Category Archives: Caucasus

No Putin Is Not Worth $60 Billion, and He Does Not Kill Journalists

Robert- In all seriousness why is Putin so great according to the Alt Right and Left? I understand he is an ‘answer’ to neocon bullshit so to speak, but let’s not delude ourselves about this guy.

Juan: He has brutally suppressed opposition to his rule, oftentimes through the murder of journalists, Chechens, whomever. It’s not a free society.

His political opposition are convicted in kangaroo courts of nothing.

Meanwhile Putin has massive investments in 0il in his country, allowing him to push policy to line his pocket books. He is worth $70 billion.

As I said above, an alliance with him and against neocons is a good thing, but this “muh poor Putin victimized by the West” rhetoric is not good.

I cannot speak for the Alt Right. The Left goes a bit too easy on Putin. Putin is definitely a thug. He has had a few people killed. Those people were spies. Intelligence agents, working for the FSB (Russian CIA). All of them were double agents. Even under Yeltsin, several US double agents were executed. In many countries, double agents are considered traitors. It is quite typical for countries to execute double agents. Double agents do not have a long life expectancy. I do not have much sympathy for such heedless and death-defying people. They chose a profoundly risky profession and they paid with their lives. So what?

Also, Putin is out for Putin. He supported Trump because Trump promised to go easy on him, while Hillary had him down as US enemy #1. Who do you expect him to support.

Russia has not been a free country since 1991 and it was not a free country before that all the way back to 1917. Russian people seem like to like benevolent dictators. It’s all they’ve ever known. Most of them don’t even believe in democracy. Putin is extremely popular, with popularity at 87%.  Compare that to the popularity of US-supported Medvedev and  Yeltsin at ~10%. Isn’t it better to have an authoritarian leader who everyone loves as opposed to one who everyone hates?

You must understand how many people in Russia are corrupt. Putin is about the least corrupt man in the whole country. Nearly the entire opposition is dirty and corrupt. Many to most have organized crime connections. Well documented white collar crime has been aptly demonstrated among nearly all major opposition figures. Some of these people have run afoul of Putin and  have been tried and convicted in completely fair courts of law. The Russian legal system is quite fair. There are no kangaroo courts in Russia. A charge of selective prosecution could be made though. The opposition figures now in prison should have thought about that before they committed their dirty white collar crimes.

Putin does not have one nickel of investment in oil in his country to my knowledge.

The Chechen War has been going on since 1991. It’s been a Dirty War from the start, exactly like all of the counterinsurgencies the US supports. Russia’s war against the Chechens is not much different from your typical US supported counterinsurgency. Killings of opposition journalists, human rights activists and Chechen opposition figures and rebel supporters have been going on the entire time. In recent times, almost all such killings have been linked to the internal security forces of Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, etc.

I agree that some journalists have been beaten up for reporting the wrong things. Probably Putin’s thugs did this. But the other Presidents murdered journalists. Putin just has a few beaten up. That’s an improvement. Mostly all Putin ever does is shut down opposition media. Most of the opposition TV has been shut down. I think some is still available on cable though. I am not sure about opposition papers, journals and magazines. Actually I believe that the opposition media is alive and well. For instance, I can point you to a CIA-run website that quotes Russian opposition figures on a daily basis. Often they are professors, researchers, journalists or think tank workers. Most are employed inside Russia. They sit there in Russia and shoot off their mouths every day and nothing seems to happen to them. Often the quotes are from Russian papers,  magazines, journals, TV stations or radio stations. I assume that all of these are active in Russia. For the most part, it seems that these opposition figures are left alone. You would be amazed at the sort of crap these people say on a daily basis. A lot of them are openly treasonous, supporting the enemy in wartime. For instance, many support Ukraine in the current war.

The Internet is free in Russia and a vast proportion of Russian language media is run by the Opposition, mostly out of Europe. Finland is a major center for this. Any Russian can call up any Russian Opposition website anytime they want to. Most such sites are also in English because most of their readership is among English speakers. Opposition daily newspapers and magazines can be purchased for sale every day in Moscow. I believe the big foreign press is on sale there. I am sure you can buy a copy of the New York Times in Moscow. It is just that nobody wants to read this stuff.

The truth is that the Opposition has no support. The Opposition leader who was killed had gotten 1% support in the last election. The pro-Western Opposition, which is most of the Opposition that the US cares about, has 5-10% support, closer to 5%. Nobody likes them, nobody wants them. I have known some Russians and I asked them about the pro-US Opposition. They all told me, “Oh you mean the traitors? We don’t call them Opposition here. We call them the traitors. Everybody hates them. They support the US. Here in Russia, if you support the US, you are a traitor who supports the enemy. All Russians oppose the US as an enemy state.”

Putin has not murdered one single journalist during his most recent terms in office. In fact far fewer journalists have died under Putin than under any previous President.

There are deaths of journalists in Russia. A few journalists have been killed under Putin. These hits were mostly mob hits or personal disputes. A few were political killings in the Caucasus.

Since 1991, the vast majority of journalist killings have been in the Caucasus. These have all been related to the insurgency down there. Journalists suspected of siding with the rebels or writing about human rights abuses have been killed. This happens in most insurgencies. US-supported insurgencies are notorious for slaughtering journalists and opposition media. The US murdered opposition media in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It is standard Pentagon procedure to target opposition journalists as combatants in modern warfare.

By far the most killings of journalists occurred under Boris Yeltsin. Vastly more journalists were killed under Yeltsin than under anyone else. Yeltsin was a stauch US ally and not a single disparaging word was ever written about him in the US press. He also stole elections. Putin’s elections are much freer than Yeltsin’s, and Putin is far less corrupt.

Putin is not worth $60 billion. This is just flat out fake news. In 2007, Putin had a net worth or $150,000. In 2012, Putin’s salary was $130,000. Surely his net worth now is hardly worth more than it was in 2007. Putin has not used the Presidency to enrich himself, unlike our current Scumbag in Chief. Russia’s Executive Branch is vastly more honest and less corrupt than America’s. What I think is amusing is that Americans who just elected a multibillionaire who has filled his Cabinet with billionaires and multibillionaires, are outraged that Putin is supposedly a multibillionaire himself. It’s rich, but all US criticism of anyone is usually pretty rich. We’re Number One all right. Number One in exceptionalism, self-delusion and hypocrisy.

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Simplification of Language with Increasing Civilization: A Result of Contact or Civilization Itself

Nice little comment here on an old post, Primitive People Have Primitive Languages and Other Nonsense? 

I would like to dedicate this post to my moronic field of study itself, Linguistics, which believes in many a silly thing as consensus that have never been proved and are either untrue or probably untrue.

One of the idiocies of my field is this belief that in some way or another, most human languages are pretty much the same. They believe that no language is inherently better or worse than any other language, which itself is quite a dubious proposition right there.

They also believe, incredibly, that no language is more complex or simple than any other language. Idiocy!

Another core belief is that each language is perfectly adapted for its speakers. This leads to their rejecting claims that some languages are unsuitable for the modern world due to lack of modern vocabulary. This common belief of many minority languages is obviously true. Drop a Papuan in Manhattan, and see what good his Torricelli tongue does him. He won’t have words for most of the things around him. He won’t even have verbs for most of the actions he sees around him. His language is nearly useless in this environment.

My field also despises notions that some languages are better suited to poetry, literature or say philosophy than others or that some languages are more or less concise or exact than others or that certain concepts or ways of thinking are better expressed in one language as opposed to another. However, this is a common belief among polyglots, and I would not be surprised if it was true.

The question we are dealing with below is based on the notion that many primitive languages are exceeding complex and the common sense observation that as languages acquire more speakers and civilization increases, one tends to see a simplification of language.

My field out and out rejects both statements.

They will tell you that primitive languages are no more complex than more civilized tongues and that there is no truth to the statement that languages simplify with greater numbers of speakers and increased civilization. However, I have shot these two rejected notions to many non-linguists, and they all felt that these statements had truth to them. Once again, my field violates common sense in the name of the abstract and abstruse “we can’t prove anything about anything” scientific nihilism so common in the intellectually degraded social sciences.

Indeed, some of the most wildly complex languages of all can be found among rather primitive peoples such as Aborigines, Papuans, Amerindians and even Africans. Most language isolates like Ket, Burashaski and Basque are pretty wild. The languages of the Caucasus are insanely complex, and that region doesn’t exactly look like Manhattan. Siberian languages are often maddeningly complex.

