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A Transcript of Abu Bakr’s Speech

2014 July 6
tags:
by Ian Welsh

Can be found here.

It’s an interesting document, and worth reading yourself.  Contrary to media intimations of evil, and raving, it’s a pretty sane document.

I’ll highlight this bit:

Terrorism is to refuse humiliation, subjugation, and subordination [to the kuffār – infidels]. Terrorism is for the Muslim to live as a Muslim, honorably with might and freedom. Terrorism is to insist upon your rights and not give them up.

But terrorism does not include the killing of Muslims in Burma and the burning of their homes. Terrorism does not include the dismembering and disemboweling of the Muslims in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Kashmir. Terrorism does not include the killing of Muslims in the Caucasus and expelling them from their lands. Terrorism does not include making mass graves for the Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the slaughtering of their children. Terrorism does not include the destruction of Muslims’ homes in Palestine, the seizing of their lands, and the violation and desecration of their sanctuaries and families.

Terrorism does not include the burning of masājid in Egypt, the destruction of the Muslims’ homes there, the rape of their chaste women, and the oppression of the mujahidin in the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere. Terrorism does not include the extreme torture and degradation of Muslims in East Turkistan and Iran [by the rāfidah], as well as preventing them from receiving their most basic rights. Terrorism does not include the filling of prisons everywhere with Muslim captives. Terrorism does not include the waging of war against chastity and hijab (Muslim women’s clothing) in France and Tunis. It does not include the propagation of betrayal, prostitution, and adultery.

It sort of speaks for itself, in the “you call me a monster?  Look in the fucking mirror” vein that is rather hard to argue against when your leaders have just invaded multiple countries on flimsy pretext leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, minimum and the creation of millions of refugees, the vast majority of whom just happen to be Muslim. And when the leader of the “free” world brags about how great he is at killing, while he force feeds men who, in many cases, haven’t been convicted of a damn thing.

I despise everything ISIS stands for.  But it’s simply impossible to defend what the West has been doing to Muslims for the past 20 years, or to note that ISIS doesn’t exist as a force worth worrying about with George Bush’s illegal invasion of the Middle East.

You look back to the 50s and 60s, to Iraq and Iran, and you see states trying to be democratic, whose version of Islam is mild and moderating; whose women are becoming more and more free and educated (the same is generally true of Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Pakistan goes really off the rails when it starts being used as a throughfare for arms and money to Afghan Mujahadin.)

Prosperity, and democracy, and hope of a better future.  A belief in truly universal human rights, and that Muslims get to have elections and keep the results of them too.  Or that if they have democratic elections and do manage to keep the results (Iran), that they won’t be enbargoed so their children die due to lack of medicine.

If you won’t offer people freedom and prosperity and autonomy; if you won’t respect their democratic decision-making, why would you be surprised if, after bombing them into the ground, they become unpleasant people?  They are only learning the lessons you have taught them, that might makes right, that there are no “human rights” that apply to Muslims which aren’t bought at the end of a gun (perhaps there aren’t any for anyone, but there certainly aren’t for Muslims.)

Abu Bakr is Bush and Blair’s love child. He is the the great grandchild of the CIA spooks who overthrew democratic elections in the middle East.  He is the step-child of the Egyptian police state, which has proved over and over again that Islamists can”t take power peacefully, because the people with guns won’t allow it.  He is the grandchild of Madeline Albright, who throught that half a million Iraqi children were “worth it.”

An evil man, to be sure, Abu Bakr. But a man who does not exist absent the great and extended efforts of men who were, judged by the number of dead and wounded and dispossessed, even more evil than he.


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147 Responses
  1. July 14, 2014

    I for one am perfectly happy with the Laying of Blame. It can be a fun exercise, for particular values of fun. Might even be a useful exercise. But I am just interested in seeing the blame fairly distributed.

  2. July 14, 2014

    By which I mean (I suppose I should clarify in light of the context) that unlike cripes I’m happy to assign blame to the ordinary American voter. For me the questions have been, which voter? and what is the blame-assignment function? and so on, and what I disagree with are the answers implied by the contributions of some of Ian’s regular commentariat membership. I think the answers to the Blame Questions lie much more (uncomfortably?) within the worldview of the weakling run-of-the-mill American liberal than many here would be willing to admit: the standard boogeymen of Tea Party voters, cranky old men, etc.

    Then there is the blame to be assigned for those who apparently know better, but do not appear able to change the situation…

  3. Celsius 233 permalink
    July 14, 2014

    @ Mandos

    I think the answers to the Blame Questions lie much more (uncomfortably?) within the worldview of the weakling run-of-the-mill American liberal than many here would be willing to admit: the standard boogeymen of Tea Party voters, cranky old men, etc.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I would suggest the failure does not reside in identity politics (an obvious trap to dis-unite), but rather across the board. I’m a cranky old man (70) and lay the blame on every voting age citizen who has not gone-to-the-street when they have seen their vote go to the galoots running this government, who then wantonly vote against their wishes/mandates (though mandates are far and few).
    And therein lies the failure of the governed to hold the governer’s accountable.
    It’s not really that complicated; but all energy is spent to obfuscate, outright lie, manipulate, and use jingoistic patriotism to keep the war machine/propaganda machine steaming along full speed ahead.
    If y’all (I’m long gone) can’t figure that one out, well, kiss your ass a serf in neo-serfdom, aka paid slave.

