Monday, 23 November 2015

The Management of Savagery: The Baathist Blueprint for ISIS

This post in its entirety is re-published in a summarized form from an article by John Glaser published in Newsweek on 11/21/15

ISIS has its origins in the Sunni insurgency following the invasion of Iraq by the George W. Bush administration. This gave rise to Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which eventually split from core Al Qaeda, in part because of its shocking violence towards other Muslims.

The Management of #Savagery: The #Baathist Blueprint for ISISIt is the opinion of some that it is highly ironic that...

Posted by TMG Corporate Services on Monday, November 23, 2015

In or about 2006 AQI leaders published a book called The Management of Savagery. It laid out a strategy of employing spectacular acts of brutality and displaying them across media platforms in order to goad Western powers into ground wars in the Middle East.

This took notice of the jihadi lesson of the guerrilla war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, that this was the only way they could do any real damage to a great power like the U.S.

AQI, like ISIS now, includes in its highest ranks former Baathist members of Saddam Hussein’s military apparatus, who joined the militant group after the Bush administration’s de-Baathification policies and after the U.S.-backed sectarian regime in Baghdad proved unwilling to include Sunnis in government.

It is the opinion of some that it is highly ironic that those calling for a hardline interventionist approach to ISIS are unwittingly falling into ISIS’s trap.

Nicolas Hénin, a French citizen who escaped from the captivity of ISIS, said military intervention is “what ISIS wants.”

They attacked Paris, Hénin wrote recently, “knowing all too well that the attack would force us to keep bombing or even to intensify these counterproductive attacks.”

An intensified air war or ground invasion to battle ISIS would be incredibly costly and has a high likelihood of yielding counterproductive blowback and unintended consequences.

But more than that, it’s the very approach that will give the struggling terrorist group a new lease on life. Nothing could be better for their recruitment than a renewed battle with the Crusaders.

So, is it in our interest to entangle ourselves in another complicated and vicious Middle Eastern war that has little chance of success and high chances of making everything worse? No, probably not but doing nothing is not an option either.

Acknowledgments & References:
John Glaser Master’s degree candidate in International Security at George Mason University.
See full article here

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Weak-willed West needs to aggressively assert its values

The bullets were still flying. People were still being killed. Yet even as the atrocity in Paris was unfolding in front of a horrified live TV audience, the appeasers, the justifiers and the outright sympathisers were quick to rush to the ramparts to engage in their own uniquely warped form of victim blaming .
This wasn't a savage assault on the Western way of life perpetrated by Medieval savages. It was a response to the nasty West and our interfering ways. As Mick Wallace infamously put it: "So terrible for the victims but when is France going to stop it's (sic) role in the militarisation of the planet?"
A tweet more suited to a 15-year-old kid who has just read Noam Chomsky and now insists on viewing everything through the prism of reflexive anti-Western sentiment that permeates the intellectual and political elites of the West; it showcased a perverse cultural self-loathing which rarely places the responsibility for Islamist crimes on the Islamist killers.
Wallace was hardly unique in this sentiment and it was hardly a surprise that Clare Daly, Clyde to his Bonny, would immediately endorse her friend's idiotic message.
Wallace and Daly's tweets were made notable only by the fact that they are both elected representatives of our national parliament, but anyone who has given their respective careers even a cursory glance would have known to expect no better.
They were not alone in their opinion. By midnight on Friday, 'The Guardian' was running pieces warning against Islamophobia and fretting about increased attacks on Muslims (there have been none). Salon used the attack to blame the Republicans and Fox News and we saw the emergence of 'grief hipsters' who tut-tutted at anybody who was shocked by the Paris attacks because, y'know, there was a suicide bombing in Beirut a few days earlier and people weren't as upset by that as they were by the events on Friday night. Then we were bombarded by chin-stroking poseurs telling us that not all Muslims were terrorists and the rise of Islamic extremism was a direct consequence of disastrous interventionist policies in the Middle East and culturally insensitive laws here in Europe.
We were told that this form of genocidal fascism is merely the last resort of an oppressed minority.
It's all rubbish.
The cause of Islamic extremism is Islamic extremism. Everything else is just a convenient detail for the eunuchs in the West to justify something that baffles them.
Isil is merely the logical conclusion of a brand of expansionist, murderously intolerant Islam which makes the Khmer Rouge look like a book club. In fact, Isil's own brand of cultural Year Zero owes more to the Khmer than it does to the Nazis, who are the most frequently used historical analogy.
Take all the usual weasel words and justifications for the actions of Isil and discount them as reasons for these attacks. We could remove all kuffar from Muslim lands and bulldoze Israel into the sea and it still wouldn't placate Isil.
After all, did they blame the Palestinian situation for the attack on the Eagles of Death Metal gig? No, they targeted that show because it was: "A place where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice." Not only that, but they used religious texts to support and justify their attack.
Moderate Muslims may not like the way their religion is being used, but it is being used nonetheless and the supporters of Isil would be quick to argue that, actually, the 'moderates' are the ones who are betraying the faith.
These are people who still execute anyone accused of sorcery, as do their fellow travellers in explicitly Islamic terror groups such as al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, Boko Haram and the al-Nusra Front.
This is the aspect that Europe's Left is too terrified to confront - Isil and their supporters don't hate us because of geopolitical differences. They hate us because we don't share their religion and they want to bring everyone back to the Bronze Age.
Unreasonable, but not irrational, there is a logic to their actions which, while undoubtedly twisted, is easily understood - convert or die. That remains a concept which a weak-willed West, with all its visceral self-hatred and internecine bickering, is ill-suited to fight.
We can fret about the potential rise of Islamic extremism in this country and fool ourselves into thinking that we are immune. But why should we be uniquely exempt from other European countries?
Extremism doesn't even have to be violent to have an impact. Extremism can be seen in Muslim clerics who, post-'Charlie Hebdo', threatened prosecution of anyone who reprinted the offending cartoons.
Extremism is seen on Irish campuses where Shariah-spouting whackjobs are given a round of applause while anyone espousing liberal, Western values is shouted down as a racist - assuming they are allowed to speak in the first place.
The terrifying truth is not the strength of Isil's convictions, but the weakness of ours.
Put simply, they want it more than we do and until we start to aggressively assert Western values in Western countries, is it any wonder that they despise us?
Frankly, I can't say I blame them.
Acknowledgements: Lifted in its entirety from an article in The Irish Independent by Ian O'Doherty at 
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/ian-odoherty/weakwilled-west-needs-to-aggressively-assert-its-values-to-defeat-isil-fanatics-34211503.html

Sunday, 15 November 2015

So you "Stand with France"?


Please note: This article was inspired by the LinkedIn post by Peter Coffman, Student at Command and General Staff College

What happened in Paris, France last week was an act of war by Radical Islam against the West. A declaration made by ISIS on behalf of myriad well known terrorist groupings, their franchisees and all their adherents (a significant portion of whom live in the West).

This is not a well defined enemy denoted by geographic borders with a clear set of strategic targets to be overrun to ensure their defeat. The enemy and the objectives which motivate them are mind bending in their complexity and they are global, see a small subset below:

Abu Sayyaf, Philippines; Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Egypt; Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Gaza Strip and West Bank; Al-Shabaab, Somalia; Al-Qaeda, Global; Ansar al-Islam, Iraq; Armed Islamic Group (GIA), Algeria; Boko Haram, Nigeria; Caucasus Emirate (IK), Russia; East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), China; Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Egypt; Great Eastern Islamic Raiders' Front (IBDA-C), Turkey; Hamas, Gaza Strip and West Bank; Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Alami, Pakistan; Hezbollah, Lebanon; Islamic Movement of Central Asia, Central Asia; Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan; Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Iraq and Syria; Jaish-e-Mohammed, Pakistan and Kashmir; Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna, Iraq; Jemaah Islamiyah, Indonesia; Lashkar-e-Taiba, Pakistan and Kashmir; Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Pakistan; Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Philippines; Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, Morocco and Europe; Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Gaza Strip and West Bank; Tawhid and Jihad, Iraq.

And now, caught in a moment of outrage, the public demand action and ask "how has it come to this?"

People would do well to remember the following:

1. You think something should be done about ISIS. Its high time, right? So who is going to do it? You? Probably not. Less than 1% of America joined up to fight in the last 20 years. So remember what it means when you say "we" should go to war. You are sending others.

2. So they go … then two months later, you are into the latest that the Kardashian's are doing. You lose interest. The West does not have the stomach to see it through and leaves early, or the public hamstring the military into unachievable political goals for the sake of appeasement (which never worked before) or (insert random thing here).

3. While the military are there, they will need things. Things like money and lots of it to bring the military to where it needs to be to wage effective war after a decade of cutbacks.  Why? Because the politicians you voted for have stripped down the military and Army to balance the budget (instead of removing funds from more logical areas). The US military was supposed to be able to fight two wars in two places at once. Now they cannot.

4. To tackle the enemy within - Western governments will need greater central powers - mass surveillance, erosion of civil liberties, closure of borders, restrictions on free travel, checkpoints and so on. Powers that must be surrendered by the military and the state when the fight is over. Safeguarding the future of our open societies post conflict is as important as defeating the jihadists thugs.

5. While war is waged, people will die. You may become upset that civilians died, or soldiers, or cats and dogs, or (insert random thing here). Really? It is war. Have realistic expectations and understand that collateral damage is a fact of life during conflict.

6. Free speech for those ISIS apologists, recruiters, illegal immigrant facilitators, anti-war movements and so on must be suppressed during this time. You are either on our side or you are the enemy. These are the standards that have always applied when a nation is fighting for its survival. You cannot "half" wage war.

7. ISIS is one thing, but Russia, China and Iran have been emboldened by the disastrous foreign policy of the Obama administration. The West does not have enough manpower to tackle these adversaries and a global terrorist network - be careful what you mandate your elected representatives to do during this emotional time but most importantly accept that your direct participation may be required.

8. Pay attention and stay informed. You know more about your favourite football team or movie star than you do about how Radical Islam has been allowed to flourish on your doorstep and within your communities. If they succeed - football and the movies is not on the Radical Islamists Sharia playbook of acceptable pastimes for you.

9. The geopolitical imperatives surrounding the problems in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya and the national security impact of the refugee crisis in Europe escape the vast majority of the public. Merkel, Pope Francis and other ultra liberals have compromised your safety and will continue to do so unless they are halted. Get educated on the issues and the real threat that Radical Islam poses to your way of life and allow yourself to make better decisions and comment intelligently without pandering to the most simplistic ultra-liberal lowest common denominator that has landed you in this mess in the first place.

10. And after all of that, if you decide to hobble the military politically and socially instead of concentrating on allowing them to train for and execute a war in a strategic manner, then when the next Paris occurs (and it will - soon and on an ongoing basis) then consider yourself as culpable in this as those crazed radical islamist jihadi gangs who slaughtered hundreds of innocents last week while they sat unarmed in the theatre, restaurant or bar.

Get some perspective.