Some select writings on asymmetrical warfare & Muslim blow back against Anglo Israeli terrorism
Over one million, mostly Frenchman and women with some leaders, whose hands are deeply immersed in terrorism, organised a parade in protest on 10 January against the killing of 20 persons, including three 'terrorists' in Paris. Pres Obama, the presiding servant of military industry energy and other corporate interests controlled by financiers and bankers was conspicuous by his absence.
Since World War II, the United States of America, the new bully on the international scene after a decadent British Empire had collapsed, has been carrying out terrorist activities all around the world, beginning with Philippines, then terror activities in Latin America under the so-called Monroe doctrine. In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, West and its neoliberal capitalism have acquired super power hubris and gone bersec.
Obama's Attorney General was present, the latter's predecessors had ordered torture of Muslim prisoners and others, which continue in Guantánamo. The so-called fair play or honesty of Western nations with Norway awarding a Nobel Peace Prize to Obama, who has carried on the Bush begun Crusade against Muslims, proves the obscene narrative and morality of Western nations.
However, Mr Netanyahu, the daily killer of Palestinians in their own land was proudly present and of course, the French leaders, including Hollande ,the Pres, the Prime Minister and others and the British Prime Minister David Cameron, more honest than born liar Tony Blair. How the US air power along with that of France, Britain and Italy and other NATO powers bombed the poor Libyans under the so-called right to protect. The French were showing off to those interested in buying its military aircraft, Raphael, to India and other possible customers in Middle East, especially in the Gulf.
"Be nice to America, otherwise we will bring you democracy "
a placard in New York in March 2003. (So they have in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine etc .And how!)
While the Paris parade claims to have attracted 1 million workers, 10 million citizens of the world protested from New Zealand to America in March 2003, against a US -British led illegal and destructive and immoral invasion of Iraq. But it had no affect on US and British leaders who along with the Spanish Prime Minister were gloating on a Spanish island in anticipation of the barbarism carried out in Iraq worse than in mediaeval times by Mongol Hulegu.
Yes, the Spanish Prime Minister was also present in Paris. So was King Abdullah of Jordan, who is dependent on American and Saudi financial aid, who allowed his kingdom to be used to train ISIS terrorists who are now creating havoc in territories of Syria and Iraq. Also present was Turkish leaders Ahmet Davutoğlu, with his almond mustache and typical Pinocchio smile on his face . Davutoglu, the newly minted Prime Minister of Turkey, whose supreme leader Press Erdogan has allowed his territory and borders for use of ISIS volunteers and provided all aid to the incoming fighters from everywhere , Europe including France, who are now part of the contingent of ISIS. So much for the flag marches of Paris. They might be called the pall bears responsible for the killing of French journalists, who regularly insulted Mohammad and Islam. They are foolishly daring to do so again. Some mad ness.
It is the British who got rid of the Sharif Hussain of Hejaz , great grandfather of the King Abdullah II of Jordan , direct descendents of prophet Mohammad , who was removed as a result of British conspiracy and a leader of uncouth obscurantist Ibn Saud was helped to conquer Mecca and Medina .Sharif Hussain was not suited the British designs and left in the lurch .Remember the film 'Lawrence of Arabia ' and the eldest son of Sharif Hussain , Prince Feisal ( which was enacted with such brilliance and conviction by Alec Guinness) apart from Peter o Toole as Lawrence , who fooled the Arabs . Since then the Middle East lost its tranquility, earlier an oasis of calm and neglect .Discovery of oil in the region has brought tragedy and havoc to masses of the region.
I can go on and on. But let me come to the subject of asymmetrical warfare, Islamic Jihad and Muslim jihad .We begin with then preponderant role of Britain and France after World War I, when these two major victors divided the Ottoman empires Arab territories to be ruled by themselves directly or through their proxies and created the states of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi
Let me quote from my article written on the second anniversary of 11 September 2001 false flag operation carried out to provide an excuse to attack and bomb to destruction Afghanistan, whose people had nothing to do with 911 bombing of US trade Towers.
Unless the disaffected subjects of the House of Saud carry out a revolution, the Muslim masses will remain a Cannon fodder for the Saudi and other kingdoms in the Gulf and U.S.-led Western powers. Donot expect any Sunni nation and its subjects and even rational governments to tell the truth about Saudi Arabia and its adverse and destructive effect on Muslim Ummah.
K.Gajendra Singh 13 January, 2015, Delhi
Jihadis: Assassins by another name Atimes 12 September, 2003
By K Gajendra Singh
Note; the writer does not agree with the title by the editor.
