Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Kobani Precedent :: Spyer in Jerusalem Report

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The Kobani Precedent

by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Report
March 25, 2015
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A Syrian Kurdish fighter stands guard atop the rubble of a liberated Kobani.
Recently, I attempted to undertake a reporting trip into the Kurdish Kobani enclave in northern Syria. It would not have been my first visit to Syria or Kobani. For the first time, however, I found myself unable to enter. Instead, I spent a frustrating but, as it turns out, instructive four days waiting in the border town of Suruc in southeast Turkey before running out of time and going home.
The episode was instructive because of what it indicated regarding the extent to which Kurdish control in the enclaves – established in mid-2012 – is now a fact acknowledged by all neighboring players, including the enemies of the Kurds. This in itself has larger lessons regarding US and western policy in Syria and Iraq.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. First, let me complete the account of the episode on the border.
My intention had been to enter Kobani "illegally" with the help of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and local smugglers. This sounds more exciting than it is. I have entered Syria in a similar way half a dozen times over the past two years, to the extent that it has become a not very pleasant but mundane procedure. This time, however, something was different. I was placed in a local center with a number of other Westerners waiting to make the trip. Then, it seemed, we were forgotten.
The Westerners themselves were an interesting bunch whose varied presence was an indication of the curious pattern by which the Syrian Kurdish cause has entered public awareness in the West.
There was a group of European radical leftists, mainly Italians, who had come after being inspired by stories of the "Rojava revolution," the egalitarian, multi-ethnic mini-state run on communal lines forged out of the chaos of the Syrian civil war.
A little noted element of the control by the Syrian franchise of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) of de facto sovereign areas of Syria has been the interest this has generated in the circles of the Western radical left. These circles are ever on the lookout for something that allows their politics to encounter reality in a way that does not bring immediate and obvious disaster. As of now, "Rojava," given the leftist credentials of the PKK, is playing this role. So, the Europeans in question wanted to "contribute" to what they called the "revolution."
Leftists around the world have enthusiastically supported the Syrian Kurdish cause, but few who have arrived in Kobani have picked up a gun.
Unfortunately, their preferred mode of support was leading to a situation of complete mutual bewilderment between themselves and the local Kurds. Offered military training by their hosts, the radical leftists demurred. They would not hold a gun for Rojava before they had seen it and been persuaded that it did indeed represent the peoples' revolution they hoped for.
Instead, they had a plan for the rebuilding of Kobani along sustainable and environmentally friendly lines, using natural materials. In addition, the health crisis and shortage of medicines in the devastated enclave led the radicals to believe that this might offer an appropriate context for popularizing various items of alternative and naturopathic medicine about which they themselves were enthusiastic. (I'm not making any of this up.)
European leftists on the scene were more interested in popularizing alternative and naturopathic medicine than fighting.
All this had elicited the predictable reaction from the Kurds who were trying to manage a humanitarian disaster and a determined attempt by murderous jihadis to destroy them.
"Perhaps you could do the military training first and then we could talk about the other stuff?" suggested Fawzia, the nice and helpful representative of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the political home of the YPG militia, who was responsible for us. This led to further impassioned and theatrical responses from the Italians.
Apart from this crowd, there was a seasoned Chilean war reporter who looked on the leftists with impatience. He was hoping to get down to the frontlines south of Kobani where the YPG was trying to cut the road from Raqqa to Aleppo at an important point close to the Euphrates. Also, there was a polite and friendly lone American, a Baptist Christian, who had come to volunteer his services to the YPG. That was us.
But, as the days passed, it became clear that none of us appeared to be getting anywhere near Kobani any time soon.
The reasons given for the delay were plentiful, and unconvincing. "It is the weather," Fawzia would say vaguely, "too much mud." But, the presence of mud on the border in February was hardly a new development, so this couldn't be the reason.
Finally, frustrated at the lack of information, I called a PKK friend based in Europe and asked for his help in finding out why we weren't moving. He got back to me a little later. "It seems the Turkish army is all over the border, more than usual. That's the reason," he told me.
This was more plausible, if disappointing. After four days on the border, I was out of time and set off back for Gaziantep and then home. The Italians went to Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey to take part in a demonstration. The Chilean and the American volunteer stayed and waited.

