The belief system of the Islamophobes

For better part of year now I have had exchanges with bloggers that are always going on about the dangers of Islam and Muslims….they see evil intentions behind everything they do……they believe that Sharia Law will become the law of the land or that Muslims all go around chanting “death to America”…..I am sure that they get their info from sites that find one incident that is un-American and extrapolate it into a movement within the Muslim community…..all that seems somehow familiar……

Makes me think of the chaotic and violent days of the 1920-30’s……

You see back in those days times were tough and there was this group that decided all the upheaval was the makings of another ethnic group…..the evil ones compared this other group to a pack of rats and other vermin….they were demonized for….basically being different…..

The evil mastermind, whose name is known by all and will remain anonymous,  put his thoughts down in a book on how to treat these other people……and better yet…….. control them……

“Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (…) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (…) Every change made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula.”

Some tactics never go out of favor….now do they?  When I hear words like “pack”and “horde” to describe a people then the thoughts of yesteryear return…..

The discourse over Muslims today resembles the way Jews were vilified around a century ago.

Source: The belief system of the Islamophobes – Al Jazeera English

The way this discourse is structured reminds me of that same evil fellow from the past…..he postulated the proper way of dealing with the ethnic group in question…..

“Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (…) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (…) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (…) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood.”

All this fear-mongering is nothing new…….

This issue will be debated for years to come…..with no consensus because no matter how cogent an argument is….haters are going to always find someone to hate.

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Yemen vs Saudi Arabia or Daood Vs Goliath

The duel of the century….. the House of Saud bullies its neighbor all in the name of religion……a silly premise to kill……no matter which religion it is…..

Our story begins with the Houthi rebels in Yemen attacking and winning skirmishes with the Yemeni military….the Houthis are Shia and the House of Saud decided that a Shia country next to the Holy sites of Islam was unacceptable……so the war began with the Saudis attacking Houthi positions…..after months of constant airstrikes the small country of Yemen looks in worse shape than Syria after 4 years of civil war.

The Yemeni people are hungry and thirsty and the war continues…..a humanitarian crisis is looming even worse than it is today.

The civilian deaths are mounting up and up…..it is so bad that Saudi Arabia has been brought up on charges in front of the UN…..but that went no where…..the Western countries are running cover for the House of Saud……

Source: Mapping the Yemen conflict | European Council on Foreign Relations

For those that would like to get more information on this conflict may I suggest the following……..

The following maps aim to illustrate distinct facets of the Yemen conflict, and illuminate some rarely discussed aspects of its ongoing civil war.

In a U-turn at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Western governments dropped plans Wednesday for an international inquiry into human rights violations by all parties in the war in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians in the last six months.

The change of direction came as the Netherlands withdrew the draft of a resolution it had prepared with support from a group of mainly Western countries that instructed the United Nations high commissioner for human rights to send experts to Yemen to investigate the conduct of the war.

That proposal was a follow-up to recommendations by the commissioner, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who detailed in a report this month the heavy civilian loss of life inflicted not only by the relentless airstrikes of the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia but also by the indiscriminate shelling carried out by Houthi rebels.

Of course the US is doing what it always does….protect the Saudis at all costs……a usual suspect for denying the truth is McCain……..when asked about civilian deaths caused by the Saudis…….

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spent the most time discussing the issue with me. But his answers were perplexing.

“They may be bombing civilians, which is actually not true,” McCain said, when asked about civilian casualties in Yemen.

“Civilians aren’t dying?” I asked.

“No, they’re not,” the senator replied. “Oh, I’m sure civilians die in war. Not nearly as many as the Houthis have executed,” McCain continued, referring to the Shiite militia waging an insurgency against the Sunni government in Yemen.

Asked about the recent reports of Saudi forces bombing a wedding party in Yemen, McCain said, “I’m sure in wars terrible things happen and the Houthis however are an extremist group backed by the Iranians who are slaughtering Yemenis.”

