“The Enemy Of My Enemy………..”

We have all heard the old foreign policy saying…….especially if you keep an eye on wars here and there…..

Let’s be honest the fight against ISIS is not going well regardless of what the State and Defense Department puts out in their daily briefings……we are not gaining any high ground against ISIS…….

Could there be answer that we seemingly overlook simply because they were are enemy also? Al-Qaeda is the organization that gave us 9/11 and so many other attacks across the world…..but as hard line fundamental as AQ is they think that ISIS is even too extreme……..

Adam Gadahn was a US citizen and an al-Qaeda rep; he’s now dead, having been unintentionally killed in a January drone strike that accidentally killed an American hostage. But sometime in the fall before his death he apparently gave an interview that’s been published in an al-Qaeda magazine, and the resulting 80-page article largely features the former Californian calling out ISIS for killing Muslims and other tyrannical acts. ABC News has excerpts:

  • "While no one can deny the considerable strength and prowess of the Islamic State group in military terms, at the same time, the crimes it has committed against Muslims cannot simply be overlooked or forgotten with time, because in Islam there is no statute of limitations."
  • "And if these wrongs are not brought to an end and rectified here in this world, then a severe punishment has been promised both for those who committed them as well as those who encouraged, condoned or justified them, even if from behind a computer or mobile phone thousands of miles away."
  • "Frankly, all of us used to be sympathetic to varying degrees towards the Islamic State of Iraq [ISIS]—despite its mistakes—when it was seen as a weak and oppressed force valiantly fighting brutal tyrannies. But now that it has become clear that it has—unfortunately—adopted some of the traits, methods and tactics of those same tyrannies, it no longer holds the same place in our hearts that it did once upon a time."

In ABC’s view, Gadahn’s comments don’t jibe with other parts of the interview, where he praised the 9/11 attacks and the more recent attacks on Canada. The 36-year-old was on the FBI’s "Most Wanted Terrorists" list, and was indicted for treason in 2006, reports CNN. His last propaganda video was posted in September, and called for the Saudi Arabian and Pakistani governments to be brought down.

AQ is showing concern that ISIS will become the prominent and that they could lose their international standing as the flagship of Wahhabism……but never fear the neocons have a suggestion……

The latest evidence of a sea change in establishment thinking is a blog that Ahmed Rashid, a prominent Middle East correspondent, recently published on The New York Review of Books website. Entitled “Why We Need al-Qaeda,” it argues that Al Qaeda and its Syrian affiliate, Al Nusra, are evolving in a more moderate direction in growing contrast to its rival, the super-violent Islamic State. So why not use Al Nusra as a counterforce against both Bashar al-Assad and ISIS?

As Rashid puts it: “Unlike ISIS, which demands absolute subjugation of the inhabitants of any territory it conquers (surrender or be executed), al-Nusra is cooperating with other anti-Assad groups and recently joined the ‘Army of Conquest’ alliance of rebel militias in northern Syria. Moreover, in contrast to ISIS’s 
largely international and non-Syrian fighting force, al-Nusra’s fighters are almost wholly Syrian, making them both more reliable and more committed to Syria’s future.

Would Syrian AQ be a reliable force against ISIS? Would they cooperate only long enough to gain the upper hand? If they gain would they then be a bigger threat than ISIS?

So is the "enemy of our enemy truly our friend"?

Chuq’s News

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Prickly Croatia – Israel Relations: Aloysius Stepinac’s List Was Longer Than Schindler’s!

For reasons many cannot understand, even if their bias against Croatia is profound, Israel’s political establishment had in 1997 taken an anti Croatia, anti-Franjo Tudjman stand. Indeed, Israel had then pronounced Franjo Tudjman a “persona non grata” in Israel because, it was reported, Tudjman had in his books underestimated the number of Jews that perished in the Holocaust! Indeed, Tudjman was labelled by various Jewish organisations across the world as Holocaust denier and anti-Semitic because of the numbers he estimated perished in the Holocaust. Overestimates or possible overestimates of number of Jews that perished in the Holocaust had never, so many decades after the fact of the Holocaust, to my knowledge, set in motion such hateful and drastic measures on the level of state relations! Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at Yad Vashem/ Israel with Branko Lustig (in hat) Photo: Office of President, RH

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
at Yad Vashem/ Israel with
Branko Lustig (in hat)
Photo: Office of President, RH

After Franjo Tudjman’s death in 1999 all three Presidents of Croatia had officially visited Israel, apologising for the crimes of the Holocaust that occurred during WWII in Croatia. Apologies, of course, are always the right thing to do as they contain, or should contain, the spirit of regret and compassion and, hopefully, determination that things apologised for shall never reoccur. Presidents Stjepan Mesic (2000-2010) and Ivo Josipovic (2011-2015) are both of hard-core communist extraction and had, as expected, molded their apologies for the Holocaust while in Israel in such a way to openly suggest that fascist or Nazi supporters were still active or “mysteriously in ghost-like fashion coming out of the woodwork” in Croatia – still. “Apologies” of this nature are nothing more than attempts, on false but politically potent grounds, to cover up communist crimes committed in Croatia during and after WWII. Many Croatia’s “leading” Jews had, particularly since 1991, followed the same line because I dare say, most were and are communists of former Yugoslavia.

