Category Archives: Sunnism

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

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

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

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

The Jews aren’t going anywhere.

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

It was 70 years ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Via Global Research.

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

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

Oil, Power and Money: “Assad Must Go”

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

us-syria flags

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That says it all, don’t you think?

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

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What Caused the Oil Price Crash?

William writes:

I suppose embargoes on the oil (now owned by the government, now a big source of revenue) is what caused this to a large degree?

There are no embargoes on Venezuelan oil. I know this sounds insane, but the US has not embargoed Venezuelan oil, and in fact we buy a tremendous amount of oil from what Washington calls the enemy state of Venezuela.

The oil price collapsed, and this in part caused this horrible problem in Venezuela for a variety of reasons.

Venezuela is not alone. All oil producing states are suffering from the oil price crash, and furthermore all of Latin America is in a bad recession.

Incidentally the oil price crash itself was engineered by John Kerry and Joe Biden along with the Saudi royalty as a project to radically ramp up Saudi oil production in order to crash the world oil price as a way to destroy:

  • Russia – Paybacks for Russia out of US fury over the Ukraine situation.
  • Iran – Mostly a Saudi concern. The Saudis have always considered Iran to be their worst enemy, but the feeling is not mutual. I think the Iranians would just like to get along with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states.
  • Venezuela – Regime change Venezuela is a long term US project.

I am not sure what we offered the Saudis in return, I think maybe helping them with the Syrian regime change project. Also I think we might have given them a lot of weaponry.

The Saudis had their own reasons for doing this. They not only have huge oil reserves, but at the time, they were sitting on a huge pile of cash reserves in their Treasury. They figured they could ride out the price crash via dipping into cash reserves, which incidentally will be totally depleted in a couple of years.

However, the Saudis had a devious project in mind. Even though the plan was hatched with the Americans, bear in mind that capitalist countries generally have no allies, as the remainder of the paragraph will demonstrate. A major Saudi project was to crash the price of oil and hence ruin the US oil shale or fracking industry, which the Saudis see as serious competition. Fracked oil costs a lot to produce, and the Saudis have some of the lowest production costs in the world. By crashing the oil price, the Saudis could effectively bankrupt the US fracking industry, which is exactly what it happening right  now.

The Saudis are morons though for doing that, as their own economy is getting screwed hard by the oil price crash.

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Letter from a Shia Muslim

Yahya writes:

You are spot on about the lack of Offensive Jihad in Shia Islam. While conquest began under Muhammad, primarily in the Levant, much of the territorial acquisition occurred under the Rashidun and Umayyads. Ali was too caught up in suppressing the Kharwaji to engage in conquest, and apparently (in a Shia Hadith) criticized the previous three caliphs for their oppression of Dhimmis.

It is also worth noting that Shia have a much more nuanced view of traditions and narrations. They don’t assign near the weight to narrations that Sunnis do, believing that with the passage of time comes alterations or downright fabrications (they accuse the Umayyads of issuing fabricated Hadiths to diminish or insult Ali). In Sunni Islam, most of the barbarism is to found in the books of Hadith, and by taking up a cynical view of these books, one can circumvent a great deal of stupidity, which may or may not have been authentic.

There are two further principles which make Shia Islam more capable of conforming to modernity:

Firstly, Shia are encouraged to refrain from that which gives Islam a bad image. This is generally agreed to include prescriptions found in Hadith but not in the Quran. For example, the punishment of stoning adulterers is only found in narrations, and thus Iran has found it within their liberty to temporarily suspend the use of such punishments.

Secondly, the Usuli (the mainstream school of Shia Islam) are much like Jews in that they stress that while the laws remain the same, their interpretation and circumstances surrounding them change.

However in some ways, Shia Islam undoubtedly more extreme. For example in the case of apostasy, the Sunni schools believe that only the state can try and execute apostates, but in Shia Islam, the duty can fall upon civilians as well (the same is true of blasphemy ). This causes a great many problems for obvious reasons.

And whereas in Sunni Islam, no differentiation is made between those apostates born to a Muslim father (Murtad Fitri) and one who converts and then apostasizes (Murtad Milli): both are asked to rejoin Islam, with a potential waiting period. In Shia Islam the former is killed regardless of their repentance, and the latter is given one opportunity and no waiting period.