  4. markfromireland permalink
    July 14, 2014

    I’ve enjoyed watching the usual suspects make the usual excuses. Ducking, twisting, weaving, doing anything rather than accept either reality or responsibility. A few gentle reminders:

    Government or rule to be somewhat accurate is only possible with, at the very least, the acquiescence of the ruled. Ruling a population becomes easier as you go up the scale:

    acquiescence → reluctant or forced consent → willing consent → collaboration → cooperation → willing participation → partnership

    Telling lies to yourself as you pretend that an increasingly supine citizenry do not bear responsibility for their actions and inactions will get you nowhere . The reason why your ruling class is a ruling class is because your citizenry choose to let them get away with it.

    American self-styled ‘progressives’ need to get to grips with why despite the fact that their opponents — the American radical right, have repeatedly proved themselves to be incompetent, incoherent, corrupt, and deeply and profoundly unlikable, the American electorate and the citizenry at large prefer them to the American so-called left. Endless excuses are advanced but the simple fact is that when Americans see the ‘left’ as it is now constituted and compare it to the incompetent, incoherent, corrupt, and deeply and profoundly unlikable extreme right that now dominates your political discourse and system they choose the incompetent, incoherent, corrupt, and deeply and profoundly unlikable extreme right as being the lesser of two evils. It never seems to occur to American ‘progressives’ and ‘leftists’ that they are to use an internet catch phrase “doin’ it wrong”. As so many commenters here proved repeatedly with eloquence and conviction they will do anything, anything rather than accept responsibility and work effectively to effect change. It’s your enemies’ greatest weapon and you hand it to them freely.

    mfi

  5. markfromireland permalink
    July 14, 2014

    Ian you might want to think about getting a new WordPress template. This one seems to have some sort of nervous breakdown once the number of comments exceeds 100. There are lots of very good templates available free gratis and for nothing from WordPress.org.

    mfi

  6. July 14, 2014

    mfi,

    “American self-styled ‘progressives’ need to get to grips with why despite the fact that their opponents — the American radical right, have repeatedly proved themselves to be incompetent, incoherent, corrupt, and deeply and profoundly unlikable, the American electorate and the citizenry at large prefer them to the American so-called left.”

    I agree with your main point but, the above is not really true in terms of electoral preference. On the federal level, Romney and McCain lost, Bush won twice through pretty blatant chicanery and a very dubious Supreme Court decision and Clinton won twice. Overall, whether Democratic or Republican, they all are/were a bad lot but the last really rightwing POTUS elected was Reagan. The Senate has been a stalemate though it currently leans Democratic, the House has swung back and forth and is now Republican controlled.
    The radical right has done very well at the state level but, even then, it’s a mixed bag. Where they have really done the best is in the all important media/propaganda war.

  7. July 14, 2014

    MFI: you know, I entirely agree with you: the American electorate prefers the nutty right, and progressive movements have themselves to blame for it. “ur doin it wrong”, yep. I happen to think it’s partly because the progressive tendencies with the real answers do not know how to communicate their ideas, and they do not know how to communicate their ideas because they…are not able to relate to many of their citizens, or more correctly, create the kind of sympathetic mental frame or resonance it takes to communicate ideas well. That is why I look with a jaded eye upon progressive judgementalism—it itself is one of the obstacles to progress under present circumstances.

    We don’t live in a time when the majority of the people can be rallied to fight via jeremiads and prophetic condemnations. Those who can be, are more easily attracted by *real* fire-and-brimstone religion…

  8. July 14, 2014

    You know, there is an ongoing enormous government-and-business funded effort to understand the nature of feelings and opinions and how they originate and how they spread and how they affect people’s choices and actions, and “hardcore” progressives are just so behind the curve on these things its not funny. And what makes it even sadder is that the basic versions of these things are out there either free or cheap to read and use. (Some costs substantial money but first things first.) The Obama team knows about it and partly used it to crush Romney, because they had the “creative class” on their side who knows how to deploy it effectively. But too many people think that scary appeals to Florida sinking under the waves or whatever ought to be enough to counter this…no matter how lucky you get and how well-funded your global warming campaign is, there’s no point unless it takes into account how to sell products.

  9. markfromireland permalink
    July 14, 2014

    @ ks

    the last really rightwing POTUS elected was Reagan

    You have that exactly wrong. He was the first one, or to be more precise he was the first elected as a figurehead for the American right to extreme right.

    The Senate has been a stalemate though it currently leans Democratic, the House has swung back and forth and is now Republican controlled.

    Utterly irrelevant. They’re just almost indistinguishable factions within the one American party that matters – The Authoritarian Party.

    The radical right has done very well at the state level

    Really you need to stop telling comforting lies to yourself. They control your judiciary, your legislature, and your executive, before long they’ll control your officer corps and your non-coms.

    mfi

  10. markfromireland permalink
    July 14, 2014

    @ mandos

    I happen to think it’s partly because the progressive tendencies with the real answers do not know how to communicate their ideas, and they do not know how to communicate their ideas because they…are not able to relate to many of their citizens,

    In a lifetime’s worth of experience in dealing with them I’ve learnt that it’s because as a rule (there are a few exceptions but they’re statistical outliers and no more than that) American progressives are defined by what they lack. They certainly lack empathy as you correctly state above far more importantly however they lack principles and anything that even remotely resembles integrity.

    there’s no point unless it takes into account how to sell products.

