Category Archives: Lebanon

The Old “Arab Israelis Have It So Good” Argument

Malla: Well, I did some research on this and it seems the Mizrahi had a more realistic opinion about Arabs and non Whites in general, while the Ashkenazim (and maybe Sephardics), especially during the early days of Israel, had a more idealistic opinion of the Third World. But the Mizrahi themselves are non-Whites. If Arabs and non-Whites then so are Mizrahis because Mizrahis are just Arabs. Besides, many Ashkenazis came with socialistic ideas of kibbutz farming and hippieness, while the Mizrahi were more realistic.

Check this interesting video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f80NnYflDU8

Check out the Ashkenazi/Mizrahi couple at 6:52. So it seems more Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jews) are more right wing and support predatory violent behavior towards Arabs and Palestinians, while the Ashkenazis (Euro Jews) vote more left and are friendlier to Arabs (idealistic mindset). I do not know how the Sephardics and Ethiopians Jews vote.

Besides, Israel has a massive poverty rate, one of the highest in OECD countries. No wonder they get pissed by migrants from Africa taking way their jobs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SSd0rgTc1E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPuQwFX2J2A

But Israel has an overall high standard of living. Arabs in Israel, in spite of whatever racism they face, have a higher standard of living and social freedoms than most other Arab countries. Only Tunisia and Christian-dominated Lebanon come close in social freedom, and the Gulf states are the only ones who have more income among Arabs.

This is similar to the case in Rhodesia and South Africa where the Blacks had a higher standard of living than Blacks in the rest of the African continent. Or Singapore, where the Indians and Malays have a higher standard of living than Malaysia and definitely (much, much, much) higher standard of living than India thanks to the huge Chinese population. Singapore’s quality of life is comparable to other Chinese majority developed places like Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. One may ask that if Anglo-Celts and other Northern Euros never came to Australia would such an Australia (Australia full of only aborigines) be so developed as it is today or it would be more like Papua New Guinea.

It’s pretty bad to compare the surrounding Arabs with New Guineans and Aborigines. The whole Arab World is built up to Hell. They’re all modern countries over there. I have seen photos of Libya before the war, and it looks like Miami. I saw a recent photo of Casablanca, and it looked like LA. I have seen photos of the rest of the region, even war-torn Syria and Iraq, and they look like regular modern countries. There’s not a lot of difference between in the ordinary street scene between Amman, Beirut, Damascus or even Cairo and Tel Aviv. It all looks the same, like any modern built-up country.

There is none of the horrible poverty you see in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Latin America or Black Africa.

Arabs will not tolerate that sort of abject shantytown type poverty. They are basically socialist people who don’t care about money too much and believe that everyone should be well taken care of. Social safety nets are ordinary things in every Arab country. There’s no debate about this sort of thing. They are not individualists. They are collectivists. And they don’t think rich people are better than poor people. They are not particularly greedy, and they have a “We are all part of one village” mindset wherever they live.

Semi-feudalism came late to the Arab World via the Ottomans, and it never worked well. There were landed gentry and fellahin, or landless peasants. Nasser was the man who confiscated the land from the land barons and gave it to the landless peasants. If you went around the whole Arab World back then, even in say Yemen, there was a portrait of Nasser on every wall. Now in Western or Latin American culture, doing that is called Communism, and everyone hates it. But the Arabs love this sort of thing.

Baath nationalist parties came in in Syria and Iraq around 1960, a revolutionary socialist state arose in Libya in 1969, and another one was birthed in Algeria in 1964. Land was confiscated from feudal latifundiaists in all of these place and distributed to the peasants. The governments were all officially socialist, secularization was enforced even at gunpoint if it took that, huge safety nets were set up, and the state even got involved in quite a few of the larger industries and became a major employer. All of this was wildly popular all over the region.

US style radical individualism and Libertarian free market capitalism is totally anathema to all of those societies. For one thing, it goes against Islam, as Islam is a socialist religion. In feudal times, large Arab landowners enlisted the help of the local imams in interpreting parts of the Koran where it said, “Some are rich, and some are poor, and that’s all just fine” or something to that effect, but it never worked well. It ended up turning the local imams into hated figures like the priests of Catholic Church in the West and Latin America who always sided with the rich against the people.

So this whole idea that the Israeli Arabs have it good for having some extra money falls flat on Arab and even Arab Israeli ears. Standard of living is not number one on their list of the most important things in life.

If the Arabs are all so jealous of Israel, why are the non-oil Arabs are not jealous of the oil Arabs? Typical Jews to reduce everything down to money. Arabs don’t care that much about money. They don’t revolve their whole lives around money or sit around hating Jews for having more skyscrapers. That’s not important to your average Arab.

I have never in my life heard one Arab tell me they were jealous of Israel.

In Palestine, White European racist fascists invaded the region, started wars with everyone around them, and, being high IQ, produced a developed economy. So what? These jerks get brownie points because they are rich? I’m supposed to love them because they’re rich and hate those Arabs because they’re poor?

The commenter is an Indian, that’s why he thinks that way. We are socialists here; we don’t think like this. Actually I think the more money someone has, the worse of a person he tends to be, but that’s just me.

All of these arguments were used by the South Africans who practiced a very similar White settler-colonial project far after this stuff went out of style.

Arabs in Israel are not happy people. They’re angry, and they have no loyalty to the state at all. The Jewish fascists say the Arabs are traitors, and the Jews are actually correct on that score. Indeed they have no loyalty to the state and do not even see themselves as Israelis.

The similarities between Israel and apartheid South Africa are striking. It’s notable that Israel was long one of South Africa’s strongest allies, and towards the end, it was one of their only allies. Arab Israelis are are institutionally treated as second class citizens in exactly the same way the Blacks were under apartheid. 

Were those Blacks happier on their South African Nigger Plantation because they had a higher standard of living? They were not, but this was the argument that was used to show that they were happy Negroes toiling away cheerfully in the sun for their beloved White slavemasters. Similarly, South Africa moved into the neighborhood and in a matter of time, like Israel, it was soon also embroiled in wars with most if not all of its neighbors. Similarly, South Africa, like Israel, had zero friends in the region.

Blacks in South Africa and Arabs in Israel don’t want money and stuff. White Gentiles and Jews only care about money, and they don’t care about humans, so they think everyone else feels that way too. But they don’t. People want to be free, even if being free means not having as much stuff. Stuff doesn’t make people happy. You can keep giving your slave the latest gadgetry in his slave quarters, but he’s still not a free man.

