Category Archives: Radical Islam

Hindutva and the “Unfinished Partition”

Aakash is an interesting Indian Hindu living in the US who rejects much Indian Hindu culture as insipid, toxic and diseased, yet still embraces a Hindu identity. He also admits that caste is crap and it needs to go. Surely a casteless Hinduism could be formulated since all religions are human creations.

If religions are human creations, than Hinduism was created by man. If so, it could be constantly molded by men too.

Many religions have been through Reformations. The horrors of Early Christianity are long gone and probably never to return. Not long ago, non-Catholics were told to convert or die. That’s not happening anywhere no, and there are no Inquisitions on the horizon either. Lands are no longer conquered by Christendom, nor are heathens put to the sword. Christian heathens are not burned at the stake. Religious authorities are no longer in charge of Christian states via the throne or otherwise. In all of Christendom, separation of church and state is nearly complete. No Christian justifies slavery anymore or owns slaves.

If Christianity can go through a Reformation, Hinduism surely can too since it is generally less divinely inspired than Christianity.

Aakash:

Robert

While the attempt to finish partition is indeed a primary driving force for the Hindutvas, the bigger picture needs to be understood here.

Ask yourself the question: was the partition of India on religious basis fair or Justified? If anybody believes that it was, it was the most unfortunate event in the history of Hindus. The fact that by force (as in west Pakistan) or genocide (east Pakistan), Hindus have been eliminated in Pakistan and Bangladesh while Muslims still to this day have a strong presence in India has to hurt even the most rational of Hindus.

Ironically, this is where the Hindutvadis are barking up the wrong tree. Instead of focusing on the objective to expose the “nations” Pakistan and Bangladesh and showing solidarity with whatever number of Hindus that remain there, their hatred extends to all Muslims in general including Arabs, Turks, Persians etc who have nothing to do with present day India.

Hindutva movement is at best a display of high entropy randomness swinging from hating Muslims in general extending all the way to couples holding hands (most of them being Hindus themselves). There is no identity and will never be one simply because it has zero left wing element to it. Majority of poor in India are Hindus themselves and the Hindu right wing does nothing for them.

If, on the other hand, you believe (like I do) that the partition of India, if at all, should have been based on a more logical basis such as language/region, I urge you to start writing articles calling for the elimination of the rogue state of Pakistan and the shitty country that is Bangladesh.

I can understand Hindutva rage and where it is coming from. But the way they go about their business lacks reason and subtlety to say the least. This is in line with other South Asian crazies like Muslims.

Aakash is absolutely correct. The partition in a sense was a crime. Hindus were more or less ethnically cleansed in one way or another from both Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Pakistan, they were mostly just made to disappear via emigration and conversion to Islam (some of the conversion was pretty much forcible). In Bangladesh, Pakistani Muslims and their often Islamist collaborators massacred 3 million people, maybe 80% if whom were Hindus. It was truly a genocide. There are about 13% Hindus left in Bangladesh, and they are subject to regular serious persecution whereby their neighborhoods are burned to the ground and some of them are killed. It’s not quite Gujarat, but it’s nearly Kristallnacht.

Blaming Bangladeshi Muslims seems wrong as Bangladeshi society is horribly divided on this question. The more secular minded folks associated with a Congress-like party are outraged at the genocide, perhaps because a lot of Muslims were also killed. The more Islamist-minded mostly think the genocide was all well and good. An Islamist was recently put on trial for war crimes committed during the war, and this ignited passions in Bangladeshi society that have left a number of folks dead amid serious riots. Indian Hindus need to realize that a large section of Bangladeshi society thinks the genocide of 1971 was a horrific crime.

But on the surface, it does look unfair. Bangladesh and Pakistan were nearly cleansed of Hindus, yet there remains many Muslims in India. However, in the case of India and Bangladesh, the comparison is not a good one. India is 13% Muslim, and Bangladesh is 13% Hindu, so the proportions are the same, though the Hindus of Bangladesh look to be on the decline, and Muslims in India are set to rise.

One problem is that Islam always offers an out to the persecuted infidels, which does make Islam better than most forms of racism. In most racism, there really is no way out. In Nazi Germany, even converting to Christianity was enough to save a Jew as the persecution was racially inspired. One can hardly change one’s race at any rate.

Persecuted infidels in Muslim nations can always convert to Islam, and then the persecution will generally grind to a halt. This option is often heavily encouraged in Muslim nations as infidels are often under varying degrees of pressure to convert. Infidel females in particular are often kidnapped by Muslim men, raped and forced to convert. Intermarriage is another way as a Muslim man can marry an infidel woman and the children will all be raised Muslim, hence the infidel woman’s offspring are lost to the infidels. Female Muslims, the breed stock of Islam, are forbidden to marry out or if they do, the infidel man just convert. Islam gets the intermarried either way.

Muslims, no matter how they intermarry, end up having their offspring raised as Muslims. This is the sort of religion that is nearly programmed to multiply like a bacterium, a weed or an amphibian. In most societies, the Muslim population will tend to rise as the infidel population will tend to decrease. This simply another form of Islamic conquest, this one being the “jihad of the womb.”

I do not believe that Bangladesh or Pakistan should be broken up, at least not now. Pakistan actually needs breaking, but not until India breaks too. Neither one will split without or before the other, so neither will break up. If India breaks up, they lose to Pakistan. If Pakistan breaks up, they lose to India. Both nations are paranoid of the other, China and the US and they fear assimilation by outside powers.

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Filed under Asia, Asian, Bangladesh, Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Hinduism, History, India, Islam, Nationalism, Pakistan, Political Science, Racism, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, South Asia, Ultranationalism

Islam Is Not Progressive

Islamic devolution, evolution in reverse.

Islamic devolution, evolution in reverse.

Look at how far backwards Afghanistan has gone. This is your society on Islamism. Afghanistan was a Muslim country in 1972 also, but look how different it was. There are many ways to be a Muslim country. Afghanistan was just as much of a Muslim country in 1972 as it is this year. The only thing that has changed is the fundamentalist nature of society.

It is amazing that liberals and the Left think that Islam and Islamism is the greatest thing since sliced bread.Why? Islam and Islamism is against everything the Left is for. If the Western Left is against anything, it must be against Islam and Islamism. It’s hard to imagine a form of Islam that won’t move Western societies backwards, and it’s hard to imagine a form of Islamism that won’t throw a Muslim country into reverse.

Sure, Hinduism blows, but so does Islam. Who says that Hinduism blows worse than Islam? It’s a tough call! Which religious cancer treats women worse, Islam or Hinduism? Once again, close call! Both of these religions are obscurantist forms of primitivism instead to move society backwards, not forwards.

According to the Left, history, like clocks, is supposed to move forwards. And I believe that is the general tendency of history. Not exactly an iron law, but humans have a tendency to move from conditions of less progress to conditions of more progress. And this in a nutshell, is the Left Hegelian notion of history.

So it is in this sense that Fukushima’s theory was a conceit. Fukushima wrote that history was over, that is, we are stuck with capitalist economics, preferably of the neoliberal form, despite the fact that it is a backwards, primitive, inefficient, irrational and profoundly immoral system. The Left notion of history holds that humans have a natural tendency to move from more backwards, primitive, irrational and immoral systems towards systems that are more progressive, advanced, rational and moral.

Humans have not changed one bit. The human race has not decided to become reactionaries overnight. We continue to move towards progress on many fronts. There is no reason to think that justice and fairness minded humans will settle for the insanity and deeply unfair system of neoliberal capitalism. Nothing changed suddenly in 1990. Clocks did not stop or start working backwards. Life goes on.

We continue our walk through life, one step at a time, always forwards, never resting and not one step back.

Such is the essential human condition.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Asia, Capitalism, Culture, Economics, Hinduism, History, Islam, Left, Neoliberalism, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, South Asia, Useless Western Left

Real Revolution Versus Fake Revolution

The Syrian Revolution as fake revolution.

The Syrian Revolution as fake revolution.

I honestly do not think much of this Syrian revolution. Almost all of the revolutionaries are Sunni Muslim Arabs. Few to none of them are Shia, Alawite or Druze Arabs. There are almost no Christians in the ranks. And there are few to no Kurds in the ranks. In fact, the revolutionaries are hostile to all of these groups last time I checked. That’s why those other groups are not signing up. There have been many attacks on Syrian Christians, Shia and Alawites by the revolutionaries. Many from these groups have been kidnapped, beaten, tortured and murdered.

In a city of 50,000, all of the Christians were ethnically cleansed from the city. They received a “leave or die” order from the rebels. Many Syrian churches have been blown up or damaged by the rebels. The Druze are not signing up for the fight, and the Sunni Muslim rebels may not like the Druze very much. No doubt they see them as some sort of heretics or possibly even infidels.