In 1253, when the French ambassador William of Rubruck arrived at the court of the great Mongol Khan in his capital at Karakorum, he was struck by the elaborate security precautions around the city. He was told that it was because the Khan had heard that no less than 40 dagger-wielding Assassins, or Ismailis, who used assassination, and the fear of it, as a political weapon, had come from the Middle East to kill him. In response, the Khan, or Chengiz, sent one of his brothers with an army to the "land of Assassins" with orders to kill them. Hulegu Khan destroyed the assassin bases in Persia, and later the Memelukes Baybars from Egypt had their bases in Syria wiped out.
The second millennium Assassins could not inflict harm in Karakorum, but their 3rd millennium descendents, led by Mohammed Atta, stunned the United States-led West, the current world hyperpower, by attacking the symbols of its financial clout and military might, the World Trade Towers in New York and sections of the Pentagon in Washington, on September 11, 2001. For the first time in its history, war has been brought right into the heart of US territory, making it dar ul harab (the house of war).
The stunning attacks have left behind an abiding aura of terror, specially among New Yorkers. Even a normal air accident now shatters jangled nerves and morale. Like the great Khan of Karakorum, who was feared and whose writ ran throughout the known world then, "Emperor" US President George W Bush, as some US writers now describe him, spontaneously called for a "crusade" and "infinite justice", which expressed the reality better than the substituted slogans, "war on terrorism" and "enduring freedom" adopted to avoid offending Muslims. Secretary of State Colin Powell had promised a white paper proving al-Qaeda's involvement in September 11. Whatever happened to that?
While the Muslim masses all over the world have watched daily brutalities inflicted on Palestinians and their persecution since the occupation of their land, in October, 2001, they saw a war unleashed on Afghanistan, killing many thousands of innocent civilians. That war is still continuing, but the mastermind of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and his former hosts, the Taliban leadership, have not been apprehended. Then came an illegal and unjustified war against Iraq and its hapless people. The weapons of mass destruction, the so called causus belli have not been discovered and are no longer even mentioned .
In fact, US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, virtually even said that the real reason for the attack was Iraqi oil. His chief, Donald Rumsfeld, said that the US now looked at the world from the prism of September 11, making it look like a tribal vendetta. This further convinced the Muslims ummah that there is a Western crusade, and many have answered the calls for a jihad. After having been dispersed from Afghanistan, the jihadis are now collecting in Iraq to take on the US-led coalition forces.
The people of the US and the United Kingdom, whose governments are in the forefront of the "war against terrorism", now look towards East with panic, and at home with trepidation, as millions of Muslims live in the US, the UK, France, Germany and other European countries. Many Muslims have been the victims of a backlash and highhandedness, especially in the US. This could lead to further alienation, and new crops of recruits for terrorism. In Iraq, thoughtless disbanding of nearly half a million battle-hardened armed and security forces now provide the backbone of the resistance against the occupation forces.
September 11 and New Yorkers
According to a recent New York Times report about the impact and fears of September 11 among New Yorkers, "the simmering disquiet persists, a lengthening shadow that won't leave". It said that "most New Yorkers [ are] feeling no safer, no more convinced that the terror won't come back. The narrative of that day is older now, but the city still feels its amplitude. It is as if the populace has stalled in its march toward fully being itself again."
A New York Times/CBS News poll of 976 adult New Yorkers, taken last week, underscored that lasting damage has been inflicted on the city's psyche. "Two-thirds of the people questioned said they were very concerned about another attack in New York. They might be thinking and talking less often about the terrorist attack, but the subtext of discomfort is every bit as intense. In measure after measure, the sampling found New Yorkers trapped in the same state of queasy normalcy that they found themselves in the more immediate aftermath. Some avoid the subway, stay away from skyscrapers, sleep fitfully, find new solace in religion," the poll commented. Nearly a third of those questioned said that their lives had not returned to normal, as they continue to wrestle with the imprint of that day.
To a question about the changes wrought by the terror attack and its permanent effect on New York, "Roughly 60 percent felt there would be an enduring impact, and just as many felt it would be negative as felt it would be positive." There remains little confidence in the security measures meant to protect the city's infrastructure. And most New Yorkers feel that the city is unprepared for a biological or chemical attack that might contaminate the air or the water. Two years after September 11, New Yorkers feel the city remains as vulnerable as ever, the poll concluded.
