked have accused the lyrics of a former rapper who later joined the IS[2]; some accused the United States[3], and some accused historical British colonialism[4].

And another popular explanation is that Muslim terrorists in general, and Islamic State terrorists in particular, are simply the victims of mental illness [5]. So, to a degree are we all, but not all mental illnesses are socially acceptable, and not every mentally ill person channels his mental illness through the prism of a religion that glorifies homicide.

According to this explanation, even no matter what terrorists themselves say, anything but Islamic theology seems to be responsible for Islamic violence. Even if people or organizations proclaims their Islamic beliefs for their actions, shout Islamic slogans and carry the flag of Islam, their violence always seems to have "nothing to with the Islamic ideology."
A photo that compares the Ku Klux Klan [KKK] to IS, for instance, has been shared on the social media for weeks. The photo's caption, referring to the Klan, read: "No one thinks that these people are representative of Christians." Then, referring to IS terrorists, it asked: "so why do so many think that these people are representative of Muslims?"

A cartoon referring to IS read: "This is an Islamic organization... about as much as this [KKK] is a Christian organization."

Sadly, such photos and cartoons show how theologically illiterate many people are. They have lost the ability to analyze or critique what they are observing in the face of a deadly threat -- in this instance a religion, Islamic ideology. These images, and messages like them, seem intended to mislead one into concluding that fundamentalist Islamic ideology contradicts the Islamic State's killings in Iraq and Syria, and that Islam is not violent. "ISIL is not Islamic," U.S. President Barack Obama said. That conclusion is wrong.

To determine whether a group is a terrorist organization inspired by a certain religion, what needs to be looked at is whether there is a parallel between the stated goals of the group and the teachings of their religion. The stated objective of IS is to establish an Islamic caliphate under Sharia law[6].

Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the "Christian terrorism" of the KKK or anti-abortion violence, simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, "Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian 'terrorists' as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists."
The Quran, however, contains dozens of verses promoting violence -- at least 109 verses call on Muslims to wage war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islam. It would be hard to interpret these verses as a spiritual struggle.

For instance, the Quran commands: "If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter." (33:60-62)

Such teachings in Islam sanction slaughter against three groups:
  • Muslims who refuse to "fight in the way of Allah" are hypocrites and they are to be massacred (3:167).
  • People with "diseased hearts" -- including Jews and Christians (5:51-52; 33:61-62).
  • "Alarmists," those who speak out against Islam, should also be slain. (33:62).
When violence and domination in a religion are so deeply rooted -- and sanctioned with promises of rewards -- fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute. It is a magnificent ready-made outlet for people who desire to be violent and dominate, or identify with a cause bigger than themselves.

Worse yet, Muslims who do not join the fight are called "hypocrites" (Quran: 3:167) and warned that if they do not join the violence, they will be sent to a Hell of eternal fire. It is an order apparently intended to neutralize one's conscience, encourage and sanction human aggression, and promote murder -- seemingly why it has worked so well for so long. As the leading Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi admitted, "If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the punishment for apostasy, Islam would not exist today."

Part of the appeal of the Islamic State to many of its young recruits seems to be this appetite for blood. It starts with videos of beheading men in orange jumpsuits, and now reasons for murder have spread to killing people for wanting to leave the IS -- not Islam, just the IS -- and, in the instance of women and girls, for refusing to marry jihadists.

On December 18, 2014, the Hindu Human Rights Group [HHR] reported that,
"Text books in Pakistani schools foster prejudice and intolerance of Hindus and other religious minorities, while most teachers view non-Muslims as 'enemies of Islam,' according to a study by a US government commission released on Wednesday."
"The findings indicate how deeply ingrained hard-line Islam is in Pakistan and help explain why militancy is often supported, tolerated or excused in the country.... The textbooks make very little reference to the role played by Hindus, Sikhs and Christians in the cultural, military and civic life of Pakistan, meaning 'a young minority student will thus not find many examples of educated religious minorities in their own textbooks.'"
As seen easily in the history of Islamic militancy in Pakistan, if the extremist fundamentalists of this religion can find any Jews, Christians, Hindus, atheists or other non-Muslims, who are referred to in the Quran in less than favorable terms, the extremists target them[7].