    Yup. But you need to take this further. A slick salesman can sell anything – create one bubble after another. A really good salesman believes in the product he sells and makes his customers believe in it too. A really good salesman creates repeat business.

    mfi

  11. July 14, 2014

    The problem is the pretense that electoral politics in the English speaking world is a means to a populist-progressive end. It is not. It is not designed or meant to be. Those who try to make it into such a means are bound to fail.

    The apparent electoral success of the populist radical right among so much of the English speaking world is the actual success of the oligarchy which owns and controls the populist radical right — and of the elites who serve the oligarchy. Were there equivalent support from the oligarchy for populist-progressives, they would show far more electoral success than they do, not that it would necessarily affect policy substantively.

    But the elites denounce and criticize and the oligarchy despises populist-progressives.

    The responsibility lies largely with the elites themselves – - elites whose interests are served just fine by this state of affairs. What interests me is the fact that so many of the privileged and the elites enjoy casting blame and responsibility downwards rather than accept it themselves. The contempt with which elites are held should come as no surprise.

    Beyond contempt, the general public has little or no say. They certainly will not make any substantive change in their favor through the electoral system.

    Should they rise up in any manner not sanctioned by the elites and the oligarchy they serve, the People will be shot down, as we’re seeing in many lands right now and we will keep right on seeing until and unless the elites and oligarchs weaken one another in their perpetual competition to the point where the People have sufficient collective power to overcome them.

    That day will no doubt come, but blaming the People for not being there yet is a losing game.

  12. July 14, 2014

    I don’t know — America can’t be all that bad, can it? I mean, despite the bad press it gets here and at other venues, people are still lined up to get in. Don’t they realize that they’re clamoring for a reckoning? All these immigrants, legal and illegal alike, who have arrived from 1965 are every bit as much Americans as the “White” Europeans who arrived at the turn of last century.


    Coming To America — The Melting Pot

  13. July 14, 2014

    Yup. But you need to take this further. A slick salesman can sell anything – create one bubble after another. A really good salesman believes in the product he sells and makes his customers believe in it too. A really good salesman creates repeat business.

    I remember back from the days of both the first and second Obama campaigns. People commenting in the “hardcore” progressive blogs, myself included, were arguing hot-headedly about exactly how much less evil Obama was than his opponent. I said back then, the question is irrelevant: Obama is what’s on offer, if he’s 0.000001% less evil, then that’s your real choice, there and then. I said, y’all should instead consider what led you to this juncture, where you’re pushing a no-hope third party candidate like whoever it was (Jill Stein? Was that the first time or the second time? Whatevs…) as the last, best hope to prevent Neoliberal Philosopher King B from getting the Amerithrone.

    Honestly.

    And what they *should* have learned from the Obama campaign was not learned. Sure Obama raised lots of money, but Romney raised more and even though he was rightier in message for sure, he was crushed. Because, you know, message. All of the message matters. In both campaigns, but particularly the first, the aesthetics of the message were seamlessly and beautifully tuned. Down to the perfect, consistent website icons, the choice of font and colour, the placement…

    All of which provoked sneering from the progressiver-than-thous. Sign of hollowness (maybe), triumph for corporate marketing (you bet!), no serious progressive would think in these terms, no no. And yet: here we are.

  14. July 14, 2014

    mfi,

    Oh c’mon. I was working backwards from the present to the past based on your contention that the “American electorate and the citizenry at large prefer them (American radical right) to the American so-called left” which is why I mentioned Reagan being the last real rightwing POTUS being elected by the electorate that, according to you, supposedly prefers them.

    I went to the next level down and pointed out how the two chambers of Congress have vacilated control between the two majors parties over the recent years. Then you derided the vacilation, or the actual changed voting results, as irrelevant and lumped them all into The Authoritarian Party which is fine by me but undermines your point though it’s a neat trick. Sure, if you lump all the politicians of both major parties into one party and I suppose put “the left” outside of that of course you can then declare that “American electorate and the citizenry at large prefer….” because in that formulation Bernie Sanders might as well be Louie Gohmert.

    Also, how is saying that the radical right has done well at the state level telling myself a “comforting lie”? Wha…? There’s nothing comforting about that at all as control at the state level is incredibly important and probably has a bigger day to day impact on peoples lives than any other level of goverment.

    Anyway, by the generally used meaning of the term, the radical right’s overall electoral success has been so-so and whether the citizenry at large prefers them is even murkier. The big caveat is that they have been astoundingly good at marketing/media/propoganda which matters a lot.

    Your original contention was overblown. If you want to amend it by throwing all pols into an Authoritarian Party pot that’s fine by me because, as I said in my other post about the POTUSs, they are mostly a bad lot working off the same generally evil script but, the folks who are putting people of one party or the other into the various positions in and control of government may have a different understanding of the meaning of their votes and who they are voting for than you do.