An Unexpected Partnership

When I got back to Jerusalem, all rapidly became clear.
Hundreds of Turkish troops entered Syria on February 21 to relocate the remains of Suleiman Shah, the grandfather of the Ottoman Empire's founder.
News reports were coming in about a large operation conducted by the Turkish army through Kobani and into Syria. The operation involved the evacuation of the Turkish garrison at the tomb of Suleiman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, south of the enclave. The American volunteer sent me a picture of the Turkish tanks on tank transporters driving though Suruc at the conclusion of the operation.
This operation was astonishing on a number of levels.
Despite stern Turkish denials, it could only have been carried out on the basis of full cooperation between the Turkish armed forces and the Kurdish fighters of the YPG in Kobani. Obviously, any unauthorized entry of Turkish troops into the Kurdish canton would have meant an armed battle.
During the fight for Kobani last year, the Turkish government was very clearly quite content for the enclave to fall. The Turkish army waited on the border as the prospect of a generalized slaughter of the Kurds in Kobani came close to realization.
The partnering of US air power with Kurdish YPG forces delivered the first real defeat to the Islamic State in Syria.
But, of course, the slaughter didn't happen. In the end, the partnering of US air power with the competent and determined forces of the YPG on the ground delivered the first real defeat to the forces of the Islamic State in Syria.
This effective partnering has continued, and has now become the main military element in northern Syria in the battle against IS.
The combination of the YPG and the USAF is now nudging up to a second strategic achievement against the jihadis – namely, the cutting off of the road from Tel Hamis to the town of al-Houl on the Iraqi border. This road forms one of the main transport arteries linking IS conquests in Iraq to its heartland in the Syrian province of Raqqa. If the links are cut, the prospect opens for the splitting of the Islamic State into a series of disconnected enclaves.
The YPG-US partnership is particularly noteworthy given that the YPG is neither more nor less than the Syrian representative of the PKK. The latter, meanwhile, is a veteran presence on the US and EU lists of terror organizations. Despite a faltering peace process, the PKK remains in conflict with Turkey, a member of NATO.
But the reality of the Kurdish-US alliance in northern Syria has clearly now been accepted by the Turks as an unarguable fait accompli to the extent that they are now evidently willing to work together with the armed Syrian Kurds when their interests require it.
The Kurdish-US alliance in northern Syria has been accepted by the Turks as an unarguable fait accompli.
It is an astonishing turnabout in the fortunes of the Kurds of Syria who, before 2011, constituted one of the region's most brutally oppressed and most forgotten minority populations.
This raises the question as to why this reversal of fortune has taken place. Why is the YPG the chosen partner of the Americans in northern Syria, just as the Kurdish Pesh Merga further east is one of the preferred partners on the ground in Iraq?
The answer to this is clear, but not encouraging. It is because, in both countries, the only reliable, pro-Western and militarily effective element on the ground is that of the Kurds.
Consider: In northern Syria, other than IS forces, there are three other elements of real military and political import. These are the forces of the Assad regime, the al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and the YPG.
In addition, there are a bewildering variety of disparate rebel battalions with loyalties ranging from Salafi Islamism to Muslim Brotherhood-style Islamism, to non-political opposition to the Assad regime. Some of these groups operate independently. Others are gathered in local alliances such as the Aleppo based Jabhat al-Shamiya (Levant Front), or the Syria-wide Islamic Front, which unites Salafi factions.