The Syrian Kurds do not like the regime very much, as the regime has not been too kind to them to put it mildly. However, the regime made some huge concessions to the Kurds in recent days, and the regime has now vacated the Kurdish area and the Kurds are more or less in control of their own part of Syria. Why the regime vacated the area, I am not sure, but the Kurds are hostile to the rebels and maybe the regime just felt that the area was not worth fighting for.

A political party which is frankly the Syrian arm of the Turkish PKK has now taken over that part of Syria. The result is that Turkey has threatened to attack and occupy that part of Syria as it is serving as some sort of a PKK base. These threats have not been carried out. The Kurdish government in Iraq has refused to support their brethren in Syria as they are seen as too close to the PKK, and the Iraqi Kurds want to distance themselves from the PKK. The best description of the Syrian Kurds at this point would be to say that they are hostile to both the regime and the rebels. The rebels do not like the Kurds because the Sunni Arab rebels are Arab nationalists and see the Kurds as secessionists.

The revolution has a strongly Islamist character and has had it from the very start. Al Qaeda type groups now form a large part of the rebels. Al Qaeda types from Iraq and hardline Islamists from around the Arab world are going to Syria to fight in the “jihad.” It’s a jihad because they are fighting against the Alawi, who are seen as heretics by many Sunni Muslims. The fight is being manipulated from abroad. The rebels get much of their money and arms from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The Gulf Arabs hate the Syrian regime because it is made up of Alawites, who they see as heretics.

Turkey has also helped the rebels a lot for reasons that are not clear. However, they are Sunni Islamists who have an Alawi type group in their country that they don’t treat very well. Turkey is also trying to be seen as the light among Sunni Muslims and is attempting to gain points with them that way. The United Snakes is also involved because Syria is one of the pillars of the resistance front against the Zionist regime in Israel. Syria and Iran along with Hezbollah and Hamas make up the resistance front at the moment, although the Egyptian regime may be leaning in that direction. Lebanon is also a sworn enemy of Israel, but they are usually not thought of as part of the resistance front.

Iran is listed because they support Hezbollah and Hamas with arms. The Syrian regime helps ferret those arms from Iran to Hezbollah and also gives Hezbollah a lot of arms of its own. In addition, Syria is still a sworn enemy of Israel because Israel occupies Syrian land in the Golan Heights. It’s also said that Syria supports Hamas, but all they do is give refuge to their leaders. Qatar also gives refuge to Hamas leaders and no one talks about that.

Israel also continues to occupy Lebanese territory in the Shebaa Farms and makes all sorts of phony excuses as to why they can’t give it back. One of the excuses is that the land is really Syrian, but Syria says that even if that is true, they don’t want the land, and Lebanon can have it. Israel is such a disgusting country! This occupation is the stated reason for Hezbollah continuing existence. I really don’t see why Israel doesn’t give the land back to Lebanon to get rid of Hezbollah. I don’t get it.

It is true that another issue is three Lebanese villages that Israel conquered in 1948. Israel invaded far south Lebanon during this war and conquered three villages. They ordered all of the Shia Muslims out at gunpoint, and they went to Lebanon as refugees. I am not sure of their status now. The towns are now 100% full of Israeli Jews. Lebanon says she wants those towns back.

If the Syrian regime can be removed, one leg of the Syria – Iran – Hezbollah axis can be eliminated. The new regime will be Sunni Muslim and will be hostile to both Iran and Hezbollah since Iran and Hezbollah have both helped the regime during the war. They would have been hostile to them anyway though because Sunni Muslims in that region are notorious Shia-haters and both the Syrian and Iranian regimes are Shia.

With the new regime in power, Iran would no longer be able to supply Hezbollah via Syria. She might be able to supply them directly, but that might be pretty difficult. Iran would then be even more isolated in the region. Without the support of its main patron, Hezbollah may wither on the vine. Hezbollah has currently moved into Syria to protect some Syrian Shia villages on the border. The Syrian rebels have ordered the Shia residents and Hezbollah both to evacuate these villages. They refused to leave, and there has been some heavy fighting in the area lately. There have been many reports that Iran has advisers in Syria helping the regime. The reports have been hard to validate, but they are probably true.

So the whole reason for the US supporting Syria is part and parcel of US support for the Zionist regime in Israel. It’s just more “USraeli” foreign policy (the two countries can be seen as one merged entity that I call “USreal”).

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Filed under Alawi, Arab Nationalism, Arabs, Asia, Christianity, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Jews, Kurds, Lebanon, Middle East, Nationalism, Near Easterners, North Africa, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Revolution, Saudi Arabia, Shiism, South Asia, Sunnism, Syria, Syrians, Turkey, US Politics, Zionism

Some Saturday Thoughts on the Jews

A Jewish visitor writes:

Robert:

I’ve read a lot on your blog and I appreciate that you can talk about race, ethnicity, Jewishness, and Zionism without necessarily being racist and anti-Semitic. I think one of the reasons why there is no discourse on Israeli policies in the U.S. is because, as you pointed out, the people who tend to be anti-Zionist also tend to have outright anti-Semitic views, which to us Jews is frightening.

But a few thoughts: when you say “holocaust porn” that’s a little bit offensive. It’s one thing to claim that we still perpetuate a victim mentality despite being successful, but out of respect to the survives and the 5.7 million slain and those who survived, you shouldn’t make a joke of what happened.

When you talk about the influence of Jews in the politico-economic and media spheres, I think what you have to say isn’t too far off, but that the “tribal mentality” and “ethnocentrism” happens on an individual level rather than a group conspiracy. I know a lot of prominent Jews and I can swear there are no secret synagogue meetings in which we malevolently plot to hurt gentiles.

It’s just that from a young age we’ve been taught that yes, we consider ourselves special, and that as a people, we should look out for one another. This may be a form of ethnocentrism, but as you yourself as stated, you take pride in being white, so why shouldn’t we take pride in being Jewish?

I also wonder what your theories as to Jews’ relatedness to the rest of the Caucasian population. Jews suppress white nationalism because it often turns populations against us, and until ’48, we had no place to go.

Ashkenazic Jews look white and resemble their European populations because of intermarriage. But we were told we were “Semitic” and “non-Aryan” and thus non-desirable to White nationalists. Yet recent DNA tests have shown that the Y-chromosomes of Ashkenazic Jews (these lines were generally unbroken) are closest genetically to Greeks and Italians, which maybe hints that we share a common pre-Indo-European (maybe Hittite?) ancestor.

Does this make any sense, and would this mean that Jews should stop advancing our own interests and instead join forces with our fellow white populations? I do think that the sense of Jewish victim mentality is calming with my generation and that besides intermarrying, we’re much cooler-headed on other Jewish issues.

I also read somewhere (maybe on the Occidental Observer) that the Jewish drive and Protestant work ethic have converged in America so that we find ourselves fighting on the same side as our Caucasian brethren against radical Islam and China. So maybe perhaps there is hope for Western Civilization, and perhaps some of that hope lies with the Jews.

First of all, welcome to the site! Jews are always welcome to this website.

As far as his first sentence goes, that’s one of the main things I am trying to do on this site.

Jewish ethnocentrism becomes a problem when they discriminate against non-Jews in hiring, promoting and whatnot. That’s not ok. It’s also pretty sickening that the Jews who helped write the Civil Rights Act tried to make it so Jews could continue to discriminate without running afoul of the Act.

There are some anti-Zionists who are not anti-Semitic, but as they get deeper and deeper into it, many anti-Zionists just get worse and worse that way. Also, anti-Semitic stuff is always infiltrating anti-Zionist sites in all sorts of ways. Of course, the Zionist folks who are acting like such bastards over there are indeed a bunch of Jews, and their crappy behavior is all wrapped up in Judaism and Jewish culture.

Nevertheless, US Jews are not stealing Palestinian land, beating up their kids and whatnot, so why not let them off the hook? Any chance I can get to take the non anti-Semitic side, I will gladly do that. We can blame US Jews for supporting Israel to the hilt, but then many Gentiles are supporting them to the hilt too, so it’s not fair to single out US Jews for this abuse.

Truth is that a lot of countries around the world act just as shitty as Israel, and a lot of their co-ethnics in the US support the crappy behavior of their co-ethnics abroad, so there’s nothing unusual about Jews and their ethnocentrism and tribalism.

One problem with Jewish ethnocentrism is that, in a word, that is what all the horrors of Zionism are all about. Zionism is simply Jewish ethnocentrism writ large and encompassed in an entire state and society. It’s Jewish ethnocentrism on steroids. And the most ethnocentric of US Jews are also the “Jewiest” (the most unpleasant to us Gentiles in their stereotypical ways) and also, surprise, surprise, they are also the most Zionist!

The Y-DNA probably comes from the early migrations of the Israelites after the fall of the temple in 0-500 AD. The first places they went to after leaving Israel were places like Greece and Italy.

