US Support for ISIS:
A recently declassified DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) document of August 2012 said that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI (Al- Qaeda in Iraq) are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” being supported by “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey.”
The document DIA declassified under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), analyzed the situation in Syria in the summer of 2012 and predicted: “If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria… and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”
In an interview with Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera, former head of DIA and President-elect Donald Trump's National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn confirmed that it was a "willful decision" of the Obama White House to transfer arms to the Salafists and Al Qaeda in 2012 to defeat the Assad regime in Syria. Here's what General Flynn told Mehdi Hasan:
"I don’t know if they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision (US arms transfers to Salafis and Al Qaeda fighting in Syria in 2012). I think it was a willful decision....Well, a willful decision to do what they're doing, which, which you have to really – you have to really ask the President (Obama), what is it that he actually is doing with the, with the policy that is in place, because it is very, very confusing? I’m sitting here today, Mehdi, and I don’t, I can’t tell you exactly what that is, and I've been at this for a long time. ...I think it was a strategic mistake. I think history will not be kind. It was a strategic mistake"
Here's a video clip of General Michael Flynn's Aljazeera interview with Mehdi Hasan:
US Role in Iraq:
In an interview with Vice News, President Barack H. Obama acknowledged that the rise of ISIS was directly linked to the 2002 American invasion and occupation of Iraq during President George W. Bush's administration.
“Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said in an interview with VICE News. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”
More recently, the CIA agent John Nixon who interrogated Saddam Husain has revealed that the former Iraqi dictator had predicted the rise of ISIS... a prediction that has turned out to be accurate. Here's what he told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now in a interview:
"When people ask me, you know, "Was it worth taking him out of power?" I say, "You know, look around you. Show me something that is positive that happened." Iraq, right now, is a country that has 2 million displaced people. Parts of its territory are held by ISIS. You have a dysfunctional government that is probably more corrupt than Saddam’s government was. And if ask the average Iraqi—Sunni, Shia or Kurd—you know, "Were things better back then? Were services better? Did the government do more for you?" I think they would say yes. I can’t find one thing. And if you said, "Well, maybe, what about the Kurds? They’re almost independent now," that was happening already. I can’t find one thing positive that came out of his removal from power".
US Role in Afghan Soviet War:
In an earlier testimony to the US Congress, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said very candidly that "the terrorists we are fighting today we funded 20 years ago". Here's what she said:
"We also have a history of kinda moving in and out of Pakistan.....Let’s remember here… the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago… we said let’s go recruit these mujahideen. .....And great, let them come from Saudi Arabia and other countries, importing their Wahabi brand of Islam so that we can go beat the Soviet Union. And guess what, they (Soviets) retreated....it led to the fall of the Soviet Union.... It wasn't a bad investment....But let's be careful what we sow because we will harvest....we then left Pakistan. Now you deal with the stingers...you deal with the mines....we don't have anything to do with you...in fact we are sanctioning you... ”
Here's a video clip of Ex US Sec of State Hillary Clinton's testimony:
All the evidence suggests that the US policies have significantly contributed to the growth of global terror. I hope the West, particularly the United States as its leaders, will introspect about the West's actions in the Middle East in the past and the dangerous consequences of such actions the world faces today. I hope the leaders of the West will ponder the unintended consequences before starting more overt or covert wars in the region.
Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel
Did the West Sow the Seeds of ISIS?
General Petraeus Debunks Allegations of Duplicity Against Pakistan
Unintended Consequences of Charlie Wilson's War
Jihadis Growing After Afghan and Iraq Wars
US Invasion of Iraq
Global Power Shift After Industrial Revolution
Seeing Bin Laden's Death in Wider Perspective
Straight Talk by Gates on Pakistan
What If Musharraf Had Said No to US After 911?
Who Are the Haqqanis?
Creation of the State of Israel
"All the evidence suggests that the US policies have significantly contributed to the growth of global terror. I hope the West, particularly the United States as its leaders, will introspect about the West's actions in the Middle East in the past and the dangerous consequences of such actions the world faces today. I hope the leaders of the West will ponder the unintended consequences before starting more overt or covert wars in the region."
This is what Trump is also suggesting. But low IQ Muslims like you were so much against Trump.
TD: "But low IQ Muslims like you were so much against Trump"
"Low IQ Muslims" like me and other minorities in America are more concerned about Trump's hateful rhetoric and his regressive domestic agenda to roll back Obama's progressive domestic policies.
#Russia's tilt towards #Pakistan will be a body blow for #India's security. #China #Afghanistan http://www.dailyo.in/politics/isis-india-pak-ties-russia-pakistan-afghanistan-ties-cpec-china-taliban/story/1/14918.html … via @dailyo_
At a high-level meeting held in Moscow on December 27, 2016, representatives from Russia, China and Pakistan underlined the growing influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Afghanistan and the deteriorating security situation in the region.