The predictions in the post are fairly accurate, although I wouldn’t call Syria a failed state. I am certainly committed to the idea that the future of Islam is interred in the West.

– An agnostic Shia

Interesting comment.

Ali was too caught up in suppressing the Kharwaji to engage in conquest…

The Kwarwaji were like today’s takfiris and to a lesser extent the Wahhabis.

…and apparently (in a Shia Hadith), Ali criticized the previous three caliphs for their oppression of Dhimmis.

This is interesting. I wonder how exactly he criticized their treatment. I know that Iran does treat most religious minorities fairly well compared to how they are treated in a lot of Sunni states with the except of the Bahai, whom they view as heretics.

The predictions in the post are fairly accurate, although I wouldn’t call Syria a failed state.

I fretted about that myself. I suppose the state is still quite powerful in Syria.  The state might even be stronger in Syria than it is in Iraq.This despite the fact that Syria has lost a lot of territory. The USSR lost a lot of territory in WW2, but it never became a failed state. It did become a warzone though. Syria is more like a warzone.

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Some Little-Known Truths about Arabs

Lin writes:

To Pranav:

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

1) Arabic is said to be language of Paradise.

2) Arabs are said to be a superior race.

Superiority of the race of Arabs over non-Arabs

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

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

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

Most of this is correct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments along with your own predictions are welcomed.

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Tolerance for Male Homosexuality in the Muslim World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any further information would be interesting.

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Watching ISIS Videos

That’s what I have been doing a lot of these days. I do not like the execution videos, and I have seen enough executions anyway.

But there are a lot of really cool combat videos, and those are really cool to look at. Basically firefights with automatic weapons, RPG’s, machine guns, technical vehicles with guns, various types of mortars, rockets, and antiaircraft guns. There is a fair amount of night fighting, which is a trip.

It’s just guys shooting at each other and blowing stuff up, so you hardly see any gore in the battle videos. However, at the end, sometimes they go to the position that they overran, and among all of the other things present at the camp there are typically the dead bodies of some of the folks that ISIS is fighting. They also have really cool music in the background. There are interviews with ISIS fighters, but I have no idea what they are saying.

The worst ISIS of all seem to be in Iraq. They look like a bunch of very, very pissed off guys. Boy are they mad!

The one thing that shines right through their rage and hatred is one word…revenge. ISIS in Iraq seems to be out for revenge. For what I am not sure, but 30% of ISIS in Iraq is former Iraqi military. I assume they are still angry that their country and leader was taken away from them in a US invasion and conquest whereby afterwards, an Iranian puppet regime was put in in place. The Iraqi Army was transformed from a radical Arab nationalist and pro-Sunni organization into a mostly Shia and objectively anti-Shia force. The Shia militias which operate separately from the Iraqi Army are particularly despised.

I have heard that the many of the people in back of ISIS at the very top are Baath Party people and former Iraqi military. Obviously they are out for revenge for the last 13 years. They want paybacks, and paybacks are a bitch.

The ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan don’t seem to be as pissed off, but I have not watched a lot of their videos out of Syria.

There’s nothing to be worried about watching these videos. I am sure that hundreds of thousands if not millions of people watch at least some of those videos. I know that the site I found the videos on is a US site, and almost all of the commenters have a savage hatred of ISIS. So the idea that watching ISIS videos means you’re a terrorist is crap. I would say far more ISIS haters watch their videos than ISIS supporters.

Just for the record, I utterly hate these scumbuckets, and if it ever comes down to it, I will grab an automatic weapon myself and try to kill them.  I am very much afraid of death, but dying fighting for your homeland and lifestyle against these hellions would actually be worth it. I would rather die fighting them than live under their rule, let’s put it that way, ok?

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Hillary Clinton, Neoconservative Dream Candidate

Here.

Good God, she’s a nightmare. This election is going to be about who we despise least. I hate Trump, but I definitely despise Killary/Hitlery Clinton, neocon warmonger maniac.

Trump is truly catastrophic and must be stopped by all means. But Hillary is a nightmare. Hillary’s a turd, and Trump is 24 hour diarrhea. I really hate both of them, but I hate Hillary less. But that ain’t saying much, because there are few humans I hate more than Donald Trump.

