Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ottoman army

Modern means. Slick production… ISIS forging its archaic Caliphat-hood

Iraqi expert on Isis, Hisham Alhashimi, said:

Abu Bakr Baghdadi wants to bring the US Americans into a war with him so he will prove that what was written in the Quran and the prophecies that (Christians) will fight against the Muslims. He wants to prove that he is the leader of Muslims.

Having the Americans bomb him is not at odds with spreading the caliphate. ISIS dream is a real jihad against the Crusaders.”

Baghdadi does not fear the Arab world’s armies.

He has tapped into the ruins of a body politic across much of the Arab world that has spectacularly failed to share power or respond to the will of the street.

He knows from his time in Iraq, both in US prisons and on the battlefields that to be realistically confronted, the US, or another power, will need to ally with local backers.

 in The Guardian, Wednesday 3 September 2014

What next for Islamic State, the would-be caliphate?

Isis is making very modern military and media advances, but its existence is rooted in religion and old sectarian divides
A Shia militia fighter holds a gun

A Shia militia fighter holds a gun near a graffito that says ‘Amerli‘ in Arabic (city  in Iraq that was freed lately from Daesh). Photograph: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

The world’s most potent terror group is also its most savvy.

In its 18 month existence, Islamic State (Isis) has imposed its old world view of Islam using very modern means. Slick production, an eye for a camera angle and high definition horror have done just as much to showcase the group – and further its aims – as its rampage across Iraq and Syria.

Almost every move Isis has made has been chronicled in some form, either through shaky hand held mobile phones that have captured battle scenes Blair Witch style, or by applying more sophisticated Hollywood production values.

An hour-long chronology of barbarism that the group posted online in June featured an opening sequence copied straight from the 2009 film about the Iraq war, The Hurt Locker.

Isis may eschew much of the modern world, but it certainly studies its enemy.

And, in what is the biggest punt of its short and bloody life, the group appears to have gambled that it can call the bluff of its most formidable foe.

On extremist web forums and within the organisation, debate is raging about how the US will respond to the beheading of two of its citizens, and what Britain and Europe may do if its nationals are harmed.

A growing school of though is that the gruesome, highly public, deaths of James Foley and Stephen Sotloff (an Israeli/US), have done what three blood-soaked years in Syria and Iraq had previously failed to do: galvanized war-weary western leaders and their deeply skeptical publics to a common and fast growing enemy that may eventually point its turrets their way.

Advocates of toning down the brazen violence say that while such tactics have a strong terror shock value among communities they want to conquer, they also stir sleeping giants.

And if Isis is to continue its quest for dominance, having superpowers collectively enraged so soon might not help further such goals.

The group has enormous momentum at the moment:

1. militarily it is manoeuvering on three fronts at once – something far beyond the Iraqi, or Syrian armies.

2. It is collecting large numbers of Sunnis on both sides of the now redundant border. Some are joining out of coercion, others from fear and a smaller number from a conviction that the jihadis share their values and are acting out pre-ordained prophecies.

Whatever their motivation, Iraq’s Sunni minority shares a common sense of being estranged from any semblance of a political process ever since Saddam Hussein was ousted in Iraq and Shia Islamic Iran established itself as a post-occupation power.

Syria’s Sunni majority, especially in the north and east, has been partly subservient to a Shia-aligned Alawite regime for more than three decades longer. Together they make a formidable support base.

Supporters in favour of a less confrontational approach say that Isis needs this stunning progress to continue if it is to make good its goal of re-establishing a caliphate across ancient Islamic lands.

After declaring the establishment of a new caliphate, what to do now is at the behest of the self-styled caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and a tightly-knit military council that makes all the group’s strategic decisions.

(Currently, all the leading chiefs in ISIS are Iraqis. The Syrians and foreigners play secondary roles)

Some who study Isis closely say Baghdadi is aiming for an apocalyptic showdown that he wants to bring on sooner rather than later. Interpretations of Koranic teachings underpin all of what Baghdadi does.