Same with South Africa. Hey look, these White European racist fascists came in here and built up the region and made a big economy because they have higher IQ’s! So what. I am supposed to like them more because they are rich and hate those Africans because they are poor? I realize this is Indian thinking, but we socialists do not think that way.

Arabs have more political rights in all of the Arab World. In the Arab World, they are not systematically discriminated against due to their religion or ethnicity.

I would argue that those Arabs in Israel do not want all of those social freedoms. Freedom to do what?

And what social freedoms do they have there that they do not have in the rest of the region? How are the social freedoms of Arab Israeli Christians better than those of Arab Christians in Lebanon or Syria? Someone needs to clue me.

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More on Israel and Its Neighbors, or How Christians Invented Suicide Bombing

Jason Y: So do you think Israel is more hated by its neighbors and people it oppresses than by the neighbors of Apartheid South Africa and the people it oppressed? Possibly the settler colonies run by Europeans had a mix of NAM’s who either liked them or didn’t. Perhaps Israel is unable to win any friends at all among NAM’s.

It’s because of how they act! South Africa, same thing. Look at how they acted.

First of all, about half of Israeli Jews are affectively NAM’s themselves! 50% of the Jewish population of Israel are Mizrachi Jews. These are the Jews of the Arab World. They are pretty much just Arabs who happen to be Jewish. Their culture is Judeo-Islamic as the Ashkenazi culture is Judeo-Christian. They lived around Muslims so long that they become rather Islamicized culturally.

Most of them have become some of the most fanatical Israelis of them all, but that’s another story, and they’re not all like that. They are caught between two worlds. They really are just Arabs who practice a different religion like Arab Christians. They have  IQ’s to match. Their IQ’s are ~90. Apparently they never went through the brutal selection for intelligence that occurred under Talmudic Ashkenazi Jews from 1000-1800. High Jewish IQ is the result of a direct selection for intelligence. However, now most of them ferociously deny being Arabs to the point where if you call a Mizrachi Jew an Arab, you might get punched.

There are not many non-Jews over there who liked Israel. There are practically no Arabs who like them. No Iranians like them. Even Turks and Greeks hate them, and they are not even in the neighborhood.

The Israelis are bullies. Have you ever noticed what happens when bullies bully lots of victims for long periods of time leaving the victims with no way whatsoever to fight back? The amount of absolutely insane and frequently homicidal rage that builds up in victims that are not allowed to fight back is terrifying. This is what is going on with the Arabs and Israel.

There some Israeli Druze who fight in the Israeli Army. Why the Israeli Druze support Israel, I have no idea because the Syrian, Lebanese and Golan Druze hate them with insane fervor. And Druze are so weird that if you ask me, they’re not even Muslims. That religion is completely outside of Islam for all intents and purposes, and Druze are very secular people.

Many Israeli Bedouins have sided with Israel for some crazy reason even though the Israelis treat them horrifically.

The Maronites in Lebanon have long been Israeli allies for complex reasons. For one, they hate Arabs with a passion, especially Muslim Arabs, and they insist that they are not Arabs, even though they are. They say they are “Phoenicians.” It’s bull.

The Gamalist Maronites are the people who first brought fascism to Lebanon. I mean the real deal. The ancestors of the present day leaders were open Nazi sympathizers. One had Nazi flags in his locker at school. I suppose they hate Arabs and Muslims and Israelis do too, so there’s your alliance. For many years, they served as a proxy army for Israel in Israeli-occupied South Lebanon. Many of them went to Israel after the occupation ended because they were afraid they would be killed as traitors in their own country. Incidentally, this Occupation is what created Hezbollah. That’s right. Hezbollah is Israel’s baby.

Now since then, this group of Maronites still hates Hezbollah, but things have calmed down. In the 1996 Israel-Lebanon War, the Maronites were officially neutral. Mostly they set up checkpoints outside their neighborhoods. They said they were defending them against Hezbollah. After that war had gone on for a while, even the neutral and formerly pro-Israel Gamalist Maronites started getting mad, and they said if they wear did not stop soon, they would take up arms against Israel themselves. They said they would not fight with Hezbollah but instead would fight separately.

A separate group of Maronites, the Aounists, are in an alliance with Hezbollah for some years now. So about half of even the Maronites in Lebanon are allied with Hezbollah!

During that war, the Israeli army went into a Christian village in South Lebanon in the middle of the night. They got about halfway into the village. The Lebanese Army was in the village and knew the Israelis were there but refused to come out and fight. That’s because the Lebanese Army is pretty useless.

The village appeared to be deserted. Every light in town went off when the Israelis came in and the whole place went dead silent. It was rather eerie. The Israelis got halfway inside the village, when out of nowhere the whole village opened fire on them with automatic weapons out of complete darkness. The Israelis rapidly retreated from this village. This village is 100% Greek Orthodox Christians.

There is a party with its own army called SSNP which is pretty much the party and army of the Greek Orthodox Christians in the region. It was SSNP who opened up on the Israelis. The SSNP are some of the most crazed and fanatical Israel-haters of them all, and they’re all Christians! During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, we saw mass suicide bombings for the first time. For some time, almost all of these suicide bombings were the work of SSNP fighters, often women. So you see that the suicide bombing phenomenon was largely started by Christians! If you want to know why the SSNP hate Israel so much, it’s because they are some of the craziest Arab nationalists of them all.

Israeli officers work alongside Turkish, US, British, Saudi, and Qatari officers inside Syria alongside Saudi, Qatari, US, British and Jordanian officers in Jordan to help the Syrian rebels. One of the main groups that those officers are helping in Jordan and Syria is Al Qaeda.

That’s one of the reasons Arabs on the street often hate the Saudi, Qatari, and Jordanian governments – they work with the Israeli military.

The Israelis and the Saudi Royal Family have long had some crazy alliance. I have no idea what it’s all about.

The Israelis and Jordan have some sort of an alliance.

Egyptian and Israeli officers work together in the Sinai at the Gaza border. That’s one reason a lot of people hate Sisi. His army works with the Israeli military.

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Israelis Have Managed to Drive Hundreds of Millions of Their Nearest Neighbors to Near Homicidal Hatred of Them

Barack Thatcher: Robert, I am not criticizing the Palestinians.

I’m just saying logically, assuming the Jews aren’t going anywhere could protect them by taking them out of the range of Israeli missiles; taking them into the Gulf nations or wherever.

The problem is that it’s about hatred of the Jews (whether right or wrong), not a pragmatic defense of the Jews.

The Jews aren’t going anywhere.

I was just saying why not actually look for a pragmatic solution for this instead of idealistically holding out and waiting to right the wrongs of 40 years ago?