According to the statement issued at the end of the meeting: "The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China as the UN Security Council permanent members confirmed their flexible approach to delisting Afghan individuals from the UN sanctions lists as their contribution to the efforts aimed at launching peaceful dialogue between Kabul and Taliban."
What has surprised everyone is the exclusion of Afghanistan from the negotiations, apparently aimed at discussing the security situation in conflict-ridden Afghanistan. This trilateral initiative stands in open contrast to the publicly-stated positions of all the countries of supporting the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process. Sensing the mounting Afghan opposition, the group has finally decided to include Afghanistan in the next meeting. While Iran is soon going to be part of the group, there is no proposal to involve India.
Much to India's disappointment, the emerging axis between Moscow, Islamabad and Beijing seems to have put Pakistan in the driver's seat, according it greater control over the future of Afghanistan.
Russia's diplomatic efforts to accommodate the Taliban as an instrument against the ISIS, in tandem with Pakistan and China, may also have unexpected ramifications for Indo-Russian ties. The Indian leadership, both publicly and behind diplomatic corridors, has been trying to convince Russia that Pakistan is the fountainhead of terrorism in the region. But India's traditional ally Russia is not convinced.
Even though Russia' diplomatic engagement with the Taliban has begun to strain Moscow-Kabul ties, as well as put Russia's historic and strategic partnership with India at great risk, Moscow's engagement with the Taliban is driven by a number of counterterrorism and security reasons.
Russian foreign policymakers believe that engagement with the Taliban is essential for maintaining long-term political stability in Afghanistan; Moscow can use the Taliban's opposition to Islamic State (ISIS) to further Russia's counter-terrorism objectives; and Pakistan's role is crucial in bringing peace to war-torn Afghanistan.
The Russian leadership views the Taliban as a useful partner in its fight against the ISIS. Putin has long worried about jihadists from former Soviet republics joining the ISIS' fight in Syria. For this very reason, Russia sees ISIS as a particular threat in a way it doesn't see Taliban.
#Russia's Putin Ordered ‘Influence Campaign’ Aimed at Helping #Trump Win U.S. Election, US Intelligence Report Says
American intelligence officials have concluded that the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, personally “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” and turned from seeking to “denigrate” Hillary Clinton to developing “a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
The conclusions were part of a declassified intelligence report, ordered by President Obama, that was released on Friday. Its main determinations were described to President-elect Donald J. Trump by the nation’s top intelligence officials earlier in the day, and he responded by acknowledging, for the first time, that Russia had sought to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems. But he insisted that the effort had no effect on the election, and he said nothing about the conclusion that Mr. Putin, at some point last year, decided to aid his candidacy.
The report, a damning and surprisingly detailed account of Russia’s efforts to undermine the American electoral system and Mrs. Clinton in particular, went on to assess that Mr. Putin had “aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”
The report described a broad campaign that included covert operations, including cyberactivities and “trolling” on the internet of people who were viewed as opponents of Russia’s effort. While it accused Russian intelligence agencies of obtaining and maintaining “access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards,” it concluded — as officials have publicly — that there was no evidence of tampering with the tallying of the vote on Nov. 8.
The report, reflecting the assessments of the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency, stopped short of backing up Mr. Trump on his declaration that the hacking activity had no effect on the election. “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election,” the report concluded, saying it was beyond its responsibility to analyze American “political processes” or public opinion.
The intelligence agencies also concluded “with high confidence” that Russia’s main military intelligence unit, the G.R.U., created a “persona” called Guccifer 2.0 and a website, DCLeaks.com, to release the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of the chairman of the Clinton campaign, John D. Podesta.
When those disclosures received what was seen as insufficient attention, the report said, the G.R.U. “relayed material it acquired from the D.N.C. and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks.” The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has denied that Russia was the source of the emails it published.
The report makes clear that Mr. Putin favored Mr. Trump in part because he had previous success dealing with “Western political leaders whose business interests made them more disposed to deal with Russia” — it named a former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, as an example — and in part because he viewed Mr. Trump as a more likely ally in forming Russia’s version of a counterterrorism coalition against the Islamic State. Mr. Trump described his eagerness to do so in an interview with The New York Times in March 2016.
#Obama's actions speak louder than words. 3 US bombs an hour were dropped in 2016 on 7 Muslim nations incl #Pakistan
The U.S. dropped an average of 72 bombs every day — the equivalent of three an hour — in 2016, according to an analysis of American strikes around the world.
The report from the Council of Foreign Relations comes as Barack Obama finishes up his presidency — one that began with promises to withdraw from international conflicts.
According to the New York City-based think tank, 26,171 bombs were dropped on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan during the year.