Check out the other US politicians that will not say anything negative about the Saudis………Source: U.S. Senators Hem and Haw on Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Abuses

The Saudis are killing civilians at an alarming rate…….the most recent deaths were a wedding party…….

The death toll from a missile strike on a wedding party in Yemen has jumped to 131, medics have said, making it one of the deadliest attacks on civilians during the war and drawing strong condemnation from the UN secretary-general.

Residents said that two missiles tore through tents in the Red Sea village of Al-Wahijah, near the port of Al-Mokha. A local man affiliated with the Houthis – the Shia rebel group who are fighting the coalition – was holding his wedding reception.

A source at a hospital in Maqbana, where the casualties were taken, said on Tuesday that the death toll from the attack had risen to 131…….

There is no end in sight…..if things keep up this pace then Yemen will once again be divided into 2 separate states as it was in 1968-1990 when the two unified and became one state…Yemen.  (a little history never hurts)……

Shall we count the conflicts in the Middle East……sorry there is not enough time for that……there is NEVER enough time for the right thing in the Middle East.

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#airstrikes, #conflict-zones, #house-of-saud, #houthis, #military-2, #shia, #united-nations, #war

Kurds, Screwed Again!

Iraq is a flaming wasteland…..both physically and literally…..and it does not look like it will get much better in the near future…..and then the Kurds.

Who are the Kurds….you ask……

This from Yahoo Answers……The Kurd population, stretching across at least 4 countries, with a diaspora in many more, historically has been hard to quantify. In 1987, estimates suggested that probably numbering close to 16 million kurds, inhabits the wide arc from eastern Turkey and the north-western part of Syria through Azerbaijan and Iraq to the north-west of the Zagros Mountains in Iran, represented the population of what has been referred to as “Kurdistan.” About half of all Kurds worldwide lived in Turkey. Most of the rest lived in adjacent regions of Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

They represent by far the largest non-Arab ethnic minority of Iraq, accounting in 1987 for about 19 percent of the population, or around 3.1 million, and also Turkey’s largest non-Turkish ethnic group. By 2008 Turkey still had the dominant Kurdish population in the region, with an estimated 14 million. Iraq was estimated to have a population of some 4-6 million Kurds, with another 4-5 million in Iran. Kurdish populations that represented less than 10 percent of the total population continued by that time in countries such as Syria and Azerbaijan as well.

The Kurds became famous as a tool to invade Iraq…you see Saddam put down an uprising in the Kurdish region with CWs killing thousands……then when we invaded in 2003 they were our best ally at the time and since have helped the US with its problems in the Middle East…..

When the renegade group ISIS started up it was the Kurds that were first to fight and have fought in Syria and Iraq ever since…..with some successes and some failures.

Along came Turkey, a US ally, they had dragged their feet to get involved in the fight against ISIS even when the group was on their border with Syria……for decades Turkey and the PKK (PKK stands for the Kurdistan Worker’s Party)have been in conflict….The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Kurdish: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan or پارتی کار که‌رانی کوردستان Parti Karkerani Kurdistan), best known as PKK (Kurdish language:په‌ که ‌که‌ and also called KADEK, Kongra-Gel, and KGK[6]), is a national independence movement militant and human rights organization that is recognized as a terrorist group by the EU, US and Turkey.

What does all this have to do with the situation?

Turkey finally relents and joins the coalition to fight ISIS….the problem is that Turkey is attacking Kurdish positions and not the terrorist group…..they are using the Coalition as cover to rid themselves of the PKK.

The US and NATO have been caught with their pants down yet again…..will they allow Turkey to continue this vendetta against the PKK?  Turkey is attacking our allies….at what point will it become a problem?

How many times can the US screw over the Kurds before they also turn their backs on us?

But wait there is more……

With all the problems that the Kurds are having with the Us and ISIS and now Turkey…..Iraq has joined into the war against the PKK and in essence the Kurds, at least in words only……for now….