And high on the list of teachings being adhered to by Isis is a 1,400 year old prediction that Muslims and Christians would fight a pre-apocalyptic battle in a place called Dabek. (I never heard of that prediction or who did the prediction)

Since establishing themselves as a force in northern Syria in May 2013, Isis members have focused on small hamlet of 4,000 people some 30 miles south of the Turkish border, called Murj Dabek. This, to many among Isis, is ground zero of the war, a place where ancient prophecies will be thrashed out in an existential battle between the faiths.

(I never heard of that prediction or who did the prediction. Murj Dabek is the battlefield where the Ottoman army crushed and the Mameluke army that ruled Egypt and Syria as the Ottoman Empire decided to expand southward during Salim I in the 16th century)

Baghdadi does not fear the Arab world’s armies. He has tapped into the ruins of a body politic across much of the Arab world that has spectacularly failed to share power or respond to the will of the street. He knows from his time in Iraq, both in US prisons and on the battlefields that to be realistically confronted, the US, or another power will need to ally with local backers.

He also knows, that without an occupying army – and re-occupying central Arabia is something that Barack Obama still seems repulsed by – it will be difficult to splinter the Sunni support base that now stands with him.

“There are military leaders working with him, former Saddam henchmen,” said one former middle-ranking member of Isis who left the group before it changed the face of the Middle East in June with its advances into Mosul and Tikrit.

They were not with us then. They thought we were a bus that they wanted to get to their destination. But now, from what I know of them, they are just as ruthless, just as committed. These people are running the war in places like Tikrit. Even if they part ways, they will help Islamic State win.”

Note: Apparently, the western States have not yet decided to crush ISIS and the social networks used by ISIS have been easily circumvented to spread the message.

The western media have been throwing smoke screens as to the non-existence of a Palestinian people since the recognition of the State of Israel in 1948.  Zionism and western media kept hammering out the notion that Palestinians are just another tribe among “Arab people” and had no distinctive characteristics, culture, and national spirit.  Golda Meir was utterly blunt when she proclaimed: “there are no Palestinians” in 1970 as the Palestinians started organizing their national resistance movement as early as 1965.

What define a people if not uniting to fighting an occupier?  Since 1930, the Palestinian people have been exercising frequent uprising and armed struggle upheavals against colonial Britain.  In 1936, Britain had to mobilize 100,000 troops to quell the 6-month Palestinian revolt (called al Qassam) that lacked the rudiment of arms and means to fighting mighty Britain.  How could the British troops in 1917 advance in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria to defeating the Ottoman army if the nationalist Palestinians refused to cooperate with the allied forces?

How could the Palestinian people not exist when even the UN divided Palestine into two States in 1948 between Jews and Palestinians?  It is a historical fact that Zionism had lost hope establishing a State in Palestine in 1920 when the resistance of Palestinians to the immigration of Jews forced Britain to stop any further immigration and the Rothschild family desisted financing further kibbutz and building Tel Aviv.  Then, the US financial crash of 1929 put a complete hold on any further financing to Jewish organizations in Palestine.

If it was not for brutal British colonial power then, there was no way that Zionism could have settled in Palestine.  Why Britain delayed giving independence to Palestinians when it gave it to Jordan and Iraq, and when France acknowledge independence of Syria in 1936 and Lebanon in 1943?  Is it because Jews served in the British army in WWI and WWII? Another reason that Palestinians are the patriots and legitimate people of Palestine because they fought the occupying colonial power when the Jews were mercenaries to the occupation force.

Israel wants to be recognized as a Jewish State.  Are the Jews out of their mind? Is the US out of its mind? Is Russia out of its mind? Is the UN out of its mind?  How can Israel survive as a religious State amid surrounding Moslem States (that will surely be hijacked by extremist fundamentalist Moslems) simply because Israel was declared a Jewish religious State?  If the western nations could maneuver within nationalist feelings and allegiances then, how can they navigate within the sea of religious extremism?

The latest round of negotiation does not have to last a year.  There are four evidences: First, Palestinians want an independent State; second, they want Jerusalem as Capital; third, they will never relinquish their right for return to their place of birth (even if in the State of Israel); fourth, all lands occupied by force will have to be vacated.  What is so difficult about these truths that acknowledge by every sane person?

Let’s get on with this lousy peace negotiation that has lasted three decades before it is too late for diplomacy, good will, and peaceful intentions.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

February 2021
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