Saddam's Death, 43
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 42: august 2014 and Page 44: september 2014
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

"Zionism [..] has transformed into an imperialistic claw used against the Arab nation. Zionism has partnered wit imperialism and participated in its economic and political plans. Moreover, it relies on its unfounded, historical belief for the purpose of destroying the Arab nation... This means maintaining the weak state of the Arab nation...
Zionism regards unity of Arabs as contradictory to its existence. Therefore, Zionism's line of defense is based on the principle that the Arab nation must be broken....
It is necessary for Zionism to revive all the old historical frictions that took place in the path of nationhood, so it can use them [..] to break up the fabric of Arab nations." (The Saddam's tapes, 1978-2001, page 67)

Jabotinsky & Zionist morality

Either Zionism is moral and just, or it is immoral and unjust. But that is a question that we should have settled before we became Zionists.
Actually we have settled that question, and in the affirmative. We hold that Zionism is moral and just. And since it is moral and just, justice must be done, no matter whether Joseph or Simon or Ivan or Achmet agree with it or not.
There is no other morality. (Zeev Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall, 1923)


About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare. In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.

At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)


"We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community." Haile Selassie

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned.., until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation..., until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes.., until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race...., until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained..." Haile Selassie 6-10-1963


Ahmed Maher: Rules Of Law Are Universal

If we are going to fight terrorism, we have to fight it in all of its forms, whoever the perpetrators are, and in a way compatible with international law. These are the lessons that have to be learned, the most important of which is that double-standards don't work. They're in the interest of no one.
If you have a rule of law you apply it to everybody, then you have a safer world. If you have a rule of law that you apply according to your whims, or according to whether A or B is your friend, or you dislike C, or you don't sympathise with E, then you will create chaos. We have learned that rules of law are universal. (Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, Al-Ahram Weekly, sept. 2002)

Vladmir Putin: The 21st century world is globalized and interdependent. Therefore, no state or group of countries can unilaterally tackle major international problems and any attempts to build a separate “oasis of stability and security” are doomed to failure.
In order to meet numerous challenges and threats we have to stop trying to impose development models on other countries. This approach has repeatedly proven its ineffectiveness. It does not just fail to facilitate conflict resolution, but leads to instability and chaos in international affairs. Today, it is especially important to consolidate the international community’s efforts to ensure equal and indivisible security, as well as to resolve disputes trough the application of international law and with the central coordinating role of the UN. (Itar-TASS, 13-7-2014)


Edward Said: "No common purpose"

Underlying most of the findings in the much cited 2002 UNDP Arab Human Development Report is the extraordinary lack of coordination between Arab countries....
It's always the same thing, factionalism, disunity, the absence of a common purpose for which in the end ordinary people pay the price in suffering, blood and endless destruction. Even on the level of social structure, it is almost a commonplace that Arabs as a group fight among themselves more than they do for a common purpose.
We are individualists, it is said by way of justification, ignoring the fact that such disunity and internal disorganisation in the end damages our very existence as a people. (Al-Ahram Weekly 2002)

Saddam Hussein: "Life requires dealing with progressive ideas and methods"

Those who are incapable of innovation are the people who imitate and copy others, and in our society there are two types of imitators: One type that imitates the old and they are the reactionaries and right-wingers, and another type that copies from the new, and borrow the experiences and solutions of other nations...
But we have the capacity to innovate and to produce creative and advanced solutions, and life requires dealing with progressive ideas and methods.
The problems of our modern society, that we have to deal with, are profoundly different from the problems that were faced during the early Islamic era… (speech by Saddam Hussein, 8/11/1977)

Nobel Prize-Winner Says UNHRC Gaza Probe Simply 'Anti-Semitism'
By Uzi Baruch, Ari Yashar, Israel National News, 18-8-2014

Nobel laureate Professor Yisrael (Robert) Aumann is not surprised by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) decision to investigate "war crimes" accusations against Israel.
According to Aumann the decision stems not from a concern over "the occupation" or about any Israeli treatment of Arab residents of Gaza - rather, according to the Nobel prize winner, the source of the investigation is anti-Semitism, pure and simple.

Speaking to Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio), Aumann said foreign committees like that of the UNHRC "receive false information from Hamas and Israeli sources," such as the far-left New Israel Fund.
"Anti-Semitism exists... We've returned to Europe in the 19th, 18th and 17th centuries, dozens and hundreds of years. The cause of that is the hatred and jealousy over the success of the Jews...

Robert John Aumann (born June 8, 1930) is an Israeli-American mathematician. He is a professor at the Center for the Study of Rationality in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
Aumann received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, sometimes referred to as "Nobel prize" for economics, for his work on conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis.


Israel National News' Low Quality of Rationality

A good rationale must be independent of emotions, personal feelings or any kind of instincts. Any process of evaluation or analysis, that may be called rational, is expected to be highly objective, logical and "mechanical".
If these minimum requirements are not satisfied i.e. if a person has been, even slightly, influenced by personal emotions, feelings, instincts or culturally specific, moral codes and norms, then the analysis may be termed irrational, due to the injection of subjective bias. (Wikipedia info)

Being an 'authority' is not the same as expressing 'rational, logical behavior'. Sometimes a speaker or writer may use fallacious reasoning to try to persuade the listener or reader, by means other than offering relevant evidence, that the conclusion is true. 'Fallacy' is an argument that uses poor reasoning.

People often use the logical fallacy of authority: A proposition is argued to be true because it is supported by experts or authorities. Everyone recognizes the person as an authority, therefore what he says must be true. This is widely accepted as a method of argument, but strictly speaking, it is a logical fallacy.

Yisrael (Robert) Aumann is simply throwing mud at people, an act of irrationality that is honored by other people because of the fact that he is a VIP (a very important man).
He's not an expert in International Law, but a mathematician who received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences.
If someone isn’t an authority on the subject about which they’re speaking, then that undermines the value of their testimony.

William A. Schabas, recently appointed to head the United National Human Rights Council’s commission of inquiry to investigate the Gaza conflict, is a Canadian academic in the field of international criminal and human rights law. He is a professor of international law, a senior lecturer at Middlesex University, and an internationally respected expert on human rights law, genocide, and the death penalty.


"No eternal friends, only eternal interests”
"Iron Wall" as relevant today as it was in 1923
Leon Reich, Chairman LIKUD-SA, 2-12-2013

The only way to achieve peace in Israel is to create an Iron Wall, where the Arabs perceive it in their best interest to accept the State of Israel as a Jewish State.
That was the concept of Bismark who played the leading role in the unification of Germany in 1880. He said "there are no eternal friends or eternal enemies, there are eternal interests".
The Israelis understand all this very well indeed. The successive American governments understand it less clearly. They, therefore, pressurize the successive Israeli governments to NEGOTIATE surrender of portions of their historic homeland for peace in order that they, the Americans, can include the peace in the list of their achievements.
The USA is Israel’s greatest ally, without whom the State of Israel could NEVER have survived. Therefore the Israelis go to the negotiations knowing full well that what the Arabs want, Israel can never give them.

The negotiations drag on endlessly. The Israelis are able to buy time in this way. What have they done with this time that the Likud governments are buying? They are implementing the Iron Wall policy. In 1979 there were no Jews in Yehudah and Shomron (Palestinian Westbank). In a recent interview on CNN with Christian Amanpour, Israeli Minister Naphhtali Bennet stated that there are now 700,000 Jews in Yehudah and Shomron.
If the Jewish population of Yehudah and Shomron can double with effluxtion of time and Yehudah and Shomron which is part of Israel's historic homeland is annexed to the State of Isreal as was the position with the Golan Heights, then the Arabs will be faced with the Iron Wall.


Israeli propaganda starts to wear thin
By: Rami G. Khouri, The Daily Star, 18-8-2014

One of the fascinating dimensions of the battle between Israel and Palestine is how Israeli leaders and their American apologists keep changing their propaganda message aimed at generally ignorant Western audiences.
The core, but always evolving, message that Zionists keep sending out is that Palestinians who challenge Israel are part and parcel of a larger universe of frightening figures that espouse criminal values, and represent a direct, mortal threat to Israel and all Western civilization.
The latest version of this fear-mongering campaign of lies and fantasy seeks to paint Hamas and others militant Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza as integral elements in the world of vicious actors and terrorists who are fighting in the name of Islam, such as the Salafist-takfiri extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), Al-Qaeda, or the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Most people in the United States or other Western lands who hear these messages lack the knowledge to understand that Israel’s accusations are bold and ridiculous lies...
The problem with this latest twist of Zionist propaganda is that it tries to put into a single basket very different groups with totally unrelated inspirations, agendas and operating methods. It aims to tar Hamas, and also Hezbollah in Lebanon, with such extreme attributes that foreigners refuse to deal with them...
This strategy has actually worked for some time, as many Western powers have shunned dealing with Hamas or Hezbollah. Yet that pattern has started to break down in recent years, as foreign governments and civil society activists alike come to understand that groups like Hamas and Hezbollah essentially are locally anchored, state-based resistance groups that fight two battles at once:
They seek to reverse what they say is the Israeli occupation, colonization and subjugation of their countries, and they seek to create a more efficient, less corrupt domestic governance system that responds to the needs of all its citizens. (On balance, they have done much better at fighting Israel than at generating better domestic governance)...

More and more governments and observers around the world have realized that Hamas and Hezbollah have nothing to do with Al-Qaeda or ISIS...
The Western ability to ignore Zionism’s wild men in favor of a more rational approach to the world was evident after the formation of the Palestinian national-unity government several months ago. The United States and the European Union among others accepted to engage with it...
Israel and its howlers in Washington will continue to try and lump nationalist resistance groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah with criminals such as Al-Qaeda and its offshoots, but the efficacy of such crude propaganda is steadily decreasing. This means we should be alert to the next set of exaggerations, diversions and lies that Israel and its Western hit men and women will use to prevent any rational accountability of Israeli actions.


Israel and the United States Are Headed For a Breakup
It now is time to terminate the Israeli-American alliance
By William Pfaff, TruthDig, 19-8-2014

Nearly every intelligent witness to the nearly seven decades of Israel’s alliance with the United States and Western Europe now understands that the affair is about to be over.

In 1948 and the years that immediately followed, the alliance was the salvation of Israel and an obligation upon Western Europe. This was because of what had been done to Europe’s Jews during the war, and not only by the Nazis.
The Arab nations’ attempt to destroy the U.N. creation of a Jewish national home at the expense of the Palestinians was also widely understood, and granted a certain international sympathy, but in 1948 the Arab states carried little political weight against the array of West European states and the United States...

Popular sympathy for Israel was widest among liberals in the United States and the European Left—which today is no longer the case.
Today in the United States the endorsement of Israel and financial support from the American Jewish community remain important but diminishing factors in American politics.
Liberal sympathies have moved leftward, hostile to Israel, most significantly among younger Jews and the elites of the community, with growing sympathy for the Palestinian cause and the international divestment movement, which is hostile to the advance of Jewish colonization of what is legally Palestinian territory, and now, above all, in reaction to the ruthless methods of the Israeli government in suppressing Palestinian armed resistance in Gaza to the expropriation of Palestinian lands and property, and to demands for civil rights.

Internationally, the all but unlimited support given Israel in its foreign and domestic policies by the United States does growing harm to the American reputation in the world...
The alliance of the United States with Israel has become internationally seen as an alliance of international lawbreakers, which literally is true because of the indifference both demonstrate to the established norms and conventions of international justice
.

It now is time to terminate the Israeli-American alliance. It has contributed to a profound corruption of both nations....
The time has arrived when the United States, in this administration or the next, can and should say to Israel that the time is overdue for it to conclude with the Palestinians a two-state settlement...
Washington should say to Israel’s leaders that Israel has a limited time to accomplish this settlement. If it is not done, within that period, the United States will terminate its military and political alliance with Israel.

Israel’s formal and informal agencies of influence and political action inside the United States will be allowed to function only if they are properly registered as the agencies of foreign governments, and their conduct made fully transparent.
This should preclude illusions harbored by such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, who on several recent occasions has threatened the White House that he can make Congress override the presidency because he controls Congress, thus calling into question the patriotism of America’s legislators.


In Memoriam: Dr Hajo Meyer
JewsSansFrontieres, 25-8-2014

Friday August 22, 2014, Dr. Hayo Meyer, a long time anti-Zionist activist, passed away. Hajo was unwavering in his conviction and passion that Never Again meant Never Again for Anyone.
Dr. Meyer was born in 1924 in Bielefeld, Germany. When he was barred from attending school there after November 1938, he fled to the Netherlands. In I944, after a year in the underground, he was caught and subsequently survived 10 months at Auschwitz.
Hajo Meyer dedicated himself to countering the Zionist manipulation of the Nazi genocide to justify the colonization of Palestine.
The morning of his death, the following letter from survivors of the Nazi genocide and the descendants of survivors and victims, in response to Elie Wiesel's attempt to justify the attacks on Gaza, was published in the NY Times:

Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of Nazi genocide unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza [New York Times, page 13, main news section, 23 August 2014]

As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine. We further condemn the United States for providing Israel with the funding to carry out the attack, and Western states more generally for using their diplomatic muscle to protect Israel from condemnation. Genocide begins with the silence of the world.

We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians.
We call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel.
"Never again" must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!

