This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Syrian rebel forces call for Israel's help

 

640px-Golan_92
Israel, the Golan Heights & Syria|IMAGE CREDIT: Wiki Commons


Rather hypocritically, Syrian “rebel forces” are urging Israel to strike government targets in Syria.


This position replicates the stance of the Iraqi Shia government which requires American help in order to destroy the Sunnis of ISIS in Iraq. The difference is that in Iraq it’s Shia which require the help of Americans; whereas in Syria it’s Sunnis who requires the help of Israel.


In both cases, the Sunnis in Syria and the Shia in Iraq are otherwise completely against, respectively, Israel and America. Still, in war, anything goes. If Israel can help the Syrian “rebels”, or the jihadists, destroy the Shia government in Syria, then why not call on Israel’s help? Similarly, if the Shia can’t destroy ISIS in Iraq, then why not call for American help?


Syrian rebel forces flag | IMAGE CREDIT: Wiki Commons
Syrian rebel forces flag | IMAGE CREDIT: Wiki Commons


Of course, the Sunnis in Syria and the Shia in Iraq are sworn enemies of both America and Israel. So what’s going on here? Realpolitik and military strategy. In fact in may even be the case that the Israeli military, as well as some Israeli politicians, may see it as a good thing to destroy Bashar Assad’s regime. It’s hard to say.


The thing is, Israel has already launched an air strike on Syrian government forces after a mortar attack from Syria killed an young Israeli boy in the Golan Heights.

Despite all the above, it can be argued that a Sunni Syrian state will be more of a threat to Israel than Bashar Assad’s Alawite (Shia) regime. Sure, there has been decades of conflict between Syria and Israel. However, if the jihadists gain power in Syria (or even if they only have control of large parts of the country), worse will follow.


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2,000-year-old synagogue in Damascus: destroyed by Sunni jihadists/Islamists| PHOTO CREDIT: Wiki Commons


Bashar Assad always kept his anti-Israel actions and rhetoric under (at least some) control. On the other hand, if Sunni jihadists take over in Syria, then there would be nothing to stop them going all the way (as it were).


In addition, Hamas, rather than Hezbollah, would then have a base in Syria. Now, for Israel, surely increased Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood power in Syria will be worse than the threat from Hezbollah.


A Sunni-controlled Syria could coordinate more of an anti-Israel front than Assad has ever previously managed with (parts of) Lebanon and Iran. A new anti-Israel Sunni front could include all the Arab Gulf states, the Sunnis in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Sunnis of Iraq, Sunni states beyond the Middle East and so on.


In the Sunni-Shia war, it’s best to side with the underdog – which is the Shia. Of course, strategically, all this will depend on circumstances. For Israel’s politicians and its military, it won’t be an exact science.


However, better the devil you know. And Israel knows Assad’s regime pretty well by now.


There is of course one further rather large complication to all this: Iran and its support of Assad’s Syria.

Syria Joins the War in Iraq

 

Bashar_al-Assad_propaganda
Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President | PHOTO CREDIT: Wiki Commons


Syria is now involved in the Iraq-ISIS conflict. We are dealing here with the latest performance in the 1400-year-old Sunni-Shia war.


Syria is ruled by Shia (Alawite) president and the regime is basically Shia too. On top of that, the Syrian government has been fighting Sunni jihadists for the last three-and-a-half years in Syria itself. So it would be very odd if the Syrians didn’t get involved in the conflict in Iraq.




(Some Muslims – primarily in the West – have borrowed certain aspects of Marxist theory and history and claimed that the “eternal Sunni-Shia war” is a “myth”. They’ve even claimed that many of their fellow Muslims have also “bought into the myth”. Islamists claim that the war is, in fact, the invention of Western kuffar concocted to ‘divide and rule’ otherwise harmonious Muslims. However, even though Western powers - and indeed all powers - have used the strategy of divide and rule, that doesn’t mean that there were no divisions in the first place. In fact divide-and-rule policies could only work when such divisions already exist. All this buck-passing, of course, follows the ancient Muslim tradition of blaming the kuffar for Islamic/Muslim conflicts, violence and even Islamic “imperialist” conquests.)