In both Syria and Iraq, the only reliable, pro-Western and militarily effective element on the ground is that of the Kurds.
Despite the reported existence of a US-staffed military operations room in Turkey, the latter two movements are either too weak, or too politically suspect (because of their Islamist nature), to form a potential partner for the US in northern Syria.
Nusra is for obvious reasons not a potential partner for the US in the fight against IS and the US continues to hold to its stated goal that Bashar Assad should step down. So, the prospect of an overt alliance between the regime and the US against the Islamic State is not on the cards (despite the de facto American alliance with Assad's Iran-supported Shi'a Islamist allies in Iraq).
This leaves the Kurds, and only the Kurds, to work with. And, the unstated alliance is sufficiently tight for it to begin to have effects also on Turkish-Kurdish relations in Syria, as seen in the Suleiman Shah operation.
But what are the broader implications of this absence of any other coherent partner on the ground?
The stark clarity of the northern Syria situation is replicated in all essentials in Iraq, though a more determined attempt by the US to deny this reality is under way in that country.
In Iraq, there is a clear and stated enemy of the US (the Islamic State), a clear and stated Kurdish ally of the West (the Kurdish Regional Government and its Pesh Merga) and an Iran-supported government, which controls the capital and part of the territory of the country.
Unlike in Syria, however, in Iraq, the US relates to the official government, mistakenly, as an ally. This is leading to a potentially disastrous situation whereby US air power is currently partnering with Iran-supported Shi'a militias against the Islamic State.
In Iraq, powerful Shi'a militias have a presence in the Iraqi government, but do not answer to it.
The most powerful of these militias have a presence in the government of Iraq. But they do not act under the orders of the elected Baghdad government, but rather in coordination with their sponsors in the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
It is possible that the current partnering with Shi'a Islamist forces in Iraq is the result of a general US attempt now underway to achieve a historic rapprochement with Iran, as suggested by Michael Doran in a recent essay. Or, it may be that this reality has emerged as a result of poor analysis of the realities of the Levant and Iraq, resulting in a confused and flailing policy. Either way, the result is an astonishing mess.
In northern Syria, the obvious absence of any partners other than the Kurds has produced a momentary tactical clarity. But, as the larger example of Iraq shows, this clarity is buried in a much larger strategic confusion.
This confusion, at root, derives from a failure to grasp what is taking place in Syria and Iraq.
In both countries, the removal or weakening of powerful dictatorships has resulted in the emergence of conflict based on older, sub-state ethnic and sectarian identities. The strength and persistence of these identities is testimony to the profound failure of the states of Syria and Iraq to develop anything resembling a sustainable national identity. In both Syria and Iraq, the resultant conflict is essentially three-sided – Sunni Arabs, Shi'a/Alawi Arabs and Kurds are fighting over the ruins of the state.
Because of the lamentable nature of Arab politics at the present time, the form both Arab sides are taking is that of political Islam. On the Shi'a side, the powerful Iranian structures dedicated to the creation and sponsorship of proxy movements are closely engaged with the clients in both countries (and in neighboring Lebanon.)
On the Sunni-Arab side, a bewildering tangle of support from different regional and Western states to various militias has emerged. But two main formations may be discerned. These are the Islamic State, which has no overt state sponsor, and Jabhat al-Nusra, which has close links to Qatar.