Hajo Meyer: "I don’t wish to be represented by a Zionist state."
Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada, 1 June 2009

Hajo Meyer, author of the book The End of Judaism, was born in Bielefeld, in Germany, in 1924. He is one of the last survivors of Auschwitz.

- Adri Nieuwhof: What motivated you to write your book, The End of Judaism?
- HM: I was raised in Judaism with the equality of relationships among human beings as a core value. I only learned about nationalist Judaism when I heard settlers defend their harassment of Palestinians in interviews. When a publisher asked me to write about my past, I decided to write this book.
People of one group who dehumanize people who belong to another group can do this, because they either have learned to do so from their parents, or they have been brainwashed by their political leaders. This has happened for decades in Israel in that they manipulate the Holocaust for their political aims. In the long-run the country is destructing itself this way by inducing their Jewish citizens to become paranoid.
In 2005 [then Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon illustrated this by saying in the Knesset [the Israeli parliament], "we know we cannot trust anyone, we only can trust ourselves". This is the shortest possible definition of somebody who suffers from clinical paranoia.
One of the major annoyances in my life is that Israel by means of trickery calls itself a Jewish state, while in fact it is Zionist. It wants the maximum territory with a minimum number of Palestinians.
I don’t wish to be represented by a Zionist state. They have no idea about the Holocaust. They use the Holocaust to implant paranoia in their children.

- AN: In your book you write about the lessons you have learned from your past. Can you explain how your past influenced your perception of Israel and Palestine?
- HM: I can write up an endless list of similarities between Nazi Germany and Israel... What I personally find more appalling then dirtying one’s hands by killing people, is creating circumstances where people start to kill each other. By sowing discord in a situation where there is no unity, by enlarging the gap between people...

- AN: In your book you write about the role of Jews in the peace movement in and outside Israel, and Israeli army refuseniks. How do you value their contribution?
- HM: Of course it is positive that parts of the Jewish population of Israel try to see Palestinians as human beings and as their equals. However, it disturbs me how paper-thin the number is that protests and is truly anti-Zionist...

Iran holds conference on ancient philosopher Avicenna
Press TV, Mon Aug 25, 2014

There are no incurable diseases — only the lack of will.
There are no worthless herbs — only the lack of knowledge." Avicenna

Iran has hosted a conference on the philosophy of the Islamic physician and philosopher Avicenna in the country’s midwest city of Hamedan.
Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati, Avicenna Cultural and Scientific Foundation Director Ayatollah Ghiaseddin Taha-Mohammadi, and a number of clerics and scholars attended the conference held at the Hamedan University of Medical Sciences.
Known with Latinized name Avicenna (born in 980 CE), was a Persian polymath, physician and philosopher who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects. In the medieval Islamic world, due to Avicenna's successful reconciliation between the Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism, the Avicennism had eventually become the leading school of Islamic philosophy with Avicenna becoming a central authority on philosophy.

Isil bans philosophy, chemistry in Syria schools
Gulf News, 15-8-2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) extremist group has banned the study of philosophy and chemistry in schools in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa and established an “Islamic curriculum” for students, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Friday.
The Isil asked teachers and school directors to “prepare an Islamic education system in the schools of Raqqa”, which would be reviewed by a board of education appointed by Isil.
The “Islamic experts” belonging to the Isil decided to exclude chemistry and philosophy from the educational programme because “they do not fit in with the laws of god”, the SOHR reported.
The Isil promised adequate wages to teachers and principals after the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad stopped paying their salaries following the takeover of Raqqa by Islamist rebels.

Wahabi/Deobandi ISIS bans philosophy, chemistry in Syria schools
World Shia Forum, 16-8-2014

Editor’s note: The news that ISIL has banned philosophy as a subject at schools should not come as a surprise. Philosophy is also banned in Saudi Arabia under Wahabbism (a branch of salafist Islam).
Salafist Islam has always been against philosophy and logic. The renowned Hanbali scholar and the fountainhead of all strands of Salafist Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, said:
”Philosophical logic is like the flesh of a camel at the top of a mountain. It is not easy to climb the mountain, nor is the flesh good enough to justify climbing, nor is the path leading to it easy to follow.’’ He also said: ”There are no philosophers upon right guidance” He also said: ‘’Islam does not have philosophers’’ {Source: Naseehat Ahl Eemaan Fee Radd alaa Mantiq al Yunaan – page:157}

The introduction of Greek philosophy into the Muslim world left an indelible mark on Islamic intellectual history. Philosophical discourse became a constant element in even traditionalist Islamic sciences. This lead an unprecedented flourishing of intellect and knowledge among Muslim societies of 9th to 11th centuries.
However, Aristotelian metaphysics gave rise to doctrines about God and the universe that were found highly objectionable by the fourteenth-century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, as depicted above. He held Greek logic responsible for the `heretical’ metaphysical conclusions reached by Islamic philosophers, theologians, mystics, and others.
He therefore set out to refute philosophical logic, a task which culminated in one of the most devastating attacks ever levelled against the logical system upheld by the early Greeks, the later commentators, and their Muslim followers.
Ibn Taymiyyah was a literalist and a sharp critic of sufis and Muslim philosophers, accusing figures like Ghazali and Ibn Rushd of apostasy. He validated religious violence of the type being perpetrated by the likes of ISIL, Al-Qaeda, TTP, and Boko Haram.

ISIL adheres to salafist Islam which shifts religion from being mimetic to performative; where faith stops feeling like a way of life that holds you, and becomes a way of life you must hold onto – placing great store on specifics like wearing a veil (sharia rule).
Thus instead of feeling being at odds with the world, they think that the world is at odds with them. Salafist Islam portrays what the Pope calls the culture of death. At an existential level, they become so obsessed that the moment you differ from them nothing less than the whole person or system feels under threat and is ready to kill.
This extremism is a way of staving off how these believers themselves feel compromised by the way things are in the world, because they are implicated in it too. So, blame it all on Chemistry and Philosophy.

Wahhabism or Unitarianism?

Wahhabism is a religious movement within Islam founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703 - 92). Members describe themselves as muwahhidun ("monotheists" or "unitarians"), those who uphold firmly the doctrine that God is one, the only one (wahid).
This self designation points to the movement's major characteristic, its opposition to any custom and belief threatening and jeopardizing the glorification of the one God.
It condemns as illegal and un-Islamic the practice of using the name of any prophet, saint, or angel in a prayer, of calling upon any such beings for intercession and making vows to them, and of visitations to tombs of saints. Adherents insist on a literal interpretation of the Koran and a strict doctrine of predestination.
The Wahhabis claim to base their doctrines on the teachings of the fourteenth century scholar Ibn Taymiyya and the rulings of the Hanbali school of law, the strictest of the four recognised in the Sunni consensus.
They believe that all objects of worship other than Allah are false. To introduce the name of a prophet, saint or angel into a prayer, or to seek intercession from anyone but Allah constitutes a form of polytheism. (Source)

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud:
Wahhabism doesn't exist

The appellation 'Wahhabi' is rejected by many people, including Muslims and non-Muslims. The term is mostly prevalent in anti-Saudi Arabian discourses, and is subsequently especially popular with Shias.
In Saudi Arabia, the term is virtually non-existent. Saudi Arabian Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud publicly dismissed the label 'Wahhabism' as 'a doctrine that doesn't exist here (Saudi Arabia)' and said that 'Wahhabism' was a term coined by enemies of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab.
Ibn Abd-Al-Wahhab's was averse to the elevation of scholars and other individuals, including using a person's name to label an Islamic school. (Wikipedia)

“Spiritual Anti-Elitism: Ibn Taymiyya’s Doctrine of Sainthood ”
by Diego Sarrio Cucarella, july 2011

Ibn Taymiyyah censured the scholars for blindly conforming to the precedence of early jurists without any resort to the Qur'an and Sunnah. He contended that although juridical precedence has its place, blindly giving it authority without contextualization, sensitivity to societal changes, and evaluative mindset in light of the Qur'an and Sunnah can lead to ignorance and stagnancy in Islamic Law.
Ibn Taymiyyah likened the extremism of Taqlid (blind conformity to juridical precedence or school of thought) to the practice of Jews and Christians who took their rabbis and ecclesiastics as gods besides God.
Ibn Taymiyyah believed that the first three generations of Islam (Salaf) – Muhammad, his companions, and the followers of the companions from the earliest generations of Muslims – were the best role models for Islamic life. Their practice, together with the Qur'an, constituted a seemingly infallible guide to life. Any deviation from their practice was viewed as bid‘ah, or innovation, and to be forbidden.
Ibn Taymiyya became known as a combative polemicist against everything that, in his eyes, affected the purity of Islam: extremist Shi'i sects, Islamic rationalist theologians and peripatetic philosophers, Sufis of monistic tendency, the morally corrupting influ-ence of the People of the Book, and exaggerated expressions of popular religiosity.
Perhaps noone has better summarized the personality of Ibn Taymiyya than Henri Laoust when he describedhim as ‘the most logically implacable foe, inside Islam, of all worship directed at anyone other than God’.

Ability to employ the quality of wonder
Tal'at Radwan (Almuslih.org)

The true beginning of the emergence of philosophy was the human mind’s ability to employ the quality of wonder. For it was wonder that gave birth to the love of questioning and thus set the path towards demolishing conformity. ....
While philosophy insists upon establishing the pillars of relativism, religions work towards the establishment of absolutes.

While the language used by the philosophers among themselves is one of objective criticism – something which led over generations to the development of philosophical schools – the language of takfir is the weapon of a writer who relies upon religious authority.

Philosophical reflection differs greatly from religious reflection. In philosophical reflection you find nothing that is considered the subject of worship, or any area or any specific image that is sacralized. Philosophy alone sets us off from the barbarous, savage folk.
A man who lives without engaging in philosophy is like one who keeps his eyes shut, making no attempt to open them.
I believe that this metaphorical shutting of the eyes inflicts a severe anaemia upon the ability to experience the wonder that the true philosopher enjoys, and from which questions on the nature of existence become generated. Aristotle was right when he wisely remarked:
It was through the feeling of wonder that men now and at first began to philosophize.

Syria ‘ready’ to work with U.S. against ISIS
Al Arabiya News, Monday, 25 August 2014

Syria said on Monday that it is “ready” to work with the United States and other world powers in fighting terrorism, as its ally Russia urged Western and Arab governments to overcome their distaste for President Bashar al-Assad.
“Syria is ready for cooperation and coordination at the regional and international level to fight terrorism and implement U.N. Security Council resolution 2170,” Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem told reporters in Damascus.
He confirmed, in response to a question, that the country’s willingness to do so would extend to cooperating with the United States and Britain.
Muallem added that Syria was willing to participate in such efforts as part of a regional or international coalition, or on the basis of bilateral cooperation. But, he said, “We must feel that the cooperation is serious and not double standards.” “Any violation of Syria’s sovereignty would be an act of aggression.”


regular syrian army

Muallem’s statements came shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Western and Arab governments to overcome their distaste for Syrian President Assad and engage with him to fight ISIS insurgents.
Lavrov said the United States had made the same mistake with Islamic State as it had with al Qaeda, which emerged in the 1980s when U.S.-backed Islamist insurgents were fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
“I think Western politicians are already realizing the growing and fast-spreading threat of terrorism,” Lavrov said, referring to Islamic State advances in Syria and Iraq.
“And they will soon have to choose what is more important: a (Syrian) regime change to satisfy personal antipathies, risking deterioration of the situation beyond any control, or finding pragmatic ways to unite efforts against the common threat.”

Having long been denounced by Washington and others for protecting Assad, Lavrov made clear that Russia now feels vindicated.
“At one time we were accused of supporting Bashar al-Assad and preventing his overthrow.... Now no one is talking about that,” he said. The Americans and Europeans are now starting to acknowledge “the truth they have long recognised in private conversations: namely that for the region and for the interests of the West, the main threat is not the regime of Bashar al-Assad but the possible threat of seizure of power by terrorists in Syria and other states of the region.”


Iraq premier-designate Abadi calls on militias
to come under Iraq state control
Middle East Online, 26-8-2014

BAGHDAD - There is no place for weapons or armed groups outside Iraqi state control, premier-designate Haidar al-Abadi said Monday, after suspected Shiite militiamen killed 70 worshippers at a Sunni mosque.
"I confirm that weapons must remain in the hand of the state -- there is no place for any armed group," Abadi told a news conference.
Abadi added that while he welcomes irregular forces fighting against militants who have overrun swathes of the country, they "must all be inside the framework of the state, and under the direction of the state, under control of the military and security forces."

The government turned to militiamen to bolster its flagging forces against an IS-led offensive that swept through the country's Sunni heartland in June, but in doing so has encouraged a resurgence of groups involved in brutal sectarian killings.