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Alawite population distribution | IMAGE CREDIT: Wiki Commons


The obvious strategic thing to do( if you were an Iraqi or Syrian Shia) would be to call for Syrian-Iraqi  cooperation in order to get rid of both the Sunni jihadists in Syria and ISIS in Iraq.


(This is a somewhat odd scenario if you bear in mind just one historical detail. When Saddam Hussein was in power (from 1979 to 2003), Baathist Syria was mortal a mortal enemy of Baathist Iraq. It seems that their joint commitment to totalitarian Baathist socialism didn’t help them iron out their differences.)


And just as Shia Syria and Shia Iraq seem to have aligned, so too have Syrian and Iraqi Sunni jihadists. That is, former Syrian Sunni rivals to ISIS have now pledge allegiance to that group. In fact Syrian jihadists have gone one step beyond that and given ISIS complete control of the fighting on both sides of the border.


One particular group of Syrian jihadists, the Nusra Front, has also pledged allegiance to ISIS. This is no surprise because the Nusra Front is a unit of as-Qaeda in Syria and ISIS itself, of course, grew out of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).


Interestingly enough, it was Iraq’s Shia Prime Minister, Nouri Maliki, who confirmed that the Syrian air force had carried out strikes against Islamic jihadists in Iraq earlier this week.


The official line, however, is that Iraq didn’t request the Syrian air strikes. Nonetheless, the Iraqi PM “welcomed” them.


More specifically, on Tuesday the Syrian air force attacked Sunni jihadists around the town of Qaim (on the Iraq-Syria border).


800px-Al_qaeda_in_iraq_and_sunni_insurgents_march_2008
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (2006-2008)|IMAGE CREDIT: Wiki Commons


Once again, the issue of the American use of drones has arisen. It has been said that US drone attacks may soon be carried out – against ISIS –  in Iraq.


Now of course the Western Left (the “anti-war” brigade which isn’t really against war at all: only wars carried out by Western “capitalist states”) will be against drone strikes. But then again they’ll also be against the obvious alternative to that: US troops fighting on the ground.


As for Iran’s position on US drone strikes. You’d think that Iran would certainly prefer drone strikes to direct US intervention in the conflict. It may even be the case that Iraq’s Shia government would also prefer drone attacks – though only if they did the trick of destroying ISIS. (Previously, the Iraq government appears to have demanded more than drone strikes.)

Friday, 27 June 2014

One Step at a Time: Sharia in the UK

 






One step at a time. Softly, softly does it.


You would hardly expect the majority of Muslims in the UK to demand complete sharia law here and now. That's not going to happen. Clowns such as Angie Choudary, of course, do demand complete Islamisation over night. (That's why I sometimes think he's either a Muslim plant or he works for the Government.)

What Angie Choudary should be doing - because it's far more effective - is the Islamisation-one-step-at-a-time approach of, say, the Muslims Council of Britain (MCB) and other Officially Moderate Muslim groups.

Many Muslims make the extremely bogus distinction between "civil sharia" and "state sharia" (i.e., stuff that would effect everyone). They say it's all about "little changes" to do with inheritance tax, marriage law, halal produce, Islamic bonds, etc. But what happens when Muslims gain all these "civil" concessions? Will they suddenly stop demanding more "religious" Sharia laws? Of course they won't!

 

The demands for "sharia finance" and changes in inheritance law are just the first steps towards complete Islamisation. And increased Islamisation will coincide with increased Muslim demographics. (This, again, makes the Angie Choudary approach seem a little suspect if not counterproductive, from a Muslim point of view).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-issues-first-islamic-bond

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Roshan Salih: "I hope the England team gets stuffed at the World Cup."

