Before the usual calls to either (a) give away all our remaining privacy and liberties for the sake of security, or (b) round up all those awful brown people and send them to a camp (an actual suggestion that was being made on social media again by multiple users), there’s a couple of things worth considering about yesterday, terrorism and even Ariana Grande herself.
First, what happened last night may well have been a straightforward terror attack (or act of mass murder) by an extremist, possibly linked to ‘ISIS’ or by some terrorist monster who identifies with the ‘ISIS’ cause or thinks innocent concert-goers, including children, are a suitable target.
The official narrative may be all true. I won’t raise the question of ‘crisis actors’ or a simulated event (although some have already raised those questions, based on the available footage and pictures), but I will assume that a large…
ROME, April 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – More than half of Iraqi families are at risk of going hungry, a U.N. agency said on Monday, warning of “unprecedented levels of vulnerability” faced by the population due to years of conflict.
Most families in the country will no longer be able to feed themselves if basic food prices increase or fighting escalates, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
“They can’t absorb any more shocks,” said WFP spokeswoman Dina El-Kassaby.
Conflict and instability have stifled food production in Iraq, according to the United Nations. Farmers face shortages of seeds and fertilizers and many have been forced to abandon their land or sell their animals.
A study by WFP and the Iraqi government found that 2.5 percent of the population, or more than 800,000 people, are going to bed hungry every night.
There are concerns this figure could increase, as two thirds of internally displaced people and more than half of Iraqis living in their homes have barely enough to feed themselves, said El-Kassaby.
Almost 75 percent of Iraqi children under the age of 15 are working to help their families put food on the table instead of going to school, WFP said.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote these on his social facebook account.
“That’s it. The last remaining election fog has lifted. Instead of an overworked statement about a joint fight against the biggest enemy, ISIS (the Islamic State), the Trump administration proved that it will fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government, in a tough contradiction with international law and without UN approval, in violation of its own procedures stipulating that the Congress must first be notified of any military operation unrelated to aggression against the US. On the verge of a military clash with Russia.
Nobody is overestimating the value of pre-election promises but there must be limits of decency.
Beyond that is absolute mistrust. Which is really sad for our now completely ruined relations. And which is good news for terrorists.
One more thing. This military action is a clear indication of the US President’s extreme dependency on the opinion of the Washington establishment, the one that the new president strongly criticised in his inauguration speech. Soon after his victory, I noted that everything would depend on how soon Trump’s election promises would be broken by the existing power machine. It took only two and a half months.”
The United States and its allies have embarked on a dangerous path of aggression against the government of North Korea and its allies China and Russia.
As usual, the western propaganda system presents a near unified front showing how horrible and atrocious the North Korean government is purported to be, and how murderous and ruthless and amoral their intentions are purported to be, and how their military objectives and missile programs–now allegedly targeting the ‘free’ world–are out to dominate the rest of the world, starting with their deadly missiles being launched against the United States and our ally Japan. So goes the propaganda.
Let’s look again.
The people of South Korea–a country permanently occupied by the U.S. military since 1950 with between 326,000 U.S. soldiers (during the Korean War) and closer to 30,000 annually since (with 28,500 U.S. soldiers in occupation today)–have seen massive human rights violations, repression and state terrorism. Since the first military dictator was installed in South Korea by the United States military in 1953, the Republic of Korea (ROK) has perpetrated massive atrocities against its own citizens and against citizens in other countries. This is a so-called “member of the international community.”
The Central Intelligence Agency under Allen Dulles launched covert operations in South Korea by 1950–utilizing South Korean police and other secret agents to serve the imperial “pro-democracy” agenda. The ever touted claim that North Korea launched a very clear war of aggression by crossing the 38th parallel–an arbitrary line of demarcation set up after WW-II by the United States between (then) Soviet Russia and U.S./U.N./allied forces–to invade South Korea is not born out by the facts that existed on the ground in the Korean peninsula in June of 1950. Not only are there credible reports of death squads crossing into the northern territory and committing atrocities, but the diplomatic record shows a pattern of belligerence and war-mongering on the part of the United States against the then northern ‘enemy’ that has become de rigeur for the United States all over the world since then.