Lebanon: Jihadists Wanted to Establish 'Emirate'
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 25-8-2014

The jihadists who overran Arsal in early August wanted to establish an Islamic "emirate" straddling northern and eastern regions and linked to Syria's Qalamun with Sirajeddine Zureiqat, a spokesman of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, as its "emir," a media report said.
"Imad Jomaa, whose arrest sparked the clashes with the Lebanese army, confessed during preliminary investigations that Abou Malek al-Souri, emir of the al-Nusra Front in Qalamun, and the 29 armed groups under his command had agreed to wage a joint attack on Arsal."
The assault on the town aimed to “turn it into a launchpad for attacks against other Lebanese towns and against the Lebanese Army in order to create a bigger conflict zone stretching from Syria's Qalamun and the Bekaa to the (Lebanese) north,” Jomaa reportedly confessed. An Islamic “emirate” was supposed to be subsequently proclaimed, with Zureiqat as its leader, the detainee added.
The armed groups agreed on a “pact” on how to “deal with the Shiite and Christian villages after carrying out the operation,” Jomaa said. According to the so-called pact, “the Rafida, or Shiites, represent the first target.”
“The greatest number possible of Hizbullah's men and women should be taken captive and anyone above 15 years old must be killed should they show any resistance,” reads the pact.
Christians and members of other sects would be spared “should they stay in their homes,” according to the jihadist agreement.

Jomaa was known to be a member of al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syria franchise, but a video that surfaced in recent weeks shows him pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, which reportedly appointed him as the leader of the extremist Fajr al-Islam Brigade.

The 'Abdullah Azzam Brigade(s)' (named after al-Qaeda's co-founder and the mentor of Osama Bin Laden) promotes itself as a protector of Sunni Muslims and has repeatedly criticised what it describes as the Shia domination of Lebanon.
In 2012, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades issued a message threatening harsh punishment for any Lebanese Shia nationals who might be supporting the Syrian government in its current fight against the opposition.
In 2011 the al-Qaeda linked group - as supporter of the 'revolution' - urged Syrians to protest peacefully saying violence would undermine the uprising. However, in statements released after August 2011, the group appeared to have changed its stance and called on protesters to take up arms. (BBC news)


To Defeat the Islamic State
By Patrick J. Buchanan, August 26, 2014

The decision to invade and occupy Iraq was the most disastrous blunder in the history of the United States.
George W. Bush held out the promise of a peaceful Mesopotamian democracy as a magnet for all Arab nations. What we produced is a broken land awash in blood, a country severed by tribe and faith: a Kurdish north, Shia south and a Sunni west controlled by the savages of an “Islamic State” even al-Qaida hates and fears.
In Syria, where the United States has been aiding rebels to bring down Bashar Assad, that Islamic State now controls the northern and eastern half of the country.
In Libya, where we delivered the air and missile strikes to smash Col. Gadhafi’s forces, Islamist fanatics have gained the upper hand in the civil war for control of that country.
In all three countries, the United States, which claimed to be battling dictatorship to bring democracy, helped to create the power vacuum these Islamists have moved to fill.
We are the enablers of the Islamic State.

The Turks, Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis who, stupidly, have been aiding ISIS in bringing down Bashar Assad and blowing a hole in the “Shia Crescent” of Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Hezbollah, have lately awakened to their idiocy and are cutting off aid to ISIS.
Lebanon’s army, Syria’s army, Hezbollah and Iran have been fighting ISIS with Russian assistance. Vladimir Putin himself warned us of the absurdity of our attacking Assad last year, arguing that we would be allying ourselves with the same terrorists who brought down the twin towers. Was Putin not right?

We need no boots on the ground in Syria.. What we need is diplomacy.., a diplomacy that invites old enemies into a coalition for a cause on which we all agree.

"To be a realist person, is to be a successful one. Because with such quality in one's personality would give him the ability to see things as they are not as his wishes are. Then such person will not get disappointed in people or the obstacle and hurdle it. It creates the real chance for success, not an imaginary one." (From 'My Deep Simple Character' by Jihan Abdul Aziz Ahmed, Iraq Daily 24-11-2002)

Flashback 2002:
Interview with Denis Halliday

The former head of the U.N.'s humanitarian program in Iraq says an American invasion would be an international crime -- and would make the U.S. even less safe...

- Question: Saddam is a ruthless despot and remains a fundamental problem for the Iraqi people. In its condemnation of Saddam, the Bush administration certainly has a claim to the moral higher ground, doesn't it?

- DH: I don't think so. I mean, Saddam Hussein may not be a nice man, but neither was George Bush Sr. Anybody who oversaw the Gulf War is well aware of crimes against humanity and is responsible thereof.
We don't have to like the president of Iraq. Did we like the president of Indonesia? Or the Congo? Or Chile -- Mr. Pinochet? I don't think so.
We have no justification to punish the innocent civilians of any country simply because we don't like their leader, in this case, a man who was [once] a friend and ally to the United States. For example, Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq in 1983 -- spoke with Saddam Hussein, asked for an exchange of ambassadors. They know each other! Why can't Rumsfeld go back and reopen this dialogue... (Hadani Ditmars, Salon.com 20-3-2002)

Dr. Sadoun Hammadi, Speaker of Iraqi National Assembly,
sends a letter to speakers of U.S. Senates and Representatives

Sirs, One of the biggest problems that has existed since 1990 between our people and country, on the one hand, and the successive US administrations on the other, has been the absence of all channels of dialogue between our two countries, the channels that might have helped develop a language of understanding between our respective representatives.
This has meant that your Congress and, hence, the American people, have unfortunately been deprived of any genuine opportunity to see the facts of the situation for what they really are, in order that your judgments and decisions, on behalf of your people, might have been based on sound assessments in both objective and practical terms. This lack of communication has been the root cause of the actions taken against our country since 1990.
Had the naked facts been put to you, and indeed to others, as they are; and had we been able to allow dialogue the chance it deserved both objectively and practically, then things might have taken a different course. (Iraqi News Agency, 5-8-2002)

Uri Avnery: How did the dinosaurs die out?
There are many theories about this. I have a theory of my own: the dinosaurs suffered from a lack of proportion between body and brain. The tyrannosaurus, for example, had monstrous physical dimensions but his brain was the size of a pea.
Now we are witnessing the return of the dinosaurs. Human dinosaurs. People who control immense power structures and who have the brains of a bird.
Take the American tyrannosaurus. The US military machine can take over the whole world, wage war anywhere, destroy any country, eliminate any people. Over this immense body reigns the brain of George W. Bush, and around him a small group of people whose moral standard and intellectual capacity are like those of the caveman.
But why should we look down on others? After all, the Israeli tyrannosaurus is no different from his big brother. Compared to all his neighbors, he has immense military capacity, and over this huge power reigns the brain of a child. (PalestineChronicle 1-9-2002)

Nurturing a ruthless and hateful dictator
The Americans should seek no permission from Assad
Saudi Gazette Editorial, 26-8-2014

Editor-at-large: Khaled Almaeena. Al Maeena is a veteran Arabian journalist. He is reported to be close to King Fahd and King Abdullah. He is also considered to have close relations with then-Riyadh governor Prince Salman. The late Ahmad Ibn Salman was very fond of him. The other sons of Prince Salman including Faisal bin Salman had also close relations with him.
Editor-in-chief: Somayya Jabarti. Previously, Jabarti was the Deputy Editor of Arab News, a Saudi English newspaper based in Jeddah. Jabarti worked for Arab News for over nine years, where she started out as a local desk editor and advanced to become the Deputy National desk editor, then Executive Editor and later Managing Editor.

In an act of breathtaking effrontery, the Syrian regime has put itself forward to the Americans as the coordinator of an international coalition against the terrorist group ISIS.
At the same time, Assad’s foreign minister Walid Muallem has warned that the US should not attack ISIS positions in Syria without permission. To do so, he said, would be considered “an act of aggression”. Were it not for the regime’s bloodstained record, these pronouncements would be farcical.
Assad and his creatures know all about aggression, whether it comes to gassing women and children or bombing and shelling civilian areas...
With Russia flying top cover, the Syrian dictator has put his country to the sword while a dithering Obama White House has refused to act early and decisively to end the tragedy of the Syrian people.
Just as the Bush intervention in Iraq prepared a battleground on which Al-Qaeda bigots could flourish, so the Obama lack of intervention in Syria created a stage on which the ISIS fanatics could gather.
Had Obama acted swiftly to reinforce the Free Syrian Army and bring the revolution to a swift and successful conclusion, the cancer that is ISIS would never have been able to take hold.
The only pleasing element is that having sowed the wind, Assad himself is now reaping the whirlwind. The terrorists have overrun the key Tabqa airbase, the regime’s last stronghold in Raqqa province which is now completely under ISIS control with the town of Raqqa as its de facto capital.
Now is surely the time for decisive moves by Washington, both militarily and politically. The Americans should seek no permission from Assad to attack the terrorists in Syria.
More importantly, Obama must make it absolutely clear that there will be no cooperation with the Assad regime against ISIS.
Obama consistently ignored the advice of friends and allies in the region, not least here in the Kingdom...


The Free Syrian Army - End of secularism
Start of the Islamic rebellion in Syria

The formation of the 'Free Syrian Army' was announced on 29 July 2011 in a video released on the internet by a uniformed group of deserters from the Syrian military who called upon members of the Syrian army to defect and join them.
Riad al-Asaad, the leader of the group, has stated that the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) has no political goals except the removal of Bashar Assad as president of Syria. (saleil.blogspot)

General Riad Asaad announced the formation of two battalions in Damascus:
"In The Name Of Allah and in the name of the Free Syrian Army. Our great people , I appreciate your sacrifices , I support you and I call upon you to stand firm in your struggle for your freedom, and I inform you that we are ready to protect you and fight for you with our lives against Assad's regime who lost legitimacy to rule and it's hired thugs.
I assure you that our forces are fighting the regime forces and their criminal supporters, and I assure you of the imminent fall of the regime. His fate will be similar to that of Gaddafi...
We call on the Syrian opposition to unite it's forces and we announce the formation of Abu Ubaida Bin Al-Jarah battalion and Mo-awia Bin Sofian battalion in the city of Damascus..." (
YouTube video)

Abu Ubaydah: Kill the polytheists.

Abu Ubaydah was in the vanguard of the Muslim forces....
The Quraysh cavalry were extremely wary of him and avoided coming face to face with him. One man in particular, however, kept on pursuing Abu Ubaydah wherever he turned and Abu Ubaydah tried his best to keep out of his way and avoid an encounter with him.
The man plunged into the attack. Abu Ubaydah tried desperately to avoid him. Eventually the man succeeded in blocking Abu Ubaydah's path and stood as a barrier between him and the Quraysh. They were now face to face with each other. Abu Ubaydah could not contain himself any longer. He struck one blow to the man's head. The man fell to the ground and died instantly.
Do not try to guess who this man was It was, as stated earlier, one of the most harrowing experiences that Abu Ubaydah had to go through, how harrowing, it is almost impossible to imagine. The man in Fact was Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah, the father of Abu Ubaydah!
Abu Ubaydah obviously did not want to kill his father but in the actual battle between faith in God and polytheism, the choice open to him was profoundly disturbing but clear
In a way it could be said that he did not kill his father -- he killed the polytheism in the person of his father. (source)

Free Syrian Army & The Muslim Brotherhood
Hassan Hassan, Foreign Affairs, Georgetown University, 13-3-2013

Since the uprising erupted on March 15, 2011, the Brotherhood has moved adroitly to seize the reins of power of the opposition's political and military factions.
According to a figure present at the first conference to organize Syria's political opposition, held in Antalya, Turkey, in May 2011, the Brotherhood was initially hesitant to join an anti-Assad political body. The Brotherhood nonetheless sent members to participate in the conference, including Molhem Droubi, who became a member of the conference's executive bureau. Meanwhile, it took steps to form fighting groups inside Syria, recruiting potential fighters and calling on its relatively meager contacts on the ground in Homs, Hama, Idlib, and Aleppo.
As the idea of a unified opposition group to lead the popular revolt gained momentum, the Brotherhood became more involved. A month after the meeting in Antalya, it organized a conference in Brussels, attended by 200 people, mostly Islamists -- one of the first obvious fractures in the unity of the opposition. The Brotherhood subsequently organized several conferences that formed opposition groups to serve as fronts for the movement, allowing it to beef up its presence in political bodies.

After the conference in Brussels, at least three groups were formed "to support the Syrian revolution."
The organizations continued to hatch, and a few months after the first conference they were present in opposition bodies that later formed the core of the Syrian National Council (SNC), an umbrella group that ostensibly represented all anti-Assad forces.
According to members of the Syrian National Coalition groups that have served as fronts for the Brotherhood include:

the National Union of Free Syria Students, led by Hassan Darwish; the Levant Ulema League; the Independent Islamic Democratic Current, led by Ghassan Najjar; the Syrian Ulema League, led by Mohammed Farouq Battal; the Civil Society Organizations' Union, a bloc of 40 Brotherhood-affiliated groups; the Syrian Arab Tribal Council, led by Salem Al Moslet and Abdulilah Mulhim; the Revolution Council for Aleppo and Its Countryside, led by Ahmed Ramadan; the Body for Protection of Civilians, led by Natheer Hakim; the National Work Front, led by Ramadan and Obeida Nahas; the Kurdish Work Front, led by Hussain Abdulhadi; the Syrian Revolution Facebook page, which decides the names for Friday's protests; the Hama Revolution Gathering; the National Coalition for Civilian Protection, led by Haitham Rahma; and the Syrian Society for Humanitarian Relief, founded by Hamdi Othman.