CFR warned that its estimates were "undoubtedly low, considering reliable data is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, and a single 'strike,' according to the Pentagon's definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions."
Related: U.S. Airstrikes Kill Twice the Civilians Previously Thought
Some 24,287 bombs were used in Iraq and Syria, where the U.S. is helping drive ISIS militants from swaths of both countries. In 2015, the U.S. dropped 22,110 bombs in Iraq and Syria, CFR reported.
Last year saw a sharp uptick in strikes in Afghanistan, with 1,337 compared with 947 in 2015, CFR found.
The study, which drew data from a variety of military and press sources, showed that three bombs were dropped on Pakistan during 2016, 14 in Somalia and 34 in Yemen.
A similar study looking at 2015 showed that 11 bombs were dropped in Pakistan during the year, 58 in Yemen and 18 in Somalia. The 2015 analysis did not include Libya.
When he was campaigning for president in 2008, Obama pledged that when he became commander-in-chief he would "set a new goal on day one: I will end [the Iraq] war."
Upon accepting the Democratic nomination that year, Obama again outlined priorities that would make the country safer, saying: "I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan."
However, ISIS later seized parts of Syria and Iraq — and the Taliban won back territory in Afghanistan as the number of NATO troops in the country dwindled.
Riaz Haq @haqsmusings 12m12 minutes ago
#India vehicle sales dropped 19% to lowest level since 2010 after #Modi's #Demonetization http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-01-11/it-s-hell-on-two-wheels-in-india … via @bfly
You do realize that it is temporary. It is not as if people don't have money to buy vehcile.
The pent up demand is expected to be back quickly. It is similar to a temporary dip in laptop or iphone sales
when the next version of iphone or windows is ready for release.
US Strategies in the Middle East
Feb. 8, 2017
Washington must choose sides.
By George Friedman Stratfor
From the beginning of American history, the U.S. has used the divisions in the world to achieve its ends. The American Revolution prevailed by using the ongoing tension between Britain and France to convince the French to intervene. In World War II, facing Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union, the United States won the war by supplying the Soviets with the wherewithal to bleed the German army dry, opening the door to American invasion and, with Britain, the occupation of Europe.
Unless you have decisive and overwhelming power, your only options are to decline combat, vastly increase your military force at staggering cost and time, or use divergent interests to recruit a coalition that shares your strategic goal. Morally, the third option is always a painful strategy. The United States asking monarchists for help in isolating the British at Yorktown was in a way a deal with the devil. The United States allying with a murderous and oppressive Soviet Union to defeat another murderous and oppressive regime was also a deal with the devil. George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt both gladly made these deals, each knowing a truth about strategy: What comes after the war comes after the war. For now, the goal is to reach the end of the war victorious.
In the case of the Middle East, I would argue that the United States lacks the forces or even a conceivable strategy to crush either the Sunni rising or Iran. Iran is a country of about 80 million defended to the west by rugged mountains and to the east by harsh deserts. This is the point where someone inevitably will say that the U.S. should use air power. This is the point where I will say that whenever Americans want to win a war without paying the price, they fantasize about air power because it is low-cost and irresistible. Air power is an adjunct to war on the ground. It has never proven to be an effective alternative.
The idea that the United States will simultaneously wage wars in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and emerge victorious is fantasy. What is not fantasy is the fact that the Islamic world, both strategically and tactically, is profoundly divided. The United States must decide who is the enemy. “Everybody” is an emotionally satisfying answer to some, but it will lead to defeat. The United States cannot fight everyone from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush. It can indefinitely carry out raids and other operations, but it can’t win.
To craft an effective strategy, the United States must go back to the strategic foundations of the republic: a willingness to ally with one enemy to defeat another. The goal should be to ally with the weaker enemy, or the enemy with other interests, so that one war does not immediately lead to another. At this moment, the Sunnis are weaker than the Iranians. But there are far more Sunnis, they cover a vast swath of ground and they are far more energized than Iran. Currently, Iran is more powerful, but I would argue the Sunnis are more dangerous. Therefore, I am suggesting an alignment with the Iranians, not because they are any more likable (and neither were Stalin or Louis XVI), but because they are the convenient option.
The Iranians hate and fear the Sunnis. Any opportunity to crush the Sunnis will appeal. The Iranians are also as cynical as George Washington was. But in point of fact, an alliance with the Sunnis against the Shiites could also work. The Sunnis despise the Iranians, and given the hope of crushing them, the Sunnis could be induced to abandon terrorism. There are arguments to be made on either side, as there is in Afghanistan.
#NSA's spying on #Trump's #Russia links are showing how #America's Deep State really works. #FlynnResignation
America's intelligence agencies aren’t operating outside the law – they’re using the vast power they’ve acquired within it.