Even in China, in the remoter parts of China, language becomes highly differentiated and probably more complex. I know an American who was able to learn Cantonese and Mandarin who told me that at age 35, for an American to learn Hokkien was virtually impossible. He tried various schemes, but they all failed. He finally started to get a hold of the language with a strict eight hour a day study schedule. Anything less resulted in failure. Hokkien speakers that he spoke too said you needed to grow up speaking Hokkien to be able to speak the language well at all. By the way, this is another common sense notion that linguists reject. They say there are no languages so difficult that it is very hard to pick them up unless you grew up with them.

The implication here is that Min Nan is even more complex than the difficult Mandarin or even the forbidding Cantonese, which even many Mandarin speakers give up trying to learn because it is too hard.

Min Nan comes out Fujian Province, a land of forbiddingly high mountains where language differentiation is very high, and there is often difficult intelligibility even from village to village. In one area, fifteen years ago an American researcher decided to walk to a nearby village. It took him six very difficult hours over steep mountains. He could have taken the bus, but that was a four-day trip! A number of these areas had no vehicle roads until recently and others were crossed by vast rivers that had no bridges across them. Transportation was via foot. Obviously civilization in these parts of China is at a more primitive level, and it’s hard to develop Hong Kong-style cities in places with such isolating and rugged terrain.

It’s more like, “Oh, those people on the other side of the ridge? We never go there, but we heard that their language is a lot different from ours. It’s too hard to go over that range so we never go to that area.”

In the post, I theorized that as civilization increased, time becomes money, and there is a need to get one’s point across quickly, whereas more primitive peoples often spend no more than 3-4 hours a day working and the rest sitting around, playing  and relaxing. A former Linguistics professor told me that one theory is that primitive people, being highly intelligent humans (all humans are highly intelligent by default), are bored by their primitive lives, so they enjoy their wildly complex languages and like to relax, hang out and play language games with them to test each other on how well they know the structures. They also like to play tricky and maybe humorous language games with their complicated languages. In other words, these languages are a source of intellectual stimulation and entertainment in an intellectually impoverished area.

Of course, my field rejects this theory as laughably ridiculous, but no one has disproven it yet, and I doubt if the hypothesis has even been tested, hence it is an open question. My field even tends to reject the notion of open questions, preferring instead to say that anything not proven (or even tested for that matter) is demonstrably false. That’s completely anti-scientific, but that’s the trend nowadays across the board as scientistic thinking replaces scientific thinking.

Of course this is in line with the terrible conservative or reactionary trend in science where Science is promoted to a fundamentalist religion and scientists decide that various things are simply proven true or proven not true and attempts to change the consensus paradigm are regarded derisively or with out and out fury and rage and such attempts are rejected via endless moving of goalposts with the goal of making it never possible to prove the hypothesis. If you want to see an example of this in Linguistics, look at the debate around  Altaic. They have set it up so that no matter how much existing evidence we are able to gather for the theory, we will probably never be able to prove it as barriers to proof have been set up to make the question nearly unprovable.

It’s rather senseless to set up Great Wall of China-like barriers to proof in science because at some point,  you are hardly proving anything new, apparently because you don’t want to.

Fringe science is one of the most hated branches of science and many scientists refer to it as pseudoscience. Practitioners of fringe science have a very difficult time as the Scientific Establishment often persecutes them, for instance trying to get them fired from professorships. Yet this Establishment is historically illiterate because many of the most stunning findings in history were made by widely ridiculed fringe scientists.

The commenter below rejects my theory that increased civilization itself results in language simplification, as it gets more important to get your point across as quickly  as possible with increasing complexity and development of society. Instead he says civilization leads to increased contact between speakers of different dialects or language, and in such cases,  language must be simplified, often dramatically, in order for any decent communication to occur. Hence increased contact, not civilization in and of itself, is the driver of simplification.

I like this theory, and I think he may be onto something.

To me the simplification of languages of more ‘civilized’ people is mostly a product of language contact rather than of civilization itself. If the need arises to communicate with foreign people all of the time, for example in trade, then the language must become more simple in order to be able to be understood by more people.

Also population size matters a lot. It has been found that the greater the number of speakers, the greater the rate of language change. For example Polynesian languages, although having been isolated centuries or even millennia ago, still have only minor differences from one another.

In the case of many speakers, not all will be able to learn all the rules of a language, so they will tend to use the most common ones. And if the language is split in many dialects, then speakers of each dialect must find a compromise in order to communicate, which might come out as simple. If we add sociolects, specific registers for some occasions, sacred registers, slang etc, something that will arise in a big and stratified civilization, then the linguistic barriers people will need to overcome become greater. So it is just normal that after some centuries, this system to simplify.

We don’t need to look farther than Europe. Most languages of the western half being spoken in countries with strong trade links to one another and with much of the world later in history are quite analytic, but the languages of the more isolated eastern part are still like the older Indo-European languages. Basques, living in a small isolated pocket in the Iberian Peninsula, have kept a very complex language. Icelanders, also due to isolation, have kept a quite conservative Germanic language, whereas most modern Germanic languages are ridiculously simplified. No one can argue in his sane mind that Icelanders are primitives.

On the other hand, Romanian, being spoken in the more isolated Balkans, has retained more of the complex morphology of Latin compared to West Romance languages. And of course advance of civilization won’t automatically simplify the language, as Turkish and Russian, both quite complicated languages compared to the average European tongue, don’t seem to give up their complexity nowadays.

On the other hand, indigenous people were living in a much more isolated setting compared to the modern world, the number of speakers was comparatively low, and there was no need to change. Also, neighboring tribes were often hostile to one another, so each tribal group sought to make itself look special. That is the reason why places with much inter-tribal warfare like New Guinea have so many languages which are so different from one another. When these languages need to communicate, we get ridiculously simple contact languages like Hiri Motu.
So language simplification is more a result of language contact rather than civilization itself.

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“US Ponders Whether to Go to War with Russia to Salvage Al Qaeda in Syria,” by Eric Zuesse

Via Global Research.

I would say that just about everything you read below is 100% correct. Of course every word below is directly contrary to the lying narrative of the Syrian War being propagated by the US propaganda system.

The first incident discussed is the “accidental” US bombing of Syrian forces in Deir ez Zour, killing 80 Syrian soldiers. Except it was no accident.

Next he talks about an attack on a UN aid convoy in Aleppo for which the US immediately blamed Russia and Syria and then Russia. The truth is that neither Russia nor Syria attacked that convoy and it was not a UN convoy anyway, instead it was a Red Crescent. As a matter of fact, that convoy attack was an actual US false flag attack presumably ordered by Ashton Carter yet again as in the previous assault on the Syrian Army at Deir ez Zour.

The reason was that the cooperation deal between the US and Russia to jointly attack Al Qaeda in Syria, which the Pentagon and CIA were mutinying against, was dependent on a clause that said that they needed to cooperate on aid to besieged areas and that any attacks on aid convoys would immediately kill the deal. Wa-la! Suddenly there is a mysterious attack on an aid convoy and no one knows who did it, which coincidentally just so happens to kill the Russia-US cooperation deal!

I will go into my evidence proving without a doubt that this was a false flag attack in a later post.

Later he discusses how the US has been supporting Al Qaeda in Syria for years now mostly via its allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and especially Turkey. As a matter of fact, recent excellent evidence proves that the US actually has military advisors on the ground in Syria working directly with Syrian Al Qaeda!

About the “Gulf” threatening to up its arms provisions to the rebels, for “Gulf”  read Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and of course the US. This is how it works. The US gives weapons shipments to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. These three countries then ship the weapons into Syria. It is done this way so the US will not be directly responsible for arming the rebels.

It is true that the US and its allies are threatening to arm Al Qaeda and the rest of the jihadists with SAM’s to shoot down jets, which means Syrian and surely Russian jets too. So the US is now effectively getting ready to shoot down Russian warplanes in order to save Al Qaeda!  I cannot stress how irresponsible it is to give Al Qaeda and the rest of the maniacs SAM’s. They can easily use them to shoot down passenger jets. Also ISIS will surely get some of these SAM’s as ISIS gets quite a few of the weapons that come into Syria. So the US is now threatening to arm Al Qaeda and ISIS with surface to air missiles which can be used to shoot down passenger jets. How insane!

It is probably correct that Russia is using the same technique to attack the rebels in Syria as it used in Chechnya, that is, exterminating the rebels along with their civilian supporters. In Chechnya, they destroyed whole neighborhoods housing rebels along with their civilian supporters.

That is a war crime, correct, but US allies do the same thing.

It appears that Mr. Putin and Mr. Assad fight wars in a very dirty way.

And yes, Pentagon spokesman Kirby is indeed threatening to kill Russian soldiers in Syria but also threatening to launch attacks in Russian cities. Presumably these attacks will be done by some of our pet jihadists that we have been using against our enemies since the Afghan War in 1979 when the US-Wahhabi alliance began.