It was 70 years ago.

Israel does not generally shoot missiles or even drop bombs on Palestinian areas in the Gaza and West Bank. Sometimes they bomb some Hamas training camp in response to a rocket attack. The rocket attacks these days are never even done by Hamas. They are done by more radical groups, and Hamas does not approve of shooting rockets at Israel. But Israel says its Hamas’ fault whenever some nignog shoots a rocket!

When the battles in Syria carry over into the Golan via stray bullets, mortars or whatever, the Israelis will shell or bomb the Syrian Army in response! Israel says it is the Syrian government’s fault whenever the shooting war accidentally carries over to Gaza. Syria just has to sit there and let Israel shoot missiles and drop bombs on it all the time because if they shoot one bullet in response, Israel says they will level Syria. They bomb Lebanon all the time too, and they constantly fly jets over Lebanon to harass the Lebanese. Lebanon cannot do anything about it because if they shoot one bullet, Israel says they will turn Lebanon into Carthage. Lebanese hate Israel so much that to this day, Israel and Lebanon are still officially at war. No peace treaty or armistice was ever signed and of course Lebanon has no relations with Israel at all.

The Israelis are scum. I have nothing but the most sheer utmost hate for them. I wish they would just disappear of the planet. Israel is one of the most evil nations on Earth. I cheer whenever some Arab kills some of them. They deserve it.

They’re bullies. They’re not victims at all. They are the biggest bullies in the whole planet, and they scream all the time that they are the biggest victims on the planet. Bullies always do this. Bullies always say they are victims and they blame the person they are bullying, claiming that the victim attacked the bully first when that never happens. The bully attacks the victim, and then when the victim fights back, the bully screams, “You are an evil aggressor maniac attacking poor peaceful me for no reason.”

And then they retaliate against the victim even more because it drives bullies insane with hate whenever their victims start fighting back. I am not sure why that is, but maybe they see it as a “slave rebellion” of some sort.  Look at how harsh slave rebellions (rebellions of the victims) were put down by slaveholders (the bullies). Israel follows the exact same bully-victim paradigm that plays out in the day to day world among individuals.

Now I could pretty much care less about Jews in the Diaspora because to me they’re not the problem. Those scumbags squatting in Palestine are the problem. Sure some Diaspora Jews strongly support Israel, but most secular American Jews can hardly care less about the place. I have known many Jews and I had a Jewish girlfriend for many years. She and a number of other Jews acted like Israel was a huge headache that they wished would go away. They also said that Israel was full of Orthodox Jews, and you have no idea how many hate secular Jews have for those Ultra-Orthodox ones. They hate them! I do not know if the feeling is mutual. Most people are not aware of this intra-Jewish strife.

So the Jews who are the issue are the ones over in Palestine. These ones here are not squatting in Palestine, so I have no issues with them. I also do not really care about many of the criticisms of Diaspora Jews laid out by anti-Semites. The main arguments of the antisemites seem to rightwing or even reactionary in nature. A lot of antisemitism is coming from White racism or White Supremacism/White Nationalism.

I could care less what Jews think of White Gentiles and I doubt if Jews are the enemies of the Whites. Frankly, I would rather be ruled by the Jewish rich than by the US Gentile rich. See that Trump Administration? That’s what the Gentile rich act like in this country. The Jewish rich are not exactly wonderful people and the New York Times Jews make me ill, but I would much rather be ruled by Mr. Sulzberger than Mr.Trump. For an elite group, rich Jews are markedly leftwing. In fact, rich Jews may be one of the most progressive groups of rich elites on Earth.

The Israelis are the worst bullies on Earth. Everyone in the region absolutely hates them. All the Sunnis factions and all the Shia factions hate them, and some of those Shia factions are barely even Muslims. Hell, even the Druze hate them! The Druze in Syria, the Golan and Lebanon despise Israel.

A lot of Middle Eastern Christians are not wild about Islam, but a lot of them hate Israel too. This idiot Ted Cruz gave a speech to the Christian Arab Association of America. Perhaps he said something about Muslims. Those Christians might not be real wild about Muslims but they do not usually hate them as much as your average Trumpster Republican. I have known Christian Arabs from Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Most of them did not have much to say against Muslims, but they all (except for some Lebanese Maronites) hated Israel in a huge way.

Cruz made some mention of Israel saying something like our great friends in Israel, and the whole place turned into a mob scene. They stood up and booed him for whole minutes, and they nearly chased him off the stage to where he would have had to end the speech prematurely. Cruz had ignorantly thought that since Arab Christians were not wild about Muslims that they must like Jews like most US evangelicals, but he was sorely mistaken.

My local store got taken over by Syrian Christians and they hate Israel. I mean they hate hate hate hate hate hate hate them. They don’t say anything bad about Muslims and in fact they work alongside Yemeni Muslims right now. And those are Christians! If the Christians hate Israel that much, can you imagine how much Muslims must hate them. There are quite a few Commie atheist Arabs, especially Palestinians, Iraqis and Lebanese. I used to know some of them. They probably hate Israel more than anyone!Most of them were Arab nationalists and Arab nationalists hate Israel as much as the Islamists. I used to know an Iranian Assyrian Christian woman. In fact, I dated her for a bit. She basically hated Muslims for good reason. But she hated Israel just as much! She hated Israel. And she didn’t like Jews too much either. She was a bit of an antisemite. I knew a Syrian Christian once who was a wild, raving antisemite. I mean he sounded like a Nazi.

Even non-Arab Muslims hate Israel. I have heard that Turks really despise them and for some reason, I have heard that a lot of Greeks hate Israel too, maybe because there are Greek Orthodox Christians over there. Inside Israel itself, even the Arab Christians do not like Israel. The Greek Orthodox Priest of Jerusalem named Father Hanna used to praise Hamas and cheer for suicide bombings. I knew a Pakistani woman whose hatred of Israel was off the charts and he was an extreme antisemite to boot.

No Iranians like Israel. Even the secular Iranian nationalists who despise Arabs and Islam and claim to be Zoroastrians if they are religious at all have an extreme hatred of Israel. And a lot of them don’t like Jews either – the ones I knew were serious antisemites. I knew an Moroccan Muslim woman, relatively secular, who was always posting stuff about the Palestinians.

I knew an Egyptian Muslim man who told me that there would have to be another war to take out Israel once and for all. During the Arab Spring, at one  point a huge mob attacked the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. The Israelis were spirited out of there soon enough, but the riot went on for most of the day, and at the end, the embassy had been burnt to the ground. And I was told that many of those attacking the embassy were secular Arab Spring anti-Mubarak types, not radical Muslims at all.