In comments made at the Arab League,Iraqi central government spokesman Ibrahim al-Jaafari endorsed the Turkish war against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), saying Turkey had every right to “self-defence” against the Kurdish secessionist faction.

How much betrayal will the Kurds tolerate before they take off on their own…..apparently no one is in the mood to help them….and their long-held dream of a homeland maybe just that…..a dream.

Any ideas here?

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#isis, #kurdistan, #kurds, #nato, #pkk, #saddam, #syria, #us

Apartheid: Then And Now !

Apartheid a concept from the past…..a form of segregation, if you will…..Think South Africa……if the concept seems foreign to you.

Apartheid.……..a rigid former policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing the non white population…………any system or practice that separates people according to colour, ethnicity, caste, etc.

We Americans became acutely aware of this concept with South Africa……where the black and white populations were separate, but not equal.

After many years, more like decades, the black population rose up and began a campaign of bringing the world’s attention to what was happening in South Africa……the world responded by sanctions and total international isolation and after a while both sides came to an agreement and a more democratic form of government was born with Nelson Mandela at the helm.

Once South Africa dismantled their policies all was right in the world, right?

Where do I go from here?  How about a wall in the Middle East?

Israel is building a wall to separate the West Bank from Israel proper in an attempt to isolate Palestinians……Noam Chomsky has an observation……

“In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid,” Chomsky says, according to Days of Palestine. “To call it apartheid is a gift to Israel, at least if by ‘apartheid’ you mean South African-style apartheid.

“What is happening in the Occupied Territories is much worse. There is a crucial difference. The South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce…

“The Israeli relationship to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is totally different. They just do not want them. They want them out, or at least in prison.”

He described listening to the American mainstream media, such as CBS, like listening directly to the Israeli propaganda agencies. “It is a shameful moment for US media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent, aggressive state [Israel],”

My problem with the whole separation thing is that Israel still wants the Palestinians isolated but builds settlements within the West Bank……

You will ever see a report along these lines from the MSM…..they report only positive things from Israel never any negativity…….but thank God for other organizations that will write the unthinkable…..like Israel’s Haaretz…..written by Bradley Burston……

What does apartheid mean, in Israeli terms?

Apartheid means fundamentalist clergy spearheading the deepening of segregation, inequality, suprematism, and subjugation.

Apartheid means Likud lawmaker and former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter calling Sunday for separate, segregated roads and highways for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.

Apartheid means hundreds of attacks by settlers targeting Palestinian property, livelihoods, and lives, without convictions, charges, or even suspects. Apartheid means uncounted Palestinians jailed without trial, shot dead without trial, shot dead in the back while fleeing and without just cause.

Apartheid means Israeli officials using the army, police, military courts, and draconian administrative detentions, not only to head off terrorism, but to curtail nearly every avenue of non-violent protest available to Palestinians.

Only in Israel would a law be passed that would make a non-violent protest like a hunger strike an act of terrorism.

No matter how one cuts the facts…..Israel is practicing apartheid…..in case you have forgotten what the policy is here is the definition one more time…..

Apartheid.……..a rigid policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing the non white population…………any system or practice that separates people according to colour, ethnicity, caste, etc.

You know kinda like the “reservation” system the US cam up with to control and destroy the Native American population.  After a century of degradation the country has reduced the Native American population into a subservient race, lack of education, infrastructure, adequate health care, etc…..Israel has learned their lessons well from their “Big Brother”.…..

Most of the world is looking the other way to avoid any confrontation with Israel.  It is as if they are afraid of the consequences of such an action…..even Christians, who say they represent a calmer more compassionate world is aiding in the apartheid against Palestinians…….Christian charities are supporting the building of settlements with funds to the tune of millions….

The only way to defeat this racist policy is the same way the apartheid was defeated in South Africa…….sanctions, isolation and divestment of Israel.