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Is There Such Thing As a Moderate Muslim?

I really don’t like the rightwing implications of this baiting of liberals, but the criticism stands.

I would like to point out a few things here. I have been spending some time around the local Arabs who run the store on the corner. One night a Yemeni came in who had his beard cut in about the same way that this speaker did. He was also wearing a certain sort of white garment which is cut just a bit short near the feet, exposing a bit of thigh. While this is a common garment in Saudi Arabia, it is also typical jihadi garb.

If you see someone in the West wearing garb like that, it’s not really ok. I am not saying the man was a terrorist, but the beard and that garment to me meant that he was at least somewhat of a radical or an Islamist, much more of one than the local Muslims who run the market, none of whom have those particular beards nor who wear that short garment.

Notice the full beard on the speaker. Notice also how he sprinkles his speech with “Allahu Akbar.” We think that this cry is heard frequently in the Muslim World,but actually it is not. I yelled “Allahu Akbar” to one of the local Yemenis one time as a joke, and he looked a bit stunned.

Then I did a lot more research and I learned you are not really supposed to say that among more moderate Muslims. In fact, if you go around saying, “Allahu Akbar” outside of certain contexts, you are seen as an Islamist, a radical or especially a jihadi. The only other context where it might be ok may be during wartime. For instance, in the Syrian Civil War, even government troops sometimes yell, “Allahu Akbar” in the field. However, the Islamists yell it much, much more.

If you watch ISIS battlefield videos, you will notice that the Islamists are saying it constantly, often under the breath, typically with every artillery round they fire or IED they set off. After a major explosion on enemy territory, you can hear large numbers of them yelling it a lot.

With his beard and the fact that he unnecessarily puts “Allahu Akbar” in a normal conversational style speech, we can be assured that the speaker is some sort of Islamist or radical.

Also while it is true that many Sunni Muslims do believe in what the speaker said at least in theory, in the Muslim world, the death penalty for male homosexuals is not often carried out.

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An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance Part 7 – Regional Tendencies

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 to 2004 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 rather “Gestalt” view of the situation. When you examine all the sources at once in toto, you can somewhat 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.

REGIONAL CHARACTERISTICS

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Ramadi, Khaldiya and Habbaniyah west to Husaybah on the Syrian border in Al Anbar Province: Much of Iraqi resistance around Ramadi and the part of Anbar Province west of Ramadi (Hadithah, Hit, Husaybah) is coming from Sunni tribes, often nationalist and Islamist; many are either not fighting for Saddam or are openly anti-Saddam. Almost 100% support in the towns of Ramadi, Husaybah, Rawah and Khaldiya. There are some pro-Saddam elements in this region, especially around Ramadi, Khaldiya and Husaybah. Some Ramadi cells cooperate with other cells in Baghdad.

Anti-Saddam nationalists dominate in Ramadi, Khaldiya and Habbaniyah. A number of suspected Islamist guerrilas were arrested in Rawah. Many police in Ramadi support the resistance and most of Husaybah’s police have refused to show up for work since the local police chief was assassinated in 10-03. In 12-03, Ramadi’s police were also refusing to show up for work. Ramadi police sometimes refuse to assist US soldiers who are being attacked by guerrilas. By 1-04, the cities of Husaybah, Ramadi, Khaldiya and Rawah had gone completely over to the resistance. MA is quite prominent in Ramadi – they may have had up to 1,000 fighters in there in 12-03.

Major General Charles Swannack, in charge of Anbar Province, said that 90% of the attacks in Anbar Province are Saddam loyalists or “Wahhabis” (apparently US military propaganda for Iraqi Islamists) and 10% are foreign fighters. His estimates would appear to be incorrect, and Swannack is an unreliable witness anyway. Ramadi is now one of the hubs of the foreign fighter network in Iraq. After foreign fighters are smuggled across Iraq’s border, they are often transported first to Ramadi. Ramadi, Khaldiya, Habbaniyah and Husaybah are extraordinarily hostile towns and some of the hottest war zones in Iraq.
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Fallujah Area: Iraqi resistance in Fallujah is tribal and Islamist, often with links to the Muslim Brotherhood. There are both former Baathists and Islamists present in the resistance but all are led by sheikhs. There are a very high percentage of former Iraqi military amongst the guerrilas here. Islamists dominate. 80% support in town. Numerous resistance groups of variable ideology are based in town. The Fallujah resistance cooperates with the resistance in Mosul and Baghdad at the very least. There have definitely been some foreign fighters active here, but the number does not appear to be very large.