Nobody likes those people! They’ve acted like such scumbags since they set up shop there that they are managed to earn the near-homicidal hatred of almost all of the hundreds of millions of neighbors for quite a few miles around.

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Oil, Power and Money: ‘Assad Must Go’ That’s Been Washington’s ‘Regime Change’ Mantra from The Get-Go,” by Mike Whitney

Via Global Research.

The Syrian War is really all about a pipeline! While there are other things at stake here including checking Iran and disrupting the Shia Crescent of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah for the Gulf states, Jordan, Turkey and especially Israel, that’s not why we started this war. The whole war is over a damned pipeline. Almost all wars are really about money at the end of the day. Briefly, Qatar wanted to put a pipeline through Jordan, the eastern part of Syria and Turkey to deliver Qatari gas to Europe. This pipeline would have also stopped another pipeline by the Gulf states’ deadly rival, Iran.

This pipeline would have shipped Iranian gas through Northern Iraq, Northeastern Syria and Turkey to Europe in order to ship Iranian gas to Europe. Whoever wins the pipeline sweepstakes gets a lot of money and also ups their influence in the deadly game of chess being played over there between the Gulf states and who they see as their worst enemy, Iran. The Iranian pipeline had to be stopped, and the Qatari pipeline had to be put in. As soon as Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline going across his land, the US, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia all met and decided to foment a rebellion to take down Assad. Sure there are other goals here, but the Number 1 goal is the pipeline. Everyone needs to keep that in mind. At the end of the day, it’s usually all about money? What’s all about money? Everything.

Oil, Power and Money: “Assad Must Go”

That’s Been Washington’s “Regime Change” Mantra from The Get-Go

us-syria flags

Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria. — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Why the Arabs Don’t Want Us in Syria, Politico.

The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations.

The main driver of the conflict is the country that’s toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2  (see Bill Blum here.) We’re talking about the United States of course.

Washington is the hands-down regime change champion, no one else even comes close. That being the case, one might assume that the American people would notice the pattern of intervention, see through the propaganda and assign blame accordingly. But that never  seems to happen and it probably won’t happen here either. No matter how compelling the evidence may be, the brainwashed American people always believe their government is doing the right thing.

But the United States is not doing the right thing in Syria. Arming, training and funding Islamic extremists — that have killed half a million people, displaced 7 million more and turned the country into an uninhabitable wastelands –is not the right thing. It is the wrong thing, the immoral thing. And the US is involved in this conflict for all the wrong reasons, the foremost of which is gas. The US wants to install a puppet regime in Damascus so it can secure pipeline corridors in the East, oversee the transport of vital energy reserves from Qatar to the EU, and make sure that those reserves continue to be denominated in US Dollars that are recycled into US Treasuries and US financial assets. This is the basic recipe for maintaining US dominance in the Middle East and for extending America’s imperial grip on global power into the future.

The war in Syria did not begin when the government of Bashar al Assad cracked down on protesters in the spring of 2011. That version of events is obfuscating hogwash.  The war began in 2009, when Assad rejected a Qatari plan to transport gas from Qatar to the EU via Syria. As Robert F Kennedy Jr. explains in his excellent article “Syria: Another Pipeline War”:

The $10 billion, 1,500 km pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey….would have linked Qatar directly to European energy markets via distribution terminals in Turkey… The Qatar/Turkey pipeline would have given the Sunni Kingdoms of the Persian Gulf decisive domination of world natural gas markets and strengthened Qatar, America’s closest ally in the Arab world. ….

In 2009, Assad announced that he would refuse to sign the agreement to allow the pipeline to run through Syria “to protect the interests of our Russian ally…”

Assad further enraged the Gulf’s Sunni monarchs by endorsing a Russian approved “Islamic pipeline” running from Iran’s side of the gas field through Syria and to the ports of Lebanon. The Islamic pipeline would make Shia Iran instead of Sunni Qatar the principal supplier to the European energy market and dramatically increase Tehran’s influence in the Mideast and the world…

Naturally, the Saudis, Qataris, Turks and Americans were furious at Assad, but what could they do? How could they prevent him from choosing his own business partners and using his own sovereign territory to transport gas to market?

What they could do is what any good Mafia Don would do; break a few legs and steal whatever he wanted. In this particular situation, Washington and its scheming allies decided to launch a clandestine proxy-war against Damascus, kill or depose Assad, and make damn sure the western oil giants nabbed the future pipeline contracts and controlled the flow of energy to Europe. That was the plan at least. Here’s more from Kennedy:

Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria.

Repeat: “the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline”, he signed his own death warrant. That single act was the catalyst for the US aggression that transformed a bustling, five thousand-year old civilization into a desolate Falluja-like moonscape overflowing with homicidal fanatics that were recruited, groomed and deployed by the various allied intelligence agencies.

But what’s particularly interesting about this story is that the US attempted a nearly-identical plan 60 years earlier during the Eisenhower administration. Here’s another clip from the Kennedy piece:

During the 1950′s, President Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers … mounted a clandestine war against Arab Nationalism — which CIA Director Allan Dulles equated with communism — particularly when Arab self-rule threatened oil concessions. They pumped secret American military aid to tyrants in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon favoring puppets with conservative jihadist ideologies which they regarded as a reliable antidote to Soviet Marxism….

The CIA began its active meddling in Syria in 1949 — barely a year after the agency’s creation…Syria’s democratically elected president, Shukri-al-Kuwaiti, hesitated to approve the Trans Arabian Pipeline, an American project intended to connect the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to the ports of Lebanon via Syria. (so)… the CIA engineered a coup, replacing al-Kuwaiti with the CIA’s handpicked dictator, a convicted swindler named Husni al-Za’im. Al-Za’im barely had time to dissolve parliament and approve the American pipeline before his countrymen deposed him, 14 weeks into his regime…..

(CIA agent Rocky) Stone arrived in Damascus in April 1956 with $3 million in Syrian pounds to arm and incite Islamic militants and to bribe Syrian military officers and politicians to overthrow al-Kuwaiti’s democratically elected secularist regime….

But all that CIA money failed to corrupt the Syrian military officers. The soldiers reported the CIA’s bribery attempts to the Ba’athist regime. In response, the Syrian army invaded the American Embassy taking Stone prisoner. Following harsh interrogation, Stone made a televised confession to his roles in the Iranian coup and the CIA’s aborted attempt to overthrow Syria’s legitimate government…(Then) Syria purged all politicians sympathetic to the U.S. and executed them for treason.  (Politico)

See how history is repeating itself? It’s like the CIA was too lazy to even write a new script, they just dusted off the old one and hired new actors.