My understanding is that there is a also a strong line in the Ashk Jews that is related to Kurds, Turks and Armenians. These are probably the ancient roots of the Jewish people, a Semitic people from northern Iraq. Semitic in language, Anatolian in genes. If you look at Armenian people, you will often notice that they look a lot like Ashk Jews. Look at them closely!

Joining forces with your fellow Whites is probably a good idea. Jews always oppose White interests because they think it will lead to some form of White nationalism or White ethnic nationalism which historically turns on the Jews as aliens and non-Whites or non-ethnics. Certainly Jewish movements against White interests dredge up a whole lot of antisemitism among a certain segment of the population. But one might argue that the type of White who gets so upset about these Jewish behaviors doesn’t like Jews much anyway, and even if Jews stopped their nonsense tomorrow, these ethnocentric Whites would just fish around and find some other reason to hate the Jews.

I really believe that these folks need to hate the Jews for some reason, and I am not sure that there is anything that Jewish people can do to win your favor. At some point, you just have to write certain folks off as lost causes.

The new generation of young Jews is ok. I don’t mind them too much. The problem once again is anti-Semitism. As soon as any significant anti-Semitism gets riled up in US society, those very well-behaved Jews will quickly become the Jewiest Jews you have ever met. Besides being anti-humane, anti-Semitism is bad for the Jews in other ways. It tends to bring out the worst most stereotypical behaviors in Jews, which of course causes even more anti-Semitism, which makes Jews act even Jewier, which causes more anti-Semitism, well, you get the picture. You probably know how this story ends, too, and it’s not a pretty picture.

True the Jews are lining up with White interests somewhat against China and against radical Islam. However, most Jews don’t care about China. Only Jewish neocons want to fight China. And I don’t think most Whites care about China either. Yes there is a marriage of interests against Islam or against radical Islam as you put it, between the Jews and the rest of US Whites. This is not a very pretty marriage though. A lot these folks make no distinction between Islam and radical Islam. To them, all Muslims are radical.

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Asia, China, Conservatism, Europeans, Islam, Israel, Jews, Left, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Palestine, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, The Jewish Question, US Politics, USA, White Nationalism, Whites, Zionism

The Catastrophe of the Iraqi Resistance

Repost from the old site. This is a good article, the first article I wrote on the Internet in December 2004. It was widely posted all over the Net and got a lot of comments on the Net. I believe it is still relevant today.

By any progressive standards, the Iraqi resistance seems to have morphed in recent days into one of the most unprincipled, unethical, fanatical, unreasonable, and reactionary resistance factions on Earth.

From a progressive standpoint, it would seem the Iraqi rebels have some principled grounds to fight for – we see them as resisting a US imperialist, neocolonialist and Zionist invasion of Iraq, one intended to subdue all of those forces in the Middle East resisting US and Israeli desires for total economic, military and political domination of the region.

The US invasion was completely contrary to international law, there has been massive colonization and outright theft of Iraq’s resources and economic base, and the US appears to be demanding the right to establish several colonial garrisons in the conquered land in furtherance of its imperial plans for the region.

We could go on and on about the larger political and economic schemes at play here, but that’s all been dealt with extensively by others. The point I am trying to make here is that merely from anti-imperialist or anti-colonialist point of view, the Iraqi resistance would seem to have a valid cause for armed struggle to throw the invaders and occupiers off their homeland.

Given the seedbed for a patriotic, nationalist, principled resistance the US has sown in Iraq, what have the Iraqi guerrillas done? In 2003, one could still hold out hope for some sort of a progressive, secular, nationalist armed resistance in Iraq. Through 2003, a plethora of resistance groups appeared, with new ones popping up every week or so.

A number of them were standard nationalist groupings, others stridently opposed sectarian politics, and a number were decidedly secular. Some of these groupings were associated with the former regime, but many were not.

They were generally made up of Sunni Arabs, though there were also a number of Shia Arabs, along with a few Kurds, Turkmen and even Iraqi Christians filling out the ranks. Further, there were a number of openly Leftist armed groups, though their numbers were small.

From the point of view of the Iraqi resistance, the best thing to do would be to cast aside all sectarian nonsense and try to unite as many groups as possible against the occupiers. This is what a sensible, intelligent, nationalist resistance does. Even in a region where tribal politics holds sway, the fighters close ranks in the name of “national unity”, as the guerrillas in Palestine have done.

The resistance should avoid imposing noxious, draconian law on the peoples under its control, proceed cautiously in the case of spies, and avoid trying to form local government. The case of Palestine is instructive for how a “national unity” resistance should be run.

Prior to the founding of Hamas in 1987, Islamists in Palestine were hardly involved in the armed struggle – they spent most of their time, believe it or not, arguing about how long to grow one’s beard. If one took up arms, one was regarded as a “Communist”, since armed struggle against Israel was for “Communists”.

There was a great deal of sectarian conflict in those days and the precursors to Hamas killed and wounded many Leftists, who the Islamists despised.

Around this time, Israel helped found Hamas as both a divide and conquer strategy against the Palestinians and to Islamicize the face of Palestinian struggle in order to make it less appealing on the international front. In many ways, this strategy was a complete failure. Before the founding of Hamas, the Islamists were attacking Leftists in Palestine all the time.

This internecine conflict came to an end soon after the founding of Hamas. After things settled down a bit, the Palestinian resistance moved to a point of equilibrium called “national unity”. Presently, open Leftists and Communists in the PFLP and DFLP fight side by side, with no problems whatsoever, with the hardline Islamists in Hamas.

Professors on Palestinian campuses write openly atheist and blasphemous tracts against Islam and are not harmed. One of the top figures in the PLO is an acknowledged atheist and no one bothers him. There are large marches against suicide bombings. Hamas eschews all local law enforcement and refuses to implement an Islamic dress code.

In Ramallah, one can walk into a bar and order a drink during Ramadan – the only place in the Arab World one may do this – and Hamas refuses to even issue an official denunciation. Hamas has never tried to shut down the numerous bars in Palestine.

Although Hamas is officially the Palestinian branch of Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas keeps this a big secret because the MB is so disliked in Palestine (it is regarded as an Islamic extremist organization). Most Palestinians are not even aware of the relationship. Last Christmas, Hamas members actually presented gifts and toys to churches in Bethlehem – an unthinkable act for a hardline Islamist group.

Hardline Islamist imams in Gaza have called for Palestinian Christians and Muslims to fight side by side against Israel. Palestinian Christians, and some Muslims, wear whatever they please, and miniskirts and not unheard of, even in Gaza. The Islamists don’t like Western dress, and comments are made, but Hamas has never tried to enforce any kind of Islamic dress code in Palestine.

Palestinian papers are filled with articles that many hardline Palestinians would consider to be openly treasonous – calls for calling off the armed struggle, for settling for the most debasing peace agreements with Israel, for peaceful struggle a la Gandhi, for disarming the armed groups, etc.

Through it all, Hamas and the hardliners generally keep their mouths shut and tolerate openly “sellout” positions, all in the name of national unity. Although the differences between the Left, the PLO and the Islamists are often very wide, there is not much discussion of these differences – they are all temporarily glossed over in the name of national unity.

PFLP and DFLP fighters, open Leftists, came out for the funerals of Hamas leaders Sheik Yassin and Abdulaziz Rantissi and were seen fighting in the battles with the IDF that erupted afterward. Human rights organizations operate openly in Palestine, criticizing both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides, and the armed factions leave them alone.

Most importantly of all, all Palestinian factions have deep roots in their communities and do not brutalize the people they live amongst. In many places, almost everyone in the community is part of the resistance in one way or another, from young kids to women to old folks – everyone serves some function. You can’t get closer to the people than that.

Journalists, politicians, government workers, UN employees, aid workers, Christians, Druze, students, innocent civilians, even ISF volunteers, have nothing to fear from Hamas, the most radical of the Palestinian factions. Hamas has never been known kidnap foreigners for ransom, or to behead prisoners, much less to do so on videotape.

Hamas has never attacked a Palestinian school, store, campus, neighborhood, mosque, church, bar, press office, polling place, government office or hospital. Only informers for Israel have something to fear, and usually only after a serious investigation.

Even on the rare occasions when Hamas has taken an Israeli soldier hostage, the captives were treated fairly well, at least until Israel made the mistake of trying to “free” them. Hamas held them as ransom to try to get its own prisoners out of Israeli prisons.

When Israel refused to negotiate and stormed the hideout, the guerrillas executed the prisoner, which is a crime, but that is still not the same thing as wanton execution of all enemy prisoners or beheading prisoners on tape and peddling the gorefest around the Internet.

Even during the 90’s, while the PA spent much of its time arresting Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists as favors for the US and Israel, Islamic guerrillas generally refrained from attacks on the PA, a breathtaking show of self-restraint.