Other groups that represent outlets for the Brotherhood but are not themselves represented in political bodies include the Arab Orient Center for Strategic and Civilization Studies, headed by Brotherhood spokesman Zoheir Salem, and the Syrian Human Rights Committee, led by Brotherhood representative and the opposition's ambassador to Britain Walid Saffour. A group representing women and children is also led by a daughter of Mohammed Farouk Tayfour, the deputy leader of Syria's Brotherhood.
Additionally, some Brotherhood-affiliated figures denied they were part of the group and joined the SNC as "independents." These include Nahas, the London-based director of the Levant Center; Louay Safi, a Syrian-American fellow at Georgetown University and former chairman of the Syrian American Council (SAC); and Najib Ghadbian, a political science professor who also works at the SAC.

By the winter of 2011, the Brotherhood had greatly expanded its influence. It was not only strong in the SNC -- it had won supporters within the ranks of military defectors and the Local Coordination Committees inside Syria. Before the September conference, around 100 young activists traveled to Turkey, where the Brotherhood gave them media training and provided them with equipment. When the trainees returned to Syria, according to one of the organizers of the opposition meetings, they formed coordinating committees in dozens of small towns and cities to support the movement.
Brotherhood members met with early defectors from the regime's army. As one military defector told me, the Brotherhood asked for their loyalty, and in return, the group promised to pressure Turkey to create a buffer zone along its border with Syria. The effort was unsuccessful, but the Brotherhood later won the loyalty of Col. Riad al-Asaad, who formed the Free Syrian Army (FSA), replacing the secular-leaning Free Officers Movement. After the formation of the FSA, new brigades began to take religious names, instead of names of national figures or areas.
The Brotherhood's influence within the FSA was known to military defectors at the time -- that was why the first Druze officer to defect from the army, Lt. Khaldoun Sami Zaineddin, took the unusual step of joining the Free Officers Movement in October 2011, rather than the FSA.

The Brotherhood continued to pour time and resources into building its influence within the rebel forces. The fighting factions backed by the movement include the Tawhid Brigade, supported by Brotherhood leaders in Aleppo, mainly Bayanouni and Ramadan; some elements in the powerful Farouq Brigades; the Body for Protection of Civilians, considered the military wing of the Brotherhood, led by Hakim; and Ansar al-Islam, based in Damascus and the surrounding countryside.
The Brotherhood has brigades across the country whose names typically include the word "shield," such as the Euphrates Shield, the Capital Shield, and the Aqsa Mosque Shield. It also coordinates in some areas with hard-line groups like Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham, according to military defectors...



Fatwa: Kill Assad. On August 14, 2012, Safwat Higazi
expressed his hope that the Islamic Caliphate would be restored..."

The Brotherhood benefited from its influence in Turkey, Qatar, and Egypt. Al Jazeera, the Qatari-owned satellite behemoth, has polished the image of anti-regime Islamists in its coverage.
The Brotherhood also carefully selected leaders who can be easily controlled or who have minimal leadership skills. According to a member of the opposition coalition, it supported the appointment of the Syrian National Coalition's leader, Moaz al-Khatib, because it thought he could be easily steered as he was a "good-hearted mosque preacher."
Khatib has proved that the Brotherhood underestimated him by unshackling himself from its control, unilaterally announcing a brave initiative for dialogue with the regime. For his defiance, he has since been subject to fierce attacks from the Brotherhood and its allies....

On March 7, 2014, Saudi Arabia took the extraordinary step of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The move came just two days after the kingdom, together with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, withdrew its ambassador from Qatar because of Qatar’s alleged support of Brotherhood interference in internal politics.


Premier-designate: Syrian women face uphill tasks
of confronting subversive intellectual invasion
Haifa Said, Syrian Arab News Agency, 27/08/2014

Damascus, SANA – Prime Minister-designate Wael al-Halqi hailed the role which the General Union of Syrian Women has played in deepening awareness among women and developing their capabilities in various areas.
During a meeting with members of the Union’s Executive Office on Wednesday, al-Halqi highlighted the Union’s effective contribution to a variety of social and economic development projects targeting urban and rural areas.
“The Syrian woman has asserted her presence through her persistence to gain knowledge and ascend to high-ranking positions,” said al-Halqi.
He added that the Syrian women face uphill tasks at the current stage, which are mainly represented in resisting and confronting the subversive intellectual and cultural invasion targeting the Syrian society and warding off the threat posed to the new generations by the takfiri wahhabi mentality in light of the ongoing terrorist war raging in the country.
For her part, the Union’s chairperson Majida Qteit expressed keenness to be up to the level of those tasks, in addition to putting all possible efforts to contribute to bolstering national unity and further empowering women.

General Union of Syrian Women organize solidarity stand
on international women's day - Mar 08, 2014

‎Damascus‬, (SANA) On the international women's day, General Union of Syrian Women stood Saturday in front of United Nations HQ in Damascus, handing over the UN office a statement calling on it to pressure states which support armed terrorist groups with money and weapons in Syria to stop this support.

Earlier, the Union called on the international and women's organizations to support the Syrian women and the Syrian people's right to live in dignity and freedom.
It urged in a statement addressed Friday to the women of the world, that the world celebrates on March 8th to stand up to the governments sending terrorists and weapons to Syria so that the Syrian people can live in dignity and freedom.

Confronting the new Islamic State requires
reevaluating old alliances and enemies.
By Scott McConnell, American Conservative, August 27, 2014

If ISIS is to be contained or defeated without using American ground troops, it is necessary to examine the regional forces ready to fight it.
There are of course the Kurds, a small group which can perhaps defend its own region, if that. The biggest potential player is Iran. With its majority Shia population Iran takes a dim view of Sunni jihadism; the Iranian population was pretty much the only one in the Muslim world to display open sympathy with Americans after 9/11. By the standards of the Middle East, Iran is a scientific powerhouse, with a large freedom aspiring middle class, and considerable artistic community. According to published reports, Iranian tanks have reportedly engaged ISIS near the Iranian border—probably with American approval.

The other serious force willing to fight ISIS is Syria, led by Bashar al-Assad. His regime is strongly supported by Syria’s Christians, by Iran, and by Hezbollah, the Sh’ite militia in neighboring Lebanon.
Syria has been caught up in civil war of shocking brutality for the past four years. The largest faction opposing him is ISIS—and American arms distributed to the Syrian “rebels” have often ended up in ISIS hands. By opposing Assad, the United States has in effect been feeding ISIS.

It would seem logical that if ISIS really is a threat—a metastasizing terrorist entity and enemy of America and all civilization—then the United States should patch up its relations with Syria and Iran to deal with it.
That’s the advocacy of some groups favoring a detente with Iran (like the National Iranian-American Council), which views Iran as the most stable state in the region.
But there is a problem: Israel hates Iran, and hates Syria because of Iran. The only Arab military force to give Israel any difficulty in the past 40 years is Hezbollah, armed by and allied with Iran.
No matter how much Israel pretends to dislike Sunni extremism, it hates Iran more, because Iran has scientific, cultural, and political potential to be a major rival to Israel in the Middle East.

So the neoconservatives are arguing that the United States confront ISIS by sending in its own troops (“primarily” special forces, or a contingent of 10-15,000 “for now”) but hoping of course that can be expanded upon later, rather than relying on regional allies.
This is essentially a revised variant of the policies they advocated after 9/11 — divert Americans away from confronting a threat from Sunni jihadists, while preparing the ground for a subsequent war with a state actor that Israel doesn’t like.
So the neocons will argue against any policy which contemplates detente with Iran or a lessening of tension with Syria, because they recognize that if the United States comes to view Iran as an ally in the fight against ISIS or other Sunni extremists, their goal of an American war with Iran is gone, probably forever....


Syria's Bashar Assad is not the West's partner in the fight against terrorism but an ally of Islamic extremists wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, French President Francois Hollande warned Thursday.
"Assad cannot be a partner in the fight against terrorism, he is the de facto ally of jihadists," he told a Paris gathering of ambassadors from around the world. (Naharnet, 27-8-2014)

France admits it directly supplied arms to Syrian “rebels”
By Pierre Mabut, World Socialist Website, 27 August 2014

President François Hollande confirmed in a Le Monde interview on August 19 that France has been directly supplying arms to the “rebels” of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in its proxy war to remove the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
France has been arming Syrian Islamist opposition forces since at least the spring of 2013. According to Le Monde, it provided weapons including 12.7-mm machine guns, rocket launchers, body armour and communications equipment...

"The determination of Bashar al-Assad to cling to power [..] are the roots of extremism in Syria. As long as Bashar al-Assad remains in power, there is no prospect of peace and stability in Syria and the region. Only when the Syrian people control its future will there be a prospect of peace and stability in Syria."
Friends of Syria (Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States, 12-1-2014)

The Hollande government’s role in Syria in arming the “rebels” is yet another devastating exposure of France’s pseudo-left parties, such as the New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA), that backed the imperialist proxy war in Syria. Promoting the Socialist Party’s (PS’s) foreign policy, the NPA repeated the lie that the FSA was leading a “democratic revolution”...
An NPA National Committee resolution on Syria last September stated: “The Western powers have done everything since the start of the uprising to avoid a new military adventure…. .” Also last September, NPA spokesman Olivier Besancenot on RFI called on Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius “to graciously give weapons to the Syrians”. He cautioned the government not to listen to “Those who say ‘we should above all not give weapons because they will end up with the jihadists’...

In his Le Monde interview, Hollande underlined France’s determination to intervene in Syria, remarking: “We must not relax the support that we have granted to the rebels, who are the only ones participating [in the war] with democratic intentions.”
Hollande turned reality on its head, claiming the growth of the IS in Syria and its sectarian wars was due to the NATO powers’ decision not to go to war with Assad....

The growth of the jihadist forces in Syria is the direct result of the arming and financing by the CIA, France and the Gulf monarchies as proxy forces to overthrow Assad... France has openly stoked the flames of civil war ever since 2012, when Hollande recognised the Syrian National Coalition—on which the FSA sits, together with representatives of various Islamist groups and liberal opponents of Assad—as Syria’s government.


Flashback 2012: Flashback: "Assad doesn’t deserve
to be on this earth" (Laurent Fabius)

Clinton-Fabius Webster Griffin Tarpley (Press TV 17-8-2012): Assad was supposed to be brought down in July, I think July 18th...: terror attacks to decapitate the Syrian armed forces, the shipping in of thousands and thousands of new death squad members from many other countries, an attack on the currency, the television warfare in its entire campaign... That has now failed. The death squads are losing and the Syrian government is still there...
The US, the British, the French and indeed the Israelis are now apoplectic. That’s what you see with [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius. I would call attention to the language he decided when he says ‘the Syrian regime should be smashed fast and that Assad doesn’t deserve to be on this earth’. This is a language we haven’t heard in Europe since the fascist era....

Interview given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Consulate General of France in New York

Bashar al-Assad is the murderer of his people. He must leave power – the sooner the better. Until now, the actions taken to that end have come up against two obstacles. The first derives from the lack of consensus at the UN Security Council, because of the Russians and Chinese. The second is military: the Syrian army is powerful. No state is ready today to contemplate a ground operation. The risks of regional contagion would be dreadful, particularly in Lebanon.


U.S. builds alliance for war on ISIS in Syria
Al Arabiya News, Thursday, 28 August 2014

While the United States is intensifying its push to build an international campaign against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants, Britain and Australia are considered as potential candidates, Reuters reported U.S. officials as saying on Wednesday.
Obama administration officials also said that Washington is recruiting partners for potential joint military action against the al-Qaeda breakaway group ISIS.
“We are working with our partners and asking how they might be able to contribute. There are a range of ways to contribute: humanitarian, military, intelligence, diplomatic,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Francois Hollande warned that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is not the West’s partner in the fight against terrorism but an ally of Islamic extremists wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq.
“Assad cannot be a partner in the fight against terrorism, he is the de facto ally of jihadists,” he told a Paris gathering of ambassadors from around the world. Instead, Hollande urged for the arming of opposition to defeat ISIS.

Bitter Memories

It’s unclear how many nations will sign up. Some such as trusted allies Britain and France harbor bitter memories of joining the U.S.-led “coalition of the willing” in the 2003 invasion of Iraq that included troops from 38 nations. The claims of the existence of weapons of mass destruction which spurred the coalition to act were found to be false.

Flashback 2002-2003: Can George W. Bush be trusted
as he further heats up the rhetoric on Iraq?