  15. markfromireland permalink
    July 15, 2014

    @ Mandos July 14, 2014

    no serious progressive would think in these terms

    Except they’re neither serious nor progressive. They’re dilettantes. Useful fools, in that they’re a useful safety valve for your ruling class. I regret this as any political system where the political struggle — such as it is, consists of struggle between two wings of the same authoritarian orthodoxy is bad for the population. But the choices both of action and inaction that have allowed this was theirs. It was a taunt launched at others by Americans that a people gets the government they deserve. Yes indeed.

    mfi

  16. markfromireland permalink
    July 15, 2014

    @ ks July 14, 2014

    Reagan’s was the first Presidency to carry out neocon policies. Every single administration since then without exception has implemented out neocon policies. If you want to dispute that go ahead, none so blind as those who wantonly choose be blind.

    Your implication was that the radical right was only successful at the State level. I pointed out the truth of the matter.

    EOD

    mfi

  17. Dan H permalink
    July 15, 2014

    Oh now Mark, how can you BE so harsh!? You’re just not putting yourself in their shoes!

    Relativism is fun when you’re 12.

  18. Ian Welsh permalink*
    July 16, 2014

    The difference is simple enough: MFI has spent most of the last decade and a half trying to help the victims of America’s wars. See enough orphans, torture victims, amputees, rape victims, etc,etc… and relativism of that variety starts to lose its appeal. If America isn’t a functional democracy, then the blood of its victims cries out for its citizens to make it one. If they can’t do so, in part because they can’t be assed to do so, perhaps because the US military has the highest approval ratings of any institution in America, then maybe that’s because, at heart, they don’t really mind what the US has done, or is doing.

    If America still is a functional democracy despite the undenied influence of wealth and position, then Americans are already responsible for America’s crimes.

  19. Celsius 233 permalink
    July 16, 2014

    “If America still is a functional democracy despite the undenied influence of wealth and position, then Americans are already culpable for America’s crimes.” Ian

    That’s been my unwavering position since March 19, 2003. And on September 11, 2001, once I understood what had happened, the first word I uttered was; blowback. I was seriously warned not to say the too loudly or often outside of trusted company.
    This is truly one of the best blogs, period. Thanks.

  20. jcapan permalink
    July 16, 2014

    I’ve met survivors and descendants of victims of US incendiary bombing of Tokyo. Likewise, I know several Japanese Americans who were interned in out west, as well as their descendants. And for these crimes, I’ve felt both shame and guilt for what my country did (before I was born, mind you). Turning to our own lifetimes: Let’s say you travelled to present-day Chile and were confronted by former victims of torture under Pinochet or families of the “disappeared,” or if you were to encounter an Iraqi or Pakistani father who has lost a child to American bombs (authorized by warcriminals from both parties), how would you feel? I for one would be nearly paralyzed by shame and guilt at failing to prevent the horrors they’ve suffered through. That’s part of being a citizen. Such natural human reactions mean we too share in the responsibility.

  21. July 16, 2014

    I’ve met survivors and descendants of victims of US incendiary bombing of Tokyo. Likewise, I know several Japanese Americans who were interned in out west… jcapan

    I, too.

    I lived for years next to the ruins of a transit camp in California that had housed Japanese Americans on their way to and from the concentration camps on the interior. My high school chemistry teacher was a Japanese American survivor of the Tokyo firebombings (he was going to school in Japan when the War broke out and was trapped there for the duration.) I went for a time to a rural California elementary school where the majority of students were the children of internees.

    When they were interned, my mother took charge of the home and orchard of a Japanese-American family that had befriended her when she was really down and out, and she was outraged and outspoken about the injustice done to them, a gross injustice done in her name and that of United States of America. Many Californians felt likewise even during the worst of the Anti-”Jap” hysteria preceding and during the War.

    That hysteria was very consciously encouraged and sustained by men like Earl Warren, Jr., who was at the time the California Attorney General (he would go on to be governor, later still the well-known Supreme Court Chief Justice). He was by no means the only Californian in a position of power and influence to encourage the revival of virulent anti-Asian/anti-Japanese racism at the outbreak of the War. Practically the entirety of California’s elite and all of the media backed the return to racist anti-Japanese hysteria despite the fact that many Californians knew better, and would show they knew better after the War.

    Racism, among many other forms of division, serves the class interests of the elites — and California’s elites and media knew exactly what they were doing.

    But what’s the point in blaming the Californians who went along with them?

    Japanese Americans were not interned in Hawaii, don’t forget. Was that because ordinary Hawaiians stood in the way, or because the elites, the rulers of the islands and the military, saw no need or profit to them in doing so?

    My mother is someone who didn’t go along with California’s elites, she was outspoken against the internment of Japanese Americans, but there was almost nothing she could do about it, was there?

    Orders were orders, the law was the law, and there was a War on. She and others did what they could under the circumstances.

    Should they have done more? Perhaps, but if so, what?

    Or should the Japanese Americans who meekly lined up to go to the camps have fought back? (Some did fight back, by the way; they did not all go meekly, nor did they all accept their internment without resistance.)

    If you’re going to cast responsibility downwards rather than focus it where it belongs, then shouldn’t those who went to the camps blamed as well?