While controversy has swirled over the Palestinian terror tactic of suicide bombings against civilians, the world fails to recognize that almost all Palestinian attacks have been against military or settler targets in the Territories, and only a relative few attacks have occurred inside the Green Line.

Palestinian guerrillas have repeatedly offered to cease all attacks on civilians inside Israel, only to be endlessly rebuffed. One gets the feeling that Israel wants a suicide attack inside the Green Line now and again to malign the enemy and feed its propaganda machine. Even here, though, Palestinian terrorists have taken a nuanced stance.

Note the International Solidarity Movement’s (ISM) volunteers that swarm the Territories, standing by the besieged Palestinian people and helping protect civilians. Most people don’t realize that 1/3 of ISM volunteers are Jewish.

Generally, these Jews who have chosen to stand by the Palestinian people do not complain of racism from the supposedly Jew-hating Palestinians. How long would a Jewish civilian volunteer last in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle, no matter how pro-resistance he was?

The point here is that all of these people – atheists, blasphemers, bartenders and bar patrons, women in miniskirts, “sell-outs” and compromise at any cost types, human rights activists, journalists, humanitarian workers, Leftists, Communists, feminists, Christians – are basically left alone!

There may be some words exchanged here and there, but in general, no one threatens them, puts a gun to their head, beats them up, attacks them, tortures them, much less kills them or chops their head off on tape. This is the intelligent way to run a principled, intelligent, nationalist resistance to a colonizer, occupier or invader.

Why? Because by fracturing and fighting amongst themselves, the resistance serves the needs of the occupier. Divide and conquer is the age-old colonial game and the smartest resistance movements try not to fall for it.

So what has the Iraqi resistance done? Exactly the opposite of the Palestinian resistance! Instance of uniting for national unity, they are presently pursuing one of the most reactionary, backwards, barbaric, sectarian, fascistic, oppressive, domineering, racist, tribalistic, and downright stupid agendas imaginable.

Allow me to elaborate: In late 2003, after the capture of Saddam, the resistance started moving towards Sunni Islamism and the pro-Saddam factions started drying up. Although there have been a couple of serious, and commendable, flare-ups of Shia nationalistic Islamism with the 2 Sadr rebellions in 2004, at the moment, the resistance is probably 90% Sunni Arab.

Furthermore, as 2004 wore on, the Sunni Islamists became more and more extreme, with a movement towards Salafism or Wahhabism, the most extreme Sunni Islam with roots in the Arabian Gulf.

Through 2004 the Leftist, nationalist, and unified front type groupings gradually seemed to give way to this extreme fanatical Sunni Salafist Islam, which now dominates the Iraqi resistance with its bleak, cruel, Medieval, puritanical, theocratic agenda.

With each passing month, more and more Shia are alienated from the resistance as the Sunni extremists attack the Shia with increasing regularity. In the areas they control, the Sunni fanatics have imposed the most backwards, insane, brutal and stupid version of Islamic law since the fall of the Taliban.

Even Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Sudan are not this harsh. Women are threatened and then shot dead for the crime of wearing blue jeans. Drivers listening to music are pulled out of their cars, beaten, and ordered to listen to religious music. Stores selling musical instruments and music and video CD’s are ordered to close and attacked when they don’t close. Hairdressers and makeup shops are ordered to close.

Women refusing to wear the hijab are threatened with guns and sometimes killed for not covering up. Alcohol stores are ordered to close and bombed when they don’t comply. Alcohol sellers are flogged in public. Men with long hair are given mock public trials where they are beaten and their “Western” haircuts shorn.

In recent days, the Sunni guerrillas around Latifiyah in the so-called Death Triangle have committed the ultimate outrage of shutting down the schools in the region, either in “solidarity with Fallujah” or because “schools are cooperating with the Occupation”.

One has to think hard to think of a resistance group in recent years that has shut down the schools of very same people they are claiming to “protect”. The damage that could be done to the Sunni youngsters in these areas from long-term school shutdowns is hard to calculate.

Journalists are kidnapped, beaten, tortured, shot dead, and even beheaded on tape in a frenzy of delirious rage that is hard for the sane mind to comprehend. News agencies are attacked for not sufficiently toeing the guerrilla line.

And in the ultimate crime and the nadir of stupidity, an aid worker who dedicated her life to the Iraqi people and hated the Occupation was kidnapped and brutally murdered for reasons only an asylum inmate could comprehend.

God forbid, even hospitals are attacked; in the most egregious case, after the idiotic bombing of a Christian church, in order to doubly punish the “infidel Christian” victims of the blast ferried to the hospital.

Execution of “spies”, “informers” and the like is utterly random and at the whim of the guerrillas, often without much evidence or the slightest hint of a proceeding.

The upshot of all of this is that in the areas where they Sunni fanatics hold sway, they are often feared and hated by a certain number of residents, Sunni Arabs themselves. Some residents are so fed up with guerrilla high-handedness and cruelty that they have welcomed the re-Occupation of their cities by US troops.

When a guerrilla faction is reduced to ruling and surviving through terror and not through the deep, passionate support of the people, that resistance faction is utterly failing in one of the primary rules of guerrilla war.

This rule, cited from Mao to Che to the finest war colleges on Earth, that the guerrillas need to gain support from civilian populations through good deeds and by the passionate commitment to the guerrilla cause of the people the guerrillas live amongst. The people’s support for the guerrilla works best when freely given and not coerced – terrorizing the people you claim to represent only gets one so far.

And how are the Sunni Islamists treating other religious groups, whom any half-sane Sunni resistance ought to be trying to enlist in a national resistance? Christians are threatened, ordered to close their alcohol, hairdressing and makeup shops and wear the hijab. If they refuse, they are killed.

Some Christians are being ordered to convert to Islam on penalty of death and there have been a few deaths in these cases. Iraqi churches, some of the oldest and most beautiful in the Christian World, have been repeatedly and shamelessly bombed.

It is true that many Christians have supported the Occupation in the past, but many others have not, and some large Christian parties have recently strongly opposed the Occupation.

The Shia are threatened, bullied, humiliated and ultimately ethnically cleansed. An entire region, from Abu Ghurayb down to Yusufiya and Latifiyah, is being systematically cleansed of Shia in an attempt to expand the Sunni Zone west of Baghdad.

Clearly, this is no better than what Israel does in their Territories. In Latifiyah, Shia mosques have been ordered to close and Shia are being thrown off the land so that Sunnis can take their farmland. Landowners renting to Shia are threatened with death unless they throw the Shia off the land.

The Sunni Islamists have begun setting up checkpoints in Latifiyah, on the popular Shia pilgrimage route between Baghdad and Najaf/Karbala. When Shia pilgrims arrive at these checkpoints, they are pulled out of their cars and ordered to denounce Ali, their patron saint. If they refuse, they are shot dead on the spot.

Other Shia are pulled out of their cars, beaten, and ordered not to come that way again. A Shia armed brigade, the Fury Brigades, was formed recently in Basra to deal with the blatant Sunni racism and oppression of the Shia in Latifiyah.

This Shia armed group recently fought a battle with Sunni Salafists in Latifiyah. Of course, US forces sat back and watched for a couple of hours while they bloodied each other. Obviously, it serves the occupier, the US Coalition, Israel, and imperialism in general to have various Iraqi factions fighting against each. This is exactly what the US and Israel want – the better to control Iraq.

The long-term strategy of the Israeli Right has long been that in order for Israel to survive its hostile neighborhood, Israel needs to become the dominant imperialist state in the Middle East and take control of the neighborhood by attacking its various hostile Arab neighbors (or getting the US to do it for them) and breaking up hostile Arab states into endlessly warring ethnic statelets.

This strategy was laid out in an internal Israeli document published in 1980 and uncovered and revealed to the world by the brave Israeli dissident Israel Shahak. Other more recent documents echo the same line, especially Securing the Realm in 1996 (The Securing the Realm document appears to lay the groundwork for the Iraq invasion).

The 1980 Israeli paper said that the optimal situation for Iraq, from Israel’s point of view, would be endless civil war between the various sects and ethnic groups, especially the Kurds and the Shia and Sunni Arabs. An eventual breakup of Iraq into unstable ethnic mini-states would be ideal.

A number of prominent American thinkers have also recently published on the benefits of breaking up Iraq into unstable, weak, easily controlled ethnic statelets. So, in their bottomless tribal stupidity, the Iraqi resistance is playing into the precisely laid plans and wildest dreams of their worst enemies – the Israelis and the Americans!

At the moment, the Sunni resistance has various goals. The first and only noble goal, from the point of view of an ideal resistance faction, is to throw the US Coalition out of Iraq. Beyond that, the Sunnis increasingly fear a Shia takeover in the coming elections in January. The Sunni Arabs have brutally ruled Mesopotamia, and later Iraq, for many centuries, lording it over the Shia Arabs in the process.