Drill in London
On September 7, British authorities with ministers present carried out in London's financial district the most elaborate and high profile anti-terrorist drill that Britain has ever seen. Designed to be as realistic as possible, it was presumed that terrorists had struck at the Bank Underground station with a substance similar to the poisonous gas Sarin. The drill was intended to test how the emergency services worked together and the effectiveness of new equipment purchased in the aftermath of September 11.
Ken Knight, London fire commissioner, was reported as saying, "It is arduous work, so the maximum we would expect crews to be able to work in the suits is 20 minutes. This was a significant exercise, but it is only in the next few days, when we debrief, that we will find out how it really went."
While its success and immediate repercussions are not clear, the last such drill in February had deterred foreign tourists from visiting the capital and damaged London's economy. But the government ministers and London's mayor felt that the exercise was essential. It is hoped that the efficiency of the emergency services would be better than UK's train services. How the British people look at it is another matter. The majority were opposed to the invasion of Iraq, and Prime Minister Tony Blair's popularity has slumped.
Cry wolf, wolf
In February, an exercise in London and US cities almost looked like a parody of the fable "wolf , wolf", which was organized to influence the UN Security Council vote on the report of chief weapons inspector Hans Blix. (Later he commented that the US had already decided and planned to make war on Iraq.) Passengers reaching London's Heathrow airport were surprised when they found it surrounded by tanks and armored cars full of troops. Orange alerts, the second highest, were enforced in the US and UK, with helicopters and planes covering the airspace of the two countries.
An editorial in the Arab News on February 14 commented on this as follows, "Has UK Prime Minister Tony Blair taken leave of his senses? The sight of tanks and armored patrol vehicles patrolling London's Heathrow airport suggests so. Does Blair envisage an al-Qaeda Panzer division? Washington appears equally paranoid. Batteries of anti-aircraft missiles have been set up around the city with fighter planes patrolling overhead, while Americans have been warned to stock up on water blankets and food."
The US administration has adroitly exploited the fear of terrorism to shut out the Democrat opposition under the garb of patriotism and the flag, and to invade Iraq, with full support from the committed corporate US media, cheer-led by channels like Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others, and most of the print media too. That the media were successful is shown by the fact that polls show that a majority of Americans believe that the Iraqis were behind September 11. Never mind that of the terrorists of that day, 14 of the 19 were Saudis, the others Egyptians.
Still, many million US citizens protested against war plans on Iraq early this year, and some even went to Afghanistan to commiserate with Afghans.
Assassins old and new
Although Europeans heard of the Assassins of the early second millennia through the Crusaders and other travelers, they could put together the story until the 19th century. Not many Crusaders were victims, the first being Conrad, king of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, but it made a profound impression.
Marco Polo, who passed through Persia in 1273, described the fortress in the valley of Alamut near the Caspian, the headquarters of the sect. Enclosed between two mountains, it was like a paradise, with gardens full of beautiful flowers and fruit trees, running streams of water, honey and wine. Beautiful women sang and danced to please the guests. When the sheikh wanted an opponent to be assassinated, one of the disciples under training was commissioned and given hashish. He was then given a glimpse of the paradise around him, and told that he would return to it if alive, otherwise he would enter the "real" paradise directly.
The motivation of the Assassins was religious fervor and obedience to the sheikh. They learnt many languages, the art of fighting, posed as seers and waited years, even decades, for the opportunity to knife their target and then die happily. The word Assassin perhaps originates from its abusive use in Syria (their latter stronghold ), where they were considered wild and fanatic, like drug addicts.
The Assassins' targets were their tormenters, the Sunni Arab caliphs and Seljuk Sultans and their officials. Some caliphs, many generals and senior officials, like Nizam ul mulk, were assassinated. Many lived in terror of the Assassins, and even paid them tributes.
The Nizari sect of the Assassins was established towards the end of the 11th century by Hassan al-Sabbah around Alamut after the end of Shia Fatimid caliph rule in Egypt. They claimed descent from Fatima and Imam Ali. The Shah of Iran later gave the title of the Agha Khan to their chief. After an unsuccessful rebellion, they left Persia in 1860 for Afghanistan, and then took refuge in India. The British allowed the Agha Khan to settle in Bombay (now Mumbai). When he sought obedience from all of Bombay's Khojas (a Gujarati-speaking Muslim community), some opposed it. The case went to the Bombay High Court, whose chief justice, Sir Joseph Arnould, on November 12, 1866 ruled that Bombay's Khojas were part of the larger Khoja community of India. Their religion was of the Ismaili wing of Shi'ite Islam and their ancestors were Hindus who had been converted by a Persian missionary four centuries earlier. Of course, now the Agha Khans live in Europe, are successful businessmen, breed race horses and vacation on the rivieras.
