I posted yesterday on ISIS (DAESH), its genesis, its creators, and its enablers. I specifically opined that:
“I have often posted, as have others, that nobody is as responsible for the bloody mess in Syria as Mr. Erdogan of Turkey and his Arab Wahhabi allies (the Al Saud princes, Al Thani of Qatar, and other Persian Gulf Islamists). Together these anti-democratic forces, with some misguided Western cooperation, managed to turn what started as a legitimate demand for Syrian democracy into a nightmare. One more Arab uprising became a Wahhabi Salafi terrorist campaign out of control, fed by petro-money, petro-weapons, and petro-volunteers. The Saudis and Qataris count on being far away from any spillover in their on police states on the Gulf, with no common borders with the inferno that is Syria. Turkey does not: their miscalculation is next door………….”
I take some of that back. The Saudis are not that far away from the domain of ISIS after all. Today a second terrorist bombing against Shi’a Friday (Sabbath) prayers was committed in Qatif, Saudi Arabia. More than twenty one have died so far, tens of others wounded. ISIS claimed responsibility: it looks like ISIS is coming back to the Saudi home to roost.
The incessant Saudi propaganda message that the attack on Yemen is an attack on the Shi’a enemy is bearing fruit at home. Not only is this stalemated war popular among the Wahhabi faithful, it has inspired them. For now, but the Saudi body bags are mounting along the border, a warning against any illusion of what kind of Saudi defeat a ground war will entail.
ISIS is returning home, hitting the softest Saudi target, its Shi’a minority in their mosque. Just as terrorist Jihadis, all graduates of the Wahhabi school of thought, have been doing in Iraq for a decade. ISIS would not dare hit the Wahhabi mosques: that is their bread and butter. That is where much of their money and most of their volunteers come from. That is the original Wahhabi home of ISIS or DAESH, as it is of Al Qaeda and Al Nusra and all the other global and regional terrorist groups………..
More of the Jihadi chickens are coming back home to roost………..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“Unthinkable just a decade ago, the main government forces leading the battle are Shiite fighters—the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) that are under the control of militia leaders. These forces’ main partners are Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah. U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey has called the situation “the most overt conduct of Iranian support” since the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) began…………… The White House seems to view growing Iranian involvement in the war as a reality that cannot be wished away, which is probably true, but also as a step forward in U.S.-Iranian relations, which is arguably naive. Events on the ground in eastern Iraq suggest a different way of looking at the issue. If anything, the battle for Tikrit has shown that there is a whole side of the war from which the international community has been deliberately excluded. Iran and its Iraqi proxies have been carving out a zone of influence in eastern Iraq…………”
His title asks: “What to Do With Iraq’s Shia Popular Mobilization Units?”
Everyone, people of every faith and every sect are involved in this war: Wahhabi, Sunni, Shi’a, Christian, Jewish, possibly even Buddhist and Zoroastrian and Cargo Cultist. There are the Sunni and Wahhabi and Shi’a warplanes, which bomb targets in Syria and Iraq. There are also Christian, Jewish, and no doubt a few atheist bombers as well among them. I am not sure what the Caliph’s true faith is.
Those warplanes from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and possibly others? They are not flown by Shi’as: these are excluded from flying warplanes or doing sensitive military and security jobs. Not to mention that everybody on the other side, on the dark side, is Wahhabi, from the ISIS terrorists to their financiers to their female slaves and concubines.
This is not a sectarian war for the Levant anymore. It is now a sectarian world war that has gone beyond the Levant. It is a Middle East and North Africa war. A MENA War that goes beyond what the West usually calls a Sunni-Shi’a war: it is Wahhabi terrorists against everyone else, be they Sunnis or Shi’as. It now stretches from Iraq and Syria through Egypt and Libya, all the way deeper into North Africa. With the possibility of other outlying fronts in remote areas of Asia and Africa. It has attracted the misguided faithful from all over the world. So, both sides, nay all sides, in ‘this war’, have their powerful “International Brigades“.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“The Hezbollah-ization of Iraq’s military and security forces has been overseen by the IRGC-QF, another U.S.-designated terrorist entity, which is headed by Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, a man personally sanctioned by the Treasury Department for his role in propping up Bashar al Assad’s mass murderous regime in Syria. In Iraq and Syria the enemy of our enemy is not our friend, he is our enemy, too………. Another one of Suleimani’s major proxies, the Badr Corps, is headed by Hadi al-Amiri, who happens to be Iraq’s former minister of transport, in which capacity he was accused by the U.S. government of helping to fly Iranian weapons and personnel into Syria……………….”