Fortunately, Assad –with the help of Iran, Hezbollah and the Russian Airforce– has fended off the effort to oust him and install a US stooge. This should not be taken as a ringing endorsement of Assad as a leader, but of the principal that global security depends on basic protections of national sovereignty, and that the cornerstone of international law has to be a rejection of unprovoked aggression whether the hostilities are executed by one’s own military or by armed proxies that are used to achieve the same strategic objectives while invoking  plausible deniability. The fact is, there is no difference between Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Obama’s invasion of Syria. The moral, ethical and legal issues are the same, the only difference is that Obama has been more successful in confusing the American people about what is really going on.

And what’s going on is regime change: “Assad must go”. That’s been the administration’s mantra from the get go. Obama and Co are trying to overthrow a democratically-elected secular regime that refuses to bow to Washington’s demands to provide access to pipeline corridors that will further strengthen US dominance in the region.  That’s what’s really going on behind the ISIS distraction and the “Assad is a brutal dictator” distraction and the “war-weary civilians in Aleppo” distraction. Washington doesn’t care about any of those things. What Washington cares about is oil, power and money. How can anyone be confused about that by now?  Kennedy summed it up like this:

We must recognize the Syrian conflict is a war over control of resources indistinguishable from the myriad clandestine and undeclared oil wars we have been fighting in the Mid-East for 65 years. And only when we see this conflict as a proxy war over a pipeline do events become comprehensible.

That says it all, don’t you think?

Mike Whitney, lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

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Some Little-Known Truths about Arabs

Lin writes:

To Pranav:

…To me, (Sunni) Islam is basically an Arab/pan-Arab civilizational push, or it’s just a veneer over Arabized power. Let me recollect what I posted here before:

1) Arabic is said to be language of Paradise.

2) Arabs are said to be a superior race.

Superiority of the race of Arabs over non-Arabs

3) Though faggotry is condemned, large % of Arab/Muslims are closet fags as long as the closet is tightly shut and doesn’t embarrass the establishment.

4) The strictest sect of Islam, the Wahhabi Saudis, allied with the British and French kufirs during WW1 to topple the Ottoman Turk Caliphate, treason of the worst kind I must say, yet they consider themselves guardians of Islam. What a farce and shame.

I personally don’t think the Sunni Arabs have much of an economic future (Persians could be an exception that their Shiite Islam is more flexible, like they allowed sex change). I also foresee an Euro/Mediterranean Jihad One, after which the Middle East will be further fragmented…

Most of this is correct.

Sunni Islam is indeed an Arab or Pan-Arab civilizational project, and it is also a thin veneer over Arabized power. In addition, it is a vehicle for Arab supremacy.

1 is correct. They do speak Arabic in Paradise, and the only true Qurans are those written in Arabic, for God transmitted the Quran to Mohammad in Arabic. There are many translations of the Quran into all sorts of languages, but many Muslims consider them to be nearly illegitimate, as the only proper Quran is the one written in Arabic.

2 is also correct. If you go to Islamic sites on the web, you will see articles along the lines that Arabs are a superior to non-Arabs. No doubt all of these sites were written by Arabs, but nevertheless, Islam is a sort of an Arab Supremacist religion.

3 is true, but some Islamic countries tolerate it more than others.

4 is sadly true, and it is quite a blight on the Saudis’ claim to be the ultimate in hardline Islamists. Instead they seem traitors to the umma.

I personally don’t think the Sunni Arabs have much of an economic future (Persians could be an exception that their Shiite Islam is more flexible, like they allowed sex change).

I do not know what to say about this. The Sunni Arabs are definitely sitting on a lake of oil and gas that isn’t going away soon. Some of the Gulf countries have started to branch out away from an oil rentier economy. Dubai is now an international port city, one of the largest on Earth.

About the rest of the Sunni Arab states, I do not know what to say. Iraq, Syria, and Libya appear to be failed states right now, and Yemen is turning into one awful fast. There is some violence in Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon, but state structures appear to be largely intact. Palestine is a war zone and increasingly so is the Sinai.

Indeed the Shia do not appear to be going on jihad now or anytime soon. They do not believe in offensive jihad like the Sunnis do, and Shiism is quite a bit more progressive than Sunnism. Like Catholicism with its Pope, Shiism has its clergy. As the Pope and Vatican continue to update Catholicism to keep up with a changing world, the Ayatollahs and clergy in Lebanon and Iran do the same with Islam. The clergy in the latter two lands are surprisingly progressive, but those in Iraq, not so much. I know little about the Houthi Shia in Yemen.

The only people involved in the global jihad right now are radical Sunnis. The Shia, instead of being involved in this project, are victims of it, as global jihadists see the Shia as heretics to be killed on sight if not exterminated altogether. So the Shia, like the Arab Christians, are literally fighting for their lives against global jihad and are much more victimized by it than the Christian West is. Almost all terrorism in the world today is committed by Sunnis. In fact, the Shia are responsible for little terrorism outside of attacks on Israelis outside of Israel. There is some state terrorism being practiced by the Shia Iraqi state against Iraqi Sunnis.

I also foresee an Euro/Mediterranean Jihad One, after which the Middle East will be further fragmented…

I have no idea if this is going to occur, but it seems like it already is at a low to high variable level, right? Surely the Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptian, Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian parts of the Mediterranean are heating up, and a few are out and out jihad war zones right now. Turkey is increasingly starting to resemble the beginnings of a war zone. Terrorism in Europe is at a fairly low level, but the few attacks have been spectacular and there is a steady drumbeat of low level attacks happening in the background.

Comments along with your own predictions are welcomed.

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Tolerance for Male Homosexuality in the Muslim World

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Gulf countries tolerate it well, and it is said to be epidemic in places like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. There is also quite of bit of it in Syria, Egypt and Morocco.

It is not tolerated at all in Iran, Iraq, or Shia Lebanon, as Shia Islam is much more condemning of male homosexuality than Sunni Islam.

It is not that Sunni Islam necessarily is more tolerant of male homosexuality but that there is more variation in the Sunni world.

Palestine is not tolerant of male homosexuality at all, as gay men are frequently killed there. They are also commonly killed in Iraq and Iran. Syria used to be relatively more tolerant, but the parts of Syria taken over Islamists are very intolerant of gay men to the point where they are murdering them.

I have no data on male homosexuality in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan or Sunni Lebanon.

I also know nothing about it in the Muslim Sahel, Horn of Africa and West Africa.