It is of great importance to note that no president of Croatia has so far, it seems, “lobbied” to Israel regarding the factual research findings by Dr Esther Gitman about the significant work of Croatia’s Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, beatified and in line to be canonised a Saint of the Catholic Church.

Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac Oil painting Croatian Church Chicago

Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac
Oil painting Croatian Church Chicago

It is certainly not far fetched, by a long shot, to conclude that Croatian pro-communist Jewish and Serb lobby would not want Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac vindicated by indisputable facts which point to the overwhelming lies and false grounds upon which communists persecuted him as Nazi-collaborator immediately after WWII. Former communist operatives and influential persons within the Yugoslav Communist Party between WWII and 1991 have too much face to lose were the truth to be accepted as truth. No matter, the truth still stands and its enemies are identified in this case. The battles for truth and recognition of it may, hence, be easier than before.

Modern Croatia is not a successor to the World War II independent state of Croatia and its ideologies,” Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic told i24news, in an exclusive interview at the end of a two-day visit to Israel, 24 July 2015. Kitarovic, who during her visit participated in a Yad Vashem ceremony in which Croatian-American producer Branko Lustig donated his “Schindler’s List” Oscar to the Holocaust memorial, brushed off any connection to what she calls “a dark period in our history that casts a shadow on Croatia’s past.”

I find it regretful that there seems to have been no opportunity during this visit to refer to Blessed Aloysius Stepinac while at Yad Vashem or elsewhere in Israel. Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac had his own “Shindler’s list” and saved thousands upon thousands of Jews during WWII Croatia! After access to historical documents/archives had been possible at the fall of communist Yugoslavia his “list” is found to have been much longer than Schindler’s! His list was longer than Schindler’s and yet state politics keep this truth hidden or are not inclined to talk about it publicly!

A book by Esther Gitman

A book by Esther Gitman

Part of Croatia’s World War II history, the collaboration with the Nazis has been a prickly issue in diplomatic relations with Israel, which were established in 1997. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has, on this occasion of visiting Israel, maintained the stance of her predecessors Mesic and Josipovic, and “focuses on building relations with Israel today and is strongly committed to the victims and survivors in order to prevent future atrocities”. “There is no connection today between the Nazi ideology and modern Croatia,” Grabar-Kitarovic said, and vowed that she feels “no resentment” from her Israeli counterparts, reports i24 news.

In addition to the Ustashi regime, which was a collaborationist Nazi regime, there was comparably one of the biggest anti fascist uprising resistance movements in Croatia,” Grabar-Kitarovic said, mentioning that members of her own family participated in this movement. “These people who fought fascism and Nazism put Croatia on the right side of history, and what is embedded in our constitution today is our anti-fascist and anti-Nazi roots and the Homeland War that we fought back in the 90s in order to liberate Croatia from aggression and occupation,” Grabar-Kitarovic said in Israel last week.

I use this opportunity to condemn every totalitarian regime – Nazism, Fascism, Communism,” said President Grabar-Kitarovic at Yad Vashem in Israel, and emphasised education as the strongest weapon against every form of radical ideology, divisions, hatred and racism. “We must tell the truth because we are denuded in this place, we have no and carry none of our official functions. We are here as human beings. As people, as parents, sisters and brothers we have the responsibility to pursue for the truth.”

All what President Grabar-Kitarovic said in Israel last week stands as truth but such plethora of historical references still omit the fact that many, including Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, are considered as Nazi-collaborators, participants in the Holocaust, when the truth and facts point the other way – the righteous way! So, I often agonise and ponder: why is it so difficult for the Holocaust remembrance environment to accept the truth about Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac’s role in helping and rescuing Jews? An answer that comes to mind is that communists of former Yugoslavia have, on false grounds and utter lies, made Aloysius Stepinac synonymous with the concept and reality of the Holocaust in Croatia and to now accept him for what he truly was – innocent of those charges, would somehow take a significant part of the heavy gravity away from the act of the Holocaust! So, the Holocaust remembrance environment seems in part to prefer perpetuation of untruths rather than facing the truth. Nothing can take away the heavy gravity the Holocaust carries for human kind – for it was an abomination – but unjust treatment of individuals within this environment, unwillingness to recognise the actual rather than reported or estimated truth, do add to its tragedy for human justice. I do hope that the pursuit of truth of the Holocaust in Croatia will surface with the righteousness of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac: with a proud revelation of a Schindler’s List not even the revered Schindler could match! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)​