This 20% oligarchic elite, the Sunni Arabs, feel somehow entitled to lord it over Shia Arabs and Kurds like the worst feudal overlords.

A Shia victory in the coming elections would be the end of the reign of this racist ruling class Sunni elite, the end of their supremacism and domination of the other groups in the nation, and the end to their ill-deserved privileges obtained by brutally exploiting the other groups. The Sunni Arabs need to get used to the fact that they are a minority in Iraq.

If the Sunnis had any sense, they would be negotiating deals with the Shia at this very moment. Instead, like a typical ruling class thrown out of power, they are not giving up the tiniest bit of their illegitimate power and privileges without a vicious fight.

These deals would take the form of some sort of apology rituals by the Sunnis, such as statements of apology by the Sunni clergy for the crimes the Sunnis have committed against the Shia over the centuries, or perhaps pilgrimages to Shia mosques where prominent Sunnis essentially repent to the Shia for their crimes and ask for their forgiveness. The fact that these rituals would be largely symbolic is not the point.

In this sort of socio-political ritual, the symbolism itself can have potent sociological and political ramifications. The Sunnis could also cut deals for some sort of affirmative action or power sharing in government, a la Lebanon.

The Sunnis could point out that the Shia can hardly run the country without Sunni expertise and wealth. In return, the Shia would offer the Sunni Arabs, say, 20% of the seats in Parliament, 20% of the positions in the Cabinet, and perhaps one top-ranking post.

The basis for this deal would be that sharing power is preferable to civil war and that Iraqi Muslims ought to unite against the US and Israel instead of serving the enemy by infighting. Now that’s if the Sunni Arabs had any sense. But it appears that deep-rooted tribalism and bigotry and the towering arrogance and sense of entitlement of an ancient ruling class is trumping pragmatism in Iraq.

The Sunnis feel that they have enough power, guns and money to both throw out the US Coalition and then put the Kurds and Shia back under their boot, just like in the good old days. And they are willing to gamble a lot to get it all back. The game here is the zero-sum game.

Each group – Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Shia Arabs feels that either their tribe gets it all, or their tribe gets nothing. There is one winner who gets everything, and two losers who get zero. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Certainly sharing the wealth and power is preferable to endless civil war that only serves the enemy.

There are plenty of logical, historical reasons for Shia Arabs, secular Iraqis, progressive Iraqis, nationalist Iraqis and even Iraqi Christians to oppose the Coalition’s Occupation of Iraq. In 1920, all these groups rose up against the British.

At the moment, many amongst these groups are either supporting the US Coalition or sitting on the sidelines because the Taliban-like Sunni resistance either offers them nothing or seems even worse than the US. In this case, the US presence at least offers Christians, the Shia, the secular, progressives and even nationalists some modicum of protection against the nightmare of a brutal Sunni theocracy.

The leading figurehead for this insane, fanatical, brutal Sunni nonsense is none other than Mr. Zarqawi. This man is a certified sadist, a sociopathic freak with the mind of a serial killer who delights in personally sawing off the heads of live human beings for the whole world to see.

A few of his more famous victims have been utterly innocent in any sense of the word. Zarqawi harbors a crazed, pathological hatred of Shia Muslims and Christians in general, not to mention Sunni Muslims who are insufficiently fanatical. One could hardly think of a more backwards, terrifying, medieval, monstrous, criminal, racist pig of a man to head the Iraqi Resistance.

The US and Israel must be delighted. Zarqawi is a grade-A villain right out of the movies, with virtually no redeeming qualities and a mortifying, bloodthirsty, genocidal vision. The elevation of Zarqawi to the symbolic leadership of the Iraqi resistance symbolizes the depths of the depravity and lunacy to which the Iraqi Sunni Salafist rebels have sunk.

On the one hand, we have the ultra-reactionary, backwards, racist, corrupt, sexist, cruel-hearted, supremacist, chauvinist, criminal, fundamentalist, crusading Bush Administration and its imperial armies smashing around the globe picking fights and bullying the planet.

Lined up against them, in Iraq and Afghanistan, are some of the most backwards, ultra- reactionary, supremacist, chauvinist, medieval, fundamentalist, racist, corrupt, sexist, cruel-hearted criminals on Earth, offering a vision at least as vicious, animalistic, cold, primitive and fascist-like as Bush’s crusaders, if not much worse.

Rational people realize that religious wars are some of the stupidest of all possible wars. This war – the “War on Terror” – is a becoming a war between insane reactionary religious fanatics, one side waving the banner of Christianity (and more surreptitiously, Judaism), the other the banner of Islam.

The failure of the rest of the Earth, inhabiting the relatively sane terrain between these terrifying extremes, to offer a substantive vision between these two utterly bleak alternatives, is profoundly dispiriting.

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What Can Be Done About the Problems of Islam?

Now, I have a pretty low opinion of Islam myself, but to tell the truth, I don’t even care about Muslims or Islam all that much. It’s a bit hard to see them as this huge threat that everyone says they are. The religion is pretty awful. It’s very backwards and very strict on morality. Muslims insist on the right to proselytize non-Muslims, but then non-Muslims cannot proselytize Muslims. That’s hypocrisy.

Muslims do wish to take over the world for Islam, but so do Christians for Christianity. Anyway, does it look like Muslims are taking over the world for Islam? Is Islam even expanding at all? Are Muslims invading non-Muslim lands to conquer them for Islam? No. Are non-Muslims converting to Islam in mass numbers? Not really. In fact, millions are leaving Islam every year, especially in Africa and Russia. Sure, Muslim separatists are fighting some horrific wars in places where they want to separate: in the Caucasus, Kashmir, Southern Thailand and Southern Philippines. Muslims are fighting in Palestine and Israel for a variety of reasons. Some are trying retake Muslim land stolen by the Jews.

 

There are a variety of monstrous civil wars going on in the Muslim world. The Taliban are fighting the state in Afghanistan. Taliban like groups are fighting in Pakistan. There is some terrorism going on India, but the reasons are obscure. There is a horrific civil war going on Syria, mostly Sunnis fighting against a Shia Alawite state.

There is some violence going on in Egypt and Libya in the aftermath of revolutions in those lands. There is minor violence in Tunisia in the aftermath of a revolution there. There is a civil war in Mali pitting Islamists against a secular state. In Somalia, there is periodic violence pitting an Al Qaeda type group against a more secular state. There is similar violence in Yemen with an Al Qaeda group fighting a more secular state. What is going on here for the most part is that Islamist groups are fighting against secular states. In some places, there is some horrible Sunni-Shia violence.

The truth is that none of these battles affect non-Muslims all that much. It’s disturbing that the Muslim world is going more fundamentalist, but it’s unclear why that is a concern for the West. Also, more secular Muslims everywhere are fighting the fundamentalists, and their numbers are not small.

The truth is that due to the nature of Islam and its history with the state, Muslims everywhere will tend to elect Islamists either by vote or by revolution. When popular votes are held in Muslim countries such as Gaza, Egypt, Iran and Libya, Islamists will tend to win. Islamists have not been winning elections in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia lately.

It’s true that Muslims seem to have some problems with democracy. Why this is is not certain. But in Turkey, Albania, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, Egypt, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh, elections are relatively free and fair recently.

There is a bit of Islamic violence in the West, but not much to be honest. Mostly it revolves around revenge against the West for the West’s military involvement fighting Muslims in Muslim lands. If we don’t fight the Muslims, they won’t attack us. Real simple. There have also been some revenge attacks against Muslim apostates and non-Muslims who attacked Islam in what they see as a blasphemous way, but these have been few in number. Al Qaeda is sometimes trying to attack the US, but they almost never succeed.

So the Islamic threat is no big deal.

The Islamic penal code is harsh. This is true. In some places, it is brutal, but strict Islamic law involving chopping off hands and heads is very uncommon. It’s mostly only practiced in Saudi Arabia. In other places where Islamists instituted Islamic law such as Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Mali, it has not been popular. It seems Muslims do not want to live under strict Islamic law.

Muslims do not treat non-Muslim minorities well in their Muslim lands. This is a fact. But what can be done about this state of affairs? Nothing. We have to leave the Muslims alone to treat their non-Muslim minorities however they wish. We can bitch and complain, but there is little to nothing that we can do.Increasing Islamism in Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, the Caucasus, Turkey and Pakistan has boded ill for the non-Muslim minorities in those places. But in most places, few non-Muslims have been killed.

Quite a few Muslims leave Islam. When they go to the West, 15% of Muslims leave Islam, mostly without consequences. Surveys in the West Bank and Gaza show that 25-30% of Muslims there are not particularly religious.