Moon of Alabama (one of the greatest blogs out there) is correct when he says that the only reason that the US has been negotiating all of these ceasefires with Syria and Russia is in order to buy time to rearm Al Qaeda and the rest of the rebels. One long-lasting ceasefire was used to flood the rebels with guns along with 3,000 new men. The US has never been serious about these ceasefires.

And yes, Russia is saying that if the US attacks Syrian forces anywhere in Syria, Russia will consider it an attack on Russian forces. This is because Russia states that there are Russian forces embedded with Syrian troops all over Syria, so any US attack on Syrian troops presumably endangers Russian forces also. I believe it is true that Russians are embedded all over Syria with the SAA. I also believe that there is a large force of 3,000 Russian soldiers to the southeast of Aleppo. I am not sure exactly what they are doing there, but they are there all right. There are a lot more Russian troops in Syria than most people think. It’s not just a few Air Force pilots.

And Russia has indeed placed S-300 and S-400 antiaircraft missiles in Syria for the purpose of shooting down US or other aircraft that attack Syrian troops. These are the most advanced anti-aircraft missiles on Earth with an incredibly long range and I believe that they are perfectly capable of taking down a USAF plane. In addition, Russia placed S series anti-aircraft battery in Tartus which specifically targets cruise missiles. Yes, it can shoot a US cruise missile right out of the sky.

 

US Ponders Whether to Go to War with Russia to Salvage Al Qaeda in Syria

 

Members of Al Qaeda's Nusra Front gesture as they drive in a convoy touring villages in the southern countryside of Idlib

Sources that will be provided here, document the historical narrative now occurring toward all-out war between the US and Russia, up till the present, as that history will be introduced in the following two paragraphs (the first paragraph for background, and the second for a summary of the documentation that will then constitute the main body of the present report):

FOR BACKGROUND:

The US government (Barack Obama) was being led by the Saudi royal family, who own Saudi Arabia, in selecting members for the so-called ‘peace negotiations’ with Russia on the Syrian conflict, and those ‘negotiations’ broke up because the US refused to stop backing Al Qaeda in Syria. As I reported and documented on 6 May 2016:

«These talks broke down on April 18th because Al Nusra was facing imminent defeat in the key city of Aleppo, and because such a defeat was unacceptable to Mohammed Alloush, the Saudi agent, and head of the Saudi-Wahhabist group, the Army of Islam. He was selected by King Saud to lead the rebel side at Syria’s peace negotiations».

FOR SUMMARY OF THE FOLLOWING REPORT:

Al Qaeda in Syria (which used to call itself «Al Nusrah») has been leading the US proxy army of jihadists trying to replace Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, but now that Russia and the US have broken off negotiations after the US bombed the Syrian army in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor on September 18th, Russia and the United States are gearing up for war against each other in Syria.

Both Russia and Syria have now quit trying to work any longer with the United States to defeat Al Qaeda in Syria — they’ve had enough of America’s protecting Al Qaeda in Syria; they are laying down the gauntlet to the US regime, and are saying that the US regime can henceforth choose either to leave Syria (which it has invaded by its illegal entry into Syria), or else to go to war against both Syria and Russia there, because Syria and Russia will no longer continue to be deterred by US pretenses about its support of alleged ‘moderate rebels’, no longer deterred from Syria’s and Russia’s joint goal of destroying all jihadists in Syria, including Al Qaeda there — America’s actually key proxy-force on the ground trying to replace Assad.

* * *

Now will be presented the documented recent developments producing this historic break towards World War III. We start with America’s bombing of the Syrian Army, and continue up through to October 7th:

On 18 September 2016, Reuters headlined, «US-led forces strike Syrian troops, prompting emergency U.N. meeting», and reported that, «The United States military said the coalition stopped the attacks against what it had believed to be Islamic State positions in northeast Syria after Russia informed it that Syrian military personnel and vehicles may have been hit. The United States relayed its ‘regret’».

Russia’s Sputnik News then bannered on the 18th, «Russian FM: Lethal US Strike on Syrian Army ‘Borders on Connivance With Daesh’», and reported that, «The Russian Foreign Ministry released a sternly worded statement following a tense 24-hours of diplomacy after an allegedly ‘unintentional’ US airstrike killed 80 Syrian Army forces ‘paving the way’ for a Daesh offensive». («Daesh» is a synonym for ISIS.)

Russia’s RIA News agency headlined on the 18th, «Assad Advisor Explains How the USAF [US Air Force] Might Coordinate with IG [another synonym for ISIS]», and reported that, «As soon as Washington struck [Assad’s forces], terrorists launched a ground attack [on Assad’s forces]. [It] hit exactly on the territory that was occupied by the Syrian army».

Later on the 18th, Russian Television headlined «‘Unbelievable’ that US strike on Syrian army was mistake – fmr MI5 agent», and reported that a former intelligence officer for Britain’s MI5, Annie Machon, said: «I find it slightly unbelievable that the Americans could hit this target thinking this was ISIS… So it seems just strange that the Americans are just saying it was a bit of a mistake». She asserted that, in the unlikely event the US really believed that it was supporting «so-called moderate groups» (as she put it) in Syria, «Americans are dealing with fire,» because the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ often defect to jihadist groups and bring along with them the weapons that the US had provided.

This US assistance to Al Qaeda in Syria — Al Nusrah — has been reported for years, by many independent sources, such as in Seymour Hersh’s two separate reports about Obama’s lies regarding Al Nusrah’s being the actual source of the 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack that Obama was blaming on Assad’s government. In fact, on 16 August 2016, the US government even admitted that in Syria «We’re not focused on the former al-Nusra Front. We’re focused on Daesh [ISIS], and that’s what we’re fighting». Even while the US was working with Russia and Syria to kill ISIS in Syria, the US refused to cooperate in attacking Al Qaeda there.

Here was the report, also on September 18th, from Ziad Fadel, a Syrian-born US lawyer (in Michigan) who has many sources in Syria, and who writes for his own popular news-site about this war, the «Syrian Perspective» site, based upon his constant contacts with those Syrians:

«DAYR EL-ZOR:

To be specific, at the Al-Tharda Mountain which is still occupied by the Syrian Army – no thanks to the exceptional talent of the Americans for bungling or outright treachery, yesterday, the United States Air Force, flying out of Habbaaniyya AB in Iraq, with 2 F-16s and 2 A-10 Thunderbolts, crossed the Syrian border without permission and entered Syrian airspace without so much as a hint to the government in Damascus, which might have asked the Americans: WHAT IS YOUR TARGET GOING TO BE? And if the Americans responded with something like: ‘Those ISIS terrorists on Al-Tharda Mountain’, the Syrian government might have said: ‘Oh, no. Don’t do that. Our army is on that mountain.’ And the whole mess could have been averted. 62 Syrian soldiers would still be alive……. We will not forget».

He further reported that,

«an enraged Syrian Army with the help of the PDC and Shu’aytaat Tribal militias, acting under the tenacious and ferocious aerial support of both the SAAF [Syrian Arab Air Force] and RuAf [Russian Air Force], quickly restored army control over all Al-Tharda Mountain inflicting at least 100 casualties on the terrorist filth, destroying 10 vehicles, 6 of which were pickups with 23mm cannons. The air forces are continuing assaults today all around the area of Al-Tharda, Panorama and Al-’urfi».

On September 20th, the Wall Street Journal headlined, «US Believes Russia Bombed Syrian Aid Convoy». But the next day, Britain’s Guardian reported that, «US is not revealing what evidence it has to support claim Moscow was responsible». (Russia denied that it had anything to do with that bombing. Whether the US did it is still not known.)

On September 26th, SANA, the Syrian government’s news agency, bannered, «Al-Moallem: The US wanted to lie and change facts regarding what the Syrian government is doing, but it failed», and reported that: «Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem stressed that the United States, France, and Britain called for a UN Security Council session on Syria this Sunday [September 23rd] in an attempt to support terrorist organizations in Syria… He stressed that the aggression of the US-led coalition on a Syrian Arab Army position in Tharda Mountain in Deir Ezzor was deliberated and in coordination with ISIS, as ISIS rushed to take control of the area only one hour after the aggression».

Also on the 26th, Reuters bannered «Gulf may arm rebels now Syria truce is dead: US officials» and reported the likely sharp escalation of support by the oil kingdoms, for the anti-Assad forces, and asserted «the possibility that Gulf states might arm Syrian rebels with shoulder-fired missiles to defend themselves against Syrian and Russian warplanes, US officials said». This report indicated that the US and its allies were now planning to (either by their own forces or by their proxies who are actually led by Al Qaeda there) shoot down Russian and Syrian planes in Syrian air space. Reuters was reporting efforts by the Sauds and their friends, to pressure a reluctant Obama into joining with them in an all-out war against both Russia and Syria, in Syria.

