Sunday, November 15, 2015

Some Observations on the Carnage in Paris

by As'ad Abukhalil (aka The Angry Arab), 14/11/15

1) ISIS has gone on the offensive: in 10 days, they downed a Russian civilian airliner, massacred Hazara Shi'ites in Afghanistan, bombed the southern suburbs in Beirut and now Paris.

2) Western governments, the US and France in particular, along with their Saudi, Qatari and Turkish allies are directly responsible for the rise and expansion of ISIS through their policies in Syria, which have cradled and nurtured ISIS and its sister terrorist organizations.

3) There is no way on earth to stem the menace of ISIS and Al-Qa'idah-like organizations without going to their source in Saudi Arabia, which is the official headquarters of the Ibn Taymiyyah terrorist interpretation of Islam.

4) Ibn Taymiyyah* is the one thinker/theologian who has inspired and guided the thoughts and deeds of terrorists striking in the name of Islam.

5) Western governments AND media have been cynically silent about the victims of ISIS terrorism if the victims happen to be categorized as 'enemies.' Western governments AND media (just look at the dispatches from the New York Times and Washington Post over the last 4 years on Syria) have consistently ignored and even cheered sectarian massacres of Syrian and Lebanese civilians if they are perpetrated by foes of the Syrian regime.

6) Just as ISIS and Al-Qa'idah have brought terrorism to the heart of the West, Western governments have been exporting death and destruction to the Middle East and North Africa: from Mali to Libya to Egypt to Sudan to Somalia to Syria to Iraq to Pakistan to Afghanistan. Terrorism has been inflicted on people in those countries by ISIS and Al-Qaidah, and by the bombs and rockets and drones of Western governments.

7) All Arabs today have noticed something that cannot be ignored: how ISIS and Al-Qa'idah terrorists travel the world to inflict their terrorism but yet spare Israel and its interests. The relationship between the Zionist occupation entity and the Nusrah Front - the official branch of Al-Qa'idah in Syria - is no longer secret.**

8) ISIS cannot be defeated from the air as long as Western governments and their Gulf and Turkish allies assist it on the ground, directly or indirectly.

9) Just as Western powers created and nurtured the precursor of Al-Qa'idah in Afghanistan to defeat the communist regime there, those same powers have created and nurtured a deadly cocktail of the worst Middle Eastern terrorists ever in Syria in the hope that they would bring down the Syrian regime.

10) The story of ISIS terrorism began not only with the invasion of Iraq in 2003 but also with the creation of a vast safe haven for Islamist terrorism in Libya. Libya was the biggest gift to jihadi terrorism since the fall of the Taliban.

11) The US and France (along with the GCC countries) have been creating a culture of terrorism in the region by creating a terrorist haven in Syria in the name of fighting for 'democracy and secularism' - in the stupid language of John Kerry. They have done this by making dubious distinctions between various terrorists in Syria [and] through making allies of the Nusrah Front and its affiliates.

12) The myth of moderate Syrian rebels has to be discarded. The remnants of the Free Syrian Army are basically ISIS-in-waiting.

13) Western correspondents in Beirut in charge of covering the savage war in Syria are all guilty (with the exception of Patrick Cockburn) of misinforming and misguiding their leaders. They have been ignoring and JUSTIFYING the scores of car bombs and war crimes by Syrian rebels in Syria and Lebanon because they see them as fitting in with the struggle against the Syrian regime.

14) Western human rights organizations are also guilty of creating a culture of bogus human tights rhetoric which has belittled and even justified the war crimes of Syrian rebels (see the latest HRW report on the placing of Alawite women in cages).

15) French policy under the socialist government has even elevated its relationship with the Saudi and Qatari regimes - the two governments most responsible for sponsoring, financing and arming the cocktail of dangerous terrorists in Syria.

16) It is high time for Western governments to give up on their policies and wars in Syria, not to preserve the Syrian regime (as Iran and Russia would like), but to exclude from the future both sets of war criminals there.

17) I don't like Bashar Al-Asad one bit and I have wanted the overthrow of that regime since 1976 when its army invaded Lebanon and smashed my dreams of a progressive, leftist revolution in Lebanon, but who can now disagree with the warnings given by him 3 years ago that those terrorists that the West are now supporting would one day strike at the heart of Europe? Syrian regime supporters are today reprising those words and re-airing them.

18) The Saudi and Qatari regime media (Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiyya in particular, but others as well) have created a culture of terrorism in which crimes against civilians who happen to be Shi'ites or Alawites or Christians or Sunnis who happen to reside in 'regime-dominated areas of Syria' are justified on a daily basis. Just yesterday, for example, Saudi and Qatari regime media provided ample justification and rationalization for the crimes, and lionized the terrorists who perpetrated them. This culture of terrorism is responsible for the climate in which the crimes in Paris have taken place.

19) Western governments can't have it both ways; they can't continue to support Gulf regimes and arming them while claiming to want to fight terrorism.

20) US and Western governments and media are responsible for a culture of selective denunciations and condemnations: they are silent about the daily crimes committed by that key Western ally, the terrorist state of Israel, against Palestinians.

21) Arabs/Muslims can't reach an agreement against all manner of terrorism as long as Western governments and Arab regimes continue to be selective in condemning terrorism.

22) Western support for dictatorships in the Arab world is responsible in many ways for the creation of ISIS and other terrorist groups.

23) Terrorist groups in the Middle East have been used and misused by local regimes, Western powers and Israel for decades.

24) Yes, the Iraq invasion of 2003 has proven to be exactly what Jacques Chirac warned it would be: a dangerous Pandora's box.

25) Obama has really not deviated from the dangerous policies of Bush, and his expansion of wars in the Middle East has fueled ISIS.

26) The Islam of Arab regimes is a dangerous and conservative Islam. It cannot be changed by Western military commanders, but it can be changed by the people of the region if they are allowed to think freely and choose: but neither the West nor the Arab regimes want the Arabs to think freely. Al-Azhar University has become, through bribes, a tool of the Saudi Wahhabi regime.

27) It is not sectarian to declare Saudi Wahhabi doctrine as the official doctrine of jihadi terrorism. Wahhabiyeh is not a sect: it is a school of fanatical thought and terrorist practice.

28) How do Western powers fight ISIS? They foolishly rely on a royal buffoon in Jordan and on the UAE regime to engage in the promotion of a kinder Islam in social media. The fools in DC who think that those potentates have any standing among young Muslims need to have their heads examined.

29) Western powers and media are all hypocrites: they still cheer or cover up the war crimes of ISIS and Nusrah in Syria if the affected victims happen to reside in Syrian regime-controlled areas.

30) There should be a categorical end to external support of ALL Syrian rebels and to the Syrian regime by all sides.

31) Finally, why does the media coverage portray these massacres as West-vs-Islam when many of the victims in Paris are likely to be Muslims, and when ISIS in the Middle East kills far more Muslims than non-Muslims, despite the fact that members of the US Congress only see Jews and Christians as victims?

[*Ibn Taymiyyah's (1263-1328) writings are a major source for the wahhabi/salafi movements in Islam, which reject modernity and advocate that society should emulate that of Muhammad and the early believers, as literally described by the Qur'an and the hadith;**See my 3/7/15 post Those Rebels, That Hospital, Our Ambassador & His Wife.]

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