Source: BDSmovement.net | The Palestinian BDS National Committee website

The world can force Israel to behave like a civilized member of the international community….the question is will they act like humans or cowards?  My guess is the later!

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#apartheid, #nelson-mandela, #noam-chomsky, #palestinians, #south-africa

The Games Nations Play

Jade Helm 15 is a training exercise or basically a “war game”…..(how is the fight against martial law going in Texas?)……..nations are always playing some sort of war game to exercise their military and to demonstrate their capabilities to their neighbours…..in essence it is an intimidation technique…..a flexing of muscle, if you will.

The US teams up with their allies and play like an invasion is occurring…..Russia will do the same…….China pretty much flexes its own muscle without the need for too many allies…….

I bring all this up because of the situation in Ukraine.  The US/NATO has teamed up with Poland, the Baltic countries and other minor players in the region in a massive war game recently……..but are these exercises truly needed ?  Are they a deterrent?

We have been doing these almost non-stop of several years……are we preparing for war?  The old saying…..”an unused weapon is a useless weapon” comes to mind…….

Like a game of Risk, Russia and NATO have not only been suspiciously eyeing each other in recent months, but also conducting military exercises in border areas that the Washington Post says are making Europe “a region of high military drama.” Now a UK-based think tank is warning that these war games could lead to real conflict if they don’t start communicating and scaling down their activities, the Guardian reports. The European Leadership Network says that although reps from both sides may insist these training exercises—including a flurry of activity in March for Russia and in June for NATO, per the Post—are against hypothetical opponents, it’s clear there are definite foes in mind, and that alleviate measures need to take place ASAP to stave off a possible confrontation.

“Russia is preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia,” the report asserts, adding that even though this doesn’t make a real conflict unavoidable, it helps perpetuate tension in the region—especially thick since the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The organization’s recommendation: Tamp down the size and scale of said exercises, start hammering out a new treaty on limiting the types of weapons used along the borders, and publicly announce beforehand when exercises are being held (Russia is pointed out as a prime offender in this regard). But a NATO rep told Bloomberg that the ELN report “misleadingly puts NATO and Russian exercises on par” and that “the scale and scope of Russia’s exercises are far beyond anything the alliance is doing. Russia is deliberately avoiding military transparency and predictability.”

To me this is just the roll up for a more real confrontation..….Ukraine is as unstable as a country can get……Russia is as aggressive as a country can get……..and the US/NATO is as persistent as a country can get……

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ISIS: The Day After The Day After

Or News From The Battle Front……

While the country was a marvelling at the gender transformation…..or trying to decipher the lunatic ramblings of a presidential candidate…..there has been some interesting happens in our battle with ISIS…..you remember them right?

In the beginning there the horrors of a group called ISIS……the be-headings and the people trapped on a mountain threatened with death, the Yazidis……think back it is not hard………

As usual in the moment the country was shocked and appalled (as usual did not last long) and the country demanded action (why they are not exactly sure but it seems to be the thing to do)…….to appease the M-IC the president went on TV and promised that the US would do all it could to “degrade and defeat” this terrorist group……and there we are……..

After that short retrospective behind me……let us look at how bad the group ISIS was “degraded”…….I chose “degraded” because we know we have not defeated them as of yet………after about a year of the US involvement through airstrikes in support of a limited ground action…..how have we done on the “degrading” front?

Recently a think tank (cannot remember which of the 100’s out there) issued a report declaring that ISIS over the past year of involvement has lost 9.4% of the territory that has captured…..now that should illustrate that the tactics used by the coalition are working …..but ever so slowly….good news……..right?

Hate to pee on y’all’s parade but the US intel people did it for me……

According to officials familiar with the situation, US intelligence agencies have offered a new assessment of ISIS, cautioning that a solid year of US airstrikes against them in Iraq and Syria hasn’t left ISIS any weaker than they were when the strikes began.