THE UN-PRETTY HISTORY OF KOREA
Massive post-WW-II repression and murder (extrajudicial summary executions) by South Korean troops, with U.S. military oversight, occurred against their own people in the south, including such horrible massacres as occurred on Je Ju island 1948-1949 and were white-washed by the western propaganda and intelligence apparatus (see, e.g., the documentary film ” The Ghosts of Je Ju”). The somewhat more well-known Koch’ang incident in February 1951 involved some 600 men and women, young and old, that were reportedly herded into a narrow valley in south Korea and mowed down with machine guns by a South Korean army unit on the loosely applied claim that they were “suspected of aiding guerrillas” — these being Korean people who resisted the overt terrorism that the Korean people (north and south) were subjected to by the southern forces and U.S. troops.
The Governor of Je Ju at the time admitted that the repression of the Island’s 300,000 residents led to the murder of as many as 60,000 Islanders,” wrote S. Brian Willson, “with another 40,000 desperately fleeing in boats to Japan. Thus, one-third of its residents were either murdered or fled during the “extermination” campaign. Nearly 40,000 homes were destroyed and 270 of 400 villages were leveled.”
U.S. troops fired on crowds, conducted mass arrests, combed the hills for suspects, and organized posses of Korean rightists, constabulary and police for mass raids (reported at the time by correspondent Mark Gwyn for the Chicago Sun: see in William Blum Killing Hope).
Said one British scholar Jon Halliday at the time: “After all, if civilians could be mowed down in the South on suspicion of aiding (not even being) guerrillas–what about the North, where millions could reasonably be assumed to be Communists, or political militants?” (See: Killing Hope p. 51).
The U.S. military’s carpet bombing and chemical napalm bombing against the northern Koreans during the Korean War was murderous and unprecedented (though rivaled by the bombing of Dresden) and set the stage for the horrors that U.S. (and ROK) troops perpetrated on the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Some 100,000 British troops also participated in destroying and dividing the Koreas. Entire villages were obliterated, wiped off the map, wiped off the Korean peninsula. Some three million Koreans north of the 38th parallel were killed, with one million Korean people killed in the south and over one million Chinese deaths.
S. Arabia Stealing Yemen’s Oil in Collaboration with the French energy giant, Total
TEHRAN (FNA)- A Yemeni economic expert disclosed that Saudi Arabia is stealing his country’s crude reserves in bordering regions in collaboration with the French energy giant, Total.
“63% of Yemen’s crude production is being stolen by Saudi Arabia in cooperation with Mansour Hadi, the fugitive Yemeni president, and his mercenaries,” Mohammad Abdolrahman Sharafeddin told FNA on Tuesday.
“Saudi Arabia has set up an oil base in collaboration with the French Total company in the Southern parts of Kharkhir region near the Saudi border province of Najran and is exploiting oil from the wells in the region,” he added.
Sharafeddin said that Riyadh is purchasing arms and weapons with the petro dollars stolen from the Yemeni people and supplies them to its mercenaries to kill the Yemenis.
Late in last year, another economic expert said Washington and Riyadh had bribed the former Yemeni government to refrain from oil drilling and exploration activities, adding that Yemen has more oil reserves than the entire Persian Gulf region.
“Saudi Arabia has signed a secret agreement with the US to prevent Yemen from utilizing its oil reserves over the past 30 years,” Hassan Ali al-Sanaeri told FNA.
“The scientific research and assessments conducted by international drilling companies show that Yemen’s oil reserves are more than the combined reserves of all the Persian Gulf states,” he added.
Al-Sanaeri added that Yemen has abundant oil reserves in Ma’rib, al-Jawf, Shabwah and Hadhramaut regions.
He noted that a series of secret documents by Wikileaks disclosed that the Riyadh government had set up a committee presided by former Saudi Defense Minister Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz. “Former Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and the kingdom’s intelligence chief were also the committee’s members.”
Al-Sanaeri went on to say that Saudi Arabia has tasked the committee to implement the project to dig a canal from Saudi Arabia to the Arab Sea via Hadhramaut in order to become needless of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab straits.
He reiterated that new oil reserves have been discovered in Yemen’s al-Jawf province which can make Yemen as one of the biggest oil exporters in the region and the world.