Sometimes the extremists kill them, and sometimes they only forcibly convert them. If they cannot find non-Muslims, they attack the believers of other sects of Islam -- as in the battles between Sunnis and Shias. If people from those sects cannot be found to dehumanize and attack, then the extremists target their own members. If supremacy, conquest, violence and forced conversion are commanded and sanctioned in a religion to such a great extent, the number of victims of that religion will naturally continue to grow.

Fortunately, of course, most Muslims do not engage in fundamentalist Islam, jihad or violence, but this still does not mean that those teachings are not commanded by fundamentalist Islamic theology. Of course, that ideology should never be confused with individuals. Muslims should never be stereotyped, mistreated, or discriminated against just because of their Muslim identity. Islam needs to be analyzed on the basis of its teachings -- not on the basis of Muslims.

But that is why Islamic theology, ideology and goals desperately need to be discussed. They deeply affect the life choices most Muslims make.

[1] "It turns out," he writes, "that jihad occurs in large proportion in all three texts (Koran, Sira, and Hadith, or the Islamic Trilogy). It is very significant that the Sira (life of Muhammad) devotes 67% of its text to jihad.... Now let's go to the Hebrew Bible. When we count all the political violence, we find that 5.6% of the text is devoted to it. ... When we count the magnitude of words devoted to political violence, we have 327,547 words in the Trilogy (Koran, Sira, and Hadith) and 34,039 words in the Hebrew Bible. The Trilogy has 9.6 times as much wordage devoted to political violence as the Hebrew Bible."
[2] Hisham Aidi, for instance, a lecturer at the School of International and Public Affairs and the Institute of African Affairs at Columbia University, argues whether extremist hip hop is helping the Islamic State. Instead, he should be asking, "are some certain Islamic teachings helping IS or why do the lyrics of extremist Muslim hip hop promote so much violence?
[3] Various students who were interviewed on the quad by Campus Reform said that they believe America, not the Muslim fanatics who behead innocent people, is the biggest threat to world peace.
[4] For example, David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Human Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, wrote that "ISIS has a legitimate grievance against Western countries that carved up the Middle East, with blatant disregard for tribal and sectarian affiliations of the local population.
[5] For instance: Psychiatrists Dr. Paul-André Lafleur, and Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem say that the homegrown radicalization of the two men -- Martin Couture Rouleau, who rammed his vehicle into two Canadian soldiers, killing one, and Michael Zehaf Bibeau, who shot dead a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in October -- stems from acute psychiatric problems of paranoia, personal identity crisis and possible psychosis. Rouleau, however, had called 911 during the chase to say that he carried out his acts in the name of Allah. Similarly, Zehaf-Bibeau had made a video prior to the attack in which he expressed his motives as being related "to Canada's foreign policy and in respect of his religious beliefs", according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
[6] On 29 June 2014, the Islamic State proclaimed a new caliphate and appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. Laith Kubba, the director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Endowment of Democracy, explained: "Baghdadi declared a caliphate, and anyone who knows theology and the background would realize that this declaration, according to traditional fiqh, puts an obligation of anyone who is religiously observant to declare allegiance." When the caliphate was announced, IS stated: "The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas."