 



Roshan Muhammed Salih
 

The level of visceral hatred in Roshan Muhammed Salih's article, "I hope Italy stuffs England at the World Cup", is disturbing. There's enough hate in it to make a Muslim want to become ... well, a terrorist. That hatred is very much like that of MPACUK'S Asghar Bukhari, who similarly foams at the mouth about the evil West when he's interviewed or when he writes on his website.


Indeed, the level of hatred of England and the English is so strong that it effectively amounts to racism. Take these comments:



"The happiest moments of my life have usually been spent in the moments after the England football team has just been knocked out of an international competition ... . preferably on penalties. The feeling of pure joy is indescribable."



And from then on, it gets worse. It ends up verging on some kind of anti-English sexual sadism, as in this passage:


"To see the nation's expectations raised so high after a lucky win against a mediocre team, and then to see those very same expectations brutally crushed after a devastating defeat is something I will never tire of. It's bliss."



Roshan Muhammed Salih then elaborates:


"Yes I want England to lose, I want them to lose badly, the more goals conceded the better because that would be total humiliation."



Finally, we have this rather sick and perverse statement:


"I'm almost in tears of joy as I write this."


Biography





Now these aren't the words of some young Pakistani Muslim hooligan or sexual groomer from Keighley or Alum Rock. You know, the sort of Muslim who often displays an obsession with "killing the kuffar" and "raping [your] mothers and sisters" on Facebook and other Internet sites. Mr Salih is a middle class professional with quite a history.


Picture of Roshan Muhammed Salih




Roshan Muhammed Salih is the editor of the website 5 Pillarz, in which this piece can be found. (Lauren Booth and Yvonne Ridley, two well-known English converts – or 'reverts' – also write for 5 Pillarz.) He was also London's Head of News for Iran's Press TV (2007-2012) and for the Islam Channel (2005-2007). Before that, he was a researcher/ associate producer for London Weekend Television and Granada. He even worked – according to his own LinkedIn details – on the Jonathan Dimbleby programme.

The England Football Team



According to Mr Salih, the English football team are his "oppressors" (or at least he "associates" them with his oppressors). Yes, that's right: the three black players, as well as the ones of Irish, Polish-Scottish and other ancestry, are his "oppressors". In fact the Anglo-Saxon players will all be from working class backgrounds (historically speaking), and the English working class didn't have that much to do with the British Empire in the 19th century and before. Still, they are kuffar. As are the black players of the English football team. And that's what matters to Mr Salih and to many other Muslims. You can dress it up with Marxist/ Leninist talk of "colonialism" and "racism", yet in the end Salih is saying the kind of thing that Muslims have said (about the kuffar) for over a thousand years.


His Islamic sadism and anti-English mania even take on a sporting hue when he says that "the English team has consistently played the most turgid, uninspiring boring brand of football for decades". Yes, he's right: Pakistan, or Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka are much better football teams.


As I said, Salih colours his extreme Islam with a bit of Leninism (as in Lenin's Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism of 1917). I'm not saying that this Islamic zealot has necessarily read Lenin. Nonetheless, his Marxist analysis (though of course without the atheist materialism and hatred of all religions) of English "colonialism" has been taken up by very many Muslims. (It has been since the 1960s, and, in some cases, before that.) It's convenient for Muslims like Salih and MPACUK to tart up their Islamism – and even their Islam – with Marxist theory. They do so primarily to sell Islam to Western leftists and to other secularists; all the better to achieve what they want to achieve (i.e., increased Islamisation in the UK).

Muslim Racism



Roshan Muhammed Salih is a Muslim racist. He claims to have been turned into such a racist primarily because some English/ Welsh people called him a "Paki". So does that mean, then, that the hundreds of young English girls who've been victims of Muslim grooming gangs (as well as the hundreds of of white lads who have been beaten up by Muslim gangs, especially in the north) should also become racists towards towards what Salih calls "Pakis"?


Salih either cries crocodile or self-indulgent tears when he says that he has "lived in Britain most of my life but have been the victim of racism and Islamophobia much of it".