Two days after a horrific bomb blast in Bali, Indonesia, Bush, appearing at a Republican campaign rally in Michigan, cited the assault as yet another reason for vigorous prosecution of the war on terrorism. But as he rallied the GOP loyalists, he focused less on al Qaeda and more on Saddam Hussein.
Bush maintained that the Iraqi dictator hopes to deploy al Qaeda as his own "forward army" against the West, that "we need to think about Saddam Hussein using al Qaeda to do his dirty work, to not leave fingerprints behind," and that "this is a man who we know has had connections with al Qaeda."
Bush and his administration have offered no proof of any of this. In fact, less than a week before the Michigan event, the CIA had released a letter noting that it had no evidence that Saddam intends to commit terrorism against the United States... (David Corn, The Nation 15-10-2002)

Chirac: Stability is our responsibility

French President Jacques Chirac said in an interview published Wednesday he knew of no relationship between Iraq and Al-Qaeda and warned that a war on Baghdad could provoke terrorists to stage new attacks. The president said that the feeling of injustice shared by many Arabs watching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could widen if Iraq was also brought into the fray.
"Our responsibility is to look after stability in the Middle East. With the Iraqi crisis, it's the whole region that is threatened," he said in the interview. (Teheran Times, 16-10-2002)

Annan Says Iraq Debate Could Strengthen the United Nations

16 October -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a message to the Security Council's open debate on Iraq, said the Iraq crisis is one of the gravest and most serious facing the international community. But he added, "If we handle this properly, we may actually strengthen international cooperation, the rule of law, and the United Nations, enabling it to move forward in a purposeful way, not only in this immediate crisis but in the future as well." (United Nations Secretary General, 16-10-2002)

The SUN: Chirac is a worm

(The Sun) opened a new front in a war of words with France over Iraq. "Chirac Est Un Ver" (Chirac Is A Worm) blared the Sun's special front-page headline in French above a photomontage of an earthworm bearing his head and crawling out of a map of France.
"We think your president, Jacques Chirac, is a disgrace to Europe by constantly threatening to veto military action to enforce the will of the United Nations in Iraq," the Sun said on the front page of the Paris version, written in French. Chirac is resisting US and British pressure for a war on Baghdad. (Hindustan Times, 22-2-2003)

We are being treated like idiots

The concerted attack on France is shameful and degrading. Cabinet ministers yesterday toured TV and radio studios to condemn President Chirac and accuse the French of being responsible for war. This is hypocrisy run riot and double-think of scandalous proportions. You expect it from newspapers with no principles or morality, but we are entitled to something better from Tony Blair's government.
Tony Blair still fails to understand that one reason the British are so opposed to this war and so cynical about the motives for it is that we are being treated like idiots.
We don't want fake dossiers of "evidence". We don't want lies about the dangers we face. We don't want attacks on people and countries who prefer peace to war. We don't want farcical summits whose only aim is to speed the rush to military action. (The Mirror, 17-3-2003)

In Washington coercion has supplanted the rule of law.
By Paul Craig Roberts, August 28, 2014 "ICH"

According to Lenin, the Soviet government rested “directly on force, not limited by anything, not restricted by any laws, nor any absolute rules.”
In the 21st century the US government has echoed Lenin... Laws do not prevent the US from attacking sovereign countries or from conducting military operations within the borders of sovereign countries.
The latest manifestation of Washington’s Leninism is Washington’s announcement that the US government has no plans to coordinate US attacks on ISIS on Syrian territory with the Syrian government. Washington recognizes no limitations on its use of force, and the sovereignty of countries provides no inhibition.
In Washington coercion has supplanted the rule of law...

The government of Washington’s ally, Israel, has also endorsed Leninism and is using the same principle of boundless coercion against the Palestinians.


We should aim to help the Syrian opposition
By Robert S. Ford, CNN, August 26, 2014

Helping a weakened al-Assad regime to consolidate its position in Damascus is not a recipe for sustainable success. The regime can't roll back the Islamic State now -- it is attracting scores of new jihadis every day. Helping al-Assad would multiply the numbers of recruits.
Rather, as in Iraq, Syria needs a new government.
The U.S. had hoped this would be negotiated in Geneva, where an international conference early this year aimed to find a political solution to the Syria conflict, but al-Assad rejected any serious negotiation. His Russian and Iranian allies, estimating that he could survive, and seeing no alternative, made no effort to convince the regime to do otherwise.

Six months later, however, the regime's pillars of support are weaker. There are reports that the regime earlier this month executed three air force pilots who had refused to obey orders. The minority Alawite sect that has backed al-Assad is openly grumbling about heavy losses in an endless war against the moderate rebels and now the ruthless Islamic State.
We need moderate armed opposition leaders in Syria to capitalize on this weariness. We have to boost aid to the moderate armed rebels..
Boosting help to the moderate opposition would compel Russia and Iran to rethink their blank check to al-Assad, especially if there is a better alternative route to contain ISIS.
We should aim to help the Syrian opposition inflict enough pain on the regime so that, despite al-Assad, the regime finally agrees to negotiate a new government...

Robert Stephen Ford (born 1958) is a retired American diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Algeria from 2006 to 2008 and the United States Ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014.
Ford played a central role in developing the “extremism threat” scenario including the channeling of military aid to the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels.
Ford was from the outset in the months leading up to the March 2011 insurrection among the key architects involved in the formulation of a US “Terrorist Option” for Syria including the recruitment and training of death squads in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. (Global Research 6-6-2014)

2011: Muslim protest in Hama
Right Web, July 15, 2011

U.S. ambassador to Syria,Robert Ford, was reportedly received with rose petals and olive branches by citizens of HAMA, a hotbed of Syrian resistance where thousands of people were killed when Assad’s father put down an Islamist (Muslim Brotherhood) uprising there in 1982.
The American ambassador Robert Ford, had travelled, with the French ambassador Éric Chevallier to the city of Hama in what Robert Ford said was a gesture of solidarity with local protesters there. Citizens had rallied in the city on 29 July, following Muslim prayers in which a pro-rebel cleric told the congregation "the regime must go".

Hama, an old, well-known nest of Islamists
By Sergei Balmasov, 6 July 2011

Hama is an old, well-known nest of Islamists, who hate secular government. This is a kind of capital for Islamic fundamentalists among the Sunnis in Syria. It was in Hama that bloody coups were attempted in the past — the deadliest of them took place in February 1982.
Events in 1982 were preceded by an attempt on president Hafez al-Assad's life by the Islamists as well as the bloody attack on Islamic students from the local military academy. A real rebellion broke out in the city after months of growing instability. At that time, people were so terrorized by the Muslim Brotherhood that they were afraid to let their children out onto the streets.
However, there was no use of force until the Islamists struck first. The events that took place then in Hama were terrible. A mobile guillotine was fixed onto a truck and driven around the city. The Islamists used it to destroy anyone who somehow displeased them.

Libya’s neighbours want all militias in the country disarmed
and they seek to empower the Libyan state
Kamel Abdallah, Al-Ahram Weekly, 28-8-2014

Foreign ministers from countries neighbouring Libya met in Cairo on 25 August to discuss the security situation and floundering political process in the troubled country. It was the fourth such meeting since Libya began its slide into anarchy.
The meeting was convened against a backdrop of fierce fighting in Tripoli and Benghazi and heated disputes between the recently elected parliament and the General National Congress (GNC) it was intended to replace.
Foreign ministers of Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Chad and Sudan attended the meeting, along with the new director of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Arab League envoy to Libya Nasser Al-Qudwa, and representatives of the African Union and European Union.

The participants called for an immediate halt to all military operations in order to support the political process, and for dialogue between political factions that renounce violence with the aim of drafting a new constitution. The ministers underscored the central role Libya’s neighbouring states can play in defusing the situation...
The closing statement of the foreign ministers’ meeting called for a phased reciprocal arrangement in which all militias would lay down their arms.
The statement underscored the need for outside parties to stop supplying militias with weapons....The only arms supplied to Libya should be those requested by the Libyan government and approved by the UN Security Council sanctions committee.
The statement emphasised the need to support the legitimate institutions of the Libyan government, parliament above all, and to rehabilitate the army and police...

The initiative will uphold Libya’s territorial integrity, the principle of non-intervention in Libya’s domestic affairs and the preservation of Libya’s political independence. It will seek a halt to all forms of violence and terrorism in Libya, and to empower the Libyan state so that it can reassert its authority over Libyan soil.


Flashback 2011: Washington and the Civilians of Libya
19. Mar, 2011 by Prof Lawrence Davidson

Whether you believe that the United Nations resolution authorizing extensive intervention in the Libyan civil war is justified or not, and whether you believe that the admittedly eccentric forty two year rule of Muammar Gadhafi over a complex and fractious tribal society has been cruel or not, there is one thing that all objective observers should be able to agree on.
All should agree that the rationale put forth by the United States government for supporting the impending NATO intervention, that this action is to be taken to bring about an immediate end to attacks on civilians, is one of the biggest acts of hypocrisy in a modern era ridden with hypocrisy.

There is, of course, no arguing with the principle put forth. The protection of civilians in times of warfare, a moral good in itself, is a requirement of international law. Yet it is a requirement that is almost always ignored. And no great power has ignored it more than the United States.
In Iraq the civilian death count due to the American invasion may well have approached one million. In Afghanistan, again directly due to the war initiated by U.S. intervention, civilian deaths between 2007 and 2010 are estimated at about 10,000. In Vietnam, United States military intervention managed to reduce the civilian population by about two million.
And then there is United States protection of the Israeli process of ethnic cleansing in Palestine. America’s hypocrisy as Washington consistently does nothting about the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the slow reduction of a million and half Gazans to poverty and malnutrition...

Thus, whenPresident Obama gets up before the TV cameras and tells us that Libyan civilians have to be protected, when UN ambassador Susan Rice tells us that the aim of the UN resolution is to safeguard Libya’s civilian population and bring those who attack civilians, including Gadhafi, before the International Criminal Court, a certain sense of nausea starts to gather in the pit of one’s stomach.

It was Oscar Wilde who once said that "the true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity." I think that politicians learn, some easier than others, to live their lives like this. (Opinionmaker.org 2011)


Iraq: Anbar tribesmen stand up against ISIL
Hassan al-Obaidi, Al-Shorfa, 29-8-2014

In the past week, 28 Anbari tribes together rose up against ISIL in the cities of al-Qaim, Haditha, Ramadi, Fallujah and al-Karma, said Anbar police chief Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Dulaimi.
"The leaders of those tribes have notified the police and army forces that they will take up arms and take it upon themselves to stand up to ISIL in their cities through individually-planned and -executed efforts," he told Mawtani. "We currently seek to increase co-operation between them and the security forces via a series of agreements."
The "tribal uprising" first began in the city of Ramadi after ISIL members killed a senior tribesman there, he said. Then it spread to other cities, most recently to al-Karma east of Fallujah, he added.

Resistance against ISIL in cities under its control is crucial in weakening the organisation, said Anbar army commander Lt. Gen. Rashid Flaih.
"We are very optimistic about the fact the tribes have taken up arms against ISIL," he told Mawtani. "They are looking to restore their rights from the terrorist group that has killed their sons, flogged others, cut off their hands and carried out sentences the tribes do not find realistic or just."
The army has requested that the tribes provide the security forces with their locations so the air force can distinguish between ISIL fighters and tribesmen as well as provide the tribes with support, he said.
There are some 3,000 tribesmen fighting ISIL in Anbar, Flaih said. "It is a good number which we think could increase since the base of objection and resistance to ISIL is widening in an unexpectedly short timeframe," he said. "It is evident that the tribes are over the phase of fearing ISIL," he added.

The Anbar provincial council is co-ordinating efforts with the army in order to aid the tribes in their fight against ISIL, Anbar council chairman Sabah Karhout said at a Ramadi press conference. Events in al-Karma and other cities indicate that the revolution against ISIL due to the group's brutality and crimes has started, he said.
"We can no longer put up with this handful of criminals who want to slit our necks, grab our money and turn us into slaves at the point of their guns, with which they are quick to kill any person for a reason or for no reason," said Sheikh Hamid al-Fahdawi, chief of the Albu Fahd tribes in Anbar.
"We have decided we had better die fighting than die like sheep, without resistance. [ISIL leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi should know that just as the tribes have never submitted to anybody before, they will not do so with him now. He can ask al-Qaeda, which was here before him."
The tribes are calling on all those who have been misled by al-Qaeda to retract their allegiance to al-Baghdadi and "his gang", the sheikh said.

Anbar governor Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi said the tribes are capable of weakening ISIL, inflicting it with losses and refuting its lies and claims that its enjoys tribal support.
This is an Iraqi spring against ISIL, al-Dulaimi said, adding that it was not the result of any intervention or prior preparation but a spontaneous reaction.

Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi: "We must first overcome the conflicts
and fears within us and open our hearts and minds to others.
Washington Post, 27-8-2014

Anbar has been fighting terrorism for a long time. This fight has taken us on a journey of searching and contemplation. We have come to realize that, for us to defeat terrorists, we must first overcome the conflicts and fears within us and open our hearts and minds to others.
We are struggling in this war against the forces of darkness, but we are a people who can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is thousands of miles away. No matter how dim the light, we hope that it will shine brighter every day.
Iraqis have the right to live in peace. Our young people have the right to enjoy all the wonderful things that life has to offer. And we have a responsibility to give them hope that will empower them to live life to the fullest, to reach out to their counterparts in other nations and to turn away from death and extremism.
We have lost so many brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and friends, of all ages, while fighting this battle. We are proud, and we are fighting because we want to live free, because we want to rid the world of this cancer that has hijacked our religion, because we are concerned that a generation will be brainwashed to glorify death, suicide bombings, beheadings. History will not forgive us if we allow this cancer to spread. It must be stopped.


John McCain and the Caliph
by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 18 August 2014

On February 22nd, John McCain was in Lebanon. He met members of the Future Movement (the party of Saad Hariri) whom he charged to oversee the transfer of arms to Syria... Then, leaving Beirut, he inspected the Syrian border and the selected villages including Ersal, which were used as a basis to back mercenaries in the war to come.
In May 2013, Senator John McCain made his way illegally to near Idleb in Syria via Turkey to meet with leaders of the "armed opposition". His trip was not made public until his return to Washington.