[7] Other Muslims targeted in Pakistan include the Ahamdiyyas.
Related Topics:  Uzay Bulut

Labels: , , ,

Auschwitz anniversary: The survivor who brought the Holocaust to life

Thomas Geve (b. 1929), We are "Organizing", Buchenwald DP camp, 1945, Pencil, coloured pencil and watercolour on paper, 10X15 cm, Collection of the Yad Vashem Art Museum, Jerusalem, Gift of the artist Thomas Geve's picture entitled "We are 'Organising'", showing prisoners using poles to try to gather food from hard-to-reach places in Auschwitz
In the Spring of 1945 a teenager called Thomas Geve had a remarkable story to tell.
He had survived for two years in the death camps at the heart of the Nazi Holocaust - Auschwitz first, then the westward forced march as the Germans retreated from the Russian advance, and finally Buchenwald.

His mother died in Auschwitz but his father, who had been separated from the family in the chaotic months as Europe slid into war in 1939, had survived in England.

So Thomas - newly liberated - took a box of coloured pencil stumps and began to draw.
He created 82 simple pictures that told the story of what life and death in the camps had been like.
Thomas Geve (b. 1929), Disinfection, Buchenwald DP camp, 1945, Pencil, coloured pencil and watercolour on paper, 10X15 cm, Collection of the Yad Vashem Art Museum, Jerusalem, Gift of the artist Thomas Geve survived two years in Auschwitz. Here he depicts how prisoners were disinfected in the camp.
Thomas Geve (b. 1929), We are Thoroughly Inspected, Buchenwald DP camp, 1945, Pencil, coloured pencil and watercolour on paper, 10X15 cm, Collection of the Yad Vashem Art Museum, Jerusalem, Gift of the artist In this picture, prisoners in Auschwitz are shown undergoing inspection by camp guards.
Thomas Geve (Stefan Cohn) (b. 1929), We Are Free, Buchenwald DP camp, 1945, Pencil, coloured pencil and watercolour on paper, 10X15 cm, Collection of the Yad Vashem Art Museum, Jerusalem, Gift of the artist After Auschwitz, Thomas was interned in Buchenwald until its liberation by US soldiers, as depicted here
The style is simple and childish - like a kind of dystopian LS Lowry - but the pictures were created while the hellish life of the camps was still fresh in his mind.

With his mother killed, Thomas wanted to tell his father about life in the camps; we will never know what it must have been like for his father to know that his teenage son had lived through the nightmare of the Holocaust when he himself had not.

Thomas knew and understood a world of gas chambers and crematoria, of brutal SS officers and Jewish "kapos" recruited to serve under them, a world of roll calls that stretched on for hours in the freezing mud, of prisoners beaten or starved or gassed to death, of people abandoning all hope before finally losing the will to live.

Some of his illustrations are extraordinary.
There is an "Auschwitzer ABC" which looks like the kind of teaching aid you use to teach young children the alphabet but which is instead a point-by-point guide to how the camp worked.
ABC of Auschwitz
Thomas Geve (b. 1929), The ABC of Auschwitz, Buchenwald DP camp, 1945, Pencil, coloured pencil and watercolour on paper, 15x10cm, Collection of the Yad Vashem Art Museum, Jerusalem, Gift of the artist Thomas Geve's Auschwitzer ABC
Appell: Roll call. Prisoners were required to stand for roll calls daily in the mornings and evenings.
Block: Wooden block houses that served as the prisoners' sleeping quarters
Capo: (Or Kapo) Prisoners appointed by the SS to manage and discipline other prisoners, often terrorising them
Desinfektion: Disinfection
Entlausung: Delousing. Lice, other parasites and vermin were endemic in the camp.
Floh: Flea
Glatz: Bald in German, prisoners heads were shaved
Holzschuh: Wooden clogs that were issued to prisoners instead of their shoes
Impfen: Vaccinations
Jammern: To whine or moan
Krankenbau: Prisoners' sick bay. Many who reported were sent to the gas chambers.
Lagersperre: Camp curfew, prisoners confined to block houses
Muselmann: German for "Muslim". Used to describe prisoners who were near death.
Nummer: Number, relating to the number tattooed on the arm of Jewish prisoners
Organisieren: German for "to organise". In camp slang, meaning to obtain food or other essentials.
Portion: Food portion or starvation rations provided by the Nazis to the prisoners
Rapportfuhrer: Camp marshals. SS officers who oversaw the daily roll calls.
Sport: Punishment exercise
Tatowierren: Tattoo, relating to the number tattooed on the arm of prisoners.
Unkrautsuppe: Weed-based soup served to prisoners
Vorarbeiter: Foreman of a small work group
Waschraum: Washroom with basin
Zaun: Fence
Clearly impressed, Thomas' father went to see a well-known publisher in London, presumably convinced that the unique collection of coloured illustrations of life in Auschwitz was both a priceless historical document and a story that needed to be told to others as it was to him.
He was in for a shock.
Thomas Geve Thomas Geve, whose drawings illuminated some of the darkest chapters of Jewish suffering under the Nazis
"Your sonny-boy there is no Picasso," the publisher told him. "Do you have any idea how much it would cost to print a book in seven different colours of ink? It can't be done."