The Muslim haters rant and rave against Islam, saying it is the worst evil on Earth and that it has to be exterminated from the planet. Sure, it might be a better world with no Islam, but how is this going to come about. Citizens of Muslim states are not mass converting out of Islam or leaving the religion. Wars to wipe out Islam are not going to go anywhere. Muslims are willing to fight and die for their faith everywhere on Earth in great numbers. It’s not even possible for non-Muslims to conquer states like Iraq and Afghanistan, even putting in our figurehead Muslim governments to govern the places we conquered.

What are we going to do? Conquer the Muslim world and impose non-Muslim governments on them? It’s not going to work. It hasn’t even worked in a very shallow form in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Muslims will fight us forever if we do that.

The best thing to do with the Muslims is leave them alone. There is no solution to the problems of Islam and the Muslim world except to section it off from the non-Muslim world and quit importing them to the West, which seems to have been a terrible idea. Muslims in the West cause few problems as long we quit importing large numbers of them. Obviously if we import huge numbers of Muslims, we will end up with Muslim rule in the West, but that is not happening anywhere so there is little to worry about.

Leave the Muslims alone to sort out their messes and find their way to modernity. There is nothing else to be done. Sure we wish that Muslims would be more secular and less Islamist, but things actually seem to be working in the opposite direction, and there is not one thing we can do about it.

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Life or Death in the Gaza Strip

Another excellent documentary from Vice, this time on the Gaza Strip. They finally got into the Strip in 2011 and get their first glimpse of Hamas rule. Hamas rules with an iron fist, and things are relatively well-run for such a poor 3rd World country. There are neighborhoods of Fatah supporters still in the Strip, and they are persecuted regularly by Hamas for minor code violations and whatnot.

The Strip is now overrun with all sorts of new armed groups. Fatah has basically laid down its arms and is pursuing a long-term cease-fire with Israel. This is along the lines of Abu Mazen’s peaceful approach to Palestinian rights. But many Palestinians do not feel that Mazen’s peaceful approach is working out very well, hence, many have turned to armed actions. Many of the new armed groups are radical Salafi jihadist groups, often aligned with Al Qaeda. In some cases, it appears that non-Palestinian jihadis have been migrating to Gaza specifically for the purposes of fighting Israel. Hamas has had a hard time reining in some of these groups. The group that holds a press conference is a new armed group, part of the Liberation Movement, but I know almost nothing about them.

Basically what has occurred in Gaza is the Islamicization of the Gaza Strip. Women are often forced to wear headscarves when they go outside the home, and women’s rights activists and seculars are not happy at all. Note the anti-Hamas Black woman who is interviewed halfway through the show. She is actually a 100% Palestinian Arab. There have long been a few Blacks among the Palestinian Arabs. They have migrated to Palestine from Africa, often from the Sudan, or they may be descendants of slaves.

Hamas claims that women have total freedom in the Strip. They can work at any job they want to, they can drive cars, they can hold office.

But women do not have total freedom. Hamas activists go to public places where young men and women are socializing together and tries to determine the relationship between the males and females. If they are unrelated and unmarried, presumably, Hamas wants them to separate. In the section on the women’s prison, there is a woman who received a 6-year sentence for having a child out of wedlock. Is it normal in the Arab and Muslim World for a woman to receive such a harsh sentence for bearing a child out of wedlock?

The Strip is still overflowing with drugs, even though Hamas hates drugs. The drugs, cocaine, hashish and opiate pills, come in through the same tunnels from Egypt that everything else comes in through. Hamas’ jail is full of drug offenders, both users and dealers.

All in all, this was a very depressing documentary. No one here seems very happy. Everyone looks depressed and pissed off.

At one point, the crew goes to the local park to talk to some young men who are hanging out there with nothing to do.

“Are you worried about another war?” They ask the men.

“We don’t even care anymore. Who cares? We are numb.”

“Aren’t you afraid of dying if there is another war?” the crew asks.

One man pipes up desperately. “I hope there is another war!” he says. “I hope there is another war, and it kills all of us! Anything is better than this. We can’t go on living this way…”

Pretty poignant stuff.

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Pakistan after Bin Laden

Another superb documentary by Vice Productions. The lead journalist, Suroosh Alvi, who does most of the interviews, is a very amiable Pakistani guy who is fluent in Urdu. He’s nearly as good an interviewer as Louis Theroux, except that he never seems to turn off the happy, amiable, fun-loving guy persona, whereas Theroux often seems very serious if not downright disturbed or upset at some of the things he is reporting on, appropriately so.

First they go to Abbottabad to view the house where Bin Laden was killed. Turns out they can’t film the place. They can’t film the house as it’s surrounded by troops and cameras are forbidden, which seems stupid. No one lives there anymore, right? Ok, so why can’t people film the place? They interview a kid who went to the house three times and saw several children living there, but he never saw bin Laden.

They go around Abbottabad and ask people about the house, but no one seems to believe that bin Laden even lived there. They think the Americans just made up the whole thing as a big lie. Even the very bright Westernized students at a medical school believe this. That’s more or less the prevailing view in Pakistan: Who says bin Laden even lived there? Or, No way! How could bin Laden have lived there? In a garrison town, 1/2 mile away from the Pakistani Military Academy? Forget it!

The narrator sums up the situation as he is leaving Abbottabad.

“If bin Laden was living there, and the Pakistanis knew about it, Pakistan is a rogue state. If bin Laden was living there and the Pakistanis didn’t know about it, Pakistan is a failed state.”

That’s about it. Either way, Pakistan pretty much blows.

It turns out that since the death of bin Laden, the Pakistani Taliban has been on a huge offensive, with suicide attacks and car bombs going off all the time, apparently in revenge for bin Laden’s death.

They go to the city of Peshawar, which I thought was a scary thing to do, where they witness a recently blown up police station where two cops have just been dug out of alive.

Then they go to the headquarters of a local Lashkar militia, formed because the government’s response to Taliban attacks has been so lackluster. Now that was a very scary thing to do. These are local guys having to take matters into their own hands due to the Taliban’s war on the locals. Many of the locals here don’t seem too enamored of the Taliban.

At the end they go to a place called Dara Adamkhel. The crew tried to go there two years ago, but it was in Taliban hands at the time and it was a no go zone. However, this time they were able to get in there, which was probably the scariest thing the crew did in this show. The town is no longer in Taliban control. Instead it’s a no man’s land with the Taliban ranging into town on a regular basis. 80% of the shops are closed, and the place looks like a ghost town.

Since 9-11, 35,000 Pakistanis have died in the War on Terror in Pakistan, including 4,300 security officers. Pakistanis don’t seem to think they are getting much out of this deal.

As the car leaves Dara Adamkhel, one gets the feeling that Pakistan is nearly a failed state, a nation coming apart at the seems.

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What Is Zionism?

Repost from the old site.

I was visiting my Mother the other day (she lives 33 miles away) and she had just read some articles on my blog. She made some negative remarks about “Zionists”, at which point I informed her that she was a Zionist. She looked horrified, which is the way any decent person should look when accused of such a thing. I then patiently explained to her than anyone who supported a Jewish state in Palestine was a Zionist.

She looked disappointed. On further questioning, it turned out that she pretty much thought that the founding of Israel was a great big mistake and a crime – like the founding of the USA via the conquest of the American Indians. However, she said you can’t undo history, and people have to try to make do with reality as it is.

I then told her that her views were probably “non-Zionist” – that being someone who disapproved of the Zionist project, but that that we should live with the reality of it, as Israel is there, and it’s not going away. My brother, on questioning, also did not really know what Zionism is, and also qualified as a non-Zionist who thought we needed to deal with reality as it exists, not as it ought to be.

The views that they espouse – “That the creation of Israel was a mistake, but they are there, they’re not leaving, and we have to deal with that” – ought to rationally be considered by progressives as neither Zionism nor anti-Zionism, but non-Zionism.

In the course of my conversations with these two brilliant, highly-educated immediate family members, I realized that even the best and the brightest in the US did not really know what Zionism was.

So, with that in mind, I felt it was time for a post describing exactly what Zionism was and is, its history and its various forms. Obviously, this brief post will barely begin to nudge the edges of this subject, but still it ought to serve as a nice primer.

What is Zionism anyway? I see Zionism every day on the net. In a nutshell, most Zionists, but not all, argue that both the formation of the state of Israel and the settler-colonial project that created it were right, just and proper.