In photographs released at that time, one noticed the presence of Mohammad Nour, a spokesman for the Northern Storm Brigade (of the Al-Nosra Front, that is to say, al-Qaeda in Syria).
Asked about his proximity to al-Qaeda kidnappers, the Senator claimed not to know Mohammad Nour who would have invited himself into this photo. The object of his illegal trip to Syria was to meet the chiefs of staff of the Free Syrian Army.
According to him, the organization was composed "exclusively of Syrians" fighting for "their freedom" against the "Alouite dictatorship” (sic).
Back from the surprise trip, John McCain claimed that all those responsible for the Free Syrian Army were "moderates who can be trusted" (sic).


Libya: Back in the Middle Ages
Mohamed Chtatou, Your Middle East, 25-8-2014

Libyans show portraits of Al-Aroor (Salafism) & Bin Laden (Al-Qaeda). Adnan Mohammed al-Aroor is a Saudi-based salafi cleric from Hama, Syria. He was seen by some as the non-official face of the anti-government movement in Syria. He favors arming the opposition and a foreign military intervention. (Wikipedia)
Since the start of the uprising, influential radical Islamist ideologues as diverse as al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, exiled Syrian Salafist cleric Sheikh Adnan al-Arour and Lebanon’s Dai al-Islam al-Shahhal have appealed to Muslims to travel to Syria to fight the Ba’athist regime
Al-Qaeda’s Iraq-based affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), and the Algeria-based al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have also interjected themselves into the campaign by publicly declaring their solidarity with the insurgency. (Jamestown Foundation, 13-11-2012)

The situation in Libya is truly alarming. The state has fallen into shambles and chaos roams everywhere. Many people miss the era of the dictator Kaddafi...; law and order reigned and Libya was respected and feared worldwide. Today, everyone pities the country and its people, and parliamentarians are praying for Western countries to come to their rescue.
The picture is grim, the country is back in the Middle Ages, ruled by numerous heavily-armed warlords with different ideologies and approaches to ruling post-Kaddafi Libya, most of which uphold a Salafist form of Islam, in many ways close to Wahhabism. The secularists, though representing a sizeable portion of the population, like in many parts of the MENA region, avoid defying the religious zealots for fear to be considered infidels and, as a result, excommuned.

Realizing that the country is sliding into chaos and falling into the grip of fierce religious extremists, the United States encouraged the retired General Khalifa Haftar to take on the Islamists. With the help of the air force, he launched a battle, which he dubbed karama (dignity), to regain control of the country. But his enterprise, hurriedly-designed and badly-coached, turned into a military disaster, and the Islamists emboldened by their success took control of Tripoli and Benghazi and gave the boot to both the paper government and the national assembly, which was obliged to move to Tobrouk in the east, a city close to Egypt – the anti-Islamist ally.


Sunni clerics: Collaborating with ISIL prohibited
Hassan al-Obaidi, Al-Shorfa, 28-8-2014

"Collaborating or dealing with ISIL elements is prohibited because it consolidates the continued project of killing and distorts the image of Islam," the Council of Anbar Scholars and Preachers said in a statement issued following its meeting in Ramadi this week.
The clerics signed a statement to be distributed across Anbar during their meeting. Islam is innocent of ISIL, which must be dealt with as a "force of aggression that occupies our land and should be expelled", the statement said.
The statement, read by council spokesman Sheikh Hatem al-Dulaimi, described co-operation with the Iraqi army as a duty, "to spare bloodshed and to stop the series of crimes that have taken place in the country". "It also helps ward off sectarian strife which that gang tries to ignite in Iraqi society," he said.

ISIL has distorted the image of Islam through its crimes and brutal false beliefs, said council member Sheikh Shaaban al-Obaidi, the imam of Haditha's city mosque. "Our religion is mercy and today ISIL turned it into violence, blood and terror," he told Mawtani, noting that all Muslims must stand up for their faith in the face of these threats.
"The fight against the group and its rejection by Sunnis will serve as a message to the rest of the sects and religions in Iraq" and will help avoid sectarianism, Ramadi mufti Sheikh Hameed Khalil told Mawtani.
All people should boycott and renounce ISIL, and co-operate with the Iraqi security forces in order to expel the group from their cities, he said. Iraqis must contact the security forces with any information they have on ISIL, he said, adding that "he who drags his feet or acts in a cowardly manner has participated in the killing of innocent people".

Anbar police chief Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Dulaimi said the clerics' statement marked a turning point in the "war on terror". "Now there is no doubt these terrorist groups do not represent Sunnis or Islam.."

Life under ISIL caliphate: systemic attack on Arab culture
Waleed Abu al-Khair, AL-Shorfa, 29-8-2014

The "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) is conducting a systematic campaign to destroy historical monuments, statues, manuscripts and religious structures in Iraq and Syria in an attempt to obscure Arab identity and impose its extremist views on others, experts told Al-Shorfa.
Since June, when ISIL gained control of Ninawa, it has been destroying relics, religious shrines and tombs, particularly in Mosul and Tal Afar, said Abdullatif Shihab, a historical assets expert and a school history teacher in Baghdad.

"Arabs have a long history in science, literature and all forms of art dating back to before and after Islam to the present day," Al-Azhar University Islamic history professor Hamed al-Zaini told Al-Shorfa.
"Arabs became more open to the world after Islam. They interacted with other nations, particularly in relation to the sciences and the arts, and architecture specifically," he said. "Any attempt to annihilate the historical relics that document these sciences is a crime against the whole of humanity," he said.
"The danger [of what ISIL is doing] and its consequences will not be apparent now, but will begin to emerge gradually over the coming years after the minds of the younger generations are imbued with ISIL's views and teachings instead of the genuine sciences, and the study of historical information [that defines] the authentic Arab identity is prohibited," al-Zaini said.
ISIL starts imposing its ideology by gaining control of educational institutions and curricula, banning books – particularly history, geography, science and religious texts – and imposing other books in their stead, al-Zaini said. These teachings and references "represent the most important part of Arab history and evidence of the greatness of this civilisation", he said.
"However, this terrorist group does not want any trace of history or the past to be left in order to build its own future to suit its whims and expansionist plans."

Political Islam, the enemy of Arabism
Talal Salman, Al-Monitor, June 16, 2013

Generations of Arabs have grown up believing that deeply entrenched ties relating to the reasons for life and the unity of goals — toward liberation and progress to restore national identity — would bring them closer to each other, regardless of the geographical scope and differences of climates and prevailing conditions.
With the beginning of the 20th century, these ties have started to crystallize in the form of a political-ideological principle confirming “Arabism” as a universal identity for Arabs, who have lived for centuries under foreign domination, most notably the Ottoman Empire’s hegemony over the majority of their lands.
In light of the constant struggle against the forces of colonialism and the increasing calls for liberation, independence and resistance to oppression, which lasted for centuries, the national identity has outstripped the religious one...
Arabs had to fight for themselves wars of liberation, to free their lands from the Western colonialism that replaced the Turkish hegemony. Arabism was the strong tie that unified them to achieve the goal of liberation and restore their national identity, despite the Western colonialism that divided their land into geographic "hotbeds" without any basis in history.

Political Islam saw "Arabism" as its sworn enemy. It viciously fought Arabism during its inception. Political Islam fought Arabism instead of rising against Western colonialism — whether the British domination in Egypt and Libya, or the French colonization in Lebanon and Syria. This is not to mention the Maghreb region, including Tunisia, Morocco and then Algeria, which sacrificed millions of martyrs in order to restore their national identity, of which Islam was one of its most important pillars.

Today, once again, political Islam has risen to power by riding on the wave of Arab uprisings. Burdened with the specter of oppression from the past, political Islam came to power, having in mind that Arabism, including nationalism at its core, is seen as a reflection of apostasy. Thus, political Islam has not been reluctant to join hands with the US administration, with a public endorsement from Israel. Political Islam failed to find any reason to be hostile against Israel.
The most remarkable thing is that the Muslim Brotherhood, after coming to power out of nowhere, has adopted the same policy as the Salafists. They have asked for US sponsorship and aid and have been hypocritical when it comes to their true stance toward Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia, who are — theoretically — their ideological opponents, as well as the Qatari Wahhabis. They took advantage of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, for camouflage and political reasons.
Thus, all factions of political Islam have come together to fight against Arabism... The leaders who raise the banner of Islam seek to evade their national duties, which is to fight the enemies of the nation, which aspire for unity and progress.

What's even more dangerous is that with their slogans and practices today, Islamists threaten the unity of the Arab nation and its aspiration for independence, sovereignty and dignity....
Instead, they are wasting the struggle of generations of mujahedeen, who fought until their last breath for freedom and dignity.


Turkey's 'Open Border' Policy With Syria
Nick Tattersall, Mariam Karouny, Business Insider, Aug. 26, 2014

ISTANBUL/BEIRUT (Reuters) - As Islamic State insurgents threaten the Turkish border from Syria, Turkey is struggling to staunch the flow of foreign jihadists to the militant group, having not so long ago allowed free access to those who would join its neighbor's civil war.
Thousands of foreign fighters from countries including Turkey, Britain, parts of Europe and the United States are believed to have joined the Islamist militants in their self-proclaimed caliphate, carved out of eastern Syria and western Iraq, according to diplomats and Turkish officials.

From Turkey, crossing the 900 km frontier into northern Syria was long relatively straightforward, as the Turkish authorities maintained an open border policy in the early stages of the Syrian uprising to allow refugees out and support to the moderate Syrian opposition in.
That policy now appears to have been a miscalculation and has drawn accusations, strongly denied by the Turkish government, that it has supported militant Islamists, inadvertently or otherwise, in its enthusiasm to help Syrian rebels topple President Bashar al-Assad.

"If Turkey had not opened its border with Syria ... to Islamic State (IS), if so many fighters had not crossed the border into Syria with their guns and equipment, and if this group had not used Turkey as a base, IS could not have amassed its current strength in Syria," wrote columnist Kadri Gursel on Al-Monitor, a news website focused on the Middle East.

One non-Syrian Islamist fighter who joined the Syrian rebel ranks in 2012 said he had crossed the border several times in the early stages of the conflict. "The borders were wide open. We used to get in and out of Turkey very easily. No questions were asked. Arms shipments were smuggled easily into Syria," he told Reuters from outside Syria.
Syria's rebels at the time enjoyed Western backing despite concerns about Islamist militants in their ranks, with Washington providing non-lethal aid and European states including Britain and France pressuring the EU to allow its arms embargo to expire.


Flashback: Salafists Vow to Fight Until
There Is An 'Islamic State in Syria'
By: Tulin Daloglu for Al-Monitor Turkey 16-1-2013

"Rami Youssef" is his revolutionary alias. This young man — aged 18 with dark features and a full, circular beard and shaved mustache in the tradition of the Prophet — has been in Turkey for less than a week. His elder brother said of Rami, "He wants to go back to Aleppo tomorrow and continue fighting."
Speaking to Al-Monitor on Jan. 15 via Skype from his brother's house in Gaziantep, Rami acknowledged that he is from the al-Suddik brigade of the Ahrar al-Sham Battalions (established in late 2011 as a Salafist group)...
"We are an Islamic group, and we want to establish an Islamic country when the [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad era ends," said Rami.
We will fight until we establish an Islamic state in Syria. Even the 75% of the Free Syrian Army is fighting with this in mind. We don't want it as strict as Saudi Arabia, but we will not let go until we achieve our goal." Rami argues that the fighting in Syria has been sectarian from day one. ... "It’s our jihadist duty.


Lavrov: "Exploiting terrorists for personal interests is unjustifiable"
Syrian Arab News Agency, 2/09/2014

Moscow, SANA – Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov said that terrorism cannot be fought in Iraq while at the same time it is overlooked in Syria, as terrorism should be fought on general bases and without double standards.
In a press conference with Tunisian counterpart Manji Hamidi held in Moscow on Tuesday, Lavrov stressed the need to prevent terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali, and other places from reaching their goals and to work on supporting political solutions to crises in these countries.
Extremists and weapons trading should be fought instead of toppling regimes for political ends like what happened in Libya,” Lavrov said, adding that claiming that some of the extremists are “good” in order to exploit them for personal interests is unjustifiable.
He highlighted that it makes no sense to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organizaiton in Iraq and at the same time say that there can be no cooperation with the Syrian government to fight this organization in Syria.


Rejecting an Alliance with Syria
to Counter the Islamic State is Madness
by Nile Bowie, CounterPunch, 2-9-2014


Shiite Militias, Baghdad, Iraq 2014

The rapid military advances made in recent months by the Islamic State, the radical jihadist organization that declared a caliphate over territories belonging to Iraq and Syria in June, has yet again prompted US military engagement in Iraq. Pentagon officials have branded the Islamic State as ‘apocalyptic’ and ‘an imminent threat’.
Washington has redeployed some 800 troops to Iraq since June, and the Obama administration has since conducted dozens of airstrikes in support of Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Iraqi Special Forces, who are fighting alongside Shiite militias once at the forefront of armed resistance to the US occupation.