First Published July 26, 2015 by inavukic

Tagged With: Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, Branko Lustig, Communist Party of Yugoslavia, Croatia, Croatia Israel relations, Esther Gitman, Franjo Tudjman, Holocaust, Israel, Ivo Josipovic, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Schindler’s List, Stjepan Mesic, Yad Vashem

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Denying Genocide in the Face of Science

The largest DNA-identification project ever conducted provides unprecedented proof of the slaughter at Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. But 20 years later, too many people claim it never happened. If for nothing else then for the victims’ dignity and justice those who deny these crimes need to be exposed and shamed at every turn.

Women of Srebrenica mourn at grave site where recently identified remains are to be buried - 11 July 2015 Photo: The Atlantic

Women of Srebrenica mourn at grave site where recently identified remains are to be buried – 11 July 2015 Photo: The Atlantic

David Rohde is a columnist and reporter for Reuters, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and a former reporter for The New York Times. On 17 July 2015 he published an article for Reuters on the above issue. A number of my posts in the past month or so had dealt with genocide and crimes perpetrated by Serbs/Serbia in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s and the obscene extent to which Serbia and its leaders are prepared to go in their denial of genocide they committed.

I share David Rohde’s above article here as a very important contribution to the unwelcome issue genocide denial brings into human existence. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Zgb)

Srebrenica Bosnia and Herzegovina Graveyard of victims of genocide

Srebrenica Bosnia and Herzegovina Graveyard of victims of genocide

Srebrenica, Bosnia — Scientific advances in DNA identification over the past 15 years have helped war-crimes investigators document to an unprecedented extent the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys around this town in 1995.

Yet even as these technological advances uncovered more damning evidence, many Bosnian Serbs have grown increasingly more resolute in their denial.
Last Friday night, two Bosnian Serb men standing beside a memorial to Serb war dead were a telling example. They insisted that Serbs are the victims of an international plot. They fervently argued — despite 93 mass-grave exhumations and 6,827 DNA identifications of the dead — that the mass killings have been grossly exaggerated.

Biased historical narratives, of course, have existed throughout history. The identification of the dead in Srebrenica demonstrates the ability of technological advances to produce a flood of factual information. Yet in many cases, the scientific statistics appear to have only given those willing to manipulate the numbers more arrows in their quiver.
The two Bosnian Serbs contended that roughly the same number of victims died on each side during the 1992-1995 war. When I asked how such a vast subterfuge had been carried out, one said the answer was simple. “As far as the Muslim side,” he told me, “there is a bigger lobby in America.”

The following morning, interviews with a dozen other Bosnian Serbs living near Srebrenica produced similar answers. As tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims drove past their homes to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the mass killings, Serbs dismissed the gathering and the idea of 8,000 dead as a “farce,” a “circus” and “make believe.”

“It’s definitely not correct,” said Budimir Todorovic, a 60-year-old electrician, as he calmly drank coffee with his family in his front yard as busloads of Bosnian Muslims drove by. “It’s not 8,000.”
Milan Rakic, a 48-year-old store owner, accused Muslims of stealing the bodies of Orthodox Christian Serbs and interring them in the town’s sprawling cemetery complex.
“There are a lot of Serb bodies buried in this memorial,” he said.

One elderly widow said that some Bosnian Muslims listed as dead in the Srebrenica memorial were, in fact, living in Germany. “The number is exaggerated,” she said. “There are many living people whose names are engraved on the gravesites.”

The woman, like the other Serbs interviewed, was genial and polite. The Serbs expressed regret about the war — the woman declared it “horrible, horrible.” But they echoed the arguments of Bosnian Serb nationalists who still dominate politics here. The nationalists contend that foreign powers, primarily the United States and Britain, stage-managed everything from the war itself to the burial of bodies in Srebrenica.

They dismissed the annual commemoration as a “provocation” also organized by meddling outsiders. They said the crowds were so large because “Western NGOs” paid people to attend.
“Everything is well coordinated,” one man standing at the memorial for Serb war dead told me. “No one from here is guilty for what happened.”
Denial is evident outside Bosnia as well. Disparate groups, including left-leaning academics, Russian government-controlled media and some right-wing Americans who talk about a Muslim takeover, scoff at the number of 8,000 dead.