"We are rolling back the terrorist threat to civilization, not on the fringes of its influence, but at the heart of its power," George W Bush said on September 8. Whatever the US and its allies might do, Islamic fundamentalism is now the life and death challenge of the 21st century.
Third millennia Assassins relying on traditional individual and cell-based terrorism will continue, and as before, terror has helped in creating a new mood of suspicion, of polarization, and of a search for enemies - and that indeed is one of its purposes. In this way, it has inevitably enhanced the vulnerability of the world to new economic shocks.
Post September 11
In September, 2002, the US announced a new National Security Strategy, asserting that it will maintain global hegemony permanently and any challenge will be blocked by force. The strategy declared that the US, alone, had the right to carry out "preventive war" - preventive, not preemptive - using military force to eliminate a perceived threat, even if invented or imagined.
Even now there is no credible evidence for the alleged link between Saddam and his known bitter enemy, Osama bin Laden. The invasion of Iraq has certainly increased recruitment to al-Qaeda-like outfits, and the threat of terror to the world and in Iraq, as US forces are finding out. Meanwhile, bin Laden remains at large and the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction are still missing.
"According to the official version of history, CIA [Central Bureau of Investigation] aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980 - after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President [Jimmy] Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul - to induce a Soviet military intervention." Z Brzezinski, national security adviser to president Carter, in Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, January 15-21, 1998.
Ironically, it is now the US that is bogged down in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq, and there is no end in sight, as Bush has acknowledged. "There's no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homeland," the president announced last year.
Recently, Ami Ayalon, former head of the Shabak, Israel's general security service, observed that "those who want victory" against terror without addressing underlying grievances "want an unending war. The world has good reason to watch what is happening in Washington with fear and trepidation."
The participation of young Saudis in the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts is neither surprising nor an historical accident, writes Madawi Al-Rasheed.
The Saudi regime has imprisoned its moderate Islamists and allowed its radicals to cause mayhem in the Levant. It is uncertain whether those radicals are indirectly or directly sponsored by the Saudi regime. But it is certain that the regime shares their hatred of ShiaMuslims, the Assad and Maliki regimes, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran. While the Saudi regime cannot realistically bomb its rivals, jihadis are performing the role with precision.
A recent report argues that ISIS or the 'Islamic State' is largely a self-funded movement, drawing on a wide range of sources. The Saudi regime is not one of them. The report debunks ex-Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's accusations that his country faces the threat of terrorists funded directly by Saudi Arabia. Yet the prominence of Saudis in its rank and file is yet to be explained. Notwithstanding the Saudi offensive to absolve itself from any connection with Islamic State, these groups have demonstrated a certain affinity not only with the Saudi religious tradition but also its political history.
From Beirut to Baghdad, Saudi radicals who have joined ISIS and other similar militia are determined to eliminate their rivals and enemies, and finally establish their dream Islamic state. Evidently those Saudi jihadis now fighting for Islamic State are not satisfied with their own allegedly Islamic state, known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are the generation of the 1990s—young, connected, unruly and full of zeal in support of an Ummah, narrowly defined as a Sunni community that excludes all others in the world ofIslam. This is not surprising: they have grown up in Saudi Arabia, whose Wahhabi form of Islam crushes religious diversity.
Yet the exodus of young Saudis to neighbouring Arab countries must not be seen through a purely religious lens. Above all, it is a product of Saudi policies that use religion in the service of the state. The Saudi state itself was produced by an earlier version of the conflicts we are witnessing today in the Levant.
As early as 1912 the founder of the Saudi kingdom, Ibn Saud, created tribal militia called the Ikhwan and indoctrinated its fighters in the art of killing Muslims who objected to his own political authority on the ground that they were kafir—infidels. He enlisted the tribal youth of the Arabian Peninsula in ajihad against all those who resisted his hegemony. His first state was called Dawlat Najd and Hijaz, as it incorporated Central Arabia and the Western province where the holy cities of Mecca and Madina are located. The founder assumed several titles, including Emir, Imam and Sultan, before he settled on the title of King, at the suggestion of the British colonial power.
The creation of modern Saudi Arabia is unique in the Arab world as it was a jihadi project from the very beginning. Unlike in other Arab states where the youth are introduced to a mythologized nationalist narrative about history, Saudi youth are indoctrinated into the unique jihadi narrative of the state as one that came into being as a result of the efforts of a pious leader who energised his people, saved them from blasphemy and eradicated un-Islamic beliefs and practices.