Militias, Aleppo, Syria 2012-2014

Washington is widely expected to expand the scope of its military operation against the Islamic State into Syria, where the Obama administration has supported militias fighting since 2011 to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, said that his country would be willing to cooperate in fighting the Islamic State... The Obama administration then snubbed Damascus by stating it had no intention to coordinate its actions with the Syrian government. Washington also announced that it planned to ramp up support for ‘moderate’ rebel groups fighting Syrian security forces....
The policy being pursued in Syria – grounded in the strategy that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ – has not only unnecessarily prolonged the Syrian civil war and intensified the humanitarian calamity facing the region. It is the primary factor that has given rise to the Islamic State and any potential Western military escalation due to follow...


Bashar al-Assad & the Syrian Army

It is a strategic mistake for the Obama administration to press ahead with its campaign of regime change against the government of Bashar al-Assad, who can prove to be a useful ally in the fight against the jihadist militants... Assad clearly commands the majority support of the Syrian public, and his government does not pose a military threat to the US....
By attempting to replace unsavory regimes with more agreeable proxies, the policies of Washington and its allies have worked to fuel radicalism rather than contain it.

Nile Bowie is a columnist with Russia Today (RT) and a research assistant with the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).

Teaming up with Militias
Matt Bradley at the Wall Street Journal

Iraq’s prime minister thanked Shiite militias on Monday for helping break a two-month siege by Sunni insurgents on the town of Amirli, a victory speech that showed how the fight against Islamic State extremists is hardening the country’s sectarian divisions.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki omitted mention of the U.S. and Kurdish role in the battle on Sunday. Instead he called the fight “a second Karbala,” drawing a connection to a historic battle that cemented the split between Sunnis and Shiites.
During his speech, he was flanked by Hadi Al Ameri, the minister of transportation and leader of the Badr Corps, a Shiite militia founded in Iran during the 1980s.

An Iraqi army band performs at the main recruiting center during a recruiting drive for men to volunteer for military service in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Photograph: Karim Kadim/AP
For the U.S., teaming up with Shiite militias [..] could undermine American goals of promoting a unified Iraq and encouraging formation of a government that better represents all of the country’s major sects.
“We don’t deal with the Shiite militias,” a senior U.S. official in Iraq said on Monday. “But if you don’t acknowledge that they are out there and they are going to be working either alongside or linked in with the Iraqi security forces to accomplish a common goal against a common enemy, then we’re never going to get there.”

Iraq’s weakened national military has grown increasingly reliant on Shiite militias as well as fighters for the semiautonomous Kurdish region, which is already angling for independence.
From 2005-07 when Iraq teetered on the brink of sectarian civil war, Shiite militias ran death squads that targeted Sunnis. They were accused of ethnic cleansing, driving members of the rival sect out of entire neighborhoods in Baghdad and other cities.
At the same time, Sunnis who formed the backbone of an insurgency blew up Shiite shrines and carried out a campaign of violence against Shiites.

Sunni politicians have voiced loud opposition to Iraq’s reliance on Shiite militias in the past.
“We don’t really have an army. Maliki just created a sectarian army, working with militias,” said Hamid Al Mutlaq, a prominent Sunni politician. “A lot of criminals, killers and bad people were included.”
Even though militia leaders insist they will stop fighting once the Islamic State is defeated, few say they plan to give up their arms or their political influence.


Islamic State to Putin: We Are on Our Way to Russia
By Allison Quinn, The Moscow Times, Sep. 03 2014

Members of the Islamic State, a violent group of extremists presently terrorizing Iraq and Syria, have released a video threatening President Vladimir Putin and vowing to wage war in Russia's restive North Caucasus.
A video released by Al Arabiya and reportedly filmed in a seized airport in the Syrian province of Raqqa features an Islamic State fighter seated in a military jet, saying:
"This message is for you, Vladimir Putin! These are the aircraft you sent to Bashar [Assad], and we're going to send them to you. Remember that!" "We will with the consent of Allah free Chechnya and all of the Caucasus! The Islamic State is here and will stay here, and it will spread with the grace of Allah!"
Addressing Putin personally, the fighter added: "Your throne has already been shaken, it is under threat and will fall with our arrival [in Russia]. … We're already on our way with the of Allah!"
Russia has provoked condemnation from the Islamic State for seemingly having shielded the Syrian regime through the course of the country's civil war.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov took to Instagram on Wednesday to provide the first reaction by a Russian official to the Islamic State's warning, referring to it as a "childish threat."
"These jerks have nothing to do with Islam. They are the blatant enemies of Muslims all over the world. Naive people decided to threaten Chechnya and all of Russia with two aircrafts. They can sit in 2,000 aircraft and still not make it to Russia," Kadyrov wrote.
"I declare, with all responsibility, that whoever gets it into their heads to threaten Russia and speak the name of President Vladimir Putin will be destroyed as soon as he says it," he wrote...

On Tuesday, prior to the video's release, Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned the group's "horrific crimes" in an official statement, calling for China and Western countries to join forces in helping bring an end to the group's reign of terror.


US foreign policy and radical Islamists,
Patrick Martin, World Socialist Website, 4-9-2014

ISIS is not an incomprehensible emanation of Satanic evil, as portrayed by the Obama administration and the American media. It is a product of the policies of the US government over a protracted period of time.
US administrations have sought to build up the most reactionary and backward Islamic fundamentalist forces in the Middle East for many decades.
Throughout the Cold War, Washington mobilized them against secular nationalist leaders viewed either as potential allies of the Soviet Union or as direct threats to the profits and property of American and European corporations.

The CIA financed and mobilized right-wing Iranian Islamists in support of the 1953 coup that ousted the liberal government of Mohammed Mossadegh, which had nationalized the largely British-owned oil industry.
The US cultivated similar forces in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood, to undermine the regime of Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, who nationalized the Suez Canal and sought military aid from the Soviet Union.
In 1977, the CIA backed the coup in Pakistan carried out by Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who established a martial law regime based on Islamist fundamentalism that lasted until his death in 1988.
The security anchor of American policy in the Persian Gulf region, particularly after the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah of Iran, was an alliance with the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, which has long promoted the most reactionary forms of Islamic fundamentalism...
The state of Israel pursued a similar policy, promoting the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate in the occupied Palestinian territories as a rival to undermine the (pan-Arab) Palestine Liberation Organization of Yasser Arafat, which it viewed as the main enemy. Out of this effort would emerge Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Islamic fundamentalism became directly linked to terrorist violence through the US campaign of subversion beginning in the late 1970s against the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan. The CIA, working with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, recruited Islamic fundamentalists from all over the world, trained them in bomb-making and other terror tactics, and funneled them to the battlefield in Afghanistan. Prominent among these was the son of a Saudi construction multi-millionaire, Osama bin Laden...

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, carried out by a group of predominantly Saudi terrorists, the Bush administration declared its “war on terror” against the former US allies. However, this by no means signified a break with the Islamic fundamentalists, many now operating under the umbrella of Al Qaeda, as later events would show.
There remained a murky connection between US foreign policy and the radical Islamists, most notably in Iraq, Libya and Syria, three countries ruled by secular regimes that had largely suppressed the fundamentalist groups.


UK: Syria strikes possible without Assad invite
Al Arabiya News, 4 September 2014

Strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) inside Syria could be launched without an invitation from the Syrian government, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday, raising one of the first justifications for foreign military action in Syria without the government’s consent.
Speaking at the start of this week’s NATO summit in Wales, Cameron suggested that under international law, the West does not need an invitation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to attack ISIS within Syrian borders due to the illegitimacy of his government, according to a report in The Guardian.

Would a US/ NATO war in Syria be Legal in International Law?
By Juan Cole | Sep. 4, 2014

"ISIL is lawless and brutal, and can only be countered by its opposite.
Joining it in lawlessness and brutality is to surrender to it, not combat it."

Efforts are being made in Congress give to President Barack Obama the formal authority to conduct air strikes in Syria against ISIL. Vice President Joe Biden is now talking, as well, about a concerted and long-term NATO response to the fundamentalist movement, which controls desert territory and some oil resources in eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq.
There are limited grounds for military action in the United Nations Charter and associated treaty instruments to which the US is signatory.

* One is self-defense
So far none of the four parties with claims on governmental authority– the Syrian Baath Party of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, the Succor Front (Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate), ISIL, or the Free Syrian Army/ Syrian National Council, has attacked outsiders in such a way as to provide for a self-defense clause.

* Another is a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing the international use of force to deal with a threat to world order.
It might be interesting to see if US envoy to the UN, Samantha Powers, could get Russia and China to go along with a narrow UNSC authorization for the use of force against ISIL. Whether the US and NATO like it or not, the likelihood is that an attack in Syria on ISIL by them will benefit the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which is in the best position to pick up the pieces, which is what Russia and China would want. So if Russia and China are smart, they’d go along with a narrow anti-ISIL resolution.

Washington’s unconcern with the post-Axis world order it helped craft via the UN, which forbids unilateral wars of aggression, led to the quagmire in Iraq.

Obama once campaigned on a more lawful and multilateral international policy.
It is important not only that the president receive congressional authorization for a war (that is what it is) in Syria.
Any action should be conducted so as to strengthen, not weaken, international legality.

ISIL is lawless and brutal, and can only be countered by its opposite. Joining it in lawlessness and brutality is to surrender to it, not combat it.

Israel’s ‘land for lives’ is theft. Pure and simple
Robert Fisk, The Independent Sept 2, 2014

A thousand acres of Palestinian land stolen by the Israeli government – and the world has made the usual excuses.
The Americans found it “counter-productive” to peace, which is probably a bit less forceful than its reaction would be if Mexico were to bite off a 1,000-acre chunk of Texas and decided to build homes there for its illegal immigrants in the US.
But this is “Palestine” (inverted commas more necessary than ever) and Israel has been getting away with theft, albeit not on quite this scale – it is the biggest land heist in 30 years – ever since it signed up to the Oslo agreement in 1993.

Revenge

This latest land-grab not only reduces “Palestine” but continues the circle of concrete around Jerusalem to cut Palestinians off from both the capital they are supposed to share with Israelis and from Bethlehem.
It was instructive to learn the Israeli-Jewish Etzion council regarded this larceny as punishment for the murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.
The goal of the murders of those three youths was to sow fear among us, to disrupt our daily lives and to call into doubt our right [sic] to the land,” the Etzion council announced.
“Our response is to strengthen settlement.” This must be the first time that land in “Palestine” has been acquired not through excuses about security or land deeds – or on God’s personal authority – but out of revenge.

We’re back to the same old game. Abbas cannot negotiate with anyone unless he speaks for Hamas as well as the Palestinian Authority. As Israel knows. As America knows. As the EU knows.
But each time Abbas tries to put together a unity government, we all screech that Hamas is a “terrorist” organisation. And Israel says it cannot talk to a “terrorist” organisation which demands the destruction of Israel...

Flashback: Israel's Annexation Policy
Settlements (Zionist colonisation) & Extremist Religious Jews
Pulse Media, 26-1-2010

Over the last forty-three years, Israel has created so-called ‘facts on the ground’ in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), in defiance of international law. Since the Madrid/Oslo peace process, successive Israeli governments have continued to colonise Palestinian land at the same time as conducting negotiations.
The extent and scale of Israel’s illegal settlement project across the West Bank, as well as the road network, the Separation Wall, and other ways in which Israel maintains its rule over the OPT, has led some to believe that the creation of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state is impossible.

Perhaps one of the clearest indicators that there is no Palestinian state-in-waiting under Israel’s regime of control is East Jerusalem. Israel has three, inter-related strategic goals for East Jerusalem:
1.To make the claim that Jerusalem is the ‘eternal, undivided Jewish capital’ a physical reality - 2.Increase the Jewish presence/decrease the Palestinian presence (‘the demographic battle’) - 3.Cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

Since 1967, Israel has created a number of settlements in the unilaterally expanded city boundaries... The purpose of the settlements, both those close to the Old City, as well as the ‘outer ring’ (or Jerusalem ‘envelope’) has been to make the annexation of East Jerusalem a fait accompli.
As ex-deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Meron Benvenisti commented, the aim of the expropriation of land around Jerusalem just three years into the post-’67 occupation was “to encircle the city with huge dormitory suburbs ‘that would obviate any possibility of the redivision of Jerusalem’”.

Another strategy that has recently come under the spotlight is the targeting of Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem by extremist religious settler movements.
In Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinians are being evicted from their homes in order for religious Jews to move in, a phenomenon described by ex-Tourism Minister – and supporter of the settlers – Benny Elon as “a microcosm of the entire story of Jerusalem”.
Uri Bank, a political activist for the extreme-right Moledet party, described the process and objective in comments made in 2003: “We break up Arab continuity and their claim to East Jerusalem by putting in isolated islands of Jewish presence in areas of Arab population… Our eventual goal is Jewish continuity in all of Jerusalem.”

No citizenship

The Palestinians of East Jerusalem have ‘permanent residency’ status from the Israeli authorities. They are not citizens. In fact, as Attorney Yotam Ben-Hillel put it, Palestinians of East Jerusalem “are treated as if they were immigrants to Israel, despite the fact that it is Israel that came to them in 1967”.
The next time someone tells you that Israel is the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’, ask them why there are over 100,000 children in Jerusalem who were born without citizenship.
A Palestinian ‘resident’ does not need a permit to live and work in Israel, and is also entitled to health insurance and other social rights. However, ‘residents’ do not have the right to vote in national elections, can not automatically pass this status on to their children, and, are liable to having their ‘permanent residency’ revoked – which can happen without appeal or even notification.