BY MARC AMBINDER
We know now that the FBI and the NSA, under their Executive Order 12333 authority and using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as statutory cover, were actively monitoring the phone calls and reading text messages sent to and from the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.Although the monitoring of any specific individual is classified TOP SECRET, and cannot be released to foreigners, the existence of this monitoring in general is something of an open secret, and Kislyak probably suspected he was under surveillance.But a welter of laws, many of them tweaked after the Snowden revelations, govern the distribution of any information that is acquired by such surveillance. And this is where it’s highly relevant that this scandal was started by the public leaking of information about Mike Flynn’s involvement in the monitoring of Kisylak.The way it’s supposed to work is that any time a “U.S. person” — government speak for a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, even a U.S. company, located here or abroad — finds his or her communications caught up in Kislyak’s, the entire surveillance empire, which was designed for speed and efficiency, and which, we now know, is hard to manage, grinds to a halt. That’s a good thing. Even before Snowden, of course, the FBI would “minimize” the U.S. end of a conversation if analysts determined that the calls had no relevance to a legitimate intelligence gathering purpose. A late night call to order pizza would fall into this category.But if the analyst listening to Kislyak’s call hears someone identify himself as an agent of the U.S. government — “Hi! It’s Mike Flynn” certainly qualifies — a number of things have to happen, according to the government’s own rulesAt this stage, the actual audio of the call and any transcript would be considered “Raw FISA-acquired information,” and its distribution would be highly restricted. At the NSA, not more than 40 or so analysts or senior managers would be read into the classification sub-sub compartment that contains it, called RAGTIME-A,B,C D or P, where each letter stands for one of five different categories of foreign intelligence.For anything out of the ordinary — and this qualifies — the head of the National Security Division would be notified, and he or she would bring the raw FISA transcript to FBI Director James Comey or his deputy. Then, the director and his deputy would determine whether to keep the part of the communication that contained Flynn’s words. The NSA has its own procedures for determining whether to destroy or retain the U.S. half of an intercepted communication.In this case, there were three sets of communications between Flynn and Kislyak, at least one of which is a text message. The first occurs on Dec. 18. The last occurs on Dec. 30, a day after sanctions were levied against people that the Russian ambassador knew — namely, spies posing as diplomats.The factors FBI Director Comey and his deputy would have had to consider in this case are complex
'CIA created ISIS', says Julian Assange as Wikileaks releases 500k US cables
WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange today said the CIA was responsible for paving the way for ISIS as the whistle blowing organisation released more than half a million formerly confidential US diplomatic cables dating back to 1979.
On the sixth anniversary of the first infamous "Cablegate" by WikiLeaks, when it releases its first batch of sensitive US files, on November 28 2010, it has expanded its Public Library of US Diplomacy (PLUSD) with 531,525 new diplomatic cables from 1979.
In a statement to coincide with the release of the cables, known as "Carter Cables III", Mr Assange explained how events which unfolded in 1979, had begun a series of events that led to the rise of ISIS.
He said: "If any year could be said to be the "year zero" of our modern era, 1979 is it."
Mr Assange said a decision by the CIA, together with Saudi Arabia, to plough billions of dollars into arming the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan to tackle the Soviet Union, had led to the creation of terror group al-Qaeda.
This, in turn, he said led to the 9/11 terror strikes, the invasion of Afghanhistan and Iraq by the US, and the creation of ISIS.
Speaking about how 1979 shaped current global events, Mr Assange said: "In the Middle East, the Iranian revolution, the Saudi Islamic uprising and the Egypt-Israel Camp David Accords led not only to the present regional power dynamic but decisively changed the relationship between oil, militant Islam and the world.
"The uprising at Mecca permanently shifted Saudi Arabia towards Wahhabism, leading to the transnational spread of Islamic fundamentalism and the US-Saudi destabilisation of Afghanistan."
He said at this point Osama bin Laden left his native Saudi Arabia for Pakistan to support the Afghan Mujahideen.
He added: "The invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR would see Saudi Arabia and the CIA push billions of dollars to Mujahideen fighters as part of Operation Cyclone, fomenting the rise of al-Qaeda and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.
"The 1979 current of Islamification spread to Pakistan where the US embassy was burned to the ground and Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed.
"The Iranian hostage crisis would go on to fatally undermine Jimmy Carter's presidency and see the election of Ronald Reagan.
"The rise of al-Qaeda eventually bore the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, enabling the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and over a decade of war, leaving, at its end, the ideological, financial and geographic basis for ISIS."
The election of Margaret Thatcher as British Prime Minister and the Three Mile Island nuclear incident are some of the incidents during the year cited by Assange.