    Well, I reject that. It wasn’t their fault. Nor was it the fault of the many Californians who rejected the anti-Japanese hysterics of the time, nor was it the fault of the many Californians who fell for the hysterics and propaganda. It was the fault and the responsibility of those who created and sustained the hysteria and propaganda, including Earl Warren — who seemed to understand eventually that he had done a terrible thing as California Attorney General and subsequently tried to make amends.

  22. July 16, 2014

    I’ve met survivors and descendants of victims of US incendiary bombing of Tokyo.

    How about survivors and descendants of victims of the Japanese Rape of Nanking? So let me get this straight — you feel shame and guilt the Americans didn’t allow further Rapes of Nankings by firebombing Tokyo and other Japanese cities. Where was the responsibility of all these Japanese you felt sorry for when their boys were raping and murdering with reckless abandon in China? Or is it only White people who should feel shame and guilt, and all other colors are granted immunity because, well, because they’re inferior and “we” have to accommodate that gap with shame and guilt if “we” take advantage of “our” superiority?


    Why Japan Is Still Not Sorry Enough

    Keen observers know that Japan’s ugly territorial disputes with its neighbors aren’t really about fishing grounds or oil and gas reserves or ancient historical claims. What they’re about is that the Japanese still – still – won’t admit they did anything wrong during the Second World War or during their long colonial rule in Asia.

    It’s quite clear Japan is still a screwed up society and it’s not properly reconciled its horrendous actions during World War II. I find it difficult to feel sorry for those who can’t feel sorry. The soldiers who took part in the Rape of Nanking, and some are still alive, are completely unapologetic for their direct actions in that horrible war crime (one of so many). In fact, they’re heroes, not butchers.

  23. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    @ Dan H July 15, 2014

    You have a pleasing sense of wit. Always nice to interact with somebody who is aware that of the fact that ‘irony’ does not mean “tasting of iron” and writes accordingly. You’re right about their mental age ‘though. Twelve years old and tribalist to their core a combination that’s entirely understandable in a child but in an adult manages to be pathetic and disgusting simultaneously. They should take Paul of Tarsus’ advice:

    When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.

    mfi

  24. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    @ Celsius 233 July 16, 2014 At present America isn’t a well-functioning democracy and it’s arguable whether it ever was such. I think it more accurate to say that it started out as a republic with functional elements of representative democracy that were in turn parts of a system of checks and balances. What it has degenerated into is an oligarchy with increasingly dysfunctional checks and balances including an increasingly dysfunctional electoral system. But it got that way because its citizenry chose to allow their ruling class to seize ever more resources and power. If you want to be a citizen of a reasonably functional liberal democratic state then you MUST fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a citizen of such a state. Americans including ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ Americans aren’t willing to do that and therefore share in the culpability of their rulers.

    mfi

  25. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    @ Celsius 233 July 16, 2014 Agreed that this is a good site in fact come the day of the glorious counter-revolution I’ll be nominating Ian for the newly created position of Spokespope. :-)

    mfi

  26. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    @ jcapan July 16, 2014

    I for one would be nearly paralyzed by shame and guilt at failing to prevent the horrors they’ve suffered through. That’s part of being a citizen. Such natural human reactions mean we too share in the responsibility.

    Understandable as it shows you’re a decent human being. However guilt only arises to the extent someone is culpable. If somebody tried but failed to prevent these atrocities then while they may have feelings of guilt they do not have culpability.

    It’s a problem that first responders often have. “If only I’d got there quicker I could have …” I’ve seen some very fine people have nervous breakdowns for just this reason. The cumulative despair that you couldn’t do more can break you if you let it.

    mfi

  27. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    @ Ché Pasa July 16, 2014

    Your mother sounds like a very brave woman. Courage – especially the sort of moral courage that can put you in danger is rather rare. As you say – there was almost nothing she could. But almost nothing is not the same as nothing and that which she could do she did. If the majority of people would do just a little, the little they can do, their society and lives would be far better and fairer places.

    That is all takes a lot of people doing not very much individually but rather a lot collectively.

    mfi

  28. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    Back on topic. A few days ago Elias Farhat wrote an article for As-Safir in which he discussed who exactly were ISIL’s allies (see: As-Safir July 11th 2014″Who are ISIL’s allies?” http://assafir.com/Article/20/360602 )
    His purpose is to highlight the Turkish role in what he says is a de facto alliance with Da’ash (hereafter ISIL):

    1. That prior to invading Iraq, ISIL reached an agreement with the Turkish government allowing the Turks to guard the tomb of Suleiman Shah (Suleiman Shah was the founder of the Ottoman state’s grandfather) and that this access includes unfettered access through ISIL checkpoints to replacement units.
    2. That ISIL freed forty Turkish lorry drivers who they detailed in Mosul but killed twelve Arab Sunni imams in Mosul for refusing to pledge allegiance.
    3. That even prior to their invasion of Irak that ISIL in Syria had shown they had a very sophisticated comms set-up and (he implies) that this was supplied by Turkey.
    4. That the new military equipment especially transport that ISIL needed to mount its seizure of Iraki territory all came either through Turkish ports and then transported through Turkish checkpoints or were supplied directly by Turkey.
    5. That about 14,000 ISIL figthers are currently being treated in medical facilities in Turkey set up by the Turkish military for that purpose. In other words that isn’t for humanitarian reasons it’s a political decision. (He says it very bluntly وهذه ليست مهمة إنسانية تركية، بل قرار سياسي بإخلاء الجرحى الى المستشفيات التركية. ) .
    6. That ISIL has seized Syrian oil fields and is selling the oil to Turkish oil distilleries all of which are either owned directly by the Turkish government or fall under its authority.