Only about 50% the population ever supported Saddam even when he was in power, and Baathists were never popular in town. Consequently, the majority of the resistance in Fallujah is either not fighting for Saddam or openly anti-Saddam. On the other hand, there is indeed a large pro-Saddam contingent here. The local police are almost all sympathetic to the resistance and often refuse to help US troops search for or fight guerrilas. General Swannack, who is in charge of Fallujah, has estimated total guerrila strength, as of 11-03, in Fallujah alone at anywhere from 1,000-20,000, but Swannack is not a very reliable witness.

Swannack’s former figure seemed to include actual combatants while the latter figure seemed to include active collaborators. 20,000 active guerrilas in Fallujah alone is not an unreasonable estimate at all. By 12-03, Fallujah was essentially in the hands of the resistance. The US had withdrawn to fortified bases outside of town and rarely entered the town proper. By that time, Fallujah was considered the most dangerous town in Iraq and most Westerners were steering clear of the area.

After Saddam’s capture, Fallujah was in open rebellion and most local government buildings were destroyed. guerrilas appeared openly on the streets without their masks, carrying their RPG launchers and AK-47’s in plain sight. This sort of brazen openness is rarely seen amongst Iraqi guerrilas and indicates the degree to which the resistance controls the town. It is also a terrible symptom of an entrenched insurgency. The capture of Saddam appeared to split the resistance into pro-Saddam and Islamist factions. Fallujah, along with Ramadi, is one of the hubs of the foreign fighter network in Iraq. After foreign fighters are smuggled across Iraq’s border, they are often transported first to Fallujah.
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Baghdad and surrounding area: Resistance in Baghdad proper is a mixed bag of anti-Saddam nationalists, Sunni Arab tribal Islamists such as MA, Saddam loyalists and foreign fighters. The latter two seem to be responsible for most of the more spectacular attacks. Some of the mortar attacks on CPA headquarters in 11-03 were done by a group of former Baathists who are now anti-Saddam. Some cells in Baghdad communicate with those in Ramadi, Fallujah, Diyala Province and Tikrit. The Sunni Arab neighborhoods of Adhamiyah and Amiriyah are particularly hostile. Adhamiyah has 100% support for the resistance. After Saddam’s capture, wild demonstrations were staged in the Amiriyah and Adhamiyah Districts.

Unmasked armed guerrilas brazenly took part in these violent demos. Whenever guerrilas are able to move about in populated areas, especially cities, in broad daylight, this is typically a symptom of an entrenched insurgency. Police in many Baghdad neighborhoods refuse to investigate or even receive any citizen tips regarding resistance fighters.

These police say fighting the guerrilas is not their job – it is the job of US troops, not them. Yet a substantial number of Baghdad residents do support the Occupation and the puppet US Governing Council and oppose the resistance. Anti-resistance, pro-US, pro-Governing Council forces are probably stronger in Baghdad than anywhere else in Iraq outside the Kurdish Zone.
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Salah-al-Din (Salahuddin) Province south of Balad: The resistance in this area is almost exactly like the resistance in Diyala Province. Pro-Saddam elements are quite prominent around Dujayl although there has been only moderate resistance in town. This area is very mixed Sunni Arab-Shia Arab. The Shia appear to be sitting out the war, although whether they are siding with the US or not is not known.

Many police in Bani Sad support the resistance. The local ICDC in Mashahidah is at least partly infiltrated. Pro-Saddam elements are quite prominent around Tarmiyah, Dujayl and Mashahidah. Around Mashahida, armed guerrilas have even operated guerrila roadblocks on occasion. The entire area from Taji and Rashidiyah up towards Balad is an extremely hot war zone with continuous attacks.
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Diyala Province: Same as Ramadi/Khaldiya above, but with less pro-Saddam influence. The resistance here is made up of Sunni Arab tribes associated with Saddam’s faith campaign, former Iraqi military, ordinary Iraqis angry about the Occupation, some foreign fighters (often more Arab nationalists than Islamists), and some Saddam Fedayeen, Baath Party members, etc. The resistance here is mostly anti-Saddam. MA is very big in this region and they reportedly have an all-female battalion in this province.