I know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Europe such as Bosnia and Albania, although I assume it is more tolerated there than elsewhere.

Turkey is a mixed bag, as there is said to be a lot of male homosexuality, but it is also officially not tolerated. Sort of a don’t ask, don’t tell thing.

I know nothing of male homosexuality in the Caucasus, Muslim Russia, the Stans, India and Xinjiang.

I do not know what it was like before, but a lot of gay men are being murdered now in Bangladesh. I think there have been 30-40 such murders in the past couple of years. Gay rights advocates rather than gay men in general have been targeted.

I also know nothing about male homosexuality in Muslim Thailand, Muslim Burma, Muslim Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Southern Philippines. Male homosexuality is pretty well tolerated in Thailand and the Philippines, but I am not sure how ok it is in the Muslim parts of those nations.

Admittedly I am not the best person to ask about the situation for male homosexuality and gay men in the Muslim World.

Any further information would be interesting.

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ISIS Attacks Christian Village in Lebanon

Eight ISIS suicide bombers attacked Qaa, a mostly Christian village on the Syrian border in Lebanon. Five were killed and 30 more were wounded. ISIS is attacking Lebanon because Hezbollah is sending forces to fight ISIS in Syria, but they probably also want to attack this village to kill Christians.

Photos are interesting. Show older Lebanese Christian women from the village carrying AK-47’s on patrol. They look pretty uncomfortable with those weapons. I assume most of the men are away. The women were told by Lebanese soldiers to go home. The soldiers said they would take care of patrolling the village. Lebanon is notorious for not having a very good army. Hezbollah’s forces are better than the Lebanese army, and they’re a non-state actor!

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ISIS: Made in America

Here.

I have probably read hundreds of pages on this matter recently, and I still do not know what to make of it. I think this whole “War on ISIS:” is fake.

ISIS is armed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. The US shovels weapons to those three countries and then they give them to ISIS. ISIS is also supported by the UAE. The weapons are stockpiled in Turkey and then driven across the border to ISIS. Also I believe a lot of weapons are shipped to ISIS via Jordan.

The US knows full well that its own allies are supplying ISIS with weapons and that its ally Turkey is the main stockpile for the weapons. It knows that Turkey ships the weapons and supplies across the border to ISIS. Erdogan’s brother was the man running the ISIS oil smuggling out of Eastern Syria. The oil was smuggled out of East Syria to Turkey where it was then shipped to Israel. The Turkish government was neck deep in this. Erdogan’s sister was running a hospital that took care of wounded ISIS fighters.

If the US is fighting a war against ISIS, then why isn’t it stopping Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey from supplying ISIS? Why aren’t we bombing the ISIS training camps and supply depots in Turkey. Last November, a German photojournalist shot video of a column of 100 trucks heading over the Turkish border carrying men, supplies, weapons, etc. going directly into ISIS territory.

Conclusion? We are not even fighting a war on ISIS at all! If we are, why are we not targeting their supply chain? The whole war against them is fake.

We must be keeping ISIS around for some reason. Probably we are keeping them around as a noose around the neck of Assad. ISIS is a great way to bleed Assad on the battlefield and threaten his regime. At the same time, if you hit Syria, you also hit Iran and Hezbollah. Iran and Hezbollah are also getting bloodied on the battlefield in Syria. So ISIS is a great way to bloody, weaken and threaten Assad and to bloody and weaken Hezbollah while possibly threatening them in the future (Al Nusra is already fighting battles with the Lebanese military and Hezbollah in Northern Lebanon.) ISIS is also useful to bleed and weaken Iran and its allies like the Yemeni Houthis.

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Homosexuality in the Muslim World: An Overview

Looking at a video like that, one might get the impression that Muslims are routinely murdered in the Muslim World. Whether or not Muslims think that is what should be done or not, the death penalty for homosexuality is rarely carried out in the Muslim World, with some notable exceptions in the Levant and Mesopotamia, where the killings are extrajudicial murders and not state executions. These areas for whatever reason (probably cultural) have the worst homophobia and anti-gay violence in the Muslim World.

Even among radical Muslims like the Taliban in Afghanistan, sex with men and teenage boys is very common. Homosexuality is quite common in Pakistan, especially in the radicalized West, but no one does much about it. There have possibly been 5-6,000  executions of gay men in Iran, but the last hanging I saw was supposedly for two men who were convicted of raping teenage boys, not simple homosexuality.

In Iraq, things have been pretty bad for gays since 2001. Before 2001, Saddam did not care about them much one way or the other. The Shia militias have been murdering many gays, and ISIS of course also murders homosexuals.

Gays are killed in ISIS-controlled areas of Syria. Government persecution of gays by the Syrian state is off and on. Some gays are arrested and tortured or beaten by the state, but this is not common. In recent years, Syria has taken a hands off approach to homosexuals, sort of a see no evil, hear no evil/don’t ask, don’t tell approach. The state does not approve of gays, but they pretty much leave them alone recently. There is actually a gay hookup application being used by Syrian gays, and there are quite a few men on there. It would be trivial for the state to go after users of the app, but they have not done so. There are even 25 accounts in ISIS-controlled Raqqa!

I read an account by a gay man who went to Syria with his male lover ~15 years ago. They visited a coastal city, and the man said that he and his partner were propositioned everywhere – even by taxi drivers. They took a stroll along the beach and said that the social scene was all male, and a lot of the men seemed to be coming onto them. He described Syria as a gay paradise.

There are quite a few gays among Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They are ostracized from the rest of the refugee community and live in fear, residing communally with other gay men in crowded apartments in Beirut.

Homosexuality is rampant in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait at least. Traditionally not much has been done about it. A gay man took a trip to Kuwait recently and described it as a gay paradise. He met all sorts of Kuwaiti men who seemed to figure out he was gay via gaydar and propositioned him. He went to the beach at midnight and saw a number of gay couples having sex there by the moonlight.

There are even actual gay bars in Saudi Arabia, but they are not labeled as such. The authorities know what they are, but they don’t do anything. Also in Saudi Arabia men often walk around holding hands or with their arms around each other, so it’s easy for gay men to do this too and get away with it. A Kuwaiti friend of mine told, “All Saudi men are gay.” I asked her to elaborate and she said, “Well, at least 50%.” She also said that most of them were married, and the homosexuality was more properly seen as bisexuality. She also said it caused a lot of problems for married Saudi women who did not appreciate this behavior.

Ostentatious homosexuality is persecuted. A wedding party for two gay men was recently broken up by authorities. In addition, ~40 gay men have been arrested recently for crimes such as marrying other men, dressing like women in public and posting a gay flag on their balcony. The prosecutor has recommended the death penalty for all of these men. So you can see that Saudi Arabia has a don’t ask, don’t tell mindset about homosexuality.