In southern Syria, a Western attempt to maintain armed forces linked to conservative and Western-aligned Arab states (Jordan, Saudi Arabia) has proved somewhat more successful because of the close physical proximity of Jordan and the differing tribal and clan structures in this area when compared with the north. Even here, however, Nusra is a powerful presence, and IS itself recently appeared in the south Damascus area.
The available partners for the West are minority nationalist projects like that of the Kurds and traditional, non-ideological conservative elites.
The Kurds, because of the existence among them of a secular, pro-Western nationalist politics with real popular appeal, have unsurprisingly emerged as the only reliable partner. On both the Shi'a and Sunni sides, the strongest and prevailing forces are anti-Western.
This reality is denied both by advocates for rapprochement with Iran and wishful-thinking supporters of the Syrian rebellion. But it remains so. What are its implications for Western policy?
Firstly, if the goal is to degrade the Islamic State, reduce it, split it, impoverish it, this can probably be achieved through the alliance of US air power and Kurdish ground forces. But, if the desire, genuinely, is to destroy IS, this can only be achieved through the employment of Western boots on the ground. This is the choice that is presented by reality.
Secondly, the desire to avoid this choice is leading to the disastrous partnering with Iraqi Shi'a forces loyal to Iran. The winner from all this will be, unsurprisingly, Iran. Neither Teheran nor its Shi'a militias are the moral superiors to the Islamic State. The partnering with them is absurd both from a political and ethical point of view.
Thirdly, the determination to maintain the territorial integrity of "Syria" and "Iraq" is one of the midwives of the current confusion. Were it to be acknowledged that Humpty Dumpty cannot be put it back together again, it would then be possible to accurately ascertain which local players the West can partner with, and which it can not.
As of now, the determination to consider these areas as coherent states is leading to absurdities, including the failure by the US to directly arm the pro-US Pesh Merga because the pro-Iranians in Baghdad object to this; the failure to revive relations with and directly supply Iraqi Sunni tribal elements in IS-controlled areas for the same reason, and the insistence on relating to all forces ostensibly acting on behalf of Baghdad as legitimate.
Ultimately, the mess in the former Syria and Iraq derives from a very Western form of wishful thinking that is common to various sides of the debate in the West. This is the refusal to accept that political Islam, of both Shi'a and Sunni varieties, has an unparalleled power of political mobilization among Arab populations in the Middle East at the present time, and that political Islam is a genuinely anti-Western force with genuinely murderous intentions.
For as long as that stark reality is denied, Western policy will resemble our Italian leftist friends on the border – baffled and bewildered as they go about proposing ideas and notions utterly alien to and irrelevant to the local situation.
The reality of this situation means that the available partners for the West are minority nationalist projects such as that of the Kurds (or the Jews) and traditional, non-ideological conservative elites – such as the Egyptian military, the Hashemite monarchs and, in a more partial and problematic way, the Gulf monarchs. Attempts to move beyond this limited but considerable array of potential allies will result in the strengthening of destructive, anti-Western Islamist forces in the region of either Sunni or Shi'a coloration.
As for the Syrian Kurds, they deserve their partnership with US air power and the greater security it is bringing them.
The American Baptist volunteer, to conclude the story, made it across the border and is now training with the YPG. He, at least, has a clear sense of who is who in the Middle East. Hopefully, this sense will eventually percolate up to the policymaking community, too.
Jonathan Spyer is Director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (Continuum, 2011).
Related Topics:  Iraq, Kurds, Syria, US policy  |  Jonathan Spyer