In 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September, 2011 drone strike. While that assassination created widespread debate – the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed, sued Obama again after the killing was carried out – another drone-killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention.
Two weeks after the killing of Awlaki, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemen killed his 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman, along with the boy’s 17-year-old cousin and several other innocent Yemenis. The U.S. eventually claimed that the boy was not their target but merely “collateral damage.” Abdulrahman’s grief-stricken grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, urged the Washington Post “to visit a Facebook memorial page for Abdulrahman,” which explained: “Look at his pictures, his friends, and his hobbies His Facebook page shows a typical kid.”
Few events pulled the mask off Obama officials like this one. It highlighted how the Obama administration was ravaging Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries: just weeks after he won the Nobel Prize, Obama used cluster bombs that killed 35 Yemeni women and children.
In a hideous symbol of the bipartisan continuity of U.S. barbarism, Nasser al-Awlaki just lost another one of his young grandchildren to U.S. violence. On Sunday, the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, using armed Reaper drones for cover, carried out a commando raid on what it said was a compound harboring officials of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A statement issued by President Trump lamented the death of an American service member and several others who were wounded, but made no mention of any civilian deaths. U.S. military officials initially denied any civilian deaths, and (therefore) the CNN report on the raid said nothing about any civilians being killed.
But reports from Yemen quickly surfaced that 30 people were killed, including 10 women and children. Among the dead: the 8-year-old granddaughter of Nasser al-Awlaki, Nawar, who was also the daughter of Anwar Awlaki.
I have been reading the news like this one: “Protests against right-wing US President Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries have been held in cities across the United States, including in New York City and Washington, DC.” for last two days.
I am wondering what these protestors on the streets, want to do?
Could it be, “bring Obama administration or liberal(so-called) left-wing back on power?
Are you joke?
There is nothing changed for the whole world.
Obama administration were giving the orders to kill people.
Trump administration is doing the same.
For the entire world, there is nothing changed!
I am wondering how many of the protestors against Trump on the street right now, showed the same reaction against Obama administration when he ordered to kill 16 year-old Yemeni boy?
Any of them!
He was the Muslim boy like the others who were killed at Middle East last decades.
So, for you protestors, for showing reaction, you waited that Trump would be president, and you all have been sensitive for Muslim rights in an instant.
You are seeming like joke.
You are seeming like the actors and actrists on the hypocrisy stage.
The whole REAL-LEFT world see what you are; just you don’t see that you are an instrument for what.
Nowadays, time flies so fast and people’s minds and memories are paralyzed by such a powerful mechanism that it becomes a necessity to remind people of the recent history more often than not.
So it is relevant to ask again: where do jihad and jihadists come from?
I am not pointing at the theological origins of the two; this does not necessarily concern the majority. The question and the problem are political. Approaching these two from a theological perspective will not yield any result but “religionalization” of the politics.
For this reason, one should not need to concern oneself with the history of the concept of bellum sacrum (holy war) which itself is old as the religions. The real question, the one that we should concern, is the origins of jihad as a “modern” political tool.
ARCHEOLOGY OF JIHAD
The term archeology was purposefully used to express this article’s main quest in seeking the conditions that gave birth to jihad as a modern political tool, the manner in which this concept/action evolved and how it was incorporated into today’s ruling system.
It can be, rather correctly, claimed that the timestamp of the jihad in its current form shows the 1970s and 80s. It is in Afghanistan where the jihad was evolved into today’s form at this time.
The origins of today’s jihad lie beneath a conspiracy organized against the Democratic Afghan Republic after the Saur Revolution in 1978, which has many similarities with today’s conspiracy against the Syrian Arab Republic in very broad terms.
The Saur Revolution in Afghanistan had many significant internal problems and conflicts. With this revolution, the laws based on sharia were abolished and a secular state was formed whereupon many reforms, to the extent that radically affected the property relations in agriculture, were implemented such as land reform, establishment of government-owned farms, recognition of trade union rights of the workers and equal civil rights to women. Also, Afghanistan adopted a friendly approach towards socialism which resulted in execution of a treaty of friendship between the U.S.S.R. and Afghanistan in December 1978.