The title of this article reads like a concocted alibi for expected failure against ISIS in Iraq. And we’ve all had the apparently mistaken belief that ISIS sprang from Al-Qaeda which sprang from Saudi money and Wahhabi ideology and volunteers! Now we have beens set straight: the Iranian mullahs are behind ISIS. Disguised as Wahhabi Jihadis.
Mr. Netanyahu doesn’t dabble much in Muslim sectarianism, otherwise I would have suspected him of being behind this article. The best of Saudi royal media couldn’t have written anything more sectarian than this piece. It almost reads as if written by a Hariri pro-Saudi (Lebanon’s March 14) journalist for NOW Lebanon, or by some American neoconservative hawk from one of their many well-funded think tanks. Making the case for yet another Western war in our region (hence the netanyahu angle)………..
This is not to deny some of the basic facts in the article. The Iraqi militias are nasty ombres. The Iranian are active and scheming in Iraq, as is almost everybody else that I can think of outside Monaco. I am not sure about the Hezbollah angle: this sounds like a “Lebanese” partisan insertion. Don’t they say that “all is fair in war and love“? Everybody seems to believe that, even if they profess not to.
But then the Iranians, and some others in the neighborhood, have been stung from Iraq in the past, invaded and attacked with WMD. The Western powers, some of whom supplied the WMD or its ingredients to the Baathists, did not seem to object to either at the time………..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Jan 2, 2015: Reports of protests against anti-Muslim attacks in Sweden.
Jan 5, 2015: Neo-Nazi anti-Muslim immigrant rallies in Germany.
Jan 7, 2015: Salafi terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Jan 9, 2015: Two hostage situations involving Salafi terrorists in the Paris area.
What has gone below the radar in recent years is the low level Muslim vs. Muslim campaign being waged across Europe. It is a one-way Salafi vs. (other) Muslim campaign. It is overshadowed by the general Jihadi threat in Europe and by the sectarian war being waged by Wahhabi salafis against everybody else in the Middle East and by the Western military campaigns in the Middle East.
It is one-sided campaign in Europe by Salafis against other Muslims, especially Shi’as. It verges on violence, although it is more political so far. Salafi (Sunni) groups automatically strongly oppose the establishment of Shi’a mosques in European cities and try to derail them. Even as they complain of European prejudice against Muslims (which also exists).
Sometimes it gets violent. Recently a Belgian court sentenced a Moroccan to 27 years in prison for setting fire to the largest Shi’a mosque in Brussels and killing its Imam. He was acquitted of committing “terrorism” but convicted of setting the fire and causing death. This is not the first time Salafi terrorist plots have been uncovered in Europe against other Muslims (usually Shi’as). A Salafi who was arrested recently in North America admitted that he had plans to attack Shi’a establishments.
What some of the Wahhabi Imams in Europe teach is not just to go to the Middle East and fight the Western infidels. What the dominant message is, what resonates more, is their exhortation to go to the Middle East and fight/kill ‘other’ Muslims who are different. The thousands of civilians who are massacred every year by terrorist bombs and mass murdered in Iraq are Muslims. As are almost all those beheaded and shot in Syria.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Have Yourself a Merry Little——-> Kenny G. Holiday
“Saudi security forces have killed four armed men in a clash in Awamiya region, the Interior Ministry said. The troops raided a hideout for fighters in the eastern Awamiya town and killed the four in an exchange of fire on Saturday, the ministry said. The dead, described the government as terrorists, were behind the killing of a member of the security forces and wounding of another last Sunday, a ministry spokesman quoted by the Saudi state news agency SPA, said on Saturday. Among the dead was the leader of that attack, it said. Awamiya has been the focal point of unrest among Saudi Shia since protests in early 2011 calling for an end to perceived discrimination against the minority sect and for democratic reforms…………”
Everybody who rises or publicly or privately criticizes the Saudi regime is either a terrorist or a foreign agent. It doesn’t matter if they are Shi’a or Sunni or Wahhabi. Other GCC media tend to go along with that or just ignore it. Of course, those who resist police attacks or fire on them are also called so.