"Little time left to make peace with the Arab national movement"
by Uri Avnery, CounterPunch, 6-9-2014

For six decades my friends and I have warned our people: if we don’t make peace with the nationalist Arab forces, we shall be faced with Islamic Arab forces. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will turn into a Jewish-Muslim conflict. The national war will become a religious war.

National conflicts are basically rational. They concern territory. They can usually be solved by compromise. Religious conflicts are irrational. Each side believes in an absolute truth, and automatically considers everybody else as infidels, enemies of the only true God. There can be no compromise between True Believers, who believe that they are fighting for God and get their orders straight from Heaven.

The Zionist movement was created by secularized Jews... Before the creation of the State of Israel, the Zionist enterprise was remarkably free of religious dogmas. Even today, extreme Zionists talk about the “Nation State of the Jewish People”, not of the “Religious State of the Jewish Faith”.
The Arab national movement was always decidedly secular. Some of its most outstanding leaders were Christians. The pan-Arab Baath (“Resurrection”) party, which came to dominate both Syria and Iraq, was founded by Christians.
The great hero of the Arab masses at that time, Gamal Abd-al-Nasser, though formally Muslim, was quite un-religious. Under the leadership of Yasser Arafat the PLO remained a secular body with many Christian ingredients.

So what has happened? How did nationalist movements turn into violent, fanatical religious ones?
In the US, evangelical Christians now play a large role in politics, in close cooperation with the Jewish right-wing establishment. All over the Muslim world, fundamentalist movements are gaining strength. And in Israel, a messianic Jewish fundamentalism is now playing a larger and larger role.
On the eve of the recent war, the commander of the Giv’ati brigade published an order-of-the-day to his officers. It shocked many.
[He] called for a holy fight to fulfill God’s will. Colonel Ofer Winter, who in his youth attended a religious-military school, had this to say to his soldiers on the eve of battle:
“History has chosen us as the spearhead of the fight against the Gazan terrorist enemy, who abuses and curses the God of Israel’s battles…I raise my eyes to heaven and call with you: ‘Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One’. Oh Lord, the God of Israel, make us succeed on our way, as we are going to fight for Israel against an enemy who curses your name!
If this officer were the only religious fanatic in the army, it would be bad enough. But the army is now full of kippah-wearing officers... The Zionist-religious party and its fanatical rabbis, many of them outspoken fascists, have been working for years to systematically infiltrate the army’s officer corps.

All this leads me to ISIS. With horrible savagery, elevated to a religious symbol, it sets out on its way to conquer the Muslim world.
Does it threaten Israel? Of course it does. If its dynamism holds, it will overthrow the Assad regime and reach the Israeli border, where other Islamic rebels have already shot the first few rounds this week.
With such a menace looming in the north, it seems ridiculous to fight against a miniscule Islamic-patriotic force in Gaza.
There may be very little time left to make peace with the Arab national movement, and especially with the Palestinian people – including both the PLO and Hamas...

Syrian civilians fight back against al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front
By Waleed Abu al-Khair, Al-Shorfa, 5-9-2014

Syrians in the Hama province town of Mhardeh told Al-Shorfa they are preparing to defend themselves against fighters from al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, al-Nusra Front (ANF), who in August reached the town's outskirts and began shelling the area.
Residents of the predominantly Christian town said they are taking up arms lest they suffer the same fate as Iraqis in Mosul and Syrians in Maaloula, whose Christian residents were targeted by the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL).

"The situation in the town has been tense since around the beginning of August, when ANF gunmen moved in very close to the town's limit." "The gunmen have been sniping and shelling the town, which has kept its residents in a constant state of panic..." "They have also targeted the electric power and telecommunication facilities, and a number of residents have been killed and wounded as a result of the daily shelling."
Around 15,000 Syrians live in Mhardeh, which is home to many Byzantine and Romanian ruins and boasts a wealth of cultural and archaeological heritage, Rahhal said, adding that Mhardeh's monastery is one of the most important in the country.
"The town is surrounded by a number of villages and towns that are inhabited by people of all Islamic sects, and relations among all villages have always been good..."

Retired Syrian army colonel Sami Demian, a strategy analyst at Egypt's Centre for Strategic and Regional Studies, said ANF's attempts to seize Mhardeh come in the context of their efforts to "save face" after recent defeats. From a military aspect, the town's location is key, he told Al-Shorfa. By controlling Mhardeh, ANF militants would be able to advance towards Hama and north Homs, he said.
There have been reports -- confirmed by extremist ideologue Saudi Sheikh Abdullah al-Mohaisany -- that ANF chief Abu Mohammed al-Joulani plans to attack Mhardeh, Demian said.
Al-Mohaisany, considered one of the most prominent ideologues of extremist groups fighting in Syria, has repeatedly called to attack Mhardeh...

Al-Qaeda in Syria
Carnegie endowment for international peace, 4-2-2014

Saudi jihadi preacher Abdullah al-Mohaisany first traveled to Syria in 2013 to support the “jihad” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and he quickly made his name by fundraising and propagandizing for hardline Islamist factions on social media.
He worked with all the main Salafi factions in Syria, including the ISIL, the al-Qaeda–aligned Nusra Front, and Ahrar al-Sham, which is part of a larger opposition alliance called the Islamic Front.

When tensions rose between the ISIL and other groups during the summer and autumn, Mohaisany sought to mediate but found his efforts rebuffed by the ISIL. In early January, major infighting erupted between the ISIL and other jihadi rebel groups.

Up until that point, Mohaisany had played his cards close to the chest and kept a friendly tone toward all factions—but now he issued a damning indictment of the ISIL...
He subtly conceded that certain groups in the anti-ISIL camp are not ideologically pure from a Salafi-jihadi perspective... Mohaisany ended his statement by calling on ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to leave Syria and return to Iraq.... He said that those ISIL members who want to stay and fight in Syria should instead join the Nusra Front or Ahrar al-Sham. In that way, they would be able to fight for Islam without causing disputes among the Syrians.
This was in exactly what al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, had demanded from the ISIL in May 2013, only to be publicly snubbed by Baghdadi. Mohaisany made several glowing references to Zawahiri, even quoting an oblique criticism of the ISIL from one of the al-Qaeda leader’s speeches: “We didn’t come to rule the Levant, but so that God’s law would rule the Levant.” ...
Many rebels have followed Mohaisany’s example in backing the demands of Zawahiri, saying the Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda) should be the main jihadi faction in Syria and the ISIL should return to Iraq.
The ISIL retains significant support among jihadis and has cultivated its own sources of funds and recruits in a younger generation of clerics and fighters. But most senior jihadi leaders are placing their chips with al-Qaeda and the Nusra Front.


Maysoon Al-Damluji: "National reconciliation
has been one of the major problems"
Asharq Al-Awsat, 6-9-2014

Iraq’s outgoing prime minister (Maliki) and speaker of parliament (Osama Al-Nujaifi,) have been offered the posts of vice president, along with Iraqiya bloc leader Iyad Allawi, as Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider Al-Abadi seeks to announce a new government before a September 10 deadline.
Iraq traditionally has three vice presidents; a Sunni, a Shi’ite and a Kurd. If all three candidates accept, Iraq’s Presidency Council would be missing a Kurdish representative; Allawi and Maliki are Shi’ites while Nujaifi is a Sunni. Iraq’s President, Fuad Massoum, is a Kurd, as is traditional according to the post-Saddam sectarian power-sharing system.

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat Iraqiya bloc MP Maysoon Al-Damluji said: “Allawi has agreed to assume the post of Vice President on the condition that he is given broad powers, particularly within the framework of achieving national reconciliation, the dossier he has been tasked with overseeing.”
“National reconciliation has been one of the major problems facing the country over the past years.., that led Iraq to the situation it is facing today,” she added.
The Iraqiya bloc MP defended Allawi’s conditions in the face of accusations of brinkmanship, maintaining that the moderate Shi’ite figure has a “comprehensive [national reconciliation] project,” and is “accepted by everyone.”
The Iraqiya bloc will also be given two ministerial portfolios by Abadi, however negotiations are ongoing regarding which ministries and ministers will be appointed.

Maysoon Salem Al-Damluji (born 1962) is a liberal Iraqi politician and women's rights campaigner. She was Iraq's Deputy Minister of Culture from June 2004 until March 2006 and is currently a member of the Council of Representatives for the secular Iraqi National List, or "Iraqiya", headed by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Al-Damluji is the president of the Iraqi Independent Women's Group (IIWG). (Wikipedia)

Maysoon Salem Al-Damluji:
"Our very identity is being stripped away"

I am very keen to speak about at the moment is the wholesale destruction of our cultural heritage by IS in Northern Iraq.
Cultural knowledge defines who we are and who we can be again. Iraq is not just an Oil field! Other than the terrible human tragedies that are taking place through the actions of IS, our very identity is being stripped away. Ancient monuments and shrines are being completely destroyed. In Mosul the essence of the city is being ‘ cleansed’.
In order to rise again as a strong nation we must have an understanding of where we come from in order to define who we are. If everything is destroyed this will be difficult... ( 'Our End Game – An Iraq that belongs to All of Us', Nina-Iraq, 29-8-2014)


Sisi forms an advisory council of scientists and experts
Aswat Masriya, September 06, 2014

CAIRO, Sept 6 – Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi formed on Saturday an advisory council of scientists and experts to provide technical advice during the implementation of national projects.
"The council includes a selected few of Egypt's scientists and experts who are capable of providing a strategic vision for the state in the future," Sisi said, according to presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi. The president added that the council would provide advisory opinions on projects such as the new Suez Canal development project.
The president added that the council will also contribute to correcting religious speech and upgrading the media's performance as well as improving the quality of education, according to a presidential statement.
The council includes a number of Egyptian scientists in the fields of elementary education, higher education, scientific research, energy, agriculture, geology, information technology, medicine and general health, psychological health and economy.


Positive and Negative Political Islam
FARS News Iran, 8-9-2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- Having created the “Made-in-the-West” monster of ISIS with substantial input from Persian Gulf Cooperation Council petrodollar cash, Washington says a “core coalition” is now clamoring for war to kill their prodigal offspring. Finding a "renewed purpose and a unifying threat,” the coalition will comprise of the usual suspects: Britain, France, Australia, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Denmark and the United States.


aleppo 2010 - 2012 - 2013

US military planners seek to also cobble together a collection of regional states to join the war – almost the same bunch that trained and weaponized “moderate” ISIS monsters, imaginary “Syrian democrats”, and other “good terrorists” to pioneer peaceful democratic dispensations in now ruined Syria.
Ironically, this is also the same “Men in Black” cabal that the coalition sent to Libya in the expectation of installing a democratic regime there. Instead, the coalition, in "Responsibility to Protect" mode, reduced once-stable Libya to a miserable failed state immersed in total anarchy and ravaged by rabid militias in their “Made-in-USA” desert boots, and called it “peace”!

But it’s not all doom and gloom yet: Despite all the vehement talk in Washington, it’s never too late to stop and kill “Caliph Ibrahim”, his mean PR imagery and "off with their heads” special.
The only meaningful resolution to the geo-political turmoil the US is causing is reconciliation with the Muslim world as well as dissociation with terrorist outfits and sectarian demons. Likewise, it must cease seeking to destroy governments, convulse cultures and manipulate Muslim nations through military means and sectarian strife.
Here is the fallacy though: The rise of ISIS, which has nothing to do with Islam, is being “explained” in the West as a natural outcome of Islamic fundamentalism when it could be better described as an intended collusion and predictable consequence of US foreign policy in the Middle East. If not, the “core coalition” can be rest-assured that ISIS cannot be “managed” in its current state, flush with weapons, cash and eager recruits....

Definition of political Islam:
Compassion to fight oppression and aggression

The political Islam that the spawn of Washington tries so hard to misrepresent will not go away with relentless bombing campaigns. It is a sense of drift and strategic confusion to assume that political Islam (compassion to fight oppression and aggression) can be bombed away – just like the sectarian/extremist views of ISIS.
If Americans can clear their heads of American innocence, they might realize that in dealing with ISIS they only need to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative...
The fatal flaw in American foreign policy is that political Islam hasn’t been allowed constructive expression and dialogue in the region yet. Such disregard of inconvenient facts is one more powerful reason why the “Men in black” cabal have been able to seize it as a misinterpreted “Jihadist” recruitment tool par excellence to make it heard and felt in their own insane, obscene and “special” ways.


Compassion is not religious business

"Let us never cease to feel compassion for those in want. Let us never tire of helping victims of injustice and oppression. He who puts his faith in the restoration of human dignity cannot be wrong." Poul Hartling, Danish Diplomat & Politician

"If compassion was the motivating factor behind all of our decisions, would our world not be a completely different place?" Sheryl Crow, American Singer/Songwriter

"Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” The Dalai Lama

“I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, human liberty as the source of national action, the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas” John F. Kennedy

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin at a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring." Martin Luther King Jr

"The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another." Thomas Merton

"...Why is compassion not part of our established curriculum, an inherent part of our education? Compassion, awe, wonder, curiosity, exaltation, humility - these are the very foundation of any real civilisation, no longer the prerogatives, the preserves of any one church, but belonging to everyone, every child in every school." Yehudi Menuhin

"Until mankind can extend the circle of his compassion to include all living things, he will never, himself, know peace." Albert Schweitzer