Other events of the year included in the cables are papers on the Irish Republican Army (IRA), who in 1979 killed Lord Mountbatten, cousin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, and the Iranian hostage crisis, which saw 66 Americans taken hostage after 3,000 Iranian students raided the US embassy in Tehran.
Mr Assange added: "In 1979 it seemed as if the blood would never stop.
"Dozens of countries saw assassinations, coups, revolts, bombings, political kidnappings and wars of liberation."
The Carter Cables III bring WikiLeaks' total published US diplomatic cable collection to 3.3 million documents.
Religion Scholar K. Armstrong: #Islamist #violence is "in part a product of #Western disdain" #Islamophobia #terror
Armstrong: The Prophet has been caricatured in the West as a violent, epileptic, lecherous charlatan since the time of the Crusades in the Middle Ages; this distorted image of Islam developed at the same time as our European anti-Semitism which caricatured Jews as the evil, violent, perverse and powerful enemies of Europe.
So yes, the attack on the magazine was in part a product of Western disdain. The attack on the Jewish supermarket, which seems to have been backed by ISIS, was directed against Western support for Israel. Here too, there is an element of disdain: there has been little sustained outcry against the massive casualties in Gaza last summer, for example, which seems to some Muslims to imply that the lives of Palestinian women, children and the elderly are not as valuable as our own.
Where do you see the roots of this disdain?
Armstrong: The Enlightenment ideal of freedom was, in practice, only for Europeans. The Founding Fathers of the United States, who were deeply influenced by the Enlightenment, proudly proclaimed that "All men are created equal" and enjoyed the natural human rights of life, liberty and property. But they felt no qualms about owning African slaves and driving the Native Americans out of their ancestral lands.
John Locke, the apostle of tolerance, wrote that a master had "absolute and despotical" rights over a slave, which included the right to kill him at any time. This continues: many of those who marched for freedom of expression in Paris were leaders of states that have supported regimes in Muslim majority countries that denied their subjects basic freedoms; Britain and the US, for example, continue to support the Saudi regime. Again, a disdain: our freedom is more important than yours.
Shouldn't we also look at certain Koranic verses and their interpretation throughout history to explain the phenomenon of Islamist terror?
Armstrong: "Throughout history", these Koranic verses have not inspired terrorist activities. Any empire depends upon force; this is true of the Indian, Chinese, Persian, Roman, Hellenistic and British empires and it is also true of the Islamic empires. Furthermore, until the modern period, Islam had a far better record of tolerance than Western Christianity. When the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099, they slaughtered the Muslim and Jewish inhabitants of the city in a massacre that shocked the Middle East, which had never seen such unbridled violence. And yet it was 50 years before there was any serious Muslim riposte. There is more violence in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament than there is in the Koran.
Most Christian theologians would disagree.
Armstrong: Those theologians who claim that there are no passages in the New Testament like Koran 2.191–93 have perhaps forgotten the Book of Revelation, which is the preferred text of many Christian fundamentalists who look forward to the battles of the imminent End Time that will destroy the enemies of God. They interpret these texts literally and quote them far more frequently than the Sermon on the Mount. The aggression towards the enemy commanded in Koran 2:191 concludes: "If they cease hostilities, there can be no further hostility." (Koran 2. 193). No such quarter is allowed those who fight the Word of God in the battles of Revelation.
#Iraq Ambassador: #Pakistan provided #Iraq with intelligence, training, arms, ammunition to defeat #ISIS in #Mosul https://www.dawn.com/news/1345432
Pakistan quietly helped Iraq in its fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group, which reached a major milestone this week with the liberation of Mosul from the terrorist group’s control after three years of occupation.
Pakistan was among a number of countries that supported Iraq in fighting the IS, also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh, said Ambassador of Iraq Ali Yasin Muhammad Karim at a press conference at the embassy. The presser was held to brief Pakistani media about the eviction of the IS from Mosul.
Pakistan’s contribution to the fight against the IS in Iraq has never been mentioned earlier either by Pakistani officials or Iraqis.
Ancient Assyrian town Mosul, which is Iraq’s second largest city and was used by the IS during years of occupation as the seat of its proclaimed caliphate, was freed after a gruelling nine-month-long military campaign by Iraqi security forces that was backed by several countries.
Talking about Pakistan’s help, the ambassador said Iraq, besides getting intelligence on terrorists, also received arms and ammunition and military medical assistance from the country. He recalled some of the Iraqi pilots, who took part in action against the IS, had been trained in Pakistan.
The ambassador said the continuing intelligence cooperation between Iraq and Pakistan could help the latter deal with the expanding footprint of the IS in the region.
Underscoring the IS threat, he said, the outfit was the most dangerous terrorist group and likened its threat to “time bombs” and “booby traps”.
“We share the same enemy,” Mr Karim said.