A principal Zionist argument (though not shared by all Zionists) is this:

  1. Jewish land, not Arab land – All of Israel is Jewish land. The Arabs have no right to any of this land.

Several arguments are used to defend this view:

  1. Historical- Jews had a continuing presence in the land for 3,000 years, so therefore it is their land. The Arab presence is illegitimate. When the Zionist project began, there were only a few Arabs in Palestine anyway, and they were the ancestors of Arabs who invaded Jewish land in 640 and have been occupying Jewish land ever since.Arabs never controlled Palestine anyway, and all Palestinians are Arab invading colonists who have no right to be there and need to go back to Arabia where they came from. Jews were completely in their right to reclaim their homeland after so many years in exile.This is one of the most vicious and wicked Zionist arguments, and it is extremely popular amongst the hardest of the hardline, blood-and-soil, organic nationalist types.One can argue that this is the philosophy that it is at the core of the mindset of the leaders of the Zionist movement from 1897 to the present. It is this argument, that, like most primordialist ethnic nationalist projects that rose out of Central and Eastern Europe in the 1800′s, is most similar to Nazism.On the other hand, all modern ethnic nationalisms (in particular Arab nationalism, Indian Hindu nationalism, Lebanese Phalangist nationalism and all of the ethnic nationalist projects that swept Central and Eastern Europe in the 1920′s and 1930′s) came from the same 19th Century core as Nazism, so it is somewhat unfair to single out Zionism in that regard.
  2. Religious – God gave the land to the Jews. It is Jewish land and will always be so. God watches over the Jews and Israel, and no one can mess with them. Anyone who messes with the Jews or Israel gets punished by God. This is obviously a favorite of conservative Zionists, though some secular liberal Zionists use it too, usually cynically in an effort to get Gentile Christians to go along with the project.
  3. Holocaust – Jews needed a safe haven in Israel due to the Holocaust, and it was ok to throw out the Arabs to get this haven. A favorite of liberal Zionists, many of whom are ignorant of the specifics of the project. When questioned, many of this type will insist that no Arabs were thrown out to make the Jewish state. Apparently the land was just empty or something.
  4. Freedom From Persecution – Related to the above. Jews have been persecuted everywhere they have been, so it is reasonable for them to have their own state where they can be safe. A favorite of more liberal Zionists. One of their favorite lines is that Zionism is “affirmative action for Jews”. Micheal Lerner of Tikkun is fond of that phrase.
  5. UN and League of Nations – These two organizations agreed to give away Arab land to Jews for a homeland at different times. Therefore, Israel is legitimate. Once again, a favorite of more liberal Zionists and folks who are fond of the UN and international law.
  6. Self-determination and National Liberation – All other ethnic groups have a right to self-determination on their homeland, and many have developed national liberation movements to obtain their nation-state. Zionism is the Jewish equivalent. This argument is a favorite of Zionist liberals and Leftists.
  7. British Donation – Britain gave the land – British land – to the Jews. Therefore, it is the Jews’ land. This one is also a favorite of more liberal Zionists, because it avoids the question of whether or not Israel is Jewish land.

A number of the National-Religious types (see arguments A and B above – they are typically combined into a highly toxic form called National-Religious Zionism) claim that the land of Israel extends from the Nile to the Euphrates. It encompasses most of Lebanon and Syria, all of Jordan, part of Iraq, all of the Sinai, part of Arabia and all of Kuwait.

There are actually a fair number of Zionists who feel that all (or some) of this should be reconquered.

When an aide to President Truman visited the Holy Land around 1947 to try to understand the Zionist-Arab conflict, he said that all of the Jews he met there held the Nile to Euphrates view. He also noted that they did not like to talk about it too much, and they seemed to want to keep it a sort of secret, as if they were afraid of the reaction of outsiders if they learned of the Zionist plans.

Despite super-liar and modern-day Crusader Daniel Pipes’ articulate lie, The Nile to Euphrates Calumny, Nile to Euphrates Zionists are not mythological, and I have run across them fairly regularly on the Net, especially lately.

Does Mr. Pipes feel that I have hallucinated all of these Greater Israel types? Were they all just Arab agents out to make the Zionists look bad? Inquiring minds want to know. Mr. Pipes or his supporters are encouraged to email me here to explain how it is that I keep running into these nonexistent phantasms.

A lesser view holds that “Eretz Israel” at least covers all of Green Line Israel, all of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip. Some also include the Sinai Peninsula (or at least a small part of it up to the Wadi Arish) and southern Lebanon to the Litani River.

A map demonstrating Zionist armed settler-colonialism in action. Note the progressive loss of Arab land to Zionist colonization. This was deliberate and planned from the very start. It all stems from the Zionist principle that all of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights is Jewish land and that the local Arabs are “squatting” on Jewish land and live there only at the whim of the Zionist owners.

Presently, the project is to make the remaining Arab enclaves so miserable that the Arabs will leave and then the Zionists can colonize their land.

This is a Minimal Greater Israel view and is very common. It was the “minimal view” adopted by the “progressives” of Left Socialist Zionism under David Ben-Gurion, the founder of Israel. It could logically be called Minimal Greater Israel.

Ben-Gurion’s ideological opponents, Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionists, held similar views, except that they typically claimed all of Jordan for the Jewish state also.

Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of the Revisionist Zionist movement. He authored The Iron Wall in 1923, in which he openly advocated a Zionist settler-colonial movement, to be implemented by armed force backed by an imperial power. The reason armed force was needed, he said, was because of inevitable Arab resistance. Before that, Zionism had been largely focused on buying out the Arabs’ land, then throwing them off the land and settling it with Zionists.

 

A poster for the Irgun Zionist armed guerrilla group. This was one of the three major armed Zionist guerrilla factions in Palestine. It focused on attacks against both the British and the local Arabs. Note that Irgun claimed that not only all of Palestine, but also all of Jordan, was Jewish land, to be cleansed of Arab “squatters”, and to be conquered by force (note the rifle).

Irgun dissolved after the founding of Israel, and since then Mainstream Revisionist Zionism has gone pretty quiet about claims to Jordan. Look carefully at the map to see that Irgun also claimed the Golan Heights for the Zionists.

I have recently met Zionist Jews on the Net who are still upset at the British and the League of Nations for “promising” all of Jordan to the Zionists in the early 1920′s, and then “going back on their word”. Actually neither party did any such thing, and such thinking is based on a misreading of the League of Nations Mandate.

In a recent interview, a leader of the Zionist Organization of America, a very powerful, very militant Jewish Zionist group in the US, noted with a twinkle in his eye that all of Jordan was actually part of Israel and implied that Israel should conquer it at some future time. The attitudes of ZOA fanatics are rampant amongst the neoconservatives who were associated with the Bush Administration.

The notion of Greater Israel, not some phony notions about buffer zones or security zones, is and was the real reason for the occupation and colonies in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan and the Sinai, and for the occupation of Southern Lebanon.

As you can imagine, this political project, Zionism, terrifies the Arabs and sends them into conniptions. My opinion is that Zionism is poisonous and that no people should have to put up with such a dangerous project, least of all the backwards Arabs.

There is a lot of nonsense about Greater Israel on the Internet, with devious Zionist sophists like Pipes holding that it is just a deranged, paranoid Arab fantasy. On the other hand, many anti-Zionists, especially Islamists, insist that all Zionists hold the radical Nile-to-Euphrates view.

As you can see above, that is not the case. The truth is that some Zionists do hold the Nile-to-Euphrates view, but the Israeli government does not, and most major Israeli political parties and political figures do not either.

The Minimal Greater Israel project described above is much more common and relevant. Anti-Zionists should focus on the minimal project for now and forget about the Nile To Euphrates project until we get some evidence that it amounts to more than the ravings of some Zionist radicals.

Anti-Zionism is a radical position, like Zionism. In general, not only do anti-Zionists strongly oppose the whole Zionist project, but they go usually so far as to say that, ideally, Israel has no right to exist, and should be dismantled in one way or another. The vast majority of Arabs are anti-Zionists in one way or another. If they tolerate Israel’s existence at all, it is only grudgingly.

Anti-Zionists differ on what should be done with the Zionist Jews who have settled in Israel.

Some say that all of those who themselves or whose relatives came to Palestine after 1917, when the Balfour Declaration was signed, have to go back where they came from.

This was the line espoused in the original PLO Charter of 1964 and continues to be espoused by some very radical Arab nationalist types, especially some Arab Communists.

Examples of organizations holding such views are NACAZAI (North American Congress Against Zionism and Racism), headed by Ziad Shaker AlJishi, a Palestinian refugee living in the US, and the the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) militants who run the Free Arab Voice website.

The FAV site is edited by Ibrahim Alloush and Mohammad Abu Nasr. Everyone associated with the FAV website is apparently a member of the political wing of the PFLP.

One of the editors takes the not-so-obvious nom de guerre of Nabila Harb. This pseudonym derives from Nabil Harb, an obscure PFLP cadre from the 1970′s who was part of a small PFLP cell that hijacked a Lufthansa airliner in Spain in an attempt to win the release of German urban guerrillas from the Baader-Meinhoff Gang.

The attempt failed when the plane was stormed by German Special Forces in Mogadishu, killing 3 of the 4 PFLP terrorists, but not before the cell had executed the captain of the plane in Yemen an act of gross criminality and stupidity.