    Interesting article from a normally very shrewd and well-informed commentator and one that highlights an all too often neglected feature of this fight particularly amongst the it’s ‘all America’s doing’ school of analysis. Local actors are entirely capable of acting on their own initiative and in pursuit of their own goals and interests. The Turks could have choked ISIL to death a long time ago by simply interdicting their supply lines. Instead they’ve been actively helping ISIL from the start and they continue to do so. The real driver behind ISIL is the Turks rather than the Saudis, GCC donors, and the Americans. The problem they will soon face however is that the ISIL successes in Irak mean that the Turks will no longer be able to kill them off by chopping off their ‘tail’.

    mfi

  29. July 16, 2014

    But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.

    Translation: Put the toy plastic squirt gun in the closet and get yourself a Kalashnikov.

  30. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    July 16, 2014

    mfi

    Would you know some reputable NGO that is getting assistance to ME refugees? I wish to avoid the usual suspects such as the UN WFP, Red Cross, etc., or those either serving political agendas or themselves. Reports such as:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-conflict-how-millions-of-pounds-of-western-aid-destined-for-the-needy-is-falling-into-hands-of-isis-9610491.html
    place themselves out of consideration for receiving support, no assurances can be made the aid is delivered as proposed. The UN WFP is more interested in filling my inbox with the latest emergency need, no telling how much is left over after UN salaries are deducted for helping the alleged needy. I would have asked on most recent post but a colderasshole contaminated the comments already. Thanks.

  31. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    @ Formerly T-Bear July 16, 2014

    I hate to say this but there really isn’t one – not in Syria not at present, in that respect it’s worse than Irak at it’s worst during the war of the death squads. We’ve now stopped, too many colleagues killed or abducted never to be heard of again in particular over the last few months.

    The best of a bad lot is probably CAFOD ( http://www.cafod.org.uk/About-Us/Where-we-work/Middle-East/Syria ) but they’re an explicitly Catholic charity which for obvious reasons doesn’t both me but may disturb you.

    My fear and it keeps me awake at night and keeps my stomach clenched in dread is that what we’re seeing in Syria is the future for Irak too. The final and complete subversion of humanitarian relief into a war-effort isn’t far behind. It makes me want to puke but I think it’s where we’re headed. Some good news is that we managed successfully to evacuate all our orphans in Mosul without even one death amongst them which I’m very proud of but it also means that the street kids we were feeding are now going to be dependent on Da’ash for food and that food will come at a price.

    Wish I could be more optimistic and more helpful but I can’t.

    mfi

  32. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    @ Formerly T-Bear July 16, 2014

    PS: Agreed about the latest troll. I didn’t think it’d be possible to miss marocobama but bless his scaley hide at least his regular meltdowns were amusing in a pitiable kind of way. The current one is deathly dull, it just wanks itself in public grunting monotonously as it does so. I’m considering organising a sponsored troll drive – surely there has to be one good one left.

    mfi

    PPS: for “but they’re an explicitly Catholic charity which for obvious reasons doesn’t both me but may disturb you. ” please read “but they’re an explicitly Catholic charity which for obvious reasons doesn’t bother me but may disturb you”.

    Really I should proofread better.

    m

  33. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    July 16, 2014

    mfi

    Thanks for trying, I sort of feared that was the case. I will look into your suggestion though since there are Catholic populations there, they may be able to reach out as well should they have the resources to the neediest of their neighbours as well. Though of Protestant heritage, I’ve never been harmed by anyone Catholic, that’s a division having little weight. I will look into that possibility anon. My form of dyslexia put your dropped letters to right, not to worry over proofreading.

  34. markfromireland permalink
    July 16, 2014

    @ Formerly T-Bear July 16, 2014

    I’ve done a lot of work with CAFOD in the past and they’re very principled about not making sectarian distinctions in who they help, in my experience they’ve not been subverted into being an arm of the State or de facto government in a particular piece of territory. Would that the same could be said of some of the better known charities/humanitarian agencies. (And thank you for caring enough to try to take some action to relieve the misery).

    mfi

  35. July 16, 2014

    And thank you for caring enough to try to take some action to relieve the misery

    Yes, thank you, but as we’ve learned, and mfi has emphatically underscored, caring is not enough. Your’re culpable and responsible and you will be part of the reckoning I’m afraid, regardless of how much you’ve donated and will donate. Calling people trolls on the internet doesn’t cut it. You’ll have to do better than that if you want amnesty from the coming reckoning.

    By the way, can Formerly T-Bear and mfi provide links to their updated blogs? I’d like to read their blog posts and see who they are and what they really have to say in depth, not just this gangster-style drive-by sniping they like to engage in at other blog venues. If you don’t have blogs of your own, you dare to call any other a troll? Trolls don’t have blogs of their own where they can back up what they say elsewhere. Feel free to visit my blog and have the temerity to say what you say here there. I don’t censor, but I’d be more than happy to rake you over the coals without having my comments censored. I take great pride in sticking it hard and deep to impostors, and I’d appreciate both of you allowing me that opportunity on a neutral playing field.