In fact, the annual commemoration and cemetery here have become a global symbol of the international community’s failure to stop the killing in Bosnia. U.N. officials arrived in Srebrenica in 1993 and declared it a United Nations protected “safe area.” When Serb forces attacked it two years later, Dutch peacekeepers and U.N. commanders did little to defend the enclave, and it fell to Serb forces on July 11, 1995. Two weeks of mass expulsions and mass executions followed.
Twenty years later, an estimated 50,000 Bosnians and several thousand foreigners attended the anniversary commemoration last weekend. Dozens of foreign dignitaries did as well, with former President Bill Clinton saying the world must prevent more such killings.

In the largest DNA identification project ever, a nonprofit group called the International Commission on Missing Persons has collected 22,268 blood samples from Srebrenica survivors and matched them to 6,827 bodies.
“Huge advances in DNA identification have made it possible,” said Kathryne Bomberger, director of the project. “The science is moving rapidly.”
Along with 93 mass graves that have been exhumed, investigators have found bodies at 314 “surface sites” in the surrounding mountains. Yet the work is not over. With 8,000 men reported missing from Srebrenica and the nearby town of Zepa, another 1,200 bodies are believed to be scattered in the woods or in mass graves not yet located.

Finding the dead has been vastly complicated by a grisly Bosnian Serb effort to conceal evidence. Several months after the executions, Bosnian Serb forces dug up many of the mass graves and reburied the bodies in dozens of locations. In the process, many corpses were dismembered.
Body parts from single victims have been found at multiple sites. In one case, parts of the body of one victim, 23-year-old Kadrija Music, were discovered in five different mass graves 20 miles apart.
While the DNA identification of the bodies has received widespread praise, the uneven sentencing practices of the U.N.-created International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has elicited scorn from both Muslims and Serbs.

Bosnian Muslims hailed decisions from the tribunal, as well as the United Nations International Court of Justice, that ruled genocide had occurred in Srebrenica. But they criticized some of the sentences as far too short.
Meanwhile, Serbs insist they have been the victims of the court. They assailed the tribunal for ultimately acquitting Naser Oric, commander of Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica, though they say he is responsible for many deaths.
“How many Serbs need to be killed for people in the world to see that Serbs are people, not animals?” asked Rakic, the store owner, who said his uncle was one of Oric’s victims. “Animals have rights but not the Serb people?”

International war-crimes investigators, however, say there is no proportionality in the deaths in Srebrenica or Bosnia as a whole. The say several hundred Serbs died in the fighting around Srebrenica, but the vast majority of them were Serb military forces.
Across the country, Bosnian Muslims made up 65 percent of the war dead and Serbs 23 percent, according to prosecutors. Yet Bosnian Muslims made up 44 percent of the population, according to a census conducted two years before the war. Serbs made up 31 percent.
Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb news accounts lay out a different narrative. They report that 1,300 Serb civilians died around Srebrenica, and a total of 3,267 Serbs were “murdered” across eastern Bosnia.

Dismissing the Bosnian Serbs’ statements as irrelevant conspiracy theories would be easy. But their assertions had an eerie familiarity. In conversations around the world, extremist Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, as well as some on the far right and far left of U.S. politics — have all featured similar arguments.
The stories usually involve a nefarious plot by outsiders to destroy their culture or faith, or future. They say they have had to act in self-defense. As the victims of the plot, they have no choice but to respond.
There is usually some distant, all-powerful covert force — the CIA, the Mossad, oil-rich Arab potentates — deftly stage-managing each event. Local people are helpless victims, with no responsibility for what occurs.
When I asked the Bosnian Serb men about the future of the former Yugoslavia, they said it would be decided in London and Washington. “Basically, how the English and Americans decide,” one told me.

“That’s how it will be.”

Though there had been a decade of progress in Bosnia after the 1995 peace accord ended the war, the country has been moving steadily backward over the past 10 years. Bosnian Serb denial of the Srebrenica massacre is growing. Bosnian Muslim resentment of that denial is simmering.
Violence erupted at the 20th anniversary commemoration. Groups of young Bosnian Muslim men hurled stones and slurs at Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic, a wartime ultranationalist now turned pro-Western moderate, forcing him to flee.

The International Commission on Missing Persons, meanwhile, is expanding internationally and applying the DNA identification system it developed to tragedies in other parts of the world. It is identifying the missing in Iraq, Chile and South Africa, as well as victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the passengers shot down in a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine.
Yet scientific and technological advances seem to have changed few views.

One new conspiracy theory circulated by Serb nationalists is that the remains recently buried in the Srebrenica memorial are Filipinos who died in typhoon Haiyan.

First Published July 22, 2015 by inavukic

Denying Genocide in the Face of Science – Croatia, the War, and the Future
Denying Genocide in the Face of Science

Tagged With: Aleksandar Vucic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, David Rohde, DNA identification, former Yugoslavia, genocide, Serbia, Serbian denial of genocide, Srebrenica

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