The Saudi fighters of the twenties had a special dislike for statues and graves. They arrived in Mecca and Medina in the mid-1920s and immediately went on a rampage, searching for signs of blasphemy. They destroyed graves and imposed on the population strict codes of conduct. No woman was to be seen in the streets and no tobacco was to be consumed in public. They immediately marked the beginning of their rule by implementing a series of measures, from rounding people up to perform prayers to monitoring public morality.
Importantly, the Saudi state created by the military might of the Ikhwan had no respect for borders, and it was a matter of time before it clashed with nearby British colonies. Southern Iraq was appealing to Saudi fighters because it gave them the opportunity of plunder and dying for their faith in jihad against the infidel Shia population. Iraq's holy cities, mainly Najaf and Karbala, promised double gains: riches in this world and credit in the afterlife, as the Saudis' God promised rewards for those who purify Islam from the blasphemy of rejectionist Shia. Their King Ibn Saud, under pressure from Britain, had to restrain them and convince them that the expansionist project must be put on hold.
But has it really been put on hold? Ibn Saud had to tame the Ikhwan's zeal and regain the respect of his British sponsors. Beheading the rebel leaders solved the problem for a while. But the impulse to die for faith remained and found opportunities later in other parts of the world. There was no shortage of destinations, approved and sanctioned by the Saudi regime. Afghanistan was the culmination of several decades of indoctrination into the merits of dying to save other Muslims.
The above is the story of modern Saudi Arabia, not the Islamic State. But can we see parallels here? Surely the battleground of contemporary Saudis is no longer the vast desert lands and holy cities of Arabia but has moved further north to more fertile lands.
The participation of young Saudis in the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts is neither surprising nor an historical accident. Syria and Iraq are perhaps the most ethnically and religiously diverse in the whole Arab world. Saudi jihadis have been desperate to repeat the purification strategies that their ancestors applied in the Arabian Peninsula. They know that jihad at home is severely punished but abroad it is a matter of choice.
The Saudi regime may have succeeded in convincing the world that it is a moderate force, seeking peace and curbing the zeal of its own jihadis. Reports may absolve it from any direct responsibility for the emergence of ISIS or other groups. But it remains accused simply because its history, foundation and ideology bear such resemblance to the contemporary situation, and its citizens are playing such a prominent role in it.
Perhaps the West has no choice but to believe in the power of the almighty Saudi regime to control the flow of its own jihadis abroad. Britain itself fell under the spell of the founder of the kingdom and believed him when he promised to punish those radicals of the 1920s. Today, many Western powers perhaps feel that if jihadism is inevitable, it is better that it is performed far away from them, and even better if it can be used to serve Western interests, exactly as it did in Afghanistan.
The Saudi regime has not abandoned the use of religion in the pursuit of political projects. It has grown accustomed to this instrumentalisation, which may eventually bring about its demise. The regime may not have realised yet that Islam is a double-edged sword. It has used Islam against its rivals, initially the locals who resisted Saudi hegemony, and later its Arab neighbours. It has created the conditions that breed jihadis who are indoctrinated in a historical narrative about purifying Islam and freeing Muslims from the grip of blasphemous rulers and practices. Some of those jihadis are convinced that the realm their fathers created has become distorted in recent times, deviating from the path of the early founders. They will no doubt return to haunt the Saudi regime that is beginning to put itself on alert in fear of such a nightmare.
However, the imminent return of jihadis to Saudi Arabia is currently delayed for two reasons. First, the prospect of American intervention mitigates against them rushing home to practice what they have been taught to do. The reluctance of the US administration to be involved in Syria and Iraq through direct military intervention is not enough to assure jihadis that the same restraint will be exercised in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia remains more vital than Syria or even Iraq for the United States and the rest of the world. Second, as long as jihadis find ways of getting funds and volunteers from Saudi Arabia, they may not be in a hurry to undermine this source.
Despite Saudi noises about the alleged threat of jihadis returning home, this is not an imminent danger in the near future. Perhaps there is a secret gentlemen's agreement between the least gentlemanly of partners, who have several shared interests and a near identical ideological outlook. So, can we conclude that the Saudi regime is serious about fighting radical jihadis?
Madawi Al-Rasheed is Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre, London School ofEconomics, and editor of Kingdom Without Borders: Saudi Arabia's Political, Religious and Media Frontiers.