  36. Ian Welsh permalink*
    July 16, 2014

    As noted elsewhere, I deleted one comment purportedly from Cold but littered with Morrocco Bama’s obsessions, and over-wrote another, with a note. I’ll leave the above one standing for now, but will be deleting as I please going forward.

  37. Celsius 233 permalink
    July 16, 2014

    Ian Welsh PERMALINK*
    July 16, 2014
    As noted elsewhere, I deleted one comment purportedly from Cold but littered with Morrocco Bama’s obsessions, and over-wrote another, with a note. I’ll leave the above one standing for now, but will be deleting as I please going forward.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yes please, enough already.

    @mfi
    Thanks for your informed comments, always well worth their effort.

  38. jcapan permalink
    July 16, 2014

    Appreciate the long, thoughtful comment, and I think what MFI said in response can stand in for my own views of what your mother did.

    And generally I agree that responsibility, the lion’s share of the blame should be apportioned to those in power, then or now. And I’m aware that 130 comments later that this may be distracting from that admirable, ever-challenging pursuit, but I can’t really buy the degree of moral absolution you seem to be pushing. Your mother, those few like her and indeed the historical record says they were few, sure.

    “But what’s the point in blaming the Californians who went along with them?”

    If their lesser fascism is to just be wiped clean that’s where you lose me. Should their blame equal Warren’s. Perhaps not, but they are certainly guilty of heinous crimes in their own right, against their god or human conscience. Because racists held power in most southern state houses during the civil rights era, does that absolve rank and file members of the clan who lynched blacks. What of our Nobel-winning drone assassin, who may have received votes from some of us here, do we not share in blame for validating his crimes?

    “Orders were orders, the law was the law, and there was a War on.”

    Sure, and if I led Nazi butchers to Jews hiding in my barn, there’d be no need for atonement. My hands would be spotless. I guess I can’t quite get around to that way of looking at it, however much the architects of such obscene policies deserve the bulk of the blame.

    Absolving those who are complicit is an insult to your own mother’s fine example. What of the Freedom Marchers, abolitionists or war protesters of generations past–if their relatively inactive peers are not to be condemned, why bother to praise their sacrifice. If collectively we’re not at least marginally to blame, why then should are some of us so obviously worthy of praise.

  39. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    July 17, 2014

    markfromireland 16 July 2014

    FYI: Unfortunately was unable to donate at your link, will look into alternative means. At least some independent NGO assistance is available not linked to political agendas. The problem appears to stem from anti-moneylaundrying conditions politically inspired.

  40. July 17, 2014

    mfi,

    “Reagan’s was the first Presidency to carry out neocon policies. Every single administration since then without exception has implemented out neocon policies. If you want to dispute that go ahead, none so blind as those who wantonly choose be blind.

    Your implication was that the radical right was only successful at the State level. I pointed out the truth of the matter.

    EOD

    mfi”

    What are you talking about? You’ve done sone good work and have some good thoughts but goodness you can be a pompous ninny at times. I didn’t and don’t dispute ANYTHING about Reagan and I’m well aware of what he represented and “launched”. I simply mentioned him as an example of rightwing electoral success at the POTUS level. Now if you want to wave your magic wand and lump everybody who came after him into the same bucket, have at it.

    Also, I made no such “state only” implication. Your willfull misreading of my original and subsequent comments is rather odd. You seem to be arguing based on your own fixed ideas which I tend to agree with, rather than what I’ve said.

    Oh well…EOD indeed.

  41. July 17, 2014

    @jcapan

    Placing responsibility where it belongs, rather than pushing it ever downwards — as we’re seeing, for example, in the case of the Israeli assault on Gaza, all the way down to the littlest victims themselves — is not “absolving” or wiping clean the moral responsibility of everyone else. It’s merely pointing out that there’s little or no comparison between the responsibility of the masses for their passivity or acceptance, and the responsibility of the rulers and elites for their own crimes and those they enable.

    It’s too easy to broad brush all members of a group — or nation — for the crimes of some, but it is a practice certain members of the elites engage in all the time, with the effect, if not the intention, of absolving themselves from any culpability, especially in the case of “democracies.” “It’s not my fault, it’s the fault of those fools who elected so-and-so.”

    Earl Warren wasn’t elected to put the “Japs” in the camps any more than Obama was elected to continue to neo-con/neo-lib wars of aggression. So I believe there’s no point to blaming the California or national electorate for actions of the elites and rulers they were not intending when they cast their vote, nor is it particularly useful to make believe that electoral politics has more than marginal effects on policies.

    My mother took a stand against the internment of Japanese-Americans, but she was by no means alone. However, she and they didn’t have the power to thwart it. Those orders stood and would stand through the War no matter what she or they did. Nor did those who went along with them have the power to thwart them if they had wanted to.

    Those who did have the power in Hawaii chose not to be fools and pander to racist animosity. So, there was no general Japanese American internment in Hawaii, despite the clamor from some Anglo racists in the Islands and on the Mainland. There were a handful of camps, but they never held more than 2% of the Japanese-ancestry population of Hawaii.