On September 28th, The New York Times bannered, «Russia’s Brutal Bombing of Aleppo May Be Calculated, and It May Be Working» and reported that:

The effects of Russia’s bombing campaign in the Syrian city of Aleppo — destroying hospitals and schools, choking off basic supplies, and killing aid workers and hundreds of civilians over just days — raise a question: What could possibly motivate such brutality?

Observers attribute Russia’s bombing to recklessness, cruelty or Moscow’s desperate thrashing in what the White House has called a «quagmire».

But many analysts take a different view: Russia and its Syrian government allies, they say, could be massacring Aleppo’s civilians as part of a calculated strategy, aimed beyond this one city.

The strategy, more about politics than advancing the battle lines, appears to be designed to pressure rebels to ally themselves with extremists, eroding the rebels’ legitimacy; give Russia veto power over any high-level diplomacy; and exhaust Syrian civilians who might otherwise support the opposition.

This report didn’t mention another possible explanation for what Russia was doing there: the goal might simply be to exterminate the jihadists who had been imported into Syria by the US and its allied Arabic royal families, during five years of such ‘civil war’, in the few areas of Syria where even the vast majority of the local Syrian residents prefer Shariah law and thus favor the overthrow of the highly secular, ideologically non-religious, Assad government.

Those areas of Syria are identifiable by this Western-sponsored poll that had been taken of the Syrian population during July 2015, where, for example, on page 4, Assad’s support is the lowest in Raqua, Idlip, Daraa, Der’-Zor, Sewedaa, and Hasakeh; and, on page 7, Nusra’s support is by far the highest in Aleppo, but also relatively high in Rural Damascus, Hasakeh, Der’-Zor, Homs, and Daraa.

This technique of defeating jihadists — exterminating them and their supporters — was the way that Putin had solved the Saudi-led insurgency by jihadists in Russia’s own Chechnya region (who had been backed by both the CIA and the Sauds): exterminating everyone in the fanatical neighborhoods. It also served as a model in Tatarstan, preventing jihadism there.

Just as the United States participated in the firebombing of Dresden, and carried out the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and slaughtered many non-combatants in the process, Russia destroys entire jihadist-supporting neighborhoods, not only the jihadist mercenaries who have taken over control there (and who have either killed or driven out any residents who oppose them). The reason that The New York Times doesn’t mention such an explanation is that it doesn’t fit what the White House is saying about the matter; it fits instead with what ‘the enemies’ (Assad and Putin) are saying they’re doing. In fact, the NYT report went so far as to actually sub-headline «Blurring Rebels and Jihadists» and assert that, «Aleppo is a metaphor for the larger war.

The northern Syrian city is one of the few remaining strongholds for non-jihadist rebel groups». Even the Western-sponsored poll in July 2015 showed that to be the exact opposite of the reality. Although the NYT said this, the United States government itself had already asserted the opposite: on 20 April 2016, the Pentagon’s official spokesperson on the Syrian war, Steve Warren, said «It’s primarily al-Nusra who holds Aleppo». 

So, the regime sometimes has problems keeping its narrative together (sometimes its press-mouthpieces such as the NYT go even beyond the government’s own lies), but they needn’t really worry much when they slip up like that and state the truth, because, after all, The New York Times reaches far more Americans than does a flunky at an official press conference, and everybody who is involved in the cons knows what the intended story-line is supposed to be (i.e.: Russian government bad; US government good), so such elementary slip-ups are rare, and inconsequential. (But the Pentagon spokesperson, Steven Warren, might miss his next promotion for that error, honesty.)

In other words: the US is allied with Al Qaeda in Syria.

On September 28th, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby was asked in a press conference, «What makes you think that the Secretary’s [John Kerry’s] threat to begin to take steps to suspend cooperation if the Russians don’t act to stop the violence immediately is likely to get the Russians to actually stop the violence?»

Like any professional ‘news’ ‘reporter’ for the regime, this questioner posed his question with the underlying assumption «Russian government bad» «American government good». Mr. Kirby, likewise very professional as a propagandist, replied, «you’d have to ask Foreign Minister Lavrov» (in the ‘enemy’ camp). Then, the ‘journalist’ prodded Kirby further, and Kirby said, «we thought that that could help us advance the fight against a group like al-Nusrah in particular».

He was presenting the US as if it had been against, instead of for, Al Qaeda in Syria. (Actually, Obama is committed to, and highly dependent upon, Al Qaeda in Syria in order to overthrow Assad.) A ‘journalist’ asked: «Can you foresee any options that the US Government could take, short of full-scale warfare and invasion, that would actually stop the Russian/Syrian onslaught on Aleppo?» Then that was refined to «What are the consequences for Russia?» And, finally, after much to-and-fro, and with obvious great reluctance, Kirby handed to the assembled dogmeat-hungry ‘journalists’:

The consequences are that the civil war will continue in Syria, that extremists and extremists groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which will include, no question, attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities, and Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and they will continue to lose resources – even, perhaps, more aircraft.

The US State Department is now officially threatening Russia with war — not only on the proxy-battlefields of Syria, but «perhaps even Russian cities». Was that historic announcement headlined as such in the American ‘news’ media? In such a country, one can’t blame the public for sleepwalking into global annihilation, if that’s where we go.

On October 1st, German Economic News headlined «Großmächte treiben in Syrien auf einen globalen Krieg zu» or «Great Powers Driving in Syria on to a Global war,» and reported that:

The battle for Aleppo can evolve into a direct war between the US and Russia. The situation is extremely dangerous.

The international and Islamist mercenaries are, according to the Syrian army leadership, preparing a counteroffensive against the Syrian army in Aleppo. As al-Masdar news reports, thousands of mercenaries are assembling in the south and west of the city to expel from Aleppo the Syrian army. 

On October 3rd, Zero Hedge headlined, «US Suspends Diplomatic Relations With Russia On Syria», and quoted Kirby saying «This is not a decision that was taken lightly» but «Unfortunately, Russia failed to live up to its own commitments, including its obligations under international humanitarian law».

On October 5th, the «Moon of Alabama» blogger bannered, «Is Fighting Al-Qaeda In Aleppo Good Or Bad? — US Unable To Decide», and he expressed (and documented) the view that the only reason why Kerry and the rest of the Obama Administration had pretended to negotiate with Russia regarding Syria was in order to buy time to enable enough US weapons to be delivered to Al Nusra and its allies in Syria so as to be able to conquer the nation.

Also on October 5th, Morning Consult headlined «Congress Must Vote on Bombing Assad Regime, Lee Tells Obama», and reported that, «If the Obama administration wants to bomb the Assad regime, it must first get a declaration of war from Congress, Sen. Mike Lee said… ‘Should President Obama move ahead without authorization, then Congress must be called back into session to fulfill its obligation to debate and determine whether our nation should once again go to war’». Of course, if America does «once again go to war,» it will be war this time against Russia, and it will be unprecedented, in many ways, perhaps even final (which would be extremely «unprecedented»).

Also on October 5th, Britain’s Daily Mail bannered «Russia claims nuclear war could be imminent as it evacuates 40 MILLION people in drill and warns that ‘schizophrenics from America’ could attack», and reported that:

Russia is evacuating more than 40 million people in drills to prepare for nuclear war after Putin’s Ministry of Defence warned of ‘schizophrenics from America sharpening atomic weapons for Moscow’. 

Citizens have been told a war with the West could be imminent and Kremlin officials have said underground shelters have been built to house 12million people. 

The massive evacuation drill started yesterday and will last three days.

On October 6th, Russian Television bannered «‘S-300, S-400 air defenses in place’: Russian MoD warns US-led coalition not to strike Syrian army», and reported that Russia’s Defense Ministry said that «any missile or air strikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen», as a consequence of which the American invading forces would be shot down.

Also on October 6th, Al Masdar News headlined «Point of No Return as Islamist Rebels Lose More Ground in Aleppo City», and reported that «Islamist rebels of the [Nusra-allied and trained] Fatah Halab coalition have little prospect of breaking the [Syrian Arab Army — Syrian government] SAA imposed siege of eastern Aleppo».

Also on October 6th, Ireland’s RTE bannered «UN Security Council to Meet on Syria — Diplomats», and reported:

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow on Syria after a UN envoy warned that eastern Aleppo may be totally destroyed in the next few months by the Russian and Syrian air campaign.