Well, that's the state of play in England, at least according to Salih. What about the state of play in, say, Islamic Pakistan?


In Pakistan, between 2001 and 2011, 35,000 civilians were killed by Islamic terrorists alone. A church is burned to the ground there almost every other week. Numerous Christians, Hindus and Ahmadiyya have faced death – not just Salih's name-calling. Whole Christian villages have been burned to the ground. Hindu and Sikh temples have suffered the same fate.


Now how does all the compare with English "Islamophobia" and calling someone like you a "Paki", Salih?


And that's just Pakistan.


What about the one-and-a-half million deaths in Sudan caused by the sadistic Islamists in that country? What about Boko Haram, the Janjaweed, al-Shabaab, ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists in Egypt? What about the up to 80 million Indian Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc. who died as a result of endless Islamic jihad on their country?


What about all that, Salih? Are you honestly trying to convince the kuffar, and even yourself, that all that was and still is the fault of non-Muslims? Or, as MPACUK, Salma Yaqoob and so many Muslims seem to believe, do only Muslims truly bleed? Such Muslims also outrageously claim that the kuffar completely ignores the deaths of Muslims; despite the existence of the large cry-for-the-Muslims industry which numerous leftist kuffar have built in this country.


Salih makes another explicitly racist statement about the English (or at least about all English patriots) when he says that he


"contributes far more to this country than your average patriot who causes mayhem in a town centre on a Saturday night and scrounges off the social".



As I said earlier, the level of racism here is blatant and deep. It's the sort of racism that's classed as a 'hate crime' when committed by white people. It's the sort of remark that Tell Mama and Mo Ansar screenshot when spoken by whites against Muslims. However, when spoken or said by Muslims, not much – or anything – is said or done about it. You see, generalisations about Muslims are bad. But generalisations about the English are good.


What's more, Salih confesses that his intense hatred of the kuffar is "shared by many" other "immigrants" (his word, not mine). Well, well. We're often told the exact opposite of that. Then again, this article was written for Salih's fellow Muslims, and will be far more honest than anything said on the BBC or at an interfaith event. Speaking of national media, this man has actually written articles for The Guardian. I bet that none of them are so petulant and sadistic as this one, not even in the pro-Islamist Guardian. Nonetheless, it just goes to show what kind of fanatical Islamists The Guardian is cosseting ... that's if anyone needs to be shown this blatantly obvious fact.

Using England



Roshan Muhammed Salih admits to using England for his own ends. He says:


"Like many immigrants I came to this country not out of choice but because my parents took an economic decision to emigrate from my home country."



This is strange really because when 'Islamophobes' say that (about Muslims), interfaithers, leftists and some Muslims deny it outright.


Despite all that, Salih is still here in the UK. But that's because he's "been stuck here ever since because this is where my family is and this is where they will stay".


He uses England partly as payback for what he calls "colonialism". He elaborates on this English colonialism when he says that the "English invaded and occupied my country; they forced me to come over here for economic reasons". And that's why he "hopes they get stuffed at footie".


Like MPACUK, he propagates a Muslim – or Islamic – narrative about everything being Britain's fault. How predictable! Muslims have been blaming the kuffar for all their failures and violence for 1,400 years. Muslims even blamed infidel attacks for their conquest and subjugation of almost one third of the planet some 200 years after the death of Muhammad.


You see, it's always the fault of kuffar; just as Iraq, Syria, etc. are the fault of the kuffar today Of course Muslims like Salih won't say 'kuffar'. They'll talk about 'Western capitalism' or, in Salih's case, 'English colonialism'. Still, it's strange that all these evil capitalists and colonialists are kuffar. Heck, you'd hardly expect Muslims to blame themselves or their own religion.

Are Iraqi & Iranian Shia split on the role of the US in Iraq?

 

Khamenei-2000s
Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei | PHOTO CREDIT: Wiki Commons


Some news outlets have reported on the fact that what they call “Sunni militants” have taken control of another town in Iraq. That was the fourth town they had taken control of in only 48 hours. Historically speaking, it’s worth bearing in mind here that from 2003 onwards Sunni jihadists (or “Islamists”) have often taken and lost towns. So, in that sense, what’s happening is not entirely new.