The prevailing strategy of imperialism was then to smother all socialist-popular governments that had close ties with the Soviets at any cost and by any means necessary. For this reason, Afghanistan’s “stand” was in compliance with and hence crucial to the strategy of imperialism. Just like what was done against Allende administration in Chile in 1973 and the bloody and dirty war waged against Sandinista in Nicaragua shortly after the operation against Afghanistan started.
Readers should not take the expression “any means necessary” lightly. The most concrete example that I can think of is the scandal called “Irangate”. In 1986, the US sold weapons to Iran underhandedly and used the income from this to fund the counter-guerrillas in Nicaragua.
Let’s go back to Afghanistan… At that time, the means used to ensure the “stand” of Afghanistan was jihad.
In a short time, Pakistan, specifically Peshawar city of Pakistan, became the headquarters of the Afghani counter-revolutionary forces. Said counter-revolutionary forces being various Islamist groups inspired by “Muslim Brotherhood” and relatively smaller Maoist Organizations, such as the “Eternal Flame”.
It did not take long before these groups fell into the radar of the US. In fact, the US had already established close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its offshoots in the region starting from the 1950s which became tighter during the early 1970s whereupon use of the “Islamism” card against popular/socialist governments or social movements in Middle East emerged as an imperialist strategy.
Afghani counter-revolutionaries, who found asylum in Pakistan, were mobilized through Muslim Brotherhood and Jama’at-i Islami, an organization directly supported by the government of Pakistan. The most notable of such Afghani groups was Hezb-e Islami, founded and led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (a figure too well-known in Turkey) which acted in cooperation and collaboration with Taliban and even exchanged/shared members until very recently (September 2016).
In this period “experts” from the US started to visit Pakistan very frequently to train, supervise and guide Afghani counter-revolutionaries providing material and intellectual support in establishing the modern concept of jihad. The term mujahideen hit international headlines during this period and only as a result of these efforts. The mujahideen, i.e. jihadists, were whitewashed as freedom fighters combating the “Soviet invasion” and jihad was merely the name of this war of freedom.
“Modern” jihad and jihadists were categories devised with the funds from the CIA to fight against communism under the Cold War conditions.
In 1979, National Security Adviser to the President of US Zbigniew Brzezinski’s visit to Pakistan was the highest level of U.S. security expert visits to the country. A passage from his speech to jihadists on the Afghan-Pakistani border is quoted below. With his very famous Polish Accent, Mr. Brzezinski, told the following words:
We know of their deep belief in God, and we are confident that their struggle will succeed. That land over there is yours. You will go back to it one day, because your fight will prevail and you’ll have your homes and your mosques back again, because your cause is right and God is on your side.
During the same visit, Brzezinski also said “The purpose of coordinating with the Pakistanis would be to make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as is possible.”
An enormous, CIA-supported propaganda machine was activated to work for triumph of Afghan mujahideen. Posters, brochures, magazines, newspapers, bulletins and so on… Though there are also materials that make fun of the Soviets and then-ruling Afghan Government, the dominant visual materials were highlights the ideal of “jihad” and the jihadists.
The jihadists, funded by imperialists, received highest level of attention. Then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher (a.k.a. the Iron Lady) is one of the visitors of Afghan jihadists in 1981 on Afghan-Pakistani border. In her speech to 1500 jihadists, she pledges a further support of arms worth 2 Million Pounds and says that “the hearth of the free world is with you”.
Thatcher’s speech receives much applause and many shouting of Allahu Akbar.
In the year 1983, President of the US Ronald Reagan hosts representatives of jihadists in the White House. (1) In fact, the US is so tight with the jihadists that during a visit to Washington, Mohammed Yunus Khalis (once a comrade of Hekmatyar, the spiritual leader of Taliban and whom Osama bin Laden called “Sheikh Father”) invited U.S. President Reagan to embrace Islam.
The US support to jihadists, including Saudi Osama bin Laden, continued for many years.
JIHADIST GENERATIONS: “JAMIL WENT TO THE JIHAD”
In the post 9/11 era, the US support to jihadists has become a hot topic in U.S. newspapers. One of the most significant findings of these discussions was that the US did not roll up jihadists from existing Islamists but also raised children to create new generations of jihadists in a way that will “secure” the future of jihad.