While responding to a question, the envoy played down involvement of Pakistanis with IS activities in Iraq, saying that “the bad guys” represented a very small proportion of the population of Pakistan. People of over 100 nationalities, he added, were part of IS ranks.
The people of Pakistan were generally very supportive of Iraq in its war against the IS, he remarked.
He praised Pakistan’s policy of neutrality towards the Middle East.
After Mosul, Ambassador Karim said, Iraq was about to make a final push against the IS from its territory.
Mosul’s liberation has, however, come at a huge cost.
The city after remaining under the IS occupation for three years during the fight for its liberation is in complete ruins and almost a million of its population has been displaced. The same is the case with other areas that Iraq has succeeded in liberating from the IS. Reports from Mosul warn of an emerging humanitarian crisis.
The Iraqi ambassador called for support for reconstruction and restoration of services in the cities devastated by the war.
“We need help for rebuilding infrastructure, which is the next important task,” he said.
In the epilogue "Unintended Consequences" of "Charlie Wilson's War" on page 522, the author George Crile explains the emergence of the Taliban and Osama bi Laden as follows:
" By the end of 1993, the six-year-old Cross Border Humanitarian Aid Program--the one sustained U.S. effort to create an infrastructure and blueprint or the rebuilding of Afghanistan---was cut off....There were no roads, no schools, just a destroyed country--and the United States was washing its hands of any responsibility. It was in this vacuum that the Taliban and Osama bin Laden would emerge as the dominant players."
#Europe's century old mistake: Shifting #Islam's theological-political power from Ottoman #Turkey to #SaudiArabia
EVERY time a European city is shaken by an act of mass violence, the continent's heavy-weight newspapers host agonised debates over what has gone wrong. In particular, debaters often ask, should European states have responded differently to the emergence of large, discontented Muslim minorities, either by accommodating cultural difference more generously or (as some advocate) by suppressing it? Even when it becomes clear that Islam was not really a factor at all (as seems to be the case with last week's killing spree by a maladjusted young man in Munich) the discussions go on.
One of America's leading authorities on European Islam has made a rather nuanced and unusual contribution to this conversation. Writing in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in response to a column asserting that "terrorism has a lot to do with Islam", Jonathan Laurence argues (link to English translation) that the present-day pathologies of European Islam are a kind of aftershock from a century-old mistake. Or rather, of a short-sighted policy that went into higher gear almost exactly 100 years ago. In the summer of 1916, the British government and its war allies began fomenting an Arab revolt against the political and above all, spiritual authority of the Ottomans. This brought about the British-led capture of Jerusalem and the collapse of Ottoman dominion over Islam's holiest places, whether in the Levant or Arabia. As an alternative to Ottoman rule over the Arabs, the British initially backed the Hashemite dynasty which still reigns over Jordan; but the ultimate beneficiary was the royal house of Saud which took over Mecca and Medina in 1924.
In the view of Mr Laurence, a professor at Boston College, this brought to an end a period of several decades in which the caliphate (a spiritual role which the Ottomans combined, until 1922, with the worldly rank of sultan) had a generally benign effect on global Islam. Not only within the Ottoman realm but far beyond it, the caliphate formed the apex of a international network of teachers, preachers and judges. As was shown by Halil Inalcιk, an Ottoman historian who died this week aged 100, the sultan-caliphs' real power varied a lot over time; some managed to control the ulema or religious scholars, others didn't. But the institution's global spiritual role was especially important in the late 19th century and early 20th century, ultimately embracing more than 100m Muslims living under British rule (in South Asia) and under Dutch rule (in modern Indonesia). As Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish writer on religion, points out, the caliph's sway over Muslims in the Asia-Pacific region had benign consequences for the United States; Abdulhamid II (pictured), the last long-reigning sultan, helped persuade Filipino Muslims to accept American power over their archipelago. (Others have darker memories of that sovereign; Armenians hold him responsible for killing tens of thousands of their kin in 1895.)
Yet precisely because the Ottoman caliphate was so attractive to some of their subjects, European powers worked hard to undermine it. From at least 1870, British diplomacy tried to shift the centre of gravity in global Islam from the Turks to the Arabs. The Dutch tried to stop their Muslim subjects deferring to the caliph in their public prayers. With somewhat more success, the French promoted alternative centres of spiritual authority among the Muslims they ruled in Algeria and Morocco. As long as the Ottomans retained control of Libya (ie, until 1912), the caliphate kept some sway in North Africa. But when Turkey's new secular nationalist rulers finally abolished the office of caliph in 1924, their job was made easier by the fact that European powers had been sabotaging the sacred office for decades.