Some of these Sunni provinces (in which the towns are situated) were never completely subdued by the Iraqi Shia government anyway. Or at least they were and then they weren’t and they were….


What should also be stressed here is that the Shia government is not only fighting ISIS. Apart from the fact that many ex-soldiers who fought in Saddam Hussein’s army are fighting alongside ISIS, that is also true of Military Councils, another Sunni group fighting with ISIS.


This new victory for ISIS involves the town of Rutba, which is 90 miles from the Iraq’s border with Jordan.


Before that, ISIS had taken control of a border crossing between Syria and Iraq, as well as two other towns in western Iraq.


Iran’s Traditional Anti-US Rhetoric


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A montage of the Iran-Iraq War|IMAGE CREDIT: Wiki Commons


There has been much ambivalence (or hypocrisy) in Iran’s position towards the US during this current crisis in Iraq. That ambivalent position amounts to the fact that Iran knows full well that Shia Iraq does indeed require US military power in order to destroy ISIS. Nonetheless, Iran certainly doesn’t want US political power in Iraq.


In other words, Iran wants to keep Iraq’s Shia hegemony intact. That also means that all the US talk of reigning in Iraqi sectarianism isn’t what Iran wants to hear. After all, the US defeated the Sunni hegemony in Iraq and installed a Shia leadership which in some cases was led by Shia who had never even lived in Iraq. Nevertheless, the US, at times, attempted to reverse that Shia hegemony by, for example, a process of de-deBa’athication; in which Baathists regained their jobs and even some of their previously disbanded institutions.


Thus there was a back and forth (between 2003 and 2006) between de-Ba’athication and de-deBa’athication.


On the same theme, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has called on Iraq’s leaders
“to rise above sectarian motivations and form a government that is united in its determination to meet the needs and speak to the demands of all of their people”.
A negative Iranian response to that statement was inevitable.


Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenie, for example, has made a couple of ridiculous and generalised statements about it. Firstly he said that the US’s main aim is to keep Iraq US-friendly and within its “sphere of influence” (which is true) But then, despite ISIS, dozens of other Iraqi Sunni jihadist groups over the years, the sectarian nature of Shia government, the 1300 year civil war between Shia and Sunni, he said:
“The main dispute in Iraq is between those who want Iraq to join the US camp and those who seek an independent Iraq.”
In a certain perverse sense, though, there’s an element of truth in what he said in that Shia have indeed cooperated with Sunnis in order to get US troops out of Iraq. Sunni and Shia have also mutually criticised the West. However, once the troops were out, then Shia and Sunni got back to their traditional fighting. (This is very much like the UK’s Shia media-Muslim, Mehdi Hasan, who will stick up for Sunni groups and individuals when they’re criticising the West or fighting against kuffar. Nonetheless, when Hasan is speaking to exclusively Shia audiences, he’s often a virulent critic of Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslims and Sunni states such as Pakistan.)


I think another word for this Shia hypocrisy and obfuscation is Realpolitik.


The Iranian Ayatollah has also predictably rejected American and Sunni calls to get rid of the Shia Prime Minister, Nouri Maliki. He said that he’s against “the intervention of the US and others in the domestic affairs of Iraq” and that the US “is seeking an Iraq under its hegemony and ruled by its stooges”.


All this, of course, will work against any future cooperation between the US and Iran in fighting ISIS and other jihadist groups in Iraq. In fact Ayatollah Khomenie has said that he only wants the cooperation of the “Iraqi people, government and Shia clerics”. Perhaps, more cynically, the Ayatollah should have really said that he only wants the cooperation of an Iraqi people and government that are under the tutelage of Iran-controlled Shia clerics.


Yet despite all the anti-American words from the Iranian Ayatollah, the mainly Shia Iraqi government itself has demanded that the United States take action against ISIS – and that includes military action.