Well, education, of course!
The “Education Center for Afghanistan” located in Peshawar, Pakistan and run by Afghan mujahideen was basically an offshoot of the Nebraska University of the US and the Center of Afghan Studies of this university. It was the Ministry of Education of jihadists in exile. The center was publishing books and giving “education.” The textbooks distributed by the center had been prepared by the Nebraska University. In the year 2002, the Washington Post exposed that the university received a funding worth of 51 million USD between the years 1984-1994 solely for this purpose.
What about the contents of these books?
The most notable study on the subject was published by Craig Davis in World Policy Journal in the year 2002. In this study, Davis examined the contents of the textbooks in Afghanistan. From the first-grade alphabet textbook, prepared by US, he shared the following examples of teaching Farsi to future mujahideen jihadi-style(!):
Alif (A) is for Allah- Allah is one.
Bi (B) is for Father (baba)-Father goes to the mosque.
Pi (P) is for Five (panj)- Islam has five pillars.
Ti (T) is for Rifle (tufang)- Javad obtains rifles for the mujahideen.
Jim (J) is for Jihad – Jihad is an obligation. My mom went to the jihad. Our brother gave water to the mujahideen.
Dal (D) is for Religion (din) – Our religion is Islam. The Russians are the enemies of the religion of Islam.
Zhi (Zh) is for good news (muzhdih) – The mujahideen missiles rain down like dew on the Russians. My brother gave me good news that the Russians in our country taste defeat
Shin (Sh) is for Shakir – Shakir conducts jihad with the sword. God becomes happy with the defeat of the Russians…
Zal (Z) is for Oppression (zulm)- Oppression is forbidden. The Russians are oppressors. We perform jihad against the oppressors.
Vav (V) is for Nation (vatn)- Our nation is Afghanistan. The mujahideen made our country famous. Our Muslim people are defeating the communists. The mujahideen are making our dear country free.
How do you think the C.I.A taught counting to the Afghan children? Here are some pages from mathematics book:
Thanks to the mathematics textbook prepared by the Nebraska University, Afghan kids learn their numbers through pistols, bullets, knives, landmines and bombs. What an exemplary pedagogical approach!
Some examples given in the mathematics book about four modes of operation are given below:
If out of 10 atheists, 5 are killed by 1 Muslim, 5 would be left.
5 guns + 5 guns = 10 guns
15 bullets – 10 bullets = 5 bullets
One last example from fifth grade literature arts textbook the text titled “Hikayat” starts with:
Dear students, I will recount the story of crimes committed by atheist Russians who invaded our lands due to carelessness of a group of mujahideen. Listen carefully and comprehend the results of carelessness and indifference.
Once this situation was exposed and given US’s engagement in re-establishment of its hegemony with the “war on terror” concept, various projects were launched to remove the violence elements from these textbooks. UNICEF destroyed more half a million books and new text books were published. Yet, it is reported that the old text books are still used by Taliban even if not by the central Afghan government and can be easily found even in Kabul.
JIHAD AS THE MODERN WEAPON OF IMPERIALISM
Naturally, this was not a project limited to Afghanistan. It is not mere coincidence that names of a series of Central Asian countries, the Region of Caucasia and Eastern Turkistan were mentioned after the recent assault to the Nightclub Reina. Similar “indoctrination” was implemented in all of these regions. It was spread to surrounding countries from Afghanistan and Pakistan, both of which are bombed today on a daily basis by the US in the pretext of “war on terror”.
One should not look further than imperialist centers to spot the source point of jihad and jihadists and, in general, Islamism. U.S. journalist Ben Norton explains:
It is not a coincidence that most of the secular countries in the history of the Middle East have been socialist of some sort. In contrast, the most reactionary countries — the countries where women are not granted equal rights and where the rule of law is based on Sharia — have frequently tended to be close Western allies. Why? The West was much, much more interested in preserving capitalism than it was in allowing secularism, gender equality and relative economic equality to flourish under socialism.
Therefore, we can conclude that, even if use of the adjective of “modern” seems oxymoronic, jihad and jihadists are both dirty weapons armed in very recent history of imperialism and unleashed to sustain capitalism.