Opportunistic lesbianism or bisexuality is very common among put-upon Saudi princesses or sheikhas. A lot of these women are miserable due to male chauvinism and try to allay their sorrows via pills, booze and lesbian affairs. Nothing is done to these women at all. There are separate boys and girls high schools, and there are problems with epidemic opportunistic lesbianism or bisexuality in girls’ schools. It is getting to be such a problem that it is interfering with girls’ education via problems like drama, breakdowns, crying and fights over lesbian romances.

It is very common for homosexuals to be killed in Palestine. Happens all the time. In fact, a number of Palestinian gay men have asked for and been given asylum in Israel on account of being gay.

Homosexuality goes on in Lebanon, and not much is done about it. However, in the South, Hezbollah has a tendency to beat up gay men if they hear about them, but they don’t kill them. There are occasional arrests and imprisonments. A woman was recently sentenced to one year in prison for lesbianism.

In Egypt, male homosexuality is very common from Cairo all the way down to the south. I read a blog post by a gay man who went there, and he was amazed at how much homosexuality there was. In the South, river boatmen on the Nile propositioned him. He also met a gay male couple in Egypt who lived together quietly. Nobody much cared. Most people seemed to know about it, but there was a don’t ask, don’t tell mindset going on.

However, the Egyptian state does not approve of ostentatious homosexuality. A raucous gay party on a large boat in the Nile was recently broken up by authorities. A number of the participants were sentenced to up to four years in prison. ~20% of young Egyptian men engage in opportunistic homosexuality, mostly because women are not available. Most of them play the male role and hence do not consider themselves gay. A few men play the female role and are labeled as gay.

All of the above is from the Mubarak era; I have no idea what things are like now.

I have no information about homosexuality in Libya, Tunisia or Algeria. However, homosexuality has traditionally been very common in Morocco. Western gay expats, including a number of men of letters such as William S. Burroughs and Paul Bowles, lived there for years. Bowles lived in Morocco for most of his life. Both men frequently had sex with gay teenage boys and young men in the cities. However, some of his neighbors found out about this behavior and got angry at Burroughs. I have read reports that said that ~20% of young single Moroccan men engage in opportunistic homosexuality which takes the same form as the Egyptian model above.

I have no information about homosexuality in Muslim Africa in the Sahel, the Horn or to the south.

Homosexuality is supposedly very common in Turkey. Western men sentenced to time in Turkish prisons have said things like, “All Turkish men are gay.” I doubt if that is accurate, but male homosexuality may be common there.

I have no information on homosexuality in Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Muslim Russia, Muslim Ukraine, the Stans or Xinjiang in China.

I also have no information on homosexuality in Muslim Burma, Muslim India, the Muslim South in Thailand, the Muslim South in the Philippines or Indonesia.

In addition, I have no information about homosexuality among Muslim communities in the West.

Any information on homosexuality in these Muslim nations and communities would be welcome.

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An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance Part 5 –

I have decided to publish my most recent work, An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, on my blog. Previously, this piece was used for the research for “An Insiders Look at the Iraqi Resistance” a major piece that appeared on the Islamist website Jihadunspun.com (JUS got the copyright but I did the research). That long-running top-billed piece is now down, but it is still archived on Alexa here . Note that this material is copyrighted and all reproduction for profit is forbidden under copyright laws.

For information about reprinting or purchasing one-time rights to this work, email me. This article is an in-depth analysis of the Iraqi resistance and is continuously being revised. It is presently 58 pages long in total. It lists all known Iraqi resistance groups who have ever fought in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad until about 2005 and includes a brief description and analysis of each group. There are separate sections covering Size, Tendencies, Motivations, Structure, Foreign Assistance, Foreign Fighters, Regional Characteristics, Regions, Cities or Towns Controlled by the Resistance, Major Attacks and List of Groups by Tendency.

The article was intended to be a political science-type analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, and I tried not to take sides one way or the other. I used a tremendous amount of source material, mostly publicly available news reports from the Internet. Obviously, in an area like this you are dealing with a ton of disinformation along with the real deal, so I spent a lot of time trying to sort out the disinfo from the relative truth.

The problem is that one cannot simply discount sources of information such as Israeli and US intelligence, US military reports, reporting from the resistance itself, Islamist websites, etc. Of course these sources are loaded with disinfo and false analysis, but they also tend to have a lot of truth mixed in as well. In writing a piece like this, you pull together all the sources and get sort of a “Gestalt” view of the situation. When you examine all the sources at once in toto, you can kind of sort out the disinfo from the more factual material. Admittedly it’s a hit or miss game, but that’s about as good as we can do source-wise in the inherently hazy subject area of an underground guerrilla war.

Interviews with resistance cadre by the mainstream Western media were given particular prominence in this piece.

FOREIGN FIGHTERS

Foreign Fighters: In Summer 2003, there were some reports that Syrians were said to often outnumber locals in those carrying out attacks in various locales, including Fallujah, Ramadi, Baghdad, Baqubah, Balad, Tikrit and Mosul. However, these reports are contradicted by reports in 11-03 indicating most fighters in most parts of Iraq have been Iraqis. Most of the foreign fighters in the post-major combat phase (after 5-1-03) have been Syrians and Lebanese, and many of the rest are Jordanians, Yemenis, Palestinians, Kuwaitis, Saudis and North Africans – often Egyptians and Algerians.

In 12-03, Syrians were still fairly common amongst fighters in Husaybah, near the Syrian border. After the major battle in Fallujah from April-May 04, a group of 50-100 largely Syrian Sunni extreme fundamentalist fighters seemed to have control over part of Fallujah’s Jolan District.

Many of these could better be described as Arab nationalists than Islamists, and a number of them were not even particularly religious. Dozens of Arab fighters have come from France and hundreds from Europe. In addition to the nations above, others came from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Bangladesh, Qatar, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Saudi dissident leaders stated that 5,000 Saudi jihadis were present in Baghdad alone in 11-03. US intelligence believed there were up to 15,000 Saudis alone in Iraq in 9-03. Saudis reportedly played a role in the suicide bombings of the ICRC and Baghdad Hotel.

A Palestinian, born in Iraq, a resident of the Al Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad, carried out the suicide car bomb attack on the upscale restaurant in the Karrada District of Baghdad on New Year’s Eve, 2003. In 11-03, the Jordanian and US governments said that they had identified at least 120 Jordanians in the Sunni Triangle fighting US forces. There were reports from Israeli intelligence that 100’s of Kuwaiti (anti-Kuwaiti regime) Islamists were heading into Iraq in 11-03. These reports were verified by Iraqi sources with AQ connections and former Iraqi military officers in Basra, who said AQ was using the Safwan Crossing because it was the easiest one to get across.

Other areas on the Kuwait-Iraq border were also being used. Before the war, the Kuwait-Iraq border was protected by an extensive fence built by the Kuwaitis. During the 2003 US invasion, US forces smashed through the wall in 9 places. In these 9 locations, crossing the border into Iraq is a simple, low-risk stroll.

These sources also said that AQ was also using the wide-open Saudi-Iraqi border. The porous Saudi-Iraq border has no fences at all and there are many Bedouin guides in that area who will ferry anyone across the border, no questions asked, for only $200. After crossing into Iraq from Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, AQ jihadis usually headed to Zubayr or Abu Al-Khasib, towns south of Basra with a substantial Sunni population.

Zubayr in particular was a popular destination due to a high concentration of Sunni Islamists. According to US and Israeli intelligence, Iran filtered in about 11,000-12,000 Iranian fighters to the Shia South, mostly Revolutionary Guards, during the Karbala pilgrimage in Spring 2003. However, this group has so far, for the most part, merely been working to gain influence in the region peacefully, at least for now. They have been involved in only a very few armed actions. They may be stockpiling arms in the South, along with other Iraqi Shia armed groupings, in case they need them later. A number of Iranian fighters have been captured in the guerrilla war phase. Their ideology and political affiliation are unknown.

However, one of the suicide attackers in the 12-11 bombing of the US base in Ramadi caused 15 US casualties was a Lebanese Palestinian member of Hezbollah splinter faction. In 2-04, Iraqi puppet authorities said that about 500 Hezbollah had come into Iraq in 2003, almost all going to the South, but for the most part they were just engaging in political work and not armed activity. However, the source also said that “scores” of Hezbollah had come to Iraq since mid-December. These Hezbollah were heading to northern Iraq to work with AAI. Hezbollah operatives were said to be providing training and guidance to AAI members; few had participated in attacks.

Sources in Pakistan claim that the Taliban, al-Qaeda (International Islamic Front), Hezb-e-Islami, and HUM (Pakistani Kashmiri fighters) all sent fighters to Iraq, with most of them coming after major combat ended. Two Taliban guerrilas were apprehended in 9-03 coming over the Iranian border into Iraq northeast of Khanaquin through the Kurdish mountains. Another Afghan was caught trying to plant a roadside bomb near the Dura Power Plant in Baghdad in 2-04.

By 1-04, indigenous Iraqi groups were employing smugglers to ferry foreign fighters across the Jordanian, Syrian and Saudi Arabian borders into Iraq. Once inside Iraq, foreign fighters are often transported to Ramadi or Fallujah, 2 of the hubs of the foreign fighter network in Iraq. A 3-29-04 interview with a Blackwater USA (the mercenary firm that lost 4 employees in the famous mutilation-burning attack in Fallujah 2 days later) mercenary based near Fallujah said that many of the attacks around Fallujah had turned out to be Jordanians, Syrians, Iranians, and Chechens.
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Foreign Fighters During And Before Major Combat (March 19-May 1): Many foreign fighters came before and during major combat. An attempt was made to put them under central command towards the end of major combat. By the fall of Baghdad, the central command of the Arab mujahedin stated there were 8,000 foreign fighters in Baghdad alone. They took heavy casualties in the fighting, and many just went home after Baghdad fell. But in the postwar phase, they seem to be coming in again.

A large number of Palestinians came during major combat, about 1,500-2,000 (according to sources in the camp below) or 4,000+ (according to Newsweek), mostly from a splinter Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades faction aligned with Syria and located in the Ein Al Hilweh Refugee Camp in southern Lebanon. The leader of this faction is reportedly named Colonel Munir Maqdah. About 30-40 more Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades fighters came from just one town in the West Bank. Hamas and Islamic Jihad each sent factions of ~300 fighters. Islamic Jihad’s fighters came through Lebanon.

Fighters from Romania (Communists) and Vietnam (Communists), Indonesia (Islamists), Russia (mixed ideology – Communists, nationalists, Islamists), Dagestan (8,000 Islamists) and Malaysia (Islamists) reportedly announced plans to go fight in Iraq during the major combat phase, but none of them seem to have made it. Hezbollah sent about ~800 fighters, and they continued to trickle in long after major combat ended.

One source claimed that Lashkar-E-Toiba (LET), a Pakistani/Kashmiri group active in Kashmir, participated in the major combat phase. LET cadre in Saudi Arabia (LET purportedly maintains a Saudi presence) claim the group sent a number of fighters, possibly 100-200, during the major combat phase, and suffered casualties.
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Al Qaeda (AQ) Foreign Fighters: AQ has had an open presence in Iraq only recently. In the couple months before the war, when conflict seemed inevitable, small groupings of AQ were allowed by the Iraqi state to form cells in Baghdad, but told to stay clear of Saddam’s regime. They were allowed in on the basis that war seemed inevitable and anyone who wanted to fight the Americans was basically welcome. This group numbered only 30-40. They fought during the war and remained afterwards, when they were apparently reinforced by others. Many of the AQ who came to Iraq during and after major combat may have come in via Iran, either across the border east of Baghdad, or to the north through the Kurdish areas.

A few others supposedly came across the Turkish border into the Kurdish zone. Some may have crossed the Saudi and more recently the Kuwaiti borders. Few, if any, appear to have crossed the Syrian or Jordanian borders. The number of AQ currently in Iraq is very controversial, with estimates ranging from 300-15,000+. AQ sources in Iraq said there were 4,500 foreign jihadis in Iraq in 11-03, most of them from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen and the other Gulf countries. It seems certain that there were at least 100’s of AQ fighters in Iraq as of 12-03. In a 12-03 interview, MA cadre said there were at least 150 AQ in Iraq, with almost of them coming after the fall of Baghdad.

They moved around the country regularly. “One or two” of them might participate in an operation with a local resistance group before moving on to another part of Iraq. MA cadre acknowledged that “1 or 2” AQ cadre had participated in “a few” MA attacks before moving on. In 12-03, sources in Pakistan said that AQ was pulling out 1/3 of its 1,000-man force out of Afghanistan and directing them to Iraq. That would mean ~350 more AQ heading to Iraq. The whole question of AQ’s role in the Iraq War or the guerrila war that followed is poorly understood, probably due to the shadowy nature of the group.

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