The Shia Government has Killed Civilians Too


Not only ISIS has killed civilians in this recent conflict. In wars, including civil wars, civilians are going to be killed. No participant in such a war will come out of it unblemished. Just as the US has killed civilians in its “drone attacks” on parts of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, so the Shia government has also killed civilians during an air-strike against ISIS-controlled Tikrit. (That air-strike accidentally hit a petrol station.) Nonetheless, the Iraq government also killed 40 ISIS fighters in the process.


(On the subject of US drone attacks, from 2005 to 2013, between 258 and 307 civilians were killed as a result of drone attacks in Pakistan. Those same drone attacks, on the other hand, managed to kill between 1,623 and 2,787 Islamic militants. (Details found here.) And the other question one should ask critics of drone attacks is: Would you prefer on-the-ground American intervention in Pakistan or manned air strikes? (Of course, Leftists and anti-war activists are against everything the US does. So that’s effectively a rhetorical question.)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Is Tony Blair or Islam to Blame for Iraq?




I have no love for Tony Blair (or for Barack Obama or the 'neo-cons'). Nonetheless, what has Tony Blair got to do with Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, southern Thailand, Yemen, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria and all the other hells Muslims are creating for themselves in the world?

What is surprising is the number of people on the Right who are falling into the leftist/ Muslim trap of blaming others for Muslim violence and Islamic fanaticism – or at least they've done so in the case of Iraq.


Has everyone bought into the leftist 'narrative' (a favourite word of leftist automata) on Iraq? Take Son of Dave Spart's (i.e., Owen Jones) recent article on the events in Iraq ("We anti-war protesters were right"). From the beginning to the end it is a perverse example of the blame game. And guess who's to blame. That's right, not ISIS or Iraqi Muslims generally. Not in the slightest. Not in any way whatsoever. Muslims are never to blame when in comes to the racist Left, which sees all Muslims as children who are incapable of behaving humanely or decently. Instead it's all the fault of Blair, or Bush, or the 'neo-cons', or global warming (as The Guardian and Noam Chomsky have it), or whoever. Basically, because Owen Jones is an International Socialist, then evidently (to him) it has to be – it simply must be! – the fault of Western capitalism and its 'imperialist' endeavours. Such is crudity and anti-capitalist monomania of Owen Jones's Dave Spart politics.


Yes, it may be absolutely true that Tony Blair shouldn't have intervened in 2003. It may also be true that he's a power-mad lunatic who wanted (or wants) to go down in in history as a Great Statesman. Nonetheless, what he did, he did 14 years ago. Sure, we stayed in Iraq until 2009/11; though in 2007 Blair resigned and then more or less disappeared from the political scene.


So the violence is still happening not because of Blair, or Obama, or Bush, or the Balfour Declaration, or the neo-cons, etc. It's mainly – though not exclusively – to do with Islam, Arab tribal culture (which is itself largely a product of Islam) and the fact that violence has always been the first resort in Iraq and in most other Muslim countries. And that was the case well before Obama, Blair, Bush or any other Western leader made their silly mistakes. It goes back 1,400 years.


Are Muslims children? Do they have free will and conscience? Are they responsible for their own actions? Yes? Good. Then we should stop blaming all that Muslim violence and Islamic fanaticism on Western adults and Western actions. We should stop the (inverted/ 'positive') racism. Muslims are responsible for what they do; just as all adults are.


Despite all that, the Left also conveniently forgets that the 'invasion' in 2003 was partly in response to prior Iraqi violence. In other words, there was massive violence in Iraq before 2003. And there has been massive violence in Iraq after 2003. Is a picture beginning to emerge yet?


In any case, how many US and UK troops should be sacrificed for this brand new cause? As many as died in 2009, or in 2006, or in 2003/4?


