Tag Archives: Al Qaeda

America is Blackmailed Again by Former Allies (and Its Own Leaders)……

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” Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage……………..“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg…….”

This will probably become a hot election issue. Obama supports the Saudi position, so reportedly does House Speaker Paul Ryan. Hillary Clinton is practically clinging to the Obama coattails to win the nomination and the election. This may be handing the Republicans a new issue to beat the Democrats with. Maybe.
The New York Daily News already festooned its cover today with a photo of the wayward “allies” and a huge headline: ROYAL SCUM. No doubt Barack Obama and both Clintons cringed at that picture.
RoyalScum

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Osama Bin Laden in Love: the Devil We Knew and the Slavery of ISIS……….

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“My precious wife. ………… I know you are facing a psychological crisis, and I have been thinking of a way out so that we can be together sooner or later. My beloved wife: you should know that you fill my heart with love and beautiful memories and I remember your patience with the hardships for my sake, especially during the prison period. I shall never forget your favor and patience and loyalty to me. My eyes tear up whenever I think of you and our separation. You should know that I will never marry another wife for I can never find a woman like you. I shall remain in the land of Jihad until we meet again………. You have been the best wife in this world and I ask Allah to make you my wife in the other world………… And you, the apple of my eye and most precious of what I have: if you wish to remarry after I am gone I have no objection but I strongly want you to be my wife in Paradise and a woman ho has had tow husbands is allowed to choose one of them on judgment day……….”
(FYI: this is my own abridged partial translation from Arabic. He also pines for his sons and daughters but I left that part out).

Remember when we thought terrorism could not get any worse? So some Westerners now know that Osama Bin Laden was human: he had his weaknesses. I am not comparing him with Dick Cheney here, but he clearly had his human side. If you can forget the thousands who died in the United States, Britain, Bali, Spain, East Africa, and Iraq. Which demands a brief and perhaps superfluous comparison with one Ebharim Awwad (Al Samarrai) also known as the silly Caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

Remember when we thought terrorism could not get any worse? It is like a generational shift. Bin Laden was a devout Wahhabi, wtf that means nowadays. He had a college degree and a resume of activity that spanned good Jihad (in Afghanistan although I beg to differ) and bad Jihad (after 1990). He had the usual family life from a Wahhabi perspective: three or four wives, children that he loved at least as much as anyone in the West loves his children. He was also the mastermind of terrorism across the world. His charisma and connections and  money carried the old Al Qaeda to success. His death has hurt the terrorist group: the Egyptian who succeeded him, Al Zawahri, is probably even less charismatic than the silly Caliph of Riqqa and Mosul.

Remember when we thought terrorism could not get any worse? In Iraq, Al Qaeda experienced its first metamorphosis. With the murderous genocidal Jordanian terrorist Abu Mus’ab Al Zarqawi, it became a new uber-sectarian animal. That was how he plunged Iraq into a violent sectarian war, with help from some of the violent Shi’a militias.

Osama was also apparently a man in love, or whatever passed for love during his years of separation from his wives, especially his favorite wife. Could have been the lengthy period of forced celibacy after 2001. The former jailbird who is now the silly Caliph of ISIS (DAESH) would not pine for a wife: he would just walk to the nearest slave market and buy himself a couple of concubine.
That last sentence tells us how much things have changed since 2001. It is a new animal that has almost no limits to what it would do. Al Qaeda of 2001 was the devil we knew, this new one is a devil we should never have had to know. Obviously something went very wrong after 2001. The next step will be pinning the blame on the donkey……….    

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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About Wild Houthis, AQAP in PDRY, and Forces Loyal to a Zombie……..

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Back to Yemen.
Some Western media have taken to reporting impossible things like: “Houthis are fighting militias loyal to president Abd Rabuh Hadi….
FYI: they may be fighting the Houthis, but few people, if anyone, in Yemen are loyal to Mr. Hadi. He is not the kind of person that inspires loyalty of anyone outside his own family. Why else would the wily former strongman Ali Abdallah Salih pick him as his vice president? Why else would I occasionally call him Hadi Al Zombie (a lady suggested that last name once)?
Many in the southern provinces of Yemen would fight any authority in Sana’a, because they want to secede back into South Yemen (or maybe the original PDRY). And Al Qaeda (AQAP) Wahhabis are also spread in the south and they would fight the Houthi (heretics) any day. However, I do suspect that the Houthis may have bitten more than they can handle. They may have given their Wahhabi opponents an excuse to foment a sectarian war in Yemen. And they may be overextended by now, far away from their stronghold of S’ada in the north.

So, Abd Rabuh Hadi (Al Zombie) may be a nice guy, he probably is, but forget the nonsense about “forces loyal to Hadi“.
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Finally some Sensible Advice on Yemen for Obama………

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“The so-called Houthis (a name the group doesn’t use) who have seized power in Yemen’s capital have Iranian friends but the relationship is unclear and we should not jump to facile assumptions of a close Iranian alliance. We need understanding of what the Houthis seek, whether we share interests and whether our financial and military assistance can help leverage political stabilization; the kind of judgments that can only be made on the ground in an evolving situation. The Saudis have strong interests in Yemen and strong influence with some tribes. We should try to cooperate with the Saudis because of their strong influences, our broad relationship with them and the depth of their interest. But we cannot rely on their or anyone else’s analysis…………..”

The Saudis, especially those along the Red Sea, are historically and tribally and in some cases genetically tied to Yemen. But their rulers have always been proprietary about Yemen: in the 1930s they stole a big chunk of northern Yemen and in the 1960s they armed and funded tribes that fought the Republican regime and the Egyptian army.

Yet they have also always kept Yemen at arms length in terms of their own collective arrangements. When the Saudi King Abdullah, in a moment of passing madness in 2011, invited faraway Morocco and humorless Jordan to apply for GCC membership, he ignored Yemen. Yemen received some GCC aid over the years, but apparently not enough to lift its economy, and local divisions and corruption took care of the rest.

The GCC princes and potentates basically appointed General Hadi as president of Yemen, although they had to swallow and accept the local corrupt Muslim Brotherhood (Islah) as his partners. I know, he won with an astounding 99.8% of the vote, barely below the 100% of the vote a king or a tribal ruler in the GCC normally wins his non-elections (at birth).
The Houthis may have bitten more than they can chew or swallow with their new move in Sana’a. Trying to rule ALL of Yemen, even with willing strong allies, is as tough as trying to rule ALL of Afghanistan (without American military support). They apparently know that: they seem eager to compromise and share power, as indicated by their proposed 500 member council.

The Saudis and the other GCC potentates have their own interests in Yemen. In some cases they are colored by fears and reasonable worries of Iranian influence at their southern flank, in other cases they are colored by deep Wahhabi sectarian prejudices. One thing is certain: they are never concerned about democracy and freedom, unless it is to oppose them. Some of the potentates might be delusional enough to feel that they can now make a deal with their wayward Al-Qaeda kin (AQAP) to salvage influence in Yemen after cutting aid.

The article has some good sensible advice for President Obama. As for the positions of some members of the U.S. Congress and the Senate, they can be influenced by lack of information, or by moneyed lobbyist pressure, or both.
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

On Hezbollah, Israel, and Arab Hopes for War………

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Some Arab media on the Gulf and their ‘attached analysts’ often taunt Hezbollah when Israel attacks in Syria or Lebanon and does not get a response. The same controlled media and the same ‘attached analysts‘ are also quick to blame Hezbollah for recklessness when it responds to Israeli attacks, as they did this week. But that is politics.

Some of them are no doubt disappointed and dismayed that none of the skirmishes and little wars between Hezbollah and the IDF ever lead to a larger war. Their hope is that it might somehow lead to the eradication of the Lebanese Party which is close to the mullahs in Iran. I have seen some of them salivate ‘audibly’ at the prospect of an israeli all-out war in Lebanon, and that includes oligarchs as well as Salafi Islamists. Perhaps they think of how the 1982 Israeli invasion led to the expulsion of Arafat and the PLO from Lebanon. There have been sporadic unconfirmed but credible reports that some of them have lobbied for direct American action in Lebanon as well. Of that I also have no doubt.

But we know, most of us, that wars often turn out different from the expected. The Israeli invasion and occupation of 1982 lead to the rise of Hezbollah, a much fiercer foe than the PLO groups ever were. They prefer to forget that the invasion of Iraq led to the rise of AQI and ISIS, and that the Arab Wahhabi interference in the Syrian uprising led to the rise of the murderous Caliphate. That earlier the interference during the 1980s in Afghanistan led to the rise of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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Yemen War: the Wild Bunch vs. the Hopelessly Corrupt vs. Al Qaeda……..

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“Yemen’s powerful Shiite Houthi rebels shelled the residence of the country’s embattled president Tuesday and simultaneously swept into the presidential palace in the capital, Sanaa, as a top military commander warned that a full-fledged “coup” was underway. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was inside the residence as it came under “heavy shelling” for half an hour but he was unharmed and protected by guards, officials said. In New York, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting over the chaos in Sanaa. The shelling was a dramatic development that put the U.S.-backed Hadi into a precarious position and represented the starkest challenge to his authority…………”

As of now it is not clear what is exactly happening in Sana’a, except that there is some fighting around the presidential palace today. It has been a relatively wild country outside Sana’a and Aden and a few other larger towns. Regime officials claim today that there is a Houthi coup, the Houthis claim they were attacked first by the ‘other side’.

The Houthis have controlled the capital for several months, although Al-Qaeda and some other tribal groups have tried to challenge their hold and slow their recent expansion south. They are depicted by most Arab and Western media as a wild tribal group from the wild north (of North Yemen). Some are also beginning to stress their new reported ties to the Iranian regime, a fact that worries the Saudis next door since they fought and lost a little war with the Houthis a few years ago.
The regime of Generalissimo Abd Rabu (Worshiper of His God) Hadi, which is just a continuation of every other Yemeni regime since 1962, is as corrupt as any in Yemeni history. Probably more because he has been even more beholden to the Al Ahmar tribal military oligarchs. The regime has completely failed to stem Al-Qaeda to the south in recent years. In fairness, nor has the American drone bombing campaign. The Houthis, who also mostly fight Al-Qaeda, started a surge that was too much for the regime and their Salafi foes, given that much of the military refused to fight them.

The wild looting of some leaders palaces also exposed the degree of corruption in that very poor country. The UN Security Council is reported meeting today in emergency on Yemen. Not sure what they can do. Maybe they will slap new sanctions on everybody. It will not mean much to anybody inside Yemen.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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Greatest Enemy Within: Desperados of Arabia and Europe……..

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Desperado- Linda Ronstadt

Back to my last post.

Reports claim that the Caliphate of the Wahhabi Islamic State is still expanding its territory in spite of months of allied bombings. Which means that there is something missing in the broader strategy that has been used to counter its expansion and push it back.

The logical conclusion is that bombing, killing, or arresting some of them may be necessary to keep them off balance, but it is not enough. We go back to the idea of the swamp and how to drain it. That should be back as part of the longer-term solution. It requires political changes across the Arab world: the so-called Arab Spring failed miserably with one possible exception. The old regimes are still in control, from the Persian Gulf to the Nile. It also requires recognizing the elephant in the European room: the need for some changes in race relations across Europe. Racism and Jihadist terrorism feed each other in Europe now.

Repression and oligarchy rule in the Arab world might fit into some short-term Western strategy of cultivating ‘cooperative’ regional alliances, but it should be clear by now that the downside is too costly. When people are shot at in the streets, they not only blame those who pull the trigger, they also blame those who supply the guns and the tear gas. And who wouldn’t?

Desperate living conditions in the Middle East and in some European cities make pliable desperate young men and women open to the Jihadist narrative. The Wahhabi narrative can be a compelling narrative if you are in a desperate situation. In some cases it is the only compelling narrative in town. If you believe that many Frenchmen are eager for the five or six million Muslims among them to participate and vote in elections, then I’ve still got that old perfect lame camel for sale.

Despair in the Middle East and in some European cities. It is the greatest enemy, an even greater enemy than the comical bloodthirsty new Caliph or the doddering Al Zawahri and his men and their stale message.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Has Success Spoiled the Jihadi Terrorists?…….

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Al Qaeda is on the run
Al Qaeda is being defeated
Mission Accomplished

“Oh, grow up, will you?” Me

After the Al-Qaeda attacks of September 2011 on New York and the Pentagon, it was inevitable that emulating them would be harder, nearly impossible. Before that, major Al Qaeda operations were mostly confined to Asia, Yemen and some attacks on residential complexes housing Americans in eastern Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. Those caused some American deaths and casualties, but they were not spectacular.

The September attacks made Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda household names in most of the world. They also attracted new money and volunteers to the Wahhabi terrorist group. Still, there were no further attacks in the West of the kind that was widely expected. With time there was widespread acceptance of such cliches like “Al Qaeda is on the run“, “Al Qaeda is being defeated“. Other versions of “Mission Accomplished“. Which brings us to Iraq and Syria and the wider Arab uprisings that exploded in the spring of 2011.

The Wahhabi terrorists established a foothold, a base of operations in Western Iraq. They were struggling to get traction by 2010, when the Syrian uprising started in 2011. Wahhabis from the Persian Gulf essentially bought and took over the Syrian uprising. They quickly shifted the political uprising in Syria into a sectarian conflict of the kind they have been good at instigating in the Gulf region and across the wider Islamic world. Money and volunteers and weapons quickly found their way into Syria, and Iraq, allowed by a helpful Islamist regime in Turkey. What I once called the Erdogan Trail was started. Money from the Gulf region, volunteer Jihadis from all over the world, and arms continued to flow through Turkey and into Syria.

The sudden availability of big money would spoil anyone and anything. Couple that with weapons and pliable potential volunteers, and you have the makings of an earthly Jihadi paradise, or hell, depending on your point of view. The Wahhabi Jihadis started splitting away from the distant ‘headquarters’ in relatively faraway Pakistan. Even moving the HQ of the Saudi mothership, Al-Qaeda In the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to nearby Yemen did not seem to stem that trend.

Several years ago we wrote, I and others, of Al-Qaeda franchising its activities to local groups in Africa, the Arab world or the Far East. But apparently the franchises soon started declaring their independence from their distant colleagues. That was strengthened after the death of Bin Laden, the only charismatic leader in the old Al-Qaeda leadership structure. The doddering Egyptian Al-Zawahri is not an inspiring type of person, nor are the few Arab Salafis around him.

Success has spoiled the Wahhabi terrorists, and turned them into a bunch of rival groups. But wait, that has not been bad for the Jihadis. It has been good for the “cause”. Just look at the geography: they now control large swathes of territory in the Arab world, North Africa, and Northwest Africa. For the first time in modern history. They probably have a few small swathes of territory in several major cities outside the Middle East as well.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Qatar and Her Sisters: Foundation for the Defense of More War……..

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“It has been dubbed the most two-faced nation in the world, backing the U.S.-led coalition against the militants of the Islamic State while providing a permissive environment, in the words of one top American official, for terrorist financiers to operate with impunity. And despite a growing furor on both sides of the Atlantic, Qatar, the tiny but super-wealthy Gulf emirate, shows scant willingness to clamp down on the jihad moneymen. Indeed, it may never unless Western powers start raising the political stakes. A new report identifies more than 20 funders designated as terrorist-linked by the U.S. or UN who have benefited from a mixture of benign neglect or support in Doha. “With every important case of suspected terror finance involving a Qatari national in past years, the government in Doha has refused effectively to crack down,” according to the study, “Qatar and Terror Finance,”……………Al-Nuaymi, who has also been fingered by the UN and the European Union as a funder of terrorism, has held major roles in official Qatari organizations, including serving as a board member on charities backed by the government and at the Qatar Islamic Bank…………….”

This Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) website claims it is “a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 policy institute focusing on foreign policy and national security………” The most reasonable among its leaders is dead: one former NFL quarterback named Jack Kemp who went on to Congress and the Reagan cabinet. I usually take their analysis about the Middle East with a pound or two of salt, and I am being extremely polite here.
The Foundation For the Defense of Democracies has little to do with “democracy”. It is an extreme warlike group inhabited by frustrated American warhawks/chickenhawks and scurrilous Arabs and other exiles who seek more Western wars and destruction on their native region. The group is dedicated to two things: (a) absolute Israeli supremacy in the Middle East, and (b) waging more wars of choice on any remaining Middle East country that is not allied with the United States. Just a list of its board and its comments and its contributors will tell the story.

Having said that, this is not to deny that certain elements in the Persian Gulf states are heavily involved in financing Jihadi terrorists in Iraq and Syria. And not just Qatar, the Little Wahhabi gas power. I have written on this since before 2011, before the first Wahhabi suitcases of cash money from the Gulf entered Syria, through Turkey and Lebanon (the latter care of the pro-Saudi March 14 bloc). In Iraq the trail can lead all the way back to the elections of 2005 and the rise of Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, possibly earlier.

Ironically, there were no Qataris involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks, mainly Saudis, and Egyptians and Emiratis. Qatar has a tiny native population (some 90% are imported temporary foreign labor) but a lot of surplus money. Unlike some other Gulf states, they send more money and less Wahhabi volunteers to kill Shi’as and people of other faiths.

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Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Jihadist Revolutionary Council in Syria Adopts Old Baathist Jargon……….

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“Seventy-two Syrian rebel groups on Saturday announced a new coalition to battle the government of President Bashar Assad. But hopes that moderate rebels would dominate the meeting were dashed when extremists gained more of the 17 executive positions than had been expected. Col. Muhammad Hallak, who represented a moderate faction attending the three-day organizational meeting, accused Islamists, especially Ahrar al Sham, which is known to work closely with al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, of capturing more positions than its influence in the rebellion deserved. A review of the names by McClatchy indicated that moderates hold only six or seven of the 17 executive positions. Hallak also expressed skepticism toward the October document on which the new group, the Revolutionary Command Council…………..”

Revolutionary Command Council: now that is a blast from the lousy Arab Baathist past. It was a common term in the old days, before the Wahhabi oil princes and shaikhs, with their tribal ideology and money, took control of Arab destiny. Before the fate of much of the Arab east from the Persian Gulf to Libya became hostage to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi (with some exceptions).

Whenever a few Baathist (or other Arab) officers staged a military coup and took power, they would immediately establish a Revolutionary Command Council. That was how it went. These Jihadis are merely using a term with which many Arabs, especially in Syria and Iraq are quite familiar.

Then there are the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels who believe in freedom, human rights, and representative government. As well as other aspects of the American way of life, except perhaps for changing attire in a phone booth. These rebels will reportedly be trained in such bastions of human freedom and representative government as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and possibly the UAE.

I haven’t decided which one is funnier, yet……..
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com