#Europe's century old mistake: Shifting #Islam's theological-political power from Ottoman #Turkey to #SaudiArabia
"As Mr Laurence sees things, the abolition of the old caliphate created a vacuum that has been filled, over the subsequent century, by much darker substitutes, up to and including the new caliphate proclaimed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State. Even where they stop short of fomenting anti-Western violence, global networks of religious fundamentalism and puritanism, such as those linking preachers from say, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, have replaced the relatively emollient tone set by the Ottoman caliphs, who were connoisseurs of Western art and music, as a colleague has written.
Is this anything more than an intriguing detail of history? Yes, much more, in Mr Laurence's view. It's naive to imagine that today's European Islam can be hermetically sealed from the countries where Islam predominates. One way or another, Muslims in Europe are going to be touched by ideas and styles that emanate from countries where their faith predominates. Today's European governments need to have a sophisticated understanding of how that influence works, and above all to understand the risk of unintended consequences. By staunching one stream of cultural or theological influence, they may be opening the way for much worse ones."
Why Iraq Is Still Worth the Effort
By Fareed Zakaria
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Three years ago this week, I watched the invasion of Iraq apprehensively. I had supported military intervention to rid the country of Saddam Hussein's tyranny, but I had also been appalled by the crude and unilateral manner in which the Bush administration handled the issue. In the first weeks after the invasion, I was critical of several of the administration's decisions -- crucially, invading with a light force and dismantling the governing structures of Iraq (including the bureaucracy and army). My criticisms grew over the first 18 months of the invasion, a period that offered a depressing display of American weakness and incompetence. And yet, for all my misgivings about the way the administration has handled this policy, I've never been able to join the antiwar crowd. Nor am I convinced that Iraq is a hopeless cause that should be abandoned.
Let's remember that in 2002 and early 2003, U.S. policy toward Iraq was collapsing. The sanctions regime was becoming ineffective against Saddam Hussein -- he had gotten quite good at cheating and smuggling -- and it was simultaneously impoverishing the Iraqi people. Regular reconnaissance and bombing missions over Iraq were done through "no-fly" zones, which required a large U.S. and British presence in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. These circumstances were fueling a poisonous anti-Americanism in the Muslim world.
In his fatwa of 1998, Osama bin Laden's first two charges against the United States were that it was "occupying" Saudi Arabia and starving Iraqi women and children. The Palestinian cause was a distant third. Meanwhile, Hussein had a 30-year history of attempting to build nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
#IlhanOmar slams #Obama's message of 'hope and change' as a 'mirage'. With ‘caging of kids’ at U.S.-#Mexico border, ‘droning of countries around the world’ Obama "operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor” https://fxn.ws/2tYH0Y2 #FoxNews
Omar is then quoted as saying: “We can’t be only upset with Trump… His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was.
“And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
The comments came after the passage Thursday of a broad anti-bigotry resolution prompted by Omar's prior comments about Israel. The resolution and the drama surrounding its passage exposed chasms in the Democratic caucus regarding Israel and marked a coup of sorts for a tight-knit band of House freshmen who – in a matter of hours – were able to shift the spotlight away from Omar’s allegedly anti-Semitic remarks and refocus on issues like Islamophobia and pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.
“The week was supposed to start off with a rebuke of Omar's anti-Semitic comments and it ended up turning into a long list of other hateful actions,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told Fox News on Friday, saying the final product “fell short of addressing the real problem.”
But the broadside delivered at Obama is highly unusual for any Democrat, especially one who has been in the House for two months and has already ticked off party elders with her outspokenness.
DEM FROSH TURN TABLES ON ANTI-SEMITISM REBUKE, SHIFT SPOTLIGHT TO ISLAMOPHOBIA AND AIPAC POWER
The House resolution, following a week of Democratic infighting over the language, was approved on a 407-23 vote. The measure originally was drafted in response to Omar, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota, suggesting last week that Israel supporters want U.S. lawmakers to pledge “allegiance” to the Jewish state – which was widely condemned as echoing the age-old “dual loyalties” smear against Jewish politicians.
Yet after Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced a rebellion in the ranks amid concerns the resolution would unfairly single out Omar, a Muslim, and increase security threats against her (she was recently the subject of an inflammatory poster at the West Virginia capitol falsely tying her to the 9/11 attacks), the resolution was overhauled.
The result was a broad rebuke of bigotry, including anti-Semitism as well as “anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities” perpetrated by white supremacists and others. The resolution condemned “dual loyalty” accusations, but did not mention Omar by name.
The fight exposed deep divisions in the party. But on the 2020 campaign trail, heavyweights came to Omar's side. Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was raised Jewish, defended Omar, arguing that “we must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.
IDF chief finally acknowledges that Israel supplied weapons to Syrian rebels
In interview with UK’s Sunday Times, outgoing army commander Gadi Eisenkot says Israel gave opposition groups light arms ‘for self-defense’
Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot this weekend acknowledged for the first time that Israel had indeed provided weaponry to Syrian rebel groups in the Golan Heights during the country’s seven-year civil war.