You see, most Muslims in Iraq don't want Western-style democracy. They don't want 'Western values'. Full stop. The vast majority of Muslims in Iraq (as elsewhere) want one of two things:


i) Either an Islamic Shia/ Sunni state.


ii) Or a 'strong man' leader to keep sectarian chaos under wraps and, therefore, the nation state in one piece. (Someone like Saddam Hussein, perhaps. Or maybe someone like Bashar Assad or the Egyptian leaders Mubarak and now El-Sisi.)

Ally With Iran?



So what about the US Government seeking an alliance with Iran (or vice versa)?
When the Shia (or their leaders) cooperated with the US government and troops between 2003 and 2006, they did so only in order to defeat the Sunnis and thus substitute the Sunni hegemony with a Shia hegemony. Therefore once they gained power, they did to the Sunnis exactly what the Sunnis had done to them. And of course another consequence of this was that Iraq became much closer to Iran.


This meant that Iran was one of the winners of American intervention in 2003; as it will be again if the US cooperates with Iran to destroy ISIS.


That leaves a question: Why the hell does the US Government think that an Islamic group of up to 15,000 soldiers (ISIS) is more dangerous than an Islamic theocratic state (which may have nuclear weapons in the future) of over 77million (Iraq: 36 million)? Not to forget that Iran is also a state which has trained and funded Islamic terrorist groups throughout the world, including Hamas and Hezbollah.


Sure, this may be acceptable Realpolitik. Aligning with Iran may well be the strategic thing to do. Nonetheless, the US and UK should be very careful about Iran's forthcoming taqiyya (or bullshi*). Indeed what will happen when – or if – Iran gains complete control of Iraq (up until recently, it almost had)? That in itself will prove to be a threat to the West. However, it will also be a threat to Sunni Saudi Arabia, Sunni Jordan, Sunni Kuwait and even, more indirectly, Sunni Turkey. In other words, the Sunni prophesies of a 'Shia arc' encircling Sunni Muslims may well come to pass. That in itself could cause a level of violence which far surpasses what we have seen from ISIS simply because this scenario could bring about a war between states, not only between militias and jihadists.

Iraqi Islam or Iraqi Culture?



Keeping on that military theme.


People have been saying that if we still had a military presence in Iraq, or even if we had 'properly trained the Iraqis', etc., then the jihadists (ISIS) wouldn't have been able to attack and overrun cities as it has done. Perhaps; though would any of that have stopped Islamic terrorism in Iraq? It didn't when US and UK troops were there: not entirely anyway. And what about the Muslim outrage (from Jordan to Birmingham) at the kuffar presence in an Islamic land? For example, it has been said (by both bin Osama bin Laden himself and by outside commentators) that bin Laden set up al-Qaeda primarily – though not exclusively (at first) – to do something about the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia and other 'Islamic lands' (i.e., it wasn't all about Afghanistan).


We pulled out of Iraq in 2011. That was three years ago. Yes, there was violence after 2003. But there was a hell of lot of violence in Iraq before 2003. Sure, Saddam Hussein's violence in Iraq was of a different kind. Nonetheless, he killed up to one million of his own citizens well outside the theatre of war. He also went to war with Iran: a war in which over a million died. Above and beyond all that, he carried out ethnic cleansing and gassed the Kurds. (The number of deaths caused by Saddam Hussein's regime is still higher than the post-2003 death-toll.)


So what we have here, it can be said, is an Arab problem – not just an Iraqi problem. In fact what we have is an Islamic problem: many Iraqis aren't even Arabs. The Iraqis include Kurds, Iranians/ Persians, Turkomen and whatnot. What all these ethnic groups (the ones involved in the violence) have in common is Islam.


In addition, making a distinction between being an Arab and being a Muslim is pretty bogus anyway because most Arabs have been Muslim for over a thousand years.


Yes, that neat little distinction we often hear between culture and religion – in this case between Arab culture and Islam – is almost entirely bogus. As it is when the distinction is made about Pakistan – a non-Arab country – in the case of Islam versus Pakistani 'honour killings', ethnic violence, etc.