There is a certain amount of Shia resistance (but not much) in Baqubah for some odd reason; a Shia preacher was arrested for storing weapons in his mosque. Many police in Baqubah support the resistance. Pro-Saddam elements are prominent in Baqubah. As of 12-03, the Sunni villages east of Baqubah and the town of Jalula were pretty much controlled by guerrilas. Iraqi Islamist guerrilas have been arrested in Jalula and Baqubah. The nationalist resistance is quite strong here. The area around Baqubah is extremely hot with continuous, often deadly, attacks.

Abu Saidah, a town to the northeast, is the scene of continuous attacks, although it is a Shia town. Most attackers in Abu Saidah are Sunnis who come to Abu Saidah from south of town to attack US troops. US troops arrested an incredible 20,000 men in Baqubah city alone in 12-03 on suspicion of being guerrilas, to give an example of how hot this city is. In 2-04, there were reports that the entire city of Baqubah was now resistance-controlled, even the Shia areas.
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Balad Area: Resistance in Balad area is exclusively Sunni and exists only in the ring of villages surrounding Balad and not Balad city itself. The city of Balad is made up of Shia who are cooperating with the US. The resistance in the Balad area is highly variable, some are pro-Saddam, some are Islamists, some are nationalists, and some are seeking revenge for various acts by US troops; many fighters display some variable mixture of any of these 4 elements. A highly religious Sufi (Sunni) Islamist element is active in the resistance here. The resistance here is not uniform ideologically, and it is very loosely structured. Often fighters will go out on a mission and meet other local fighters who they do not even know.

Fear of arrest has kept the resistance for coalescing much in this area. Almost 100% support in these villages. The Iraqi police are completely infiltrated in these villages, and almost 100% of them are active in the resistance when they are off-duty. By 1-04, US forces considered the Iraqi Police in this area to be unreliable. Soldiers had stopped using the local police for guard duty and soldiers no longer went on joint patrols with local police. In 2-04, a local police chief was in jail in Balad for involvement in the resistance. This area has been thoroughly hostile since Spring 2003 and is one of the hottest war zones in Iraq.

In 9-03, US troops under the control of US Colonel Sassaman, began borrowing heavily from Israeli tactics in the Occupied Territories to use a variety of repressive, mostly illegal, measures against the local population. A number of the villages surrounding Balad, such as Abu Hishma, have been ringed in barbed wire, ID cards have been issued to all residents, onerous curfews have been imposed, and all entry or exit to the villages is through a US or ICDC Army checkpoint.

182 leaders in Abu Hishma have been forced to illegal documents stating that they agree to go to prison on charges of aiding the insurgency if there is even one attack in their zone. By 1-04, the situation had deteriorated further under Sassaman.

Troops had introduced the legally and morally dubious Vietnam-era practice of H & I Fire, or Harassment and Interdiction Fire, whereby US forces simply drop bombs or fire artillery rounds at random towards certain areas, populated or not, thought to be sympathetic to guerrilas. This fire is typically not in response to a particular guerrila attack – it is just random fire and can be launched at any time.

Sassaman’s troops routinely raided offices of the local human rights committees and other locals who were engaging in peaceful protest by criticizing the US Occupation. Critics of the US military in the region were routinely raided and hauled off on (usually false or dubious) terrorism charges, that is, when troops bothered to charge them with anything at all.

During the course of these detentions, arrestees were usually beaten, often badly, and torture of varying degrees was common. Sassaman’s troops routinely smashed up many of the homes they raided, regardless ofwhether the inhabitants were cooperative during the search or not. They had borrowed the Israeli practice of unnecessarily smashing through walls to go from house to house. The upshot of all of this is that the Balad area had been turned into a US military dictatorship under Colonel Sassaman. By 1-04, some parts of this region had been decimated by US arrests, with up to ¼ of the local men in prison as suspected guerrilas.
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Samarra Area: Once again, the resistance here is similar to that in Diyala Province and far southern Salah-al-Din Province. The resistance here is mostly secular, and although many say they are fighting for their religion, that phrase often refers to a more secular version of Islam. The secular grouping includes Baathists, nationalists, and those who want revenge for family members harmed by the US. The Baathists in Samarra tend to be more old-line Arab nationalist Baathists, and many are anti-Saddam. The Islamist faction is active here but definitely in the minority.