Until Sunday, Israel would say officially only that it had given humanitarian aid to Syrian opposition groups across the border, while denying or refusing to comment on reports that it had supplied them with arms as well.
In an interview in the British Sunday Times, before ending his tenure as chief of staff this week, Eisenkot said that Israel had indeed provided light weapons to the rebel groups along the border, saying it was “for self-defense.”
Israel’s supply of weapons to these opposition groups has been reported for years — both by the Syrian army, looking to discredit the rebels as stooges of the Zionists, and by the opposition groups, interested in expanding their cooperation with Israel in the fight against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad — but was never confirmed by Israeli officials.
Eisenkot’s acknowledgment in the Sunday Times appeared to be part of a larger movement within the Israeli military and defense establishment to be more open about the IDF’s activities against Iran in Syria.
As the outgoing army chief conducts departing interviews with Israeli and international outlets, more and more previously classified information about the IDF’s fight against Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria has emerged.
In his media appearances, Eisenkot acknowledged that the IDF carried out hundreds of raids in Syria — in some interviews, the number given is 200, in others its 400 — and dropped 2,000 bombs on Iranian targets in 2018 alone.
“We carried out thousands of attacks [in recent years] without taking responsibility and without asking for credit,” the army chief told the Sunday Times.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also dropped the policy of “general acknowledgement, specific ambiguity” in Syria, under which Israel says that it does carry out operations in Syria, without claiming individual strikes.
#Israel just admitted arming anti-Assad #Syrian rebels. In his final days as the Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot confirmed that Israel had directly supported anti-Assad Syrian rebel factions. #Assad https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-just-admitted-arming-anti-assad-syrian-rebels-big-mistake-1.6894850
For the first time on the record, a senior official confirmed Israel's secret unconventional war in Syria, aimed at preventing Iranian encroachment. But what did Israel gain from exposing its 'anti-intervention' lie after so many years of denial?
In his final days as the Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot confirmed, on the record, that Israel had directly supported anti-Assad Syrian rebel factions in the Golan Heights by arming them.
This revelation marks a direct break from Israel’s previous media policy on such matters. Until now, Israel has insisted it has only provided humanitarian aid to civilians (through field hospitals on the Golan Heights and in permanent healthcare facilities in northern Israel), and has consistently denied or refused to comment on any other assistance.
In short, none other than Israel’s most (until recently) senior serving soldier has admitted that up until his statement, his country’s officially stated position on the Syrian civil war was built on the lie of non-intervention.
As uncomfortable as this may initially seem, though, it is unsurprising. Israel has a long history of conducting unconventional warfare. That form of combat is defined by the U.S. government’s National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 as "activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt or overthrow an occupying power or government by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary or guerrilla force in a denied area" in the pursuit of various security-related strategic objectives.
While the United States and Iran are both practitioners of unconventional warfare par excellence, they primarily tend to do so with obvious and longer-term strategic allies, i.e. the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance fighters in Afghanistan, and various Shia militias in post-2003 Iraq.
In contrast, Israel has always shown a remarkable willingness to form short-term tactical partnerships with forces and entities explicitly hostile to its very existence, as long as that alliance is able to offer some kind of security-related benefits.
The best example of this is Israel’s decision to arm Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War, despite the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strong anti-Zionist rhetoric and foreign policy. During the 1980s, Iraq remained Jerusalem’s primary conventional (and arguably existential) military threat. Aiding Tehran to continue fighting an attritional war against Baghdad reduced the risk the latter posed against Israel.
Similarly, throughout the civil war in Yemen in the 1960s, Israel covertly supported the royalist Houthi forces fighting Egyptian-backed republicans. Given Egypt’s very heavy military footprint in Yemen at the time (as many as a third of all Egyptian troops were deployed to the country during this period), Israelis reasoned that this military attrition would undermine their fighting capacity closer to home, which was arguably proven by Egypt’s lacklustre performance in the Six Day War.
Although technically not unconventional warfare, Israel long and openly backed the South Lebanon Army, giving it years of experience in arming, training, and mentoring a partner indigenous force.
More recently, though, Israel’s policy of supporting certain anti-Assad rebel groups remains consistent with past precedents of with whom and why it engages in unconventional warfare. Israel’s most pressing strategic concern and potential threat in Syria is an Iranian encroachment onto its northern border, either directly, or through an experienced and dangerous proxy such as Hezbollah, key to the Assad regime’s survival.
Pls can you explain me ke America ney kon kon se favors dee hein Pakistan ko?
Ap ney aik comment section mein bataya thah key America did support Pakistan jahan America ko zaroorat theh, pls ap ous comment section ka link mujhay batasaktey hein?
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