Regardless of whether those killed are armed or not, the Saudi princes are in an unusually good position for a regime that is the most repressive in the Middle East and one of the most repressive in the world. Its opposition is severely divided. There is a Shi’a opposition, a Sunni opposition, and an extremist Wahhabi opposition. But like almost all opposition groups in the Persian Gulf GCC countries they are plagued by tribal and sectarian divisions.
The tribe and the sect create demarcation lines that these opposition groups rarely cross, if ever. These different groups work on separate planes, and do not cooperate with each other. Once I likened them to little children who play around each other but not with each other. The main Saudi Wahhabi opposition even accuses the ultra-sectarian regime of being ‘too soft‘ on Shi’as.
Advantage, the rulers. At least for the time being.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Yesterday was Ashura, a special day in a special month in the Middle East. But to some it was just another day that brought new opportunities for more sectarian bloodshed.
We occasionally complain about discrimination against Muslims in Europe. That is mainly because we expect better, much better, in the Western democracies than we do in our own “Islamic” region, where your tribe or faith or sect decides your fate. Where your tribe or faith or sect often seals your fate, in some places quite violently.
Just read the headlines from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and other places. In Iraq it is a daily occurrence, with cowardly terrorist bombings of unarmed civilian. In dysfunctional nuclear Pakistan, from Quetta to Karachi, it is becoming an almost daily occurrence. Even Afghanis kill their compatriots of another sect in Pakistan.
The news headlines yesterday did not bring anything new. From Pakistan to Saudi Arabia and through Iraq, many people were targeted and killed and maimed simply because of their sect. Most of the victims of terrorist killings were as usual Shi’as. It was a good day for mass killings from a Wahhabi Jihadist point of view, given that it was a special Shi’a day of pilgrimage. Many unarmed humans packed together practicing their faith, risking their lives, some of them knowing the risks. The killers were also Muslims. It was as usual part of an onging systematic campaign of killings, a one-way terrorist war against Shi’as. There is some occasional sporadic misguided retaliation, mainly in Pakistan or in Iraq, but the trend is clear.
This war goes beyond our native region, spreading into Europe. I recall at least one case of a planned mosque in a Scandinavian city a few years ago. The strong opposition to the mosque did not come from the native Europeans. It came from other dominant Muslims who were of another sect. A Shi’a mosque was strongly opposed, fought against, by Wahhabis in a European country. Establishing a Shi’a mosque is even harder, nay impossible, in many Muslim countries. It is impossible, verboten, in places that have strong Wahhabi influences like Indonesia, Malaysia or Egypt. In these places people have to practice their rites ins secret and risk arrest or worse. Sounds familiar to some in old Europe, doesn’t it?
It is almost like a Wahhabi crusade, absofuckinglutely no pun intended. As violent and with as much indiscriminate mass killings as in the original European crusades.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“Bahrain witnessed mass pro-democracy protests against the royal family of King Hamad Al-Khalifa in February 2011 before authorities, backed by neighboring countries, crushed the uprising. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf neighbors sent troops into Bahrain in March, reinforcing a crackdown that led to accusations of serious human rights violations…………….”
The Bahrain uprising of 2011-14 and its suppression continue to create tensions among the GCC countries and around the Gulf region. Initially, only the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to a lesser extent Qatar joined the Saudis in sending forces to crush the uprising in 2011. Kuwait, given her own recent experience of foreign invasion and occupation, declined that invitation. That has created a certain amount of tension between certain elements within the two countries.
A certain section of the population in Kuwait, mainly but not exclusively the Shi’as, sympathized with the Bahrain uprising, but the so-called main opposition forces sided firmly with the regime and with the Saudi intervention. By the end of 2011 support for regime or opposition in both Bahrain and Syria were firmly largely based on sectarian factors. This is probably not so surprising, given the strong tribal and Wahhabi and sectarian factors at work.