Samarra was not treated well by Saddam’s regime, so there are only a few regime supporters amongst the resistance in this area – most of the resistance is either not fighting for Saddam or is actively anti-Saddam. Former Iraqi military, including high-ranking officers, are active in the resistance here. There is 90% support amongst the population. Many Iraqi police here support the resistance, and the police force appears to be at least partly infiltrated. The local ICDC troops cover their faces with bandannas to hide their identities because the town is so pro-resistance. By 11-03, the US had withdrawn from most of its bases in town and only entered Samarra in large armored contingents.

Shia make up a minority in this town, known for its Shia religious shrines. These Shia appear to support the resistance, at least passively, but the full extent of their actual involvement, if any, is not known. Capt. Matthew Cunningham of the 4th Infantry Division estimated in 12-03 that there were 1,500 guerrilas in and around Samarra. By 12-03, Samarra was essentially guerrilla-controlled. Most of the fighters in Samarra were from Muhammad’s Army, which, considering the secular, anti-Saddam and Arab nationalist nature of Samarra, is further evidence against MA being either an Islamist or Saddam loyalist formation.
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Tikrit and surrounding area: Resistance in Tikrit is pro-Saddam, although a few Tikritis are anti-Saddam. There is almost 100% support in town. This strongly pro-Saddam element extends from Tikrit up to Baijii, over to Hawija and down to around Balad. The police force has been at least partly infiltrated with guerrila spies and active guerrilas since 8-03. An on-duty Iraqi police officer who was holed up with guerrilas in a Tikrit home participated in an attack on US troops on 2-8-04 and was killed in the attack.

Iraqi police were suspected of direct involvement after a foiled roadside bomb attack in Tikrit on 2-2-04 in which an on-duty Tikrit fireman was also arrested. The resistance in most of the towns surrounding Tikrit is pretty much the same as in Tikrit. Tikrit has had an absolutely hostile feel about it since 5-03 and is still one of the most hostile cities in Iraq. Despite many media reports after Saddam’s capture about how Tikrit was improving, Tikrit has remained an utterly hostile town.

This fact was illuminated by the stark, brutally frank note a US officer left in 2-04 for troops coming to replace him: “What they have to understand is that most of the people here in Tikrit want us dead, they hate us and everything we stand for and will take any opportunity to cause us harm.”

Strangely, a fair number of the local police force do not appear to sympathize much with the resistance and often actively assist US soldiers. The Tikrit area has been a very active war zone for many months now. Some Tikrit cells communicate with other cells in Baghdad. Awja, Saddam’s hometown outside Tikrit, was surrounded with barbed wire for many months, and all residents were required to have ID cards and go through a checkpoint to enter or leave town.
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Baiji Area: This area has been known to be a stronghold of support for Saddam, and the resistance originally was former regime supporters and foreign fighters. However, by November, there were more and more former Iraqi military joining the fight, and many were not fighting for Saddam. There is 100% support in town. The police will sometimes not even come when the US calls them for assistance, and the townspeople ran the police out of town in a riot recently. Baiji would appear to be pretty much guerrilla-controlled since 10-03.

In 1-04, guerrilas were actually setting up roadblocks in Baiji at night. This is a disastrous sign for the US, since guerrila roadblocks in an insurgency are typically a symptom of a highly entrenched insurgency that is often quite difficult to dislodge. Other signs of an entrenched insurgency are guerrilla uniforms, guerrilla shadow municipal governments, and the presence of armed guerrilas moving about openly in broad daylight in towns and cities.
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Hawija Area: Although this town has a reputation for being a Saddam loyalist stronghold, the resistance here is split between pro-Saddam and anti-Saddam factions. The resistance here is Sunni Arab, often former Iraqi military, Arab nationalist, anti-Kurd, anti-Kuwaiti, and anti-Zionist, with Islamist tendencies. Sunni Arab tribes play a big role in the resistance here. Revenge for acts done to local residents by US forces plays a big role.