The imprisoned members of the German ultra-Leftist group committed suicide right afterwards, effectively ending the existence of Baader-Meinhoff. But from its ashes would rise its successor, the much larger and more successful Red Army Faction.

However, unlike the PFLP, which is fairly heterodox and not necessarily extremely Arab nationalist anymore, the FAV is a hardline, pro-Saddam Arab nationalist site that is an excellent example of Arab Nationalist “Arab fascism” and “Arab Nazism”, as is NACAZAI. Free Arab Voice would be better characterized as a Palestinian Baathist site.

The 40 year old Dr. Alloush is a son of Palestinian refugees in Jordan. He is a Professor of Statistics and Economics at a university in Amman, Jordan. The mysterious Abu Nasr (a nom de guerre) is the author of the Iraqi Resistance Reports that can be found on the Internet.

The 59-year-old Nasr is a Palestinian who may have left Palestine after the 1967 war, may live somewhere in the West, and may have a PhD. He is fluent in Russian as well as English, which suggests he may have received education in the former Soviet Union. The PFLP was sending its higher-ranking cadres to the Soviet Union for education some years ago.

Alloush also runs an Arab nationalist list on the Net and a Yahoo group by the same name. Alloush has received some notoriety for appearing at a conference of Holocaust Deniers in Lebanon and endorsing their views. In fact, the FAV website foments Holocaust Denial itself. Both Nasr and Alloush are virulently anti-Semitic Arab Communists and excellent examples of “Arab fascism” and “Arab Nazism”, to their eternal discredit.

NACAZAI also holds Holocaust Denial views, in addition supporting the genocidal Khmer Rogue, being strongly pro-North Korea, pro-Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime and in favor of the genocidal ultra-racist Arab-Nazis in Sudan. FAV takes similar positions, except I don’t know how they feel about the Khmer Rogue.

Even worse, a virulently anti-Semitic, Nazi-like position statement by NACAZAI shows that the Zionists and neocons who rant about the anti-Semitic Left are not entirely incorrect. Such beasts do exist.

Other members of NACAZAI include John Paul Cupp, a Communist supporter of North Korea who lives in Oregon, and Kevin Walsh, a Communist white supremacist who was recently arrested in Arizona for threatening to kill President Bush and has been diagnosed as mentally ill under suspicious circumstances (I suspect he may be bipolar). Both Cupp and Walsh are virulent, Nazi-like anti-Semites.

The entire Left should distance itself from Cupp, Walsh, AlJishi, Nasr and Alloush, along with Arab Nazis and Arab fascists in general (which includes a large segment of the Arab nationalist movement) until they pull their heads out and quit preaching racism in the name of anti-racism.

I would like to point out that the ultra-radical views of Nasr and Alloush and some of their colleagues are not held by the PFLP leadership, which envisions a single state in Palestine for both Jews and Arabs (see the recent interview with top PFLP leader Leila Khaled, for example).

The view that all Jews coming after 1917 need to take off was recently reiterated by the late Sheik Yassin, spiritual leader of Hamas, who was assassinated by an IDF missile.

Another related view is held by others, including Ayatollah Khameini, spiritual leader of Iran, who has stated that ideally all of those Jews who themselves or whose relatives came to Palestine after the 1948 founding of the Israeli state have to go back where they came from. It is possible that Hezbollah may hold similar views, due to the close relationship of its leadership with that of the Iranian government.

Other Arab radicals say that Mizrachi Jews (Jews who lived in the Arab World) can stay in the region, but that Ashkenazi Jews, who trace their recent ancestry back to Europe, have to go home.

Many anti-Zionists (especially progressives and Leftists) believe that all of the Jews can stay in Israel, but that they must share the state and land with the Arabs and dismantle the Jewish state.

This view has been espoused by the leadership of the DFLP and PFLP leftwing Palestinian armed fronts, some members of the PLO, the Hamas Charter, an Islamic Jihad leader in an interview 13 years ago, and Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi, who proposed a state called Izratine.

This view has been quite popular with Palestinian Christians and secularists like Edward Said, Mazin Qumsiyeh and Ghada Karmi.

In general, the vast majority of anti-Zionists do not advocate killing all the Jews in Israel, though I have heard some Arab hotheads say that on the Internet. No Arab or Muslim armed group (including Al Qaeda) takes that position, to my knowledge.

Yet this is a staple of Zionist propaganda – that all anti-Zionists and armed anti-Israel groups are all intent on “carrying out a second Holocaust”. If it were true, it would be an excellent reason to support Israel, but there is little evidence for this.

Furthermore, there is a question of how killing 5 million Jewish residents of an industrialized society in a rapid manner in our day and age, given recent human historical memory, is even feasible.

That said, I do not think that Al Qaeda or the groups allied with them are good for the Jews, to say the least. I can’t prove they want to kill all of the ones in Palestine, much less all the ones on Earth, but I do not think these radicals have the best interests of the Jewish people at heart, to put it mildly.

The official Al Qaeda line is that after the liberation of Palestine by Islam, all of the Jews will have to leave. According to Al Qaeda, once the Caliphate is established on Muslim lands, all non-Muslims in these lands will have to either convert to Islam if they wish to remain in Caliphate lands, or leave if they do not convert. Those who will not convert or leave will have to be killed.

For the record, some of those associated with the British Al Qaeda fronts Al-Muhajiroun, The Savior Sect and Al Ghurabaa such as Omar Bakri Mohammad and Abu Hamza have made statements that all Jews on Earth must be killed.

Variations on Qaddafi’s one-state solution, described above, are called the one-state project. That is the position of this blog. There are many variations on this view. Some hold that ideally the region should be an Islamic state and that the Jews should have to live under Islamic Law. This position is held by Islamists and is strongly opposed by this blog.

It is interesting that Qaddafi’s Izratine was considered a slap in the face to Hamas, who apparently are not wild about living in a state with 5 million Jews.

Some high-ranking Hamas members have said as much, admitting that they have had enough misery from the Jews in the region and want a “divorce” from the Jews, hence the popularity of 2 states as an interim solution by some high-ranking pragmatists in the Hamas leadership.

Others hold that the single state should be a “secular state”, which is a great idea except that most citizens of such a state would be anything but secular. Many Arabs (especially Arab nationalists) insist that the single state be an Arab state and that Jews should live as a minority in such a state. Obviously, that view is not popular with Jews at all.

Does the two-state solution look feasible to you anymore? Me either. Note how the Separation Wall actually snakes far into the West Bank to include as many Zionist colonies as possible. Note also the Zionist theft of much of the West Bank (in dark green). The logical progression of history is rendering the 2-state solution a complete non-starter.

Others would grant Jews and Arabs some sort of local rule akin to Switzerland’s cantons. One proposal wants to make the single state a homeland for the Jews and Palestinians, two terribly persecuted peoples. This proposal would retain aliya rights for Jews while allowing all Palestinians to have their own sort of aliya.

It’s clear there are many versions of this single state project. The primary resistance to this project at the moment comes not from Arabs or Muslims but from the very real fears of the Jews in Israel. These reality-based fears will have to be addressed in any such single state solution.

As you can see, there is not much left of the 2-state solution, since Zionist colonialism has devoured much of what was to be the Palestinian state. The remaining Palestinian enclaves are nothing more than disconnected bantustans, surrounded by armed Zionist colonies, bases and roads for colonists. It’s like living in a home but being locked in only one room so you could not access the other rooms in the house.

Getting back to Greater Israel, the Internet is full of statements by Zionist fanatics fantasizing about Greater Israel. They are not made-up lies but instead are well-documented statements. Here is one by David Ben-Gurion (formerly David Green):

David Ben Gurion, Report to the World Council of Poale Zion (the forerunner of the Labor Party), Tel Aviv, 1938. Cited by Israel Shahak, Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring 1981.

“We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria, and Sinai.”

Keep in mind that this frighteningly fanatical statement was uttered by the founder of the state of Israel, a socialist, a liberal and a moderate. Note that his rightwing opponents were even more extreme. Note also that his rightwing Revisionist opponents were the forerunners of the modern-day Likud and Kadima Parties, not to mention the many smaller rightwing parties.

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“Jihad Sheilas”

Interesting video originally appeared on Australian TV under the name Jihad Sheilas. It profiles two female Australian converts to Wahhabi Islam who got deep into the Al Qaeda like Islamist scene. Both women appear to have links to radical Islam and probably Al Qaeda and related groups.

The movie is also interesting for the accents. The announcer speaks something called General Australian which is something like Received Pronunciation or RP in the UK. The two women both speak a much broader accent that is more common among the general population, especially in the rural areas. I understood everything of what the narrator said, but I sometimes struggled to understand both of the women. The broad Australian English accent is pretty hard to understand!

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Filed under Australia, English language, Islam, Linguistics, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Women