Islam is a cultural phenomenon. It has been the most important part of Arab culture, as well as of Pakistani culture (even though Indian Muslims didn't get their own state until 1947), for over a thousand years. So that neat and very convenient distinction between Islam and culture (propagated by Western – mainly leftist – academics) simply doesn't work. It effectively amounts to one massive escape-route for Islam.
To repeat: when a culture (or an area, or an ethnic group) has been Islamic for over a thousand years, that neat little distinction between religion (Islam) and culture simply cannot be maintained.


                                 ***********************************
Notes on American Thinker Comments




1) I agree that ISIS wouldn't be doing what it is doing today if Saddam Hussein were still around. Nonetheless, the point is that you can't blame a Western leader's na├»ve or megalomaniac actions for the fact that Iraqi Muslims choose violence before any other option.


To take an admittedly extreme example. Say that person X says something critical about Muhammad on the BBC and Muslims riots in England are a response. In those riots ten people are killed. Now it could be easily said that person X is to blame for those riots and deaths. That is, if he hadn't made critical remarks about Muhammad then those people wouldn't have been killed. So does that mean that no one should ever criticise Muhammad because it may cause Muslims to kill people? Is person X really to blame for those deaths? Or are Muslims to blame because they carried out the killings?


If person X's word were to blame for the deaths, then all criticisms of Muhammad could cause similar deaths. Thus, on that kind of reasoning, a self-imposed sharia blasphemy law would be required. That is, an eternal critical silence on Islam and Muhammad.


The same is true when action is taken against Muslim countries which are a threat to the West because they allow terrorists - who've been active in the West - to thrive; or even those who murder their own people in their millions. All Western action in these countries may cause Muslims to kill each other in the name of Islam. Does that automatically mean that we shouldn't have intervened? Or does that simply mean that Islam itself is a incendiary religion?


2) I mention tribal culture above and of course tribes existed in Arabia before Islam and Muhammad. Nonetheless, if Arabian tribal culture had not been fused with Muhammad and Islam, it wouldn't still be a major force.


Islam is Arabic and Arabia was tribal at the time of Muhammad. Thus Islam's tribal (or Arabian) culture has been passed on through the generations.


It's highly likely that Arabic (or Arabian) tribal culture would be defunct by the now if it had not be fused with Islam.


That's why I said "largely". On top of that, England was still pretty tribal in the 7th century too; as it was before.


3) There is no "Iraqi people". However, many - mainly Western! - Muslims stress the "artificiality of Arab states" (created, of course, by Europeans) and yearn for a Caliphate of all Muslims (all Sunni or all Shia Muslims?). But that wouldn't work either because even though Arab states are artificial (all states are, in a sense, artificial), those peoples aren't artificial. The states are artificial; though the tribal, ethnic and religious rivalries are very real. How would a Caliphate sort all that out? It wouldn't. Except if the Caliphate treated these many peoples, tribes and Islamic sects as Saddam Hussein treated them. (And as Caliphates - such as the Ottoman Empire - have treated them in the past.)


Not even an exclusively Sunni or Shia Caliphate will work because there will still be rival tribes and sects within Sunni or Shia Islam.


The nation state may actually a good idea when you think of the (Islamic) alternatives.


4) The people who commit the violence are responsible for the violence. If we don't believe that then we'll have Leftists blaming Blair and Bush (as well as other people with white skin), Sunnis blaming Shia (and Blair), Shia blaming Sunni (and Blair), nationalist Iraqis blaming Islamists and terrorists, Islamists and terrorists blaming Iraqi nationalists... and Hamas blaming "Zionists".


5) On the one hand, people can criticise Islam in strong terms. And on the other hand, those very same people may blame Bush and Blair for what's going on in 2014.


In many respects there was more violence under Saddam than after. Even if Blair and Bush made a massive mistake in intervening in Iraq, they didn't make Iraq violent. They simply made it violent in a different way.

At Saddam Hussein's low point, he was murdering up to 30,00 of his own people a month in his prisons. That's far more than have been killed by ISIS. 

There is something wrong with