    Those who passively accept atrocity and criminality by their rulers and their elites are responsible for their passivity and acceptance, but they are not in general responsible for the atrocities and crimes their rulers commit. Nor do they necessarily have a voice — at least not through the standard democratic processes — in setting policies that result in those crimes and atrocities. Blaming them for the crimes of their rulers gets nowhere; in my view, it’s completely counterproductive.

    But then, for some of the elites, the whole point is to off-load responsibility so as to absolve themselves from their own responsibility.

    Those who hold and wield the power are the ones responsible for the atrocities and crimes of the states, the oligarchies, and the elites who serve them. Those below them who commit crimes and atrocities are responsible for what they actually do.

    Those who are passive are responsible for their passivity, not the crimes of those who commit them.

    Praising those activists who fight injustice, atrocity and high status criminality doesn’t require denouncing those who are not so active, nor does it mean that the culpability for injustice primarily rests with ordinary people. Saying that it does comes close to justifying the kind of collective punishment that’s routinely imposed on the inmates of Gaza or the West Bank.

    I reject that utterly.

  42. jcapan permalink
    July 17, 2014

    Again, I appreciate the response. For my own part, I reject this all or nothing approach. But I’ll let you have the last word.

  43. Dan H permalink
    July 17, 2014

    I can’t think of any “atrocities” actually performed by any elites. Getting down in the mud for such evil kinda negates the elite status part… there’s an undeniable partnership that allows “atrocities” to happen.

  44. Dan H permalink
    July 17, 2014

    Which is to echo Ian’s point on military approval, and I’d extend it to consideration of the number of people willing to be cops in this country.

  45. Dan H permalink
    July 17, 2014

    And as my friend pointed out to me recently, firemen and paramedics do a hell of a job for the medical services industry by forcing ambulance rides and hospitalizations. The rot is deep.

  46. July 18, 2014

    @jcapan

    I reject this all or nothing approach

    I wish I knew what “all or nothing approach” you were referring to. It’s not mine.

    I’ve tried to make clear that I don’t absolve those who commit injustice or atrocity. They are responsible for their injustices and atrocities. And I don’t absolve who passively allow others to commit atrocity and injustice. They are responsible for their passivity. Where I draw the line, however, is in blaming or putting moral responsibility on ordinary people for the crimes committed by their rulers and the elites who serve them.

    That’s not” all or nothing,” it’s appropriate proportionality.

    Nothing positive for ordinary people is gained by placing responsibility or blame on the least among us for the crimes and injustices of those who actually wield power. That’s how you get situations like the constant murder/summary executions of the homeless and mentally ill by police in this country, that’s how you get such an appalling level of imprisonment, that’s how you get the horrors taking place in Gaza today, and that’s how you find the victims of the global financial meltdown blamed for their own plight.

    It’s wrong. Fundamentally wrong.

  47. Dan H permalink
    July 20, 2014

    Arthur Silber highlighted this from Hannah Arendt in his piece here, http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/12/honor-of-being-human-why-do-you-support.html

    “In our context, all that matters is the insight that no man, however strong, can ever accomplish anything, good or bad, without the help of others. What you have here is the notion of an equality which accounts for a “leader” who is never more than primus inter pares, the first among his peers. Those who seem to obey him actually support him and his enterprise; without such “obedience” he would be helpless, whereas in the nursery or under conditions of slavery — the two spheres in which the notion of obedience made sense and from which it was then transposed into political matters — it is the child or the slave who becomes helpless if he refuses to “cooperate.” Even in a strictly bureaucratic organization, with its fixed hierarchical order, it would make much more sense to look upon the functioning of the “cogs” and wheels in terms of overall support for a common enterprise than in our usual terms of obedience to superiors. If I obey the laws of the land, I actually support its constitution, as becomes glaringly obvious in the case of revolutionaries and rebels who disobey because they have withdrawn this tacit consent.

    In these terms, the nonparticipators in public life under a dictatorship are those who have refused their support by shunning those places of “responsibility” where such support, under the name of obedience, is required. And we have only for a moment to imagine what would happen to any of these forms of government if enough people would act “irresponsibly” and refuse support, even without active resistance and rebellion, to see how effective a weapon this could be. It is in fact one of the many variations of nonviolent action and resistance — for instance the power that is potential in civil disobedience — which are being discovered in our century. The reason, however, that we can hold these new criminals, who never committed a crime out of their own initiative, nevertheless responsible for what they did is that there is no such thing as obedience in political and moral matters. The only domain where the word could possibly apply to adults who are not slaves is the domain of religion, in which people say that they obey the word or the command of God because the relationship between God and man can rightly be seen in terms similar to the relation between adult and child.

    Hence the question addressed to those who participated and obeyed orders should never be, “Why did you obey?” but “Why did you support?” This change of words is no semantic irrelevancy for those who know the strange and powerful influence mere “words” have over the minds of men who, first of all, are speaking animals. Much would be gained if we could eliminate this pernicious word “obedience” from our vocabulary of moral and political thought. If we think these matters through, we might regain some measure of self-confidence and even pride, that is, regain what former times called the dignity or the honor of man: not perhaps of mankind but of the status of being human.”

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