Now a Shi’a member of the Kuwait parliament has drawn the ire of the Bahrain authorities for making critical statements on the social media. The same assembly member was also reported to support the Syrian Al Assad regime even before the Wahhabis took over the Syrian opposition. Which makes him also somewhat hypocritical. He sparred briefly on Twitter with the corpulent foreign minister of Bahrain (another of the Al Khalifa), and this has displeased the Bahrain potentates. So they reportedly complained to the local authorities about this parliamentarian. The local authorities are making the right polite noises about respecting the brotherly and sisterly and neighborly state and by implication its brotherly and sisterly and neighborly little potentates.
So far, so good. Kuwait is one rare Gulf state were political debate and controversy have been usually a guaranteed part of public life since before independence. So far without much sisterly or brotherly or neighborly interference. But another interesting factor has been the position of the Kuwaiti ‘opposition’. What I would call the tribal Islamist Wahhabi-liberal opposition, because these three strains dominate and lead it.
They have been noisily demanding more rights of free speech in front of the world media, right? No, not so fast. Many of their more prominent members have always supported the repression in Bahrain and the absolute Saudi oligarchy. Now they have sprung again on social media to demand that the government crack down on those who criticize these foreign governments. (Some but not all of their influential members are also sympathizers and supporters of such humanitarian groups as Al-Nusra and ISIS and other assorted cutthroats in Iraq and Syria. But that is another issue).
Cheeky monkeys: they want the same government that they complain is stifling their own right of dissent to ban criticism of foreign governments, albeit sisterly and brotherly and neighborly governments. Can it be the tribal factor? Can it be the Wahhabi factor? Can it be the sectarian factor? Can it be all of the above? Yes, it can………….
It could be hypocrisy and chutzpah, probably on both sides, rolled in one joint and smoked with regional prejudice……….
“Police detained Bahraini human rights campaigner Maryam al-Khawaja after her arrival in the Gulf country on Saturday, her mother said. Al-Khawaja has dual Bahraini and Danish citizenship. Her mother, Khadija al-Musawi, told The Associated Press that her daughter was refused entry after presenting her Danish passport and a Bahraini identification card, and at one point was surrounded by police. The activist has said she wanted to visit her jailed father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who is on hunger strike to protest his detention. Lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi told the AP that prosecutors plan to press charges against al-Khawaja that include insulting the king and police……………”
How can anybody ever ‘insult’ that particular king and police? Is that even possible in this days and age and in that venue?
The father, Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, has been under arrest almost since the beginning of the Bahrain uprising in 2011. He is reported to have undergone torture. Another daughter was released just recently from prison but faces other charges from the ruling family. She will probably spend more time in prison. This one, Maryam, has been outside Bahrain, traveling for the cause of her country. Most Arab countries like Egypt have banned her from entering their territory, in deference to the Saudi princes and/or local Salafis. Oddly, such is the poisonous sectarian atmosphere encouraged by the Al Saud and other Wahhabi propaganda that some Arabs who have revolted against their own regimes are also against the Bahrain uprising.
She remained outside prison by remaining outside the occupied country. Now she is back home and in prison, arrested upon arrival at the airport, allegedly pending an investigation. She will probably start spending more time in prison as well. At some point the whole family will probably be in a regime prison at the same time.
The Bahrain ruling family is moving fast toward Saudi-ization of its court and legal systems. The room for dissent and criticism is narrowing by the week. As the late Egyptian poet Ahmad Fuad Negm reportedly opined once: “The poor Bahraini. He gets arrested by Pakistani or Jordanian policemen, he is tormented by Syrian or Jordanian interrogators, and he is tried and sentenced by an Egyptian judge. He, the accused native is the only Bahraini in the courtroom“. Or something to that effect.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Speaking of Ferguson, Missouri:
How many white boys would be should shot with at least six bullets after lifting a box of cigars from, say, Seven Eleven, and the killer gets away with it (which he will in Ferguson)?
How many white teenagers would be shot to death by a punk self-appointed vigilante (who acts against police order) in Sanford, Florida, just for wearing a hoodie and walking the street peacefully at night (and the killer gets freed by a jury as happened in the case of George Zimmerman)?
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum