Tag Archives: ISIS

False Black Flags of Terror: Daesh-istas and ISIS-istas and Tri-Colors………

Shuwaikh-school1 Hiking Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2 ChristmasPeanutsA

Supporters of the Arab Jihadis on social media are evolving, at least in appearance. Some of the Daesh-istas still use their own version of some green-white-black flag (supposedly a flag of some future de-Assadized, Wahhabi-ized Syria) as their own avatars. They know it is more politically correct in some powerful quarters than the black flag of ISIS or Al Nusra and other such terrorist  groups.

Others are bolder, they are now sporting the black version of the Saudi flag openly. Some others are too coy to do that, hence the new tri-color flag. But their hearts are still with those behind the self-appointed Caliph Al-Samarrai, now of Raqqa/Mosul but formerly Saddamist jailbird of Samarra. They are just too shy or timid, or maybe too politically-correct in an endearing Wahhabi fashion, to openly raise the ugly little black Wahhabi flag of the head-choppers and man-burners and market bombers.

So, they use some concocted version of the Syrian flag, the green and white and black flag. It hints, nay it points at support for some of the Jihadis in Syria and elsewhere, without specifying. It is cleverly Daesh-esque but not so openly, ISIS-esque but not so openly. Safe, cute, but not so cute given all the blood…….
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

A Dummy’s Guide to Managing Arab Turmoil: from Iraq to Libya and Syria and Yemen………

Shuwaikh-school1 Hiking Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2 ChristmasPeanutsA

A few Arab governments, and their controlled media, spent several years criticizing the way the United States handled Iraq. The Saudi and Qatari potentates especially seemed to think they could have done better.
They dabbled in Iraq, but got their real chance, both of them and others, in places like Libya, Syria, Egypt, and Yemen.

  • In Libya they talked the Western powers through NATO into bombing the installations controlled by the Gaddafi regime. The West essentially won the civil war in Libya for “the opposition”. People like Senator McCain, Hillary Clinton and French pop-philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy thumbed their chests (and breasts) and declared a victory in Libya for democracy and tolerance. Allegedly with some Arab help, no doubt token help. It turns out the Libyan opposition was not what they thought it was. Libya is now divided among tribal elements and Jihadist terrorists. It is suffering from Al Qaeda affiliates as well as ISIS (DAESH) branches.
  • These two Persian Gulf , er, “powers”, ruled by absolute tribal Wahhabi potentates, also thought they could do better in Syria than the West did in Iraq. Of course they had a strong hand in the failure of Western intervention in Iraq and the growth of Wahhabi terrorist enclaves in that country.
  • Having messed up Libya, the Saudis and Qataris started, along with Senator McCain and, yes, French pop-philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy to push for the Western powers to follow their same advise in Syria. From the spring of 2011 they flooded Syria with money, weapons, and Salafi Jihadists. With logistic and trafficking help from the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Caliph Erdogan of Turkey. That was when the non-sectarian original Syrian uprising ended and was replaced with sectarian Salafi Jihadist groups many of whom eventually joined ISIS or Al Nusra. Close to a quarter million Syrians from both sides have died, millions are roaming the shores of Europe seeking refuge. Meanwhile, the Arab potentates who started it all refuse to take in the refugees they helped create.
  • Now the current options for the West in Syria range between accepting Al Assad or one of his allies in power or allowing the intolerant sectarian Wahhabis to take over. There might be a quasi-Wahhabi option somewhere in between, but that may have been co-opted by the new Russian intervention.
  • In Yemen, the Gulf potentates allowed former vice president Generalissimo Abd Rabuh Hadi to win a rigged election with 99.8% of the vote in 2012. Not a very subtle form of democracy is it? Hadi allied himself with the corrupt quasi-Islamist Muslim Brotherhood-ish Islah (ironically Islah means Reform in Arabic). He lost out in Sanaa to an alliance of tribal Houthis and former dictator Ali A Saleh supporters in the army. He fled to Aden, but he was chased out to a hotel in that other bastion of Arab democracy and freedom, Riyadh. The war in Yemen became a struggle between the Houthi-army alliance and Southern secessionists and Al Qaeda. And American drones.
  • Now the Saudis have managed to hire, rent, and buy a bunch of Arab and impoverished African allies ranging from Jordan to Sudan and possibly Mauritania and others. There are unconfirmed reports that the UAE is also sending its mercenary army of hired Colombians to Aden. Yemen is now a war among various groups and proxies. The Saudis and their allies are bombing the country indiscriminately, as do some of their local enemies. Thousands have died, and many displaced in the second poorest Arab country after Somalia. Speaking of which, many Yemenis have fled to Somalia, which tells you how bad things are in that country.

Together, these princes and potentates can write a best-seller: A Dummy’s Guide to Managing Arab Turmoil………
So much for an ‘Arab solution‘. I had thought the idea of an ‘Arab solution’ for any regional problem was laid to rest in 1990/91. Apparently not yet, but no doubt soon enough.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

 

Wahhabi Terrorism in Paris: Bush-ification of Francois Hollande?……..

Shuwaikh-school1 Hiking Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

Francois Hollande: We will fight, and it will be ruthless…………..

It is natural that France feels besieged. They have had at least two major Wahhabi terrorist attacks in the incomparably beautiful city of Paris this year. Real terrorist attacks, unlike those informant-provoked entrapment “plots” of some addled schmuck at a mosque as has happened in New York and a few other states.

M. Hollande has now asked for a three-month State of Emergency, which is sort of like “closing the barn after the horse, or is it the ass, has escaped”. Hopefully the French State of Emergency does not become permanent, Arab-style. M. Hollande has gone beyond anything an American leader would go to. He has requested a law that any French citizen involved in terrorism be deprived of his/her citizenship, even if born in France. Provided he/she has another citizenship: meaning that “true” French, those who are not of Arab or African origin, are not covered by the new law.

In that, M. Hollande the Socialist has gone well beyond, say, George W Bush. He has out-Bushed Bush. It is an emotional move, and almost certainly a political move for the next French elections. It is unlikely to have any impact on national security or on the fate of the cutthroats of the Caliphate of ISIS.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Syrian War: the Advantage of Gospodin Putin, Poisonous Straws for the West………

Shuwaikh-school1 Hiking Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

Almost everybody who is anybody is involved in Syria now. Plus a few nobodies. The Western powers have been ‘in’ Syria since long before they started their tepid bombing of the terrorists of ISIS (DAESH, ISIL). Some Republican senators have also crossed the Turkish border into Syria for photo-ops, Western trained fighters have crossed from Turkey and Jordan, before handing their weapons to ISIS or Jabhat Al Nusra (I called them Jabhat Al Qaeda three years ago) and defecting to one or another Wahhabi Jihadist groups. Now we also have Jaish Al-Fath, whose name translates correctly into Army of Islamic Conquest, which some Westerners seem to pin their dwindling Syrian hopes on. A poisonous straw to cling to.

The Arab oil potentates of course entered Syria from the beginning in 2011, with money, weapons, and Wahhabi jihadists from the Persian Gulf states and now from across the globe. That is how the early Syrian protests were quickly taken over by the Islamist jihadists. The West commenced its own bombing campaign after the fall of Mosul and other towns in Iraq and the consequent piling up of mass sectarian and religious atrocities in Iraq and Syria.
But the Western bombing campaign has been “measured”, a polite way of saying it was half-assed (which is how I would describe it if I were rude and crude, which I’m not). It is seemingly aimed only at preventing the expansion of ISIS (DAESH), perhaps rolling it back in Iraq. But the goal in Syria seems to be to keep the status quo: for if ISIS is pushed back in Syria, only Assad and his foreign allies would gain. Or, worse, the Al Qaeda allies and offshoots among the various Jaish Al or Jabhat Al or Ansar Al. Keeping the status quo in a civil war and in a multi-faceted international proxy war is nearly impossible. Hence the tepid air campaign that failed to alter the situation on the ground in Syria. Until a few days ago, when Russia decided to upend this strategy which Mr. Putin probably sees as either wimpy or sly.
Now Gospodin Tovarish Putin has decided to join everybody else and also interfere into the Syrian War, but in his case more decisively and with some authority. He has the luxury of knowing who he supports and who he opposes. He wants to defeat the Syrian opposition, most of whom are genocidal Jihadists with many Russian Chechens among them. He wants a victory for the Assad regime and its allies, if he can get one.


Unlike the Western powers, his campaign is straightforward and focused because it does not seek to mollify rich Arab allies, oligarchs whom he needs to mollify with an indecisive and week air campaign. And unlike Mr. Obama, Mr. Putin has a tame Doma (house or parliament) that does not pounce on every move he makes.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter


m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Jizya: ISIS Tax Plan, Republican Tax Plan, Royal Tax Plan………

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

A new twist on the current, and perennial, political (not economic) tax debate in the USA:
Reports tell us that the Wahhabi Islamic States (ISIS or DAESH)  has demanded the United States, as the leading Western power, should be ready to pay a special Jizya tax to their Caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. This Caliph was born  Ibrahim Al Samarrai, so I assume Al Baghdadi is his married name, as they do in the West.

So he wants Mr. Obama to pay the old Islamic Jizya tax that used to be imposed on non-Muslim subjects partly in order to exempt them from military service. That tax used to have some logic to it: you can’t expect a Christian citizen, for example, to join an army that fought to convert other Christians to Islam. So maybe the U.S. Congress, under a new old leadership, will take up this new ISIS tax plan. Nothing like the promised miraculous “tax cuts and a strong defense and protecting social security and reduced deficit” plan they have been pushing. Should be fun watching C-Span. Should also be fun watching the Republican (and maybe the Democrat) presidential candidates take up the issue in their endless sound-bite “debates”.

The Saudi princes and other regional potentates, unlike ISIS, do not directly tax their people and businesses. They apply what I would call a princely (royal) tax on the whole country. The numerous Saudi royal princes get first cut of the oil revenues, for just being who they are, for the accident of birth. They also get to expropriate public land at will. In recent years they have been destroying ancient Islamic monuments and converting them into parking lots, half-empty shopping malls, and luxury hotels and apartments for local potentates and others from neighboring oligarchies.
Not a bad racket……….

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

New Umayyad Dilemma: From Russia to Syria with Love and Bombs?……….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

We have been ranting for almost four years here that the foreign Arabs have subverted the early Syrian uprising and contributed to turning it into a religious and sectarian bloodbath. That especially includes some Arab governments: Wahhabi regimes like Saudi Arabia and Qatar and other non-Wahhabi Persian Gulf governments that bowed to Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood pressure.
So Western powers and Persian Gulf potentates kept picking successive new leaders of Syrian “rebels”. These leaders kept failing, as expected here on these posts. Their early followers usually ended up joining the Wahhabi Jihadist cutthroats with their Western weapons.

The Turkish government was happy to help the growth of the Jihad in Syria (and Iraq) by expediting the flow of foreign weapons, money, volunteers, and accommodating women (harems). Now we have ISIS (DAESH) and Al-Nusra Front (Al Qaeda franchise) and Army of Islamic Conquest (Jaish Al Fath), among others as the only credible opposition in Syria.


So, the choice now is: serious negotiations with the Al Assad regime or the continued Jihad. Make no mistake about it: the Syrian struggle is now completely a “Jihad” to establish an Islamist Caliphate in Damascus. Except it will not be like the Umayyads who joined Islam out of political necessity after Mohammed (the original one) conquered Mecca. They will be true blue puritans: more doctrinaire, more corrupt, and less open than the early Islamic state.
Many foreign powers and regimes and forces are involved in Syria, from Americans to Europeans to small Arab states to Iran and Lebanon. So, why not Russians? Especially if they are sanctioned by Damascus? After all, the Russian Chechen Jihadis are among the leaders of the Jihadist side in Syria and Moscow does not look forward to their possible return home.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

The Iranian Genesis of Wahhabi ISIS, the Baathist Roots of Salafi DAESH………..

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

This week is the 35th commemorative of a watershed event that is still shaping the Middle East. Baathist Iraq under Saddam Hussein, worried about the message of the new Khomeini revolution, saw an opportunity and invaded Iran, which was weakened by continued revolutionary turmoil and internal divisions. That war did not turn out as expected, and its consequences are still unfolding in our region:

  • Saddam Hussein started the Iran-Iraq war this week in 1980. That war lasted eight years (1980-1988) and split the Arab world into those who supported the Baathist invasion (mainly some in the Gulf region) and those who opposed it (mainly Syria, Libya, Algeria, and some Palestinian groups).
  • That war did not achieve any of the declared goals set by Saddam, but it led to the bankruptcy of Iraq. I opined at an event at KISR after the war that Iraq went from a healthy supply of foreign exchange reserves before the war to a total net foreign debt that well exceeded US $100 billion (for obvious reasons I don’t have my exact original estimates now).
  • Which led a desperate Saddam to invade Kuwait in 1990 in order to plunder its wealth. That invasion led to what Americans call the “Persian Gulf War” of 1990/91. The Baathists were defeated and blockaded and kept within Iraq.
  • After the September 11 Wahhabi terrorist attacks in the USA, the Bush-ies refocused on Iraq (although not a single Iraqi was involved in that mainly-Saudi attack). It was followed by the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Later the results of the first Iraqi elections created a worsening of the sectarian tensions in the Arab world. Al Qaeda and the Wahhabi terrorists entered into Iraq in force, backed by outside Arab financing.
  • Eventually, as the Arab uprisings of the Spring of 2011 spread eastward toward the Gulf, a local Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda morphed into ISIS (ISIL, DAESH), an alliance dominated by foreign Arab Salafi Jihadis and former Baathist henchmen of Saddam.
  • The intervention of foreign Arabs, including some regimes, and the growth of local militias of both Muslim sects, have had a lot to do with the bloody sectarian turn of events across the region.
  • ISIS or DAESH now controls large parts of Iraq and Syria, mostly through sectarian exhortation and a medieval-style bloody reign of terror. It has been largely supported by the flow of foreign money and weapons facilitated through Turkey.
  • Some of those Arab potentates who helped create ISIS or DAESH are now feeling the heat and claiming to be fighting to destroy it. But apparently not seriously enough, NOT in Syria or Iraq.
  • The consequences of that fateful decision of September 1980 are still unfolding across the region. The beat goes on………..

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Cutthroat Alley: the Western Powers and the Sick Man of the Middle East…….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“At the launch of the latest annual strategic survey published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), experts criticised the west for not doing more to gather support either from other Arab countries or Syrian rebels not attached to Isis. “Since the beginning, western powers have run away from hard choices in Syria,” said Emile Hokayem, IISS senior fellow for Middle East security. He said western policy was “fundamentally flawed” by not realising the extent of the threat posed by the Assad regime. “That makes the threat of Isis bigger,” he said. “The west is still running away from the hard truth … Assad is a much greater threat [than Isis],”………….”

We have heard (or read) this one before. Will the Western powers and their think-tankers ever learn? Will they ever learn not to repeat the same mistakes across the shattered and repressed Arab world, the “sick man of the Middle East“? Will they never learn from the experiences in Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, etc? Yet another “expert” from another think-tank is here advising a repeat of the old mistakes.

In Libya, Colonel Gaddafi was correctly seen as a corrupt repressive dictator. But one big mistake was in the apparent assumption that the Libyan rebels were like the American Founding Fathers: that they would lead the country to democracy. The same was allegedly expected in Yemen: Western powers assumed the repressive feudal kings and princes of the Persian Gulf states would turn their southern poorest neighbor into a prosperous democracy (or did they?). In Syria they apparently assumed the repressive Wahhabi princes and potentates of the Gulf (Saudi, Qatar, UAE) would help overthrow the Assad regime and create a quasi-Wahhabi state that can be tolerated by the West. All with the help of oil money, Wahhabi volunteers, and Turkish logistical cooperation.

Instead, now a large swath of the region, from Iraq through Syria and Yemen and Egypt and Libya can be correctly called Cutthroat Alley.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Caliph in the Wind: Norma Jeane Baker Al Baghdadi………….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

I noticed the birthday of Caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi is approaching in early August. The Salafis pretend they don’t cotton up much to birthdays for ordinary mortals. But the Caliph is not deemed a mortal. He is more like a celebrity, a hairy Norma Jeane Baker. A real inner and outer beast compared to a real inner and outer beauty. Not exactly a candle in the wind, but one air raid away from wherever it is he will go for good. He won’t expect a tribute by Elton John, but here goes anyway:——>  Candle in the Wind………..

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Death of Tariq Aziz: Last Evocation of a Bygone Potemkin Arab Order…….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

Tariq Aziz died in prison in his homeland, Iraq.

The significance of remembering the old Iraqi Baathist is not related to Tariq himself and his achievements. It is that he reminds us, me and most others, of a bygone era in Arab politics and history. Aziz was one of the last survivors of the old Arab post World War II order that almost lasted fifty years. An order that saw the rise of militarized secular Pan-Arabism through the messages of Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, the Baathists of Syria and Iraq, and the leftist young revolutionary rulers of Libya and Algeria. There was a period of hope in the fifties and sixties, but it did not last. That movement also gradually degenerated into tribal and family dynasties. A stagnant Arab order followed that was seen as stability.

That old Arab order unravelled with the Iraqi Baathist invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. The 1990-91 invasion of Kuwait and the consequent war was a direct consequence of the financial bankruptcy of the Baathist regime after the invasion of Iran in 1980 and the war that lasted eight years. The Arab order had begun to crack with the war of 1980, as Syria and other Arab states, including Libya and Algeria and some Palestinian factions, refused to support Saddam Hussein.

The Salafi terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001 and the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and their consequences formalized the collapse of the old Arab regime. The West is now back in the region in force. Even the old British colonials are establishing a military base in little Bahrain (now if they can only take it over again and rebuild its political system back to 1971).

The Arab uprisings of 2011 have mostly failed, but they showed a positive development: it underlined a new disrespect to their ruling oligarchs and dictators and a willingness by Arabs to express it. Then along came AQI, ISIS, Al Nusra, Army of Islamic Conquest, Al Tibin, Al Zift and other Salafi groups. They make even the old Al Qaeda look tame. The horrendous mass atrocities by various armed factions in Syria and Iraq and Libya and Egypt are clear signals that the old Arab order is effectively buried. What we have now is a Potemkin Order: all front but no substance behind it.

The death of Tariq Hanna Aziz, one survivor of the older order, came as a symbolic event at a convenient moment, with ISIS expanding in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and possibly the Arabian Peninsula. His death is a reminder of how much has changed and the uncertainty of the future.
That is why it is a sad occasion. Not because the old Baathist died, but because of what it reminds us of.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com