Thomas himself sensed even then that the decision was not just about the economics of publishing.
The world was weary of the war and the years of grinding misery, austerity and chaos which followed and which we sometimes now forget.

And as he puts it himself: "People weren't ready to be told how the world worked by a 13-year-old boy."

Camps memoir So as we mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and prepare to listen to the stories of the survivors, it is worth remembering that there was a time - not so long ago - when no-one was listening.

Thomas resolved to write his story down. He admits the first draft was a little crude - after all, he had never written anything before and had missed years of schooling.
Thomas Geve (Stefan Cohn) (b. 1929), Hurrah, the FREEDOM, Buchenwald DP camp, 1945, Pencil, coloured pencil and watercolour on paper, 10X15 cm, Collection of the Yad Vashem Art Museum, Jerusalem, Gift of the artist A picture entitled Hurrah the FREEDOM, drawn in Buchenwald Displaced Persons camp in 1945
But eventually - with a little help - he produced a memoir of camp life which in English is called Youth in Chains.

It was then, after spending a few years in England, that he decided he needed a pen-name.
He liked the works of PG Wodehouse and decided to adopted a Germanised version of the name of Bertie Wooster's imperturbable butler.

However unlikely it may seem, the author of this startling bleak vision of life in Auschwitz bears the name of Jeeves.

Witness to history Thomas migrated to Israel and made a new life, in common with many other Jews who had survived the Holocaust. He became an engineer and has an engineer's love of the concrete and the factual.
It makes him a remarkable first-hand witness to history.

He was a teenage boy and his growing interest in girls is charted against the darkening atmosphere as the Germans sense the Russians getting closer.

And there is the story of how prisoners from different countries managed to learn enough of a common language to talk - apart from anything else Thomas was a German Jew surrounded by lots of Poles, Ukrainians and Russians who had, as he points out, two reasons to hate him.

But it took long years to get that book published - even though it is a striking document and a compelling read.

Thomas makes light of all that now - he jokes that eight publishers went bankrupt after publishing the memoir - but you sense he is glad to be listened to at last.

'Bad dreams' He tells his story in German schools and patiently answers the kind of questions that young children like to ask.

They want to know what sort of toys he had as a child before the Nazis swept away his happy middle-class life in Stettin, now Szczecin in Poland (he particularly liked a model railway set).
And of course they want to know if he has nightmares about the camps. He does not, he told me - but he sometimes has bad dreams about being stuck in a city somewhere in Europe and not knowing how to get to the railway station, or what currency to use.

On this 70th anniversary of the liberation there will be plenty of opportunities to reflect on the Holocaust. Notable events will include a concert in Germany featuring recovered instruments, including at least one violin known to have been played in the camp orchestra at Auschwitz.
But this may be the last significant anniversary where there will be many survivors around - including some who will travel back to Poland - to tell their own stories.

The world missed many opportunities to listen to people like Thomas Geve in the past - it should not miss this one.

More on This Story

Related Stories


Follow @rheytah Tweet