The resistance here seems partly motivated by fears of usurpation by resurgent Kurds under US tutelage. Some Saddam loyalists are indeed active in this region. In 10-03, US troops pulled their base out of town due to continuous attacks. By 11-03, Hawija was controlled by guerrilas. Walls were covered with pro-resistance graffiti and the names of guerrila fighters. The mood on the street was fiercely pro-resistance. This town is almost another Fallujah – this area is a very hot war zone. US troops have detained 1,000 men in Hawija as suspected guerrilas.
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Mosul: The resistance in Mosul is similar to Fallujah in that Islamists, often with Muslim Brotherhood links, dominate, although it differs in some ways. The Mosul resistance differs from that in Fallujah in that Mosul has a greater proportion of pro-Saddam elements. Also, support for the resistance is much less than 100% of Mosul, though they do have a lot of support there, especially in Sunni Arab West Mosul, where the support level is very high. The Kurds and Assyrian Christians in Mosul appear to mostly be siding with the US. The only exception is the tiny number of Kurds associated with the dregs of Ansar al Islam (AI) who have been arrested here.

There is a significant pro-Saddam element in Mosul and a very significant component of former Iraqi military, especially officers. The Baath Party was also very big here – 60% of people in town were members. Back in 4-03, when Baghdad fell, the local resistance was made up of Baathists and Islamists, both under the control of the local religious leadership. Lately the structure and leadership of the Mosul resistance is more uncertain.

In 9-03, meetings were held between the Islamist resistance of Fallujah and Mosul and Palestinian Hamas leaders in Jordan to learn new tactics – possibly suicide bombings.

The resistance in Mosul may be quite large. Local Iraqis claim there may be up to ~20,000 or more guerrilas in Mosul alone. US officers in Mosul were claiming in 2-04 that AAI provides transportation, targets and explosives expertise to both foreign fighters and Iraqi guerrilas in Mosul. The same officers claimed that Al Qaeda was one of the main groups responsible for running foreign fighters across the borders into Iraq.
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Ninewa Province north, south and west of Mosul to the Syrian border: Resistance in this area is more active than one may think, but it is pretty hard to characterize. Right around Mosul, it may look like the Mosul resistance, but we are not sure. Over towards the Syrian border, there are a lot of Bedouin Arab tribes who appear to be active in the resistance, but their role is hard to characterize. There is considerable Kurd-Sunni Arab conflict in certain parts of Ninewa, especially in towns like Sinjar by the Syrian border.

Most of the fighters would appear to be local Sunni Arabs. Some of the guerrilas in this area are just local Sunni Arab farmers upset at the US for various slights. The Kurdish areas in Ninewa have seen little resistance, but a handful of the remainders of AAI have been captured in the area. The resistance in Tal Afar is interesting in that this is a town dominated by Shia Turkmen yet has seen considerable resistance. The makeup of the resistance in Tal Afar is presently unknown.
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Kirkuk Area and Tammim Province: Resistance in the Kirkuk area and Tammim Province in general is quite active yet very hard to characterize at the moment, except that it is probably dominated by Sunni Arabs. It may resemble the resistance in the Baiji/Hawija area, but we are not yet sure. Resistance is confined to the Sunni Arab parts of Tammim; the Kurdish area remains very calm.

Hawija is dealt with in a separate entry. The area of Tammim along the highway from Tikrit to Kirkuk, though it has seen few attacks, is utterly hostile. The police force in Kirkuk is partly infiltrated. The Kurds in Kirkuk itself are generally pro-US, with the exception of 25 Kurdish Islamists who were arrested in Kirkuk in 12-03 and charged with being connected with the dregs of AAI.

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Upper South: Resistance south of Baghdad down to around Karbala and Hilla (a mixed Kurd/Sunni Arab/Shia Arab region, becoming more Shia towards Karbala) is difficult to characterize, except that it is reportedly made up of the same actors as elsewhere. Locals claim that Sunni Arab Islamists are playing a large role in attacks around Hilla and Hawsa. There have been a considerable number of attacks in this zone for months now. Pro-Saddam elements do not appear to be very active in this area.