Surprisingly, even though the military has bragged about how great the war is going throughout the year, military commanders aren’t disputing the assessment, and are simply saying that they believe progress will come at some point in the future, when Iraq retakes Ramadi

To me that assessment is just “wishful thinking” and I do not see that as a viable tactic for victory……do you?

A further pee pee on the admin’s parade………

………reports have emerged of al-Qaeda’s Syrian faction, Jabhat al-Nusra, capturing a number of top members of the US-trained “Division 30,” also known as the “New Syrian Force.” The group is now reported to have been routed outright from its headquarters in northern Syria, and had to flee into Kurdish territory.

This is the most recent news coming to us from the front and you had to read it here and not hear it from the MSM……..does that raise a red flag for anyone?

“Degrade and defeat” is a cutesy slogan but the reality is that we are spinning our wheels and it is becoming a comedy of errors.

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Will There Be Peace For The Middle East?

From the College of Geopolitical Knowledge

There is only so much one can write about ISIS these days without being redundant…….I despise redundancy since makes me feel like I am too stupid to grasp an idea without a constant repetition until I can comprehend….I try to avoid that I will give all the benefit of the doubt.

Moving on to another subject that is sort of along the lines of my Middle East writings……..

I was recently asked by a student if I could see anyway there could be peace in the Middle East.  A question I have been asked many times over the years while I was teaching and lecturing.

An excellent question……but it is one that needs clarifying.  What do they mean by “peace”?  Is it a concern for the whole region?  Or maybe a specific country?

To most Westerners, that is until recently, peace in the Middle East meant peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians……..and few in the West will take the time to look at the situation clearly…..they are basing what they perceive as peace through the lens of religion not from reality.

Unfortunately most Americans want a simple answer to their question……but it cannot be answered properly in a simple manner and anyone that gives you one is a ………LIAR.

Let’s continue shall we?

Start with the region….the Middle East.  Will there ever be peace in the region?  Not in my lifetime…..well that is unfair since I am an old fart that will be a lot quicker than it sounds…..

There are too many varied interests in the region…Sunni, Shi’a, Sufis, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Kurds, Alawites and a whole bunch of minor ethnicity…….then there is the tribes and their traditional lands….and finally there is just plain racism that may never become peaceful.

Keep in mind that what we call the Middle Est is a Western invention brought about at the end of World War One and the dissolving of the Ottoman Empire.  Then after years of rioting and rebellion and armed conflict strong men came to power and the region became fairly peaceful under their regimes.

A case can be made that peace can be achieved in the Middle East but it will take an authoritarian figure to do so…..and that is just NOT acceptable to the Western powers.  For some reason they, the West, wants to foist democracy onto a people that have NO experience handling such a concept.  One problem is there is very few democratic institutions in the region…..without those democracy has no place to go……and is just a novel concept.

But let’s say we can somehow silence all the discord in the Middle east…..what would a peace process look like?

The head of the UN Peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, who is now the president of the International Crisis Group has made an observation…….

  • Talk to your enemies, because it is with them that you will have to make peace: Iran has to be part of the solution in Syria precisely because it is part of the problem.
  • Don’t expect to build stable peace on the exclusion of a significant segment of the population: Whatever the flaws in the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood, the policy of eradication pursued by Egypt is unlikely to succeed.
  • Don’t expect that training and equipment are enough to build an army: Soldiers die for their country when they believe in it, and the debacle in Ramadi shows that security reform without a political foundation is a waste of money.
  • Last but not least, be more humble, but also more persistent in defining policy goals: The people of the Middle East, not the West, will define the future of the region. The West’s strategic ambition cannot be to shape the regional order, whether it is status quo or change, but only to limit violence and war, which feed terrorism.

The important thing to remember is that the people of the Middle East need to define their path….not the US or any other Western power.  Peace is not achieved by knee jerk reactions to a situation.

Without a sense of nation…….no nation is possible.  Without peace there will be no nation…….and the vicious cycle goes on……and on…….

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