Russia requested the meeting to hear from UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, who will brief the council via video conference from Geneva at 1400 GMT, diplomats said.

Mr De Mistura earlier took aim at Russia, suggesting that Moscow was indiscriminately bombing a city with hundreds of thousands of civilians to flush out just a few hundred jihadists.

«We are talking about 900 people, basically, who are becoming the main reason for which there is 275,000 people actually being attacked», he said.

Would this, he asked, be the excuse for «the destruction of the city?»

«In maximum two months, two-and-a-half months, the city of eastern Aleppo may be totally destroyed,» he told reporters.

The envoy urged fighters from the former Al-Nusra Front – which renamed itself Fateh al-Sham Front after breaking with Al-Qaeda – to leave Aleppo under a deal to halt the regime’s attacks on the city.

«If you decide to leave with dignity … I am personally ready to physically accompany you», Mr de Mistura said.

Security Council members were discussing a French-drafted UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Aleppo.

On Friday, October 7th, Reuters headlined «Assad offers rebels amnesty if they surrender Aleppo», and reported that, «Rebels holed up in Aleppo can leave with their families if they lay down their arms, President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday, vowing to press on with the assault on Syria’s largest city and recapture full control of the country».  He was willing to allow the estimated 900 Nusra-allied fighters, «inside Aleppo’s rebel-held eastern sector» to escape, in order for Aleppo’s jihadist-controlled area to avoid being totally destroyed by bombing. «However, rebels said they had no plan to evacuate Aleppo, the last major urban area they control, and denounced the amnesty offer as a deception».

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Repost: What Is Pan-Aryanism?

This one from six years ago is getting posted around a lot lately. Most of you have not read it.

A friend of mine went over to the Skadi Forum (basically Nordicists or Germanicists) and read an essay on Pan-Aryanism. I don’t know what sort of Pan-Aryanism they referred to, but I doubt it was the kind that I subscribe to. They were upset that the essay opposed race-mixing. Well, I’m a Pan-Aryanist, and I don’t oppose race-mixing.

Pan-Aryanism just means taking pride in your racial family. Just as the Blacks, various Asians, Amerindians, Arabs, East Indians, Hispanics, etc. take pride in their various racial families, such as they may be. Most folks you meet in the US, who are “Priders” of this sort, while often strongly ethnocentric, are not opposed to race-mixing or inter-ethnic breeding. So support for race-mixing can and does go hand in hand with ethnocentrism, even extreme ethnocentrism. In fact, that has probably been the tribal human norm for a very long time now.

The Pan-Aryanism that I subscribe to is found on the Pan-Aryanist Forum (now members-only I think). They say that all natives of Europe are White. Also that there are White Turks (35%), White Arabs and White Berbers. Also a few Whites in North India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They also hold that all Georgians, Armenians, the Caucasus and Iranians are White.

I just like it for their expanded definition of White. It would be like, say if you were Black, and some small group of Blacks decided that they were the only real pure Blacks. And they ruled out maybe 50% of Blacks as being some sort of inferior or mongrelized scum race. So the Pan-Africanists (the Black analogue of Pan-Aryanism) would be about uniting all of the Blacks into one Black Race and screw all the superior-inferior stuff. If you were Black, you would go along with that I am sure. In fact, if you are Black, I think you already do.

It’s all about being part of a family. In the last few years anyway, my race is my family. I simply want to extend the rather limited idea of my family to take in a lot more extended relatives. Why? Because I like having a great big family!

The other races: the NE Asians, SE Asians, Aborigines, Papuans, Oceanians, Amerindians, Africans, mestizos, mulattos, well, a lot of them are perfectly fine people. Often better than my racial family on an individual basis. But it’s the difference between friends (or lovers) and family. They can never be part of my family. They can only be friends, or at best lovers.

I expand the Net Pan-Aryanist definition thus such that most anyone who looks like they could have come from Europe is White.

Whites are:

All native Europeans
All Europoid Russians
All Turks
All Jews
All Assyrians and Kurds
Many Berbers
Most Arabs
All Georgians, Armenians, Azeris, Caucasus
All Iranians
Many Afghans (especially Pashtuns)
All Nuristanis
NW Pakistanis
Some Indians (mostly NW Indians)

All of the other Caucasian or quasi-Caucasian types are non-White Caucasians. They might be part of the family, but they are sort of like 2nd or 3rd cousins, so far apart they are almost more friends than family.

As far as the real Net Pan-Aryanists, they are a bunch of assholes. Sure they are against mixing, but they allow European Whites to mix with 100’s of millions of more humans! And most of them are a bunch of Nazis too. Bastards.

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The Basque-Caucasian Hypothesis

I have gotten a lot of crap from my enemies for being on the Academia.edu site in the first place, but really anyone can join.

The following was posted by one of the reviewers in an Academia session by one of the leading lights of the Basque-Caucasian theory. As you can see, the mythological and multiple lines of genetic evidence are starting to pile up pretty nicely too. This is neat stuff if you are interested in the Basque-Caucasian link in addition to work going on into the remains of the Neolithic Farmers who were subsumed in the Indo-European waves. It turns out there is quite a bit left in different parts of Europe, especially in terms of Neolithic Farmer mythology.

From a discussion among academics and independent scholars on a paper on the Basque-Caucasian Theory in Historical Linguistics during a session in on Academia:

I am not a linguist but interested in the topic as it proposes a linguistic correlation between Caucasic languages and Basque, as it parallels my own current research on reconstructing European Paleolithic mythologies using ethnographic analogies constrained by on archaeogenetics and language macrofamily correlations.

Tuite (2006, 2004, 1998, 1997) has pointed out the hunter-gatherer beliefs and myth motifs shared across a ‘macro-Caucasic’ area to the Hindu Kush and into Western Europe. Basque deities Mari, Sugaar, and Ama Lurra and their associated mythologems have striking similarities to the macro-Caucasic hunter mythologies (not found in Finno-Ugric or Middle Eastern ancient mythologies.)

I am currently writing a paper identifying many examples of Southern/Western Gravettian art in Italy, Spain, southern France that appear to depict imagery only explicable by analogy to Macro-Caucasic religious myth and ritual.

With respect to mtDNA fossil genetics, three skeleton samples are from Paglicci Cave, Italy, ~25 cal BP: one is macro-N-mtDNA (homeland Caucasus/Caspian/Iran; currently highest frequencies Caucasus, Arabia), and two skeletons, RO/HV-mtDNA (homeland northern Middle East; currently highest frequencies, Basque, Syria, Gilaki, Daghestan).

During the later Magdalenian another diffusion occurs apparently by a similar route: HV4-mtDNA emerges in Belarus-Ukraine (~14±2 ka) and under Late Glacial Maximum HV4a (~13.5 ka) moves south and splits in the three refugia: southern Italy, southern Russia (HV4a1, ~10 ka), the Middle East (HV4a2, ~9 ka), and Basque area (HV4a1a, ~5 ka, suggesting full emergence of distinct Basque culture and language), (Gómez-Carballa, Olivieri et al 2012).

These studies further support the existence of a Macro-Basque-Caucasic mythological stratum as well as shared language substrate.

The cutting-edge liberal theory is that Basque (and some other odd far-flung languages) is part of the Caucasian language family. In other words, at one time, the Basques and the peoples of the Caucasus like Chechens were all one people.

What this probably represents is the ancient Neolithic farmers who covered Europe before the Indo-European invasion replaced almost all of the languages of Europe. All that is left is Basque and the peoples of the Caucasus. Everything in between got taken by IE except for some late movements by Uralic and Turkic speakers. Up in the north, the Lapp Uralic speakers are, like Basques, the last remains of the Neolithic farmers. The Sardinians also an ancient remaining group of these people, but their language has been surmounted recently by a Latinate tongue.

As it turns out, the Basques and Caucasians also share a number of cultural similarities. There are also some similar placenames. And there is some good genetic evidence connecting the Basques with the Caucasian speakers.

It’s all there, but the conservatives are balking, to put it mildly, about linking Basque with the Caucasian languages.

I have long believed in this theory.

I read a book over 20 years ago comparing Basque to the Caucasian languages and a few other distant tongues and thought the case was proved even via overkill by the book. And recent work is so super that one wonders why the conservatives are still winning. I feel that the link between Basque and the Caucasus languages is now proven to an obvious and detailed degree.

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Syrian Government Sued for Killing US Journalist

Here.

I am sure that they did it. That’s a nasty little regime they have over there in Syria. On the other hand, Assad seems to be better than any of the alternatives, which isn’t saying much.

I never agree with targeting journalists during war, but increasingly just about everyone does it. We definitely targeted journalists and even whole media outfits in the first weeks of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. We bombed the Al Jazeera building in Kabul, and we attacked Al Jazeera reporters in a Baghdad hotel. There were fatalities in both cases. In both Iraq wars, the US bombed all major Iraqi news outlets and newspapers, but most of them kept reporting anyway. The Pentagon said they were targeted for “disseminating enemy propaganda in wartime.”

Recent Pentagon documents discuss the need to “control the narrative” during wartime and speak of another need to silence enemy critics and journalists who are seen as combatants in an information war. The language used to describe propaganda, controlling the narrative and targeting journalists sympathetic to the enemy is genuinely creepy.

Lousy countries always do this sort of thing in wartime, but I thought we were above this.

Putin has had reporters beaten up for reporting on Russian soldiers who were killed fighting in Ukraine when there supposed to be no Russians there. He is also implicated in the killing of journalists, including a woman who was famous for reporting on Russian atrocities in Chechnya.

Turkey routinely targets journalists, especially Kurdish reporters. A number of them have been killed.

Israel is notorious for targeting journalists. Palestinian journalists are arrested regularly, and a number have been shot by soldiers. A fair number of them have been killed. Some American journalists have also been killed by the IDF, and at least one was killed.

The US would not defend this journalist at all, and instead seemed to take Israel’s side. So here we have a government that supports a foreign state over its own people. Our country should be called “USrael” to symbolize the extent to which we dutifully support this foreign country against all common sense. An interview with a representative of the Israeli government regarding this case was tense and combative, and the Israeli seemed to be arguing that journalists were legitimate targets as some sort of “terrorist supporters” or “terror propagandists.”

I was always taught that my country was the good guy. I was taught how we generally fought fair and square in World War 2. This made me so proud to be an American. I learned quite a few things since then that made me question that line. But this recent behavior of the Pentagon’s has made me lose all hope. I had thought we were above this sort of crap and that we believed in fighting fair at least out of a gentlemanly honor. Turns out I was wrong. While we do fight quite a bit more fairly than most other countries (and so do the Israelis), a lot of our behavior is scumbucket low down there with the worst Turd World shitholes.

Color me disenchanted. I am not so much an America-hater as a disappointed patriot gone sour.

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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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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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List of Syrian Rebel Groups

Based on my notes. There are no moderate rebels. The Free Syrian Army are no more than 10% of the rebels and I don’t think that most Syrians like them all that much. As far as I can tell, all FSA fronts are now under the control of Al Nusra, or Al Qaeda. The rebels are pretty much Al Qaeda, Ahrar al Sham and ISIS and other jihadists of similar ilk, and really there is not much else. Everyone else who are not radical jihadists are working alongside of them or under their command. Even pro-rebel commentators like Charles Lister state that the vast majority of Syrian rebel groups have been working closely with Al Qaeda since 2012. Even at the start of the civil war when protests were mainly peaceful, Christians were soon targeted. In Idlib, Christian women were ordered to wear the hijab and to stop wearing jeans. There were sporadic assassinations of local Christian businessmen.

9th Brigade, Ninth Brigade – Part of Jaysh al-Tahrir. Allied with Al-Nusra.

30th Division – FSA group mostly destroyed by Al-Nusra. Supported by US.

101st Division – FSA group operating in Idlib around Atma. Under attack by Al-Nusra.

Ahfad Omar Brigade – FSA group in Deraa. Under attack by Nusra.

Ahrar al-Sham – Jihadists founded by Islamists released from Assad’s prisons who hailed from the Ghab Plains. Their main champion was Qatar, they are more radical than Nusra and maintain limited operational ties with ISIS. Qatar has recently backed off of its support for this group due to pressure from the US. This group is basically Al Qaeda. They are very close to Al-Nusra and some are now defecting to Nusra. Turkey is now boosting them more than Al Qaeda – this is Turkey’s favorite group in the conflict now. This is now the second largest rebel force in Syria after ISIS. Part of the Southern Front. Their religious leader is Abdallah al-Muhaysini, who has strong ties with Al Qaeda.

Like Nusra, they are currently undergoing a re-branding designed to supposedly lessen their extremism and make them more palatable to the West. Whether this change of tune is genuine or not is uncertain but dubious. The softened stance is promoted by the political wing and is based more on pragmatism than anything else. The military and spiritual wings still espouse salafi-jihadism. Political line is strongly influenced by Abdulaziz al-Tareifi, a salafi scholar in Saudi Arabia.

Ajnad Sham – Islamists, Under Nusra command. Form the Jund al-Malahim alliance with Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham.

Al-Farooq Brigades – Work with Al Nusra.

Al-Fateh Brigade – One of the oldest FSA groups, joined Ahrar al-Sham in Nov. 2015.

Al-Hamza Division – Takfiri jihadis operating in Deraa around Sheikh Sa’ad. Pronounces takfir on other rebels. Part of the Southern Front.

Al-Sanadid – Part of Democratic Forces of Syria.

Al-Wasta Division – Part of the FSA.

Alwiyat al-Furqan (Al-Furqan Brigades) – Jihadists. Islamist group active in Quneitra. It is headed by Majid al-Khatib, one of the youngest leaders of rebel war.

Army of the North – New group operating around Aleppo formed in February 2016. Made up of Division 13, Suqour al Jabal, Northern Division and Jaysh al Nasr. Armed by the CIA. Allied with Ahrar al-Sham.

Brigades of the Angel of Death – Involved in fighting ISIS around Deir az-Zour.

Burkan al-Furat (Euphrates Volcano) – A coalition of groups in Raqqa led by the YPG. The Arab groups are mostly Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa and Kata’ib Shams al-Shamal along with some other groups. This group mostly focuses on fighting ISIS and taking territory from them.

Dawn of Freedom Brigades – Operates in Raqqa. Kata’ib Shams al-Shamal is part of this grouping.

Fajr al-Islam – Aleppo based. Both founders were killed in 2014. Closely associated with Ahrar al-Sham. Jihadis.

Fajr al-Sham – Operates SE of Aleppo around Khanasser. Allied with ISIS.

Fath Army – Coalition fighting in Fall 2015 in the Ghab Plains. Ahrar al-Sham is one of the principal factions of this group.

Faylaq al-Rahman (Legions of al Rahhman) – Jihadists. Active in Ghouta and the Qalamoun area. Working with the Army of Islam. Its name is derived from one of the 99 names of God in Islamic tradition. Several TOW missiles delivered to this group by the US ended up in the hands of DAESH. Its heavily Islamist logo helps explain why.

Faylaq al-Sham (Legions of the Levant) – Supposedly relative moderates, but they are under Nusra command.

First Battalion, First Regiment – FSA faction. Leader resigned in Fall 2015 after the group took heavy losses.

First Legion – Part of the Southern Front in Deraa. Under attack by ISIS.

Forqat 13 (13th Division) – FSA group operating around Abtin near Aleppo. Fights alongside Ahrar Al-Sham and the Army of Mujaheddin. Currently fighting against ISIS. Now part of the Army of the North.

Forqat 46 (46th Division) – Part of Jaysh al-Tahrir. Armed by the CIA. Allied with Al-Nusra.

Forqat 312 (312th Division) – Part of Jaysh al-Tahrir. Allied with Al-Nusra.

Forqat al-Awwal As-Sahli (First Coastal Division) – Jihadists. Active in the eastern part of the region of Idlib in the north of the region of Latakia and Hama in the region. Past member of the “Brigades of Descendants of the Prophet”. Formally a branch of the Free Syrian Army, under Nusra command.

Forqat Fajr al-Islam – Jihadists. Active Group in the Daraa region. It is led by Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Hassan Salama.

Forqat Fajr al-Tawhid – Jihadists active in southern Syria. Includes several rebel groups including the “Brigade of the Banner of Islam.”

Forqat Salah al-Din (Saladdin Division) – Jihadists. Named after the great adversary of the Crusaders.

Free Syrian Army – First of all, the FSA does not even exist. It existed in some form until 2012 when it disbanded. There is no leadership structure or chain of command. Nevertheless, a number of the groups that were formerly a part of the FSA continue to exist and give themselves the FSA moniker. Most of these units, which are mostly in Homs, Aleppo and Southern Syria, are under the control of Turkish intelligence.

Really the FSA is nothing more than a brand name and nothing else. Not moderates. Are known to have beheaded captured regime soldiers since 2012. They continue to behead regime soldiers to this day – recently an SAA colonel was beheaded in Kfar Nabudah. Also many of the biggest massacres of regime civilians were done by the FSA.

Fursan al-Haqq Brigade – FSA group operating in Idlib near Jabal al-Zawiya. Currently under heavy attack by the SAA.

Haqq al-Muqatila Front – FSA front mostly destroyed by Al-Nusra attacks. Has bases in Turkey.

Harakat al-Muthanna al-IslamiyaAl-Muthana – Jihadists mostly operating in Deraa around Sheikh Sa’ad. Has engaged in attacks on Liwa Shuhada’ al-Yarmouk in Deraa. Works with Al-Nusra. Part of the Southern Front. This group has recently gone over to ISIS and is fighting alongside ISIS.

Harakat al-Nour al-Din Zenki – Jihadists. Named after a sultan of the region, a contemporary of Saladin and another great fighter against the Crusaders. One of the most powerful rebel groups in the region of Aleppo. In the past it was a member of the Islamist “Al Tawhid Brigade” and the “Army of Holy Warriors” and collaborated with “Islamic Front of Aleppo”. Supported by Saudi Arabia.

Hazzm Movement – FSA group that joined Jaysh al-Thuwar and now fights alongside the YPG.

Horreya Brigade – Part of Thawar al-Suriya in Deraa. Mostly destroyed by Nusra attacks.

Imam Bukhari Jamaat – Uzbek jihadists who have pledged allegiance to a Taliban commander. Currently fighting in the Al Ghab Plain.

Islamic Caucasus Emirate (ICE) – Chechen jihadists based in the Caucasus. Some of them are fighting in Syria.

Islamic Front, Army of Islam, Jaish al-Islam – Radical Islamists. Ahrar al-Sham is a major part of the Islamic Front. They have threatened to kill all of the Alawites and Shia in Syria. Now being heavily supported by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In the south they are receiving huge supp;lies of heavy weapons from the Military Operations Command (MOC).

Islamic State (Islamic State in the Levant, Islamic State in Syria, ISIL, ISIS) – The most radical takfiri group in Syria. Controls a large part of Raqqa, Deir al-Zour and Aleppo. Fights with most other rebel groups. Both a Western coalition and the Russia/Hezbollah/Shia brigades and the SAA all fight against this group. Jaysh al-Khilafa Division is part of ISIS.

Jabhat al-Akrad – FSA group that joined Jaysh al-Thuwar. Now fights alongside the YPG.

Jabhat al-Ansar al-Islam (Partisans of Islam Front): Jihadists. Islamist brigade active in Quneitra and Daraa. This is the most radical Islamist group has been voluntarily equipped by the USA with TOW missiles; this group is also a member of the Council of Syrian Revolutionary Command.

Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) – Formerly part of FSA – split away. This unit is filled with Saudi mercenaries and there are also a number of Saudi special forces operating in it. Also operates in Turkey. Abdallah al-Muhaysini is their spiritual leader. Al Nusra was involved in mass executions of captured Syrian soldiers at Abu al-Dhuhur Air Base.

Jabhat al-Sham (Levant Front) – Active in Hama. Not to be confused with the much larger Jabhat al-Shamiya.

Jabhat al-Shamiya, Jabhat al-Shamiayyah, Jabhat al-Sham (Levant Front) – FSA rebel coalition supported by the CIA operating in Northeast Aleppo around Azaz. Controls the city along with al-Nusra. Was formerly under attack by Nusra; is now allied with them.  Tajammu’ Suqoor al-Ghab is a member. Jaysh al Thuwar (remnants of Jaysh al Mujahideen) has now joined this group. Now a member of Jaysh al-Tahrir. At war with ISIS. Attacked by ISIS for not adhering to sharia and establishing ties with the West.

Jabhat Al-Thawar Suriya (Thawar Suriya Front) – FSA group operating in Deraa. Mostly destroyed by Nusra attacks, a few remain.

Jarabulus Brigade – FSA group with the goal of liberating Jarabulus from ISIS.

Jaysh al-Mujahideen, Jaysh al-Mujahideen wal Ansar, Jaysh al-Muhajiroun wal Ansar or JMWA (Army of Holy Warriors, Army of the Companions of the Prophet) – Jihadists. Coalition of Islamist groups in Aleppo area. Recently joined Al Nusra. Other remnants joined Jaysh al-Sham. 2,000 fighters. The group is composed of diverse nationalities. The Chechen rebel news agency Kavkaz Center says they are mujaheddin from the Caucasus Emirate, Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea and other CIS countries. Many veterans from other conflicts. Syrian rebels refer to them as “Turkish brothers.” One JMA battalion was composed of jihadists from western countries, including the US, the UK and Germany. Receives arms and training from the CIA.

Jaysh al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) – Al Qaeda led coalition. Saudi Arabia and Turkey focusing their efforts on support for this group in 2015. The two groups that form the core of this group are Al Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. Abdallah al-Muhaysini, radical jihadist with close ties to Al Qaeda, is the General Judge or spiritual leader of this group. Apparently wants an Islamic state.

This group is described as openly sectarian. It kidnaps priests and throws Christians out of their homes. After the capture of Idlib, the group executed two Christians for selling alcohol, and then would not let them be buried. Syrian Christians regard this group as the enemy. In Idlib, Christians were taken before the group’s emir who carried a large sword, who said they were infidels and ordered them to convert or die. When the group conquered Idlib, when they first entered town, people were shocked. There were so many foreign fighters among them and they also had a number of child fighters. People were stunned. They had lists of government supporters to be killed. They searched these people out and executed them. When 90% of Idlib’s population left, the group looted the homes of those who left.

Juan Cole describes this group as radical salafis who are spearheaded by Al Nusra.

Jaysh al-Jihad (Army of Jihad) – Operates in Quneitra. Now part of ISIS. Probably the same thing as Saraya al-Jihad.

Jaysh al-Khilafa Division (Army of the Caliphate) – A special force of ISIS that has been set up to defend Raqqa.

Jaysh al-Nasr – Grouping of FSA fronts in Homs. Now part of the Northern Front. Armed by the CIA.

Jaysh Al-Sham (Army of the Levant) – An offshoot of Ahrar al-Sham. Supposedly this is a more moderate faction that left Ahrar. Operates between Azaz and Jarabulus. Mohammed Ayman Aboul-Tout, alias Aboul-Abbas al-Shami is the brains behind this group. A former member of the Fighting Vanguard, an Islamist group that fought Assad’s father in 1979-1982 and based its philosophy of Sayyid Qutb (Al Qaedism or takfirism). This shows that the brains behind this group is an ultra-radical Salafist.

Jaysh Al-Tahrir (Liberation Army) – Formed February 2016. Made up of Jabhat al-Sham, Saraya al-Haq Unit 314, the Ninth Brigade, Forqat 46 and Forqat 312.

Jaysh al-Tawhid (Army of Tawhid) – Islamists, probably jihadists. – Part of Free Syrian Army trained by CIA. In Al-Lataminah. Based on the name, they are surely jihadists. Former members of jihadists Islamic Front.

Jaysh Al-Thuwar (Revolutionary Army) – Formed from seven FSA groups – Jabhat al-Akrad, Hazzm Movement, Syria Revolutionaries Front, the Northern Sun Battalion and three smaller groups – all from different areas. Ideology unknown. Fighting against ISIS and Al Qaeda currently. Now fighting alongside the Kurdish YPG with Russian air support. Later joined the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Jihad in the Path of God Brigade – Part of Euphrates Volcano. Fighting to liberate areas from ISIS.

Jund al-Aqsa – Al Qaeda front. This is an extremely radical split from Nusra. They are huge in Idlib Province and also operate in SE Aleppo Province. They have been described as psychopathic ISIS sympathizers. They were members of Jaysh al-Fatah, but they left in protest over the group’s decision to fight ISIS.

Jund al-Malahim: Islamists. Alliance between Ahrar al-Sham, Nusra and Ajnad al-Sham.

Jund al-Sham – Led by a Chechen, cooperates with Nusra foreign fighter branches.

Kata’ib Shams al-Shamal – Part of the Dawn of Freedom Brigades. One of the main factions making up the Arab part of Euphrates Volcano. The membership of Liwa al-Tawheed has mostly joined this group. They mostly fight ISIS. Their goal is to recapture Jarabulus and Manjib in Raqqa.

Katiba al-Risala – Part of the Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade, operates in he village of al-Sheikh Hassan in the north Raqqa countryside.

Katibat al-Tawhid wal Jihad (KTJ) – Uzbek Al Qaeda branch, Aleppo and Idlib Provinces.

Katiba Suqur al-Jazira – Raqaa Revolutionaries Brigade branch operating in the countryside of West Raqaa.

Katiba Usud al-Tawheed – Raqaa Revolutionaries Brigade faction operating in the city of Raqaa.

Liwa al-Adiyat – Claimed responsibility for the stabbing of a SAA general and pilot behind enemy lines.

Liwa Ahfad al-Rasul – Part of the Raqaa Liberation Front. US-backed, went into serious decline in 2013, later evicted from Raqaa by ISIS. Has worked with ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, and Liwa al-Muntasir bi-Allah. Fights in Raqaa and also in Latakia around al-Qardaha where they fought alongside ISIS.

Liwa al-Fatah – Formerly associated with the Shami Front, now part of Ahrar al-Sham.

Liwa al-Fursan al-Haq – Allied with Nusra. Part of the FSA Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade.

Liwa al-Islam – Works closely with Saudi Arabia. Thought to be behind the chemical attack in Ghouta.

Liwa ‘al-Jabal Suqour, Suqour al-Jabal, Sukur al-Jabal (Falcons of the Mountain Brigade) – Active in Idlib and Aleppo. Created and funded by Qatar. Formerly involved with the “Brigades of Descendants of the Prophet.” Jihadists, but part of the FSA. Now part of the Army of the North. Armed by the CIA.

Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabil Allah – In Raqaa. Fights ISIS, headquartered in Kobani. Aligned with Syrian exiles.

Liwa ‘al-Moataz Billah (Moataz Billah Brigade) – Jihadists. This was one of the first groups of the Free Syrian Army trained in Daraa. It participated in the coalition of rebel groups called “Southern Front” and also collaborated with the rebel coalition called Gharfat Amaliyat Usood al-Harb. In May 2015, his boss was still Col. Khalid al-Nabulsi. Initially armed by the USA, it seems that they have reviewed their position as this former client has now been bombed by US and coalition war planes.

Liwa al-Muntasir bi-Allah – Part of the Raqaa Liberation Front and the Revolutionary Military Council in Raqaa. Has fought with ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, and Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa.

Liwa al-Nasir Salah al-Din – Operates in Raqaa. Involved in a dispute with Ahrar al-Sham where they arrested each others’ members. Part of the group has joined ISIS.

Liwa Al-Sultan (Al-Sultan Brigade) – FSA brigade operating in Abteen in the Aleppo suburbs.

Liwa Al-Sultan Al-Murad, Furqa Al-Sultan Murad, Liwa ‘Sultan Murad, Sultan Murat Tugayı (Sultan Murad Brigades, Al Murad Sultan Brigades) – FSA faction operating in the southern countryside of Aleppo. Made up of fighters from Turkmenistan. This group has close relations with the Turkish security services and receives arms and training from the CIA. Turkish officers participate in their attacks. Supposedly jihadists. Carries out attacks against Jaysh al-Thuwar (FSA groups fighting alongside the YPG with Russian air support) for being “atheists and allying with the Kurds. Known to execute POW’s.

Liwa al-Tawheed (Tawhid Brigade) – Apparently different from Liwa ‘al-Tawhid Junou. This group operates in north-eastern Aleppo province around Manbij. This group has mostly joined Kata’ib Shams al-Shamal in Raqqa.

Liwa ‘al-Tawhid Junou (Tawhid Brigade of the South) – Jihadists. Created in the Daraa region. Its name comes from the concept of the oneness of God (tawhid) of the Islamic tradition.

Liwa Amana’ al-Raqqa – Nationalist brigade that helped conquer Raqaa. Subsequently members were arrested by ISIS.

Liwa Ansar al-Sunna (Ansar al-Sunna Brigade) – Jaysh al-Sham faction operating north and east of Aleppo around the towns of Retyan and Jam’iyat Zahra.

Liwa Isar al-Shamal – Part of the Raqaa Liberation Front and the Revolutionary Military Council.

Liwa Rayat al-Nasr – Former Raqaa Liberation Front group in Raqaa, now part of Ahrar al-Sham jihadis.

Liwa Martyr Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi (Martyr Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi Brigade) – Jaysh al-Sham faction in Kafran Boudeh. Al-Hamawi was Ahrar al-Sham’s first leader.

Liwa Shuhada al-Islam (Martyrs of Islam Brigade) – Jihadists in Daraya.

Liwa Shuhada’ al-Yarmouk (Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade) – Jihadists operating mostly in Deraa around Sheikh Sa’ad, Shaykh al-Maskin, Atman, Kharbat Ghazala, Nawa and Tel al-Jumu’. Formerly an FSA group which worked with Al-Nusra. Former member of the Southern Front. Supported by Saudi Arabia and the US. This entire unit has pledged allegiance to the ISIS, taking with them the US missiles that had been generously given to them. Pronounces takfir on other rebels – takfiris.

Liwa Sukur Al Ahab (Sukur Al Ahab Brigades) – In the Qalamoun Mountains. Under Al Nusra command.

Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa (Raqqa Revolutionaries’ Brigade) – FSA group with the goal of liberating Raqqa from ISIS, but mostly focuses on fighting the SAA. Has sleeper cells and informants inside Raqqa. Includes Kata’ib al-Jihad fi Sabil Allah, Al-Nasir Salah al-Din, Al-Haq, Shuhada’ al-Raqqa, Saraya al-Furat, Katiba al-Risala, Katiba Suqur al-Jazira, Katiba Usud al-Tawheed and Ahrar al-Furat. Part of Raqaa Liberation Front and Revolutionary Military Council.

Has worked with ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa Ahfad al-Rasul and Liwa al-Muntasir bi-Allah. Put an ISIS flag on one of its videos. Uses ISIS-type language in its broadcasts. Pledged allegiance to Al-Nusra in September 2013 but then broke away from them 7 months later. Presently allied with the YPG and operating out of Kobani. As of October 2015, the mainly recruit from Arab tribes in northern Raqaa. They control the area from Ain Issa south to Tel Abyad. Has a big presence in Turkey. Despite all of their alliances with Islamists, they still say that they want a civil democratic state.

Northern Division – Operate around Aleppo. Receives arms and training from the CIA. Now part of the Army of the North.

Northern Sun Battalion – FSA group that joined Jaysh al-Thuwar and now fights alongside the YPG.

Omar al-Mukhtar Battalion – Yarmouk Martyr’s Brigade faction operating in Nawa, Deraa Province.

Quwat al-Qawqaz – Operates around Khanasser in SE Aleppo Province. Allied with ISIS.

Raqaa Liberation Front – Coalition of rebels in Raqaa. Consists of Raqaa Revolutionaries Brigade, Ahfad al-Rasul, Liwa al-Muntasir bi-Allah, Liwa Isar al-Shamal, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, and Liwa Rayat al-Nasr.

Revolutionary Military Council – Coalition of nationalist groups in Raqaa.

Revolution Leadership Council, Southern Region – Coalition of 50 southern factions in Deraa. Mostly nationalists.

Saraya al-Haq Unit 314 (Saraya al-Haq Division 314) – Part of Jaysh al-Tahrir. Allied with Al-Nusra.

Saraya al-Jihad – Jihadists in Quneitra. Work with Al-Nusra.

Southern Front Coalition – Possibly an FSA group in southern Syria near the Israeli border, under Nusra command. However, in reality this is not part of the FSA at all and instead it is a grouping of tribal fighters from around the Jordan/Syria border area who simply fight to defend their own region. 700 of them recently surrendered to the SAA in Daraa. Liwa Shuhada’ al-Yarmouk was a former member.

Syrian Revolutionaries Front – Operates in Deraa around Sheikh Sa’ad. Attacks other rebel groups and pronounces takfir on them. Takfiri jihadis. However, more moderate members of this group split off to form an FSA group that joined Jaysh al-Thuwar which fights alongside the Kurds

Tahrir al-Sham – FSA group linked to Al Qaeda. Cooperates closely with Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham

Tajammu al-Aaza or Tajammu al-Izza – CIA trained. Ideology unknown. In Talbiseh and Kafr Taboudeh. May be beheaders.

Tajammu Alwiyat al-Omari (Brigades al Omari) – Jihadists. Its name comes from the mosque of the same name in Daraa (where it is active) which was an important symbol for the opposition in the first days of major events in 2011. This group was founded and is funded by Saudi Arabia. Its first leader, former Captain Qais al-Qahtaneh, was murdered by another rebel for personal reasons – this demonstrates once again the sense of democratic debate among these groups!

Tajamu Soqour al-Ghab – FSA faction near Homs in north and northwest Homs Province. Armed by the CIA. Under attack by Al Nusra. Has bases in Turkey. Currently under heavy SAA attack in north and northwest Homs Province. Now part of Jabhat al-Shamiya.

Turkistan Islamic Party – Uighur Al Qaeda faction. Works closely with Al-Nusra and in fact has now been co-opted by Nusra. Also works with ISIS. Fights around Khanasser in SE Aleppo.

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