Latifiyah is dealt with in a separate entry. Although there is not yet any direct evidence that the Shia in this zone have joined the resistance in any significant numbers, there is suggestive evidence for their involvement. The police force in Karbala is now at least somewhat infiltrated. By 1-04, the area in a radius around Mahumiyah and especially Iskandariyah had once again become very hot, with daily attacks, sometimes deadly. Mahmudiyah is a mixed Kurd/Sunni Arab/Shia Arab town that has been very hostile, off and on, since 8-03.

Iskandariyah is a majority-Shia mixed Sunni-Shia town where Sunni and Shia live side by side with few apparent problems. Support for the resistance in Iskandariyah is very high, maybe 80%, equally split amongst both groups. Both Sunni and Shia take great pride in the resistance attacks; the implication of this pride is that the Iskandariyah resistance is largely local and that the local Shia are also involved. By early 2004, Iskandariyah was controlled by the resistance.

Yusufiyah is an extremely hot zone, with continuous attacks against US targets in this heavily Shia town. The implication here, not yet proven, is that in Yusufiyah, the Shia are heavily involved in the resistance. The US military estimates an incredible 4-5,000 guerrilas are active around Yusufiyah alone.
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Latifiyah: The mixed Sunni/Shia Arab farming town of Latifiyah in the Upper South is particularly hostile – seven Spanish intelligence officers were shot dead in an attack by Ansar Al Sunna here in 11-03, and the local police drove by the scene of the attack and would not even stop to help. Afterwards, crowds came out, and some cheered while others danced on the bodies. The resistance here is generally not fighting for Saddam and is driven by the privations locals have suffered under the US occupation. There is also a pocket of Sunni Islamists, which is possibly how Ansar Al Sunna was able to pull off this attack. Still, there do appear to be some pro-Saddam elements in the town. In 1-04, two Iraqis working for CNN were shot dead in an attack on their SUV convoy near Latifiyah.

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The South, from the Karbala-Hilla Area south to the border: The resistance in the main Shia South south of the Karbala-Hilla Area, is very poorly known. The only resistance fighter arrested here with a known agenda was a Saddam loyalist former intelligence officer who had been involved in anti-Shia purges in 91.

Clearly, if men like him are leading the resistance in the South, they cannot expect much sympathy from the local Shia. This man’s cell had been involved in attacks in Nasariyah. There are reports that Iranian-backed groups or even Iranian fighters themselves, infiltrated the area in Spring 2003 and have been stockpiling weapons ever since. However, Shia Islamists, Iranian or not, have been involved in only a few attacks in this region.

Mostly, these Shia seem to be stockpiling weapons and biding their time. The major car bombing of the Italian forces at Nasariyah was done by an unknown cell from Fallujah, possibly Saddam loyalists and/or foreign fighters. The situation in Basra is dealt with in a separate entry. A few of the attacks in the Shia Marsh Arab region are matters of simple revenge for affronts to tribal and cultural dignity, especially for intrusive searches involving dogs. Certainly there are near-daily attacks in this area, and the resistance is more active than usually reported. However, the number of attacks here is far, far lower than in most the Sunni Arab-dominated regions above.

Thus far, there is no evidence that the Shia in this region have taken up arms in any significant numbers. In 9-03, about 15% of the Shia in Karbala supported the idea of taking up arms, but most of them seemed to be waiting for the go-ahead from their religious leaders, which may never be forthcoming.

Karbala has seen many attacks, including one massive simultaneous car bombing, but in general the attackers are unknown. Local leaders claim they are the work of Sunni Islamists. The massive simultaneous car bombing on 12-27-03 in Karbala was conducted by three cells, probably all Sunni Iraqis, two cells from Baghdad and one from Ramadi. At least one cell was made up of Sunni Saddam loyalists from Adhamiyah in Baghdad.
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Basra: Resistance down around Basra is significant but poorly known. Local Shia leaders allege that it is made up Sunni Baathists, and at least one high-ranking Saddam loyalist former intelligence officer has been arrested. He was involved in purges of Shia after the 1991 Shia Uprising. A few foreign fighters are present – a Syrian woman was suspected in a plot to bomb the harbor in 11/03. Basra was quite hostile as of 12-03 and had the feel of a war zone. There was shooting every day. Almost none of the Shia locals appear to be happy about the Occupation, though many say it is better than Saddam. There is no evidence that Shia have joined the resistance here in any significant numbers.

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