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"Why Yemen Matters" – Pipes in Wash. Times, #1399

Daniel Pipes
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Dear Reader:
I appeared on Canada's CTV to discuss "Turmoil in Yemen" on March 26: http://www.danielpipes.org/15680/turmoil-in-Yemen.
I appeared on France 24's "The Interview" with Marc Perelman, "How Serious the Strain in U.S.-Israel Relations?" on March 24: http://www.danielpipes.org/15657/us-israel-relations-strain
Yours sincerely,

Daniel Pipes

Why Yemen Matters

by Daniel Pipes
Washington Times
March 28, 2015
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The Middle East witnessed something radically new two days ago, when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia responded to a plea by Yemen's president and led a 10-country coalition to intervene in the air and on the ground in the country. "Operation Decisive Storm" prompts many reflections:
Saudi and Egypt in alliance: Half a century ago, Riyadh and Cairo were active in a Yemen war, but then they supported opposing sides, respectively the status-quo forces and the revolutionaries. Their now being allies points to continuity in Saudia along with profound changes in Egypt.
Arabic-speakers getting their act together: Through Israel's early decades, Arabs dreamt of uniting militarily against it but the realities of infighting and rivalries smashed every such hope. Even on the three occasions (1948-49, 1967, 1973) when they did join forces, they did so at cross purposes and ineffectively. How striking, then that finally they should coalesce not against Israel but against Iran. This implicitly points to their understanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran poses a real threat, whereas anti-Zionism amounts to mere indulgence. It also points to panic and the need to take action resulting from a stark American retreat.
Arab leaders have a long history of meeting but not cooperating. From the right: King Hussein of Jordan, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Yasir Arafat of the PLO, and Muammar Qaddafi of Libya in September 1970.
Yemen at the center of attention: Yemen played a peripheral role in the Bible, in the rise of Islam, and in modern times; it's never been the focus of world concern – until suddenly now. Yemen resembles other once-marginal countries – the Koreas, Cuba, the Vietnams, Afghanistan – which out of nowhere became the focus of global concern.
The Middle East cold war went hot: The Iranian and Saudi regimes have headed dueling blocs for about a decade. They did combat as the U.S. and Soviet governments once did – via contending ideologies, espionage, aid, trade, and covert action. On March 26, that cold war went hot, where it's likely long to remain.
Can the Saudi-led coalition win? Highly unlikely, as these are rookies taking on Iran's battle-hardened allies in a forbidding terrain.
Islamists dominate: The leaders of both blocs share much: both aspire universally to apply the sacred law of Islam (the Shari'a), both despise infidels, and both turned faith into ideology. Their falling out confirms Islamism as the Middle East's only game, permitting its proponents the luxury to fight each other.
The Turkey-Qatar-Muslim Brotherhood alliance in decline: A third alliance of Sunni revisionists somewhere between the Shi'i revolutionaries and the Sunni status-quotians has been active during recent years in many countries – Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya. But now, in part thanks to diplomacy initiated by the brand-new King Salman of Saudi Arabia, its members are gravitating toward their Sunni co-religionists.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia has done something unprecedented in putting together a military coalition.
Isolated Iran: Yes, a belligerent Tehran now boasts of dominating four Arab capitals (Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, Sana'a) but that's also its problem: abrupt Iranian gains have many in the region (including such previously friendly states as Pakistan and Sudan) fearing Iran.
Sidelining the Arab-Israeli conflict: If the Obama administration and European leaders remain obsessed with Palestinians, seeing them as key to the region, regional players have far more urgent priorities. Not only does Israel hardly concern them but the Jewish state serves as a tacit auxiliary of the Saudi-led bloc. Does this change mark a long-term shift in Arab attitudes toward Israel? Probably not; when the Iran crisis fades, expect attention to return to the Palestinians and Israel, as it always does.
American policy in disarray: Middle East hands rightly scoffed in 2009 when Barack Obama and his fellow naïfs expected that by leaving Iraq, smiling at Tehran, and trying harder at Arab-Israeli negotiations they would fix the region, permitting a "pivot" to East Asia. Instead, the incompetents squatting atop the U.S. government cannot keep up with fast-moving, adverse events, many of its own creation (anarchy in Libya, tensions with traditional allies, a more bellicose Iran).
Impact on a deal with Iran: Although Washington has folded on many positions in negotiations with Iran and done the mullah's regime many favors (for example, not listing it or its Hizbullah ally as terrorist), it drew a line in Yemen, offering the anti-Iran coalition some support. Will Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i now stomp out of the talks? Highly unlikely, for the deal offered him is too sweet to turn down.
American diplomats meet again with their Iranian counterparts to capitulate on yet another difference.
In sum, Salman's skilled diplomacy and his readiness to use force in Yemen responds to the deadly combination of Arab anarchy, Iranian aggression, and Obama weakness in a way that will shape the region for years.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.
Related Topics:  Persian Gulf & Yemen, US policy
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Attempts to Undermine Democracies by Present Day Fifth Columnists

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Attempts to Undermine Democracies by Present Day Fifth Columnists

by Lawrence Kadish  •  March 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm
A number of our citizenry quietly wonder not whether Obama loves America, but does he actually like who we are as a society and what are the origins of his agenda to profoundly change America though social engineering.
Of critical importance is our current inability or political unwillingness to address the threat of radical Islam with nuclear arsenal capabilities – yet those who have sought to call attention to these threats are often criticized, or worse.
"It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it... I know of no way of judging the future but by the past..." — Patrick Henry, American Revolutionary War Hero.
The masked man on the far left, in this ISIS propaganda video from the fall of 2014, was suspected by U.S. authorities to be an American ISIS jihadi. In the video, he is preparing to execute the captured Syrian soldiers on the right, who are kneeling at the edge of a mass grave.
Americans have always been uncomfortable with conspiracy theories.
Nevertheless, the specter of Fifth Columnists, groups of organized traitors in America, has been a real and haunting shadow. Its origins come from the 1936 Spanish Civil War, when a rebel general spoke of his four columns advancing on Madrid, and that he also had a "fifth column" of covert collaborators in the city.
Thereafter, Nazi spies and sympathizers were commonly referred to as Fifth Columnists.
At the start of the Cold War, Winston Churchill warned that Communist Fifth Columnists would seek to weaken democracies by sowing dissent among their citizens. Though widely discredited for his conduct and abuse of power, many of the charges made by Senator Joseph McCarthy concerning Communist infiltration of government would prove to be true when Kremlin files were released after the Soviet Union collapsed.

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Christian Icons of Propaganda - Sabeel and Desmond Tutu

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Christian Icons of Propaganda - Sabeel and Desmond Tutu

by Christine Williams  •  March 29, 2015 at 5:00 am
The troublesome truth is that there is no apartheid in Israel. Israel allows Arabs and Muslims full human and civil rights in all areas of life, including as full members of Israel's Parliament, the Knesset.
To brand Israel as an apartheid state when none of these restrictions exist is not only defamatory propaganda but, according to the black South African Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, trivializes the real suffering of blacks under apartheid.
While Tutu et al discuss Israel the "oppressor," Israel's surrounding enemies seek to obliterate it in accordance with their genocidal charter. Given the silence of Tutu et al on that subject, apparently an agenda of genocide is not seen by them as an injustice.
Tutu also disregards the countless Christians being slaughtered in Muslim states; that black slaves are still being held in Muslim states such as Mauritania; the forcible taking of "infidel" slaves by Boko Haram and ISIS; the racist genocide in Darfur and the 10 million Muslims slaughtered by other Muslims since 1948.
Critics of Sabeel suggest that it actually seems to be a political organization promoting anti-Israel propaganda while driving Church policy toward destroying Israel through BDS.
Why are Desmond Tutu, Sabeel and the anti-Semitic Churches that support BDS so tolerant of the persecution of Christians, global Islamist terrorism, the perpetual threat of Israel's obliteration and the fact that Muslims have driven Christians out of Bethlehem, the very place of Jesus's birth?
These calumnies and misrepresentations have nothing to do with peace and even less to do with justice. They are even more unacceptable coming from church groups or a man of the cloth.
Clockwise from top right: Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu; Anti-semitic writer Max Blumenthal addresses the Friends of Sabeel North America 2014 conference; A Friends of Sabeel North America activist in Portland, Oregon stands in front of a Target store, demanding the boycott of SodaStream, an Israeli company.
A virulent global campaign by a powerful Christian lobby is trying to influence the Church and use it to delegitimize Israel. The lobbying group is the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, with Nobel Prize Laureate and retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu as its patron.
Tutu not only agreed to serve as Sabeel's patron but also to "assist the Palestinian Christian organization in its outreach and development work with Christian Churches around the world."
On its website, Sabeel refers to Israel in terms such as "oppressor," "occupier," "immoral", a violator of Palestinian human rights and its founder, Naim Ateek, refers to Israel's "crucifixion" of Palestinians:
"It only takes people of insight to see the hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified.... The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily."

Turkey: Is the AKP's "Spell" Reversing?

by Burak Bekdil  •  March 29, 2015 at 3:00 am
It looks as if the AKP's biggest enemy is the AKP.
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc addresses a press conference, following the demand of Ankara's mayor that Arinc resign, March 23, 2015. (Image source: Bugun Haber video screenshot)
When Turkey's Islamists came together under the roof of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001 and reflagged themselves as conservative democrats, they did not know they would have to get quickly organized for early parliamentary elections in slightly over a year.
They did so, and successfully. But they probably could not imagine that in 14 years time they would have won seven elections -- three parliamentary, three local and one presidential -- in addition to two referendum victories, and are heading for a 10th win on June 7, in less than three months' time.
At the moment, the AKP remains challenged only by a relatively weak opposition, made up from social democrats, nationalists and Kurds. A recent opinion poll, released in March by Gezici Research Company, put AKP's popularity at (a lowest among all polls so far) 39.3%, with the social democrats at 29.6%, nationalists at 17.7% and Kurds at 11%.

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The Information Age Will Be The Death Of Islam

The Information Age Will Be The Death Of Islam

Link to Citizen Warrior


Posted: 28 Mar 2015 10:00 AM PDT
The following was written by Eric Allen Bell, originally published in Faith Freedom here.
We do not vandalize. We do not engage in hate speech. We have respect for the law. We do not harm our fellow citizens. We are slow to anger and when we finally get angry, we express that anger in a civilized way. UNDER THAT BANNER, I WILL STATE THE FOLLOWING:

Follower of Islam, I do not tolerate you. Your feigned or willful ignorance about Islam is no longer an excuse. I hold you personally accountable.

I am offended by you. I cannot and will not tolerate a person who follows an ideology which teaches the inferiority of women, the killing and hatred of Jews, the execution of homosexuals, the silencing of free speech, forced amputations, the stoning of rape victims, genital mutilation, and the violent overthrow of all non-Islamic governments and civilizations.

Islam is Nazism with a god. And I cannot and will not “coexist” with Nazis. I will not patronize your places of business. I will not hire you. I will not buy your products. I will not support politicians who support you. I will not be your friend. And if I am your neighbor, I will always be suspicious of you and cautious. I want you to feel so uncomfortable in my free country, in my civilized country, that you renounce your allegiance to this savage and fascist ideology or leave.

ISLAM IS THE ENEMY of free speech, of human rights and of Liberty. If you follow Islam, you are my enemy. I encourage you now to leave Islam and take your place among the civilized people of this world. But if you insist on remaining loyal to the brutal savagery of Islam, your enemies will grow faster than can be contained by an Islamic lobbyist group or the media or any government agency. This is a zero sum game and the Civilized World will win.

ISLAM HAS BEEN AT WAR FOR 1,400 YEARS with freedom and all that is good. But my head is no longer hidden in the sand. I am at war with you. All people who value human rights, freedom and Liberty should be at war with you. And they will be soon enough, because the enemy of Islam is information and we are spreading information faster than you can keep up with. There is no way to put this genie back in the bottle now. The information age will be the death of Islam.

Your 1,400 year reign of terror is coming to an end. And you, follower of Islam, are on the wrong side of history.

It is time for all civilized people to find the moral clarity and the courage to GET ANGRY and to BECOME INTOLERANT. You have the ability to do this in a civilized way. We must not become like the savages whom we oppose — otherwise they win. But Islam must be stopped. When you support the followers of Islam, you support an ideology that promotes genocide against the unbeliever — as clearly outlined in the Quran.

THE TIME HAS COME TO BOYCOTT THE FOLLOWERS OF ISLAM. FOLLOWER OF ISLAM, I PERSONALLY HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR SUPPORTING THIS FASCIST IDEOLOGY.

Tolerance is overrated. If you follow the Quran, you are the enemy of freedom and you are my enemy.

Trusting the Ayatollahs: What's in a Fatwa? :: Ibrahim in American Thinker

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Trusting the Ayatollahs: What's in a Fatwa?

by Raymond Ibrahim
The American Thinker
March 26, 2015
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Originally published under the title, "Trusting the Ayatollahs: What's in a Fatwa?"
President Obama apparently takes great comfort in the fact that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei once issued a religious decree against building nuclear weapons.
As Iran continues edging closer to developing nuclear weapons—a major threat to the entire Mideast region, especially longstanding U.S. ally Israel—U.S. President Obama has come to the aid of the Islamic Republic, by citing an Islamic fatwa no less.
In a video recording posted on the White House's website, Obama said, "Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon."
This is the same Rouhani who, after recently showcasing Iran's newly developed missiles, described his nation's diplomatic talks with the U.S. as an active "jihad":
Our negotiations with the world powers are a source of national pride. Yesterday [during the Iran-Iraq War], your brave generals stood against the enemy on the battlefield and defended their country. Today, your diplomatic generals are defending [our nation] in the field of diplomacy–this, too, is jihad.
Other administration officials—such as Secretary of State John Kerry and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes—have previously referred to the ayatollah's reported fatwa in the context of the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran.
The Obama administration's citation of this fatwa is utterly wrongheaded on many levels.
First, the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya permits Muslims to deceive non-Muslims. Islamic prophet Muhammad himself regularly lied to his infidel enemies, often resulting in their murder (such as the case of Ka'b ibn Ashraf). He also proclaimed that lying was permissible in three contexts, one being war. Moreover, throughout the centuries and due to historic circumstances (discussed here), taqiyya became second nature to the Shia—the sect currently ruling Iran.
Then there is the fact that Islamic law takes circumstance into account. When Muhammad was weak and outnumbered in Mecca, he preached peace and tolerance (hence why Meccan Suras appear peaceful); when he became strong in Medina, he preached war and went on the offensive (hence why Medinan Suras are violent and intolerant). This dichotomy—preach peace when weak, wage war when strong—has been Islamic modus operandi for centuries.
Speaking of fatwas, Dr. Yusuf Burhami, a prominent Islamic cleric in Egypt, recently said that destroying churches in Egypt is permissible if not advisable—but not if doing so prompts Western infidels to intervene and occupy Egypt, which they could do "because the condition of Muslims in the current era is well known to the nations of the world—they are weak." Burhami further added that circumstance is everything, "just as the prophet allowed the Jews to remain in Khaibar after he opened [conquered] it, once Muslims grew in strength and number, [second caliph] Omar al-Khattab drove them out according to the prophet's command, 'Drive out the Jews and Christians from the Peninsula.'"
Islamic doctrine permits Muslims to deceive non-Muslims.
And who can forget Yasser Arafat's reference to Muhammad's Hudaybiya pact? In 1994, soon after negotiating a peace treaty criticized as conceding too much to Israel, Arafat addressed an assembly of Muslims and said: "I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the [infidel] Quraysh in Mecca." In other words, like Muhammad, Arafat gave his word only to annul it once his ranks became strong enough to go on the offensive.
In short, it's all very standard for Islamic leaders to say they are pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes while they are weaker than their infidel foes—as Iran is today—but once they acquire nukes the jihad can resume in earnest.
Then there is the fact that Shia theology is rife with apocalyptic aspirations. An August 2007 report compiled by the Congressional Research Service said: "Ahmadinejad [previous president of Iran] believes his mission is to prepare for the return of the 12th 'Hidden' Imam, whose return from occultation [i.e., "hiding"] would, according to Twelver Shi'ite doctrine, be accompanied by the establishment of Islam as the global religion."
Like other Iranians, Ahmadinejad cited the eschatological (and canonical) hadith wherein Muhammad said: "The Hour [Judgment Day] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and until the Jews hide behind the trees and rocks and the trees and rocks will say, 'O Muslim, O Servant of God! Here are the Jews! Come and kill them!"
Indeed, during a recent speech, supreme leader Khamenei—whose fatwa Obama is now citing—boasted about Iran's uranium enrichment, even as his military commanders shouted, "Allah Akbar. Khamenei is the leader. Death to the enemies of the leadership. Death to America. Death to England. Death to hypocrites. Death to Israel."
Yet despite all this—despite the fact that Islamic doctrine mandates lying to infidels; despite the fact that the Shia—Iran's leadership—have perfected taqiyya into an art; despite the fact that Islamic law holds that Muslims should preach peace when weak, war when strong; despite the fact that Iranian leadership openly boasts that its nuclear negotiations are a "jihad" against the infidel; despite the fact that Iran has previously been exposed developing uranium enrichments suitable for nuclear warheads—here is Obama and his administration relying on the "word" of the ayatollah of Iran.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007).
Related Topics:  Iran, Islam, US policy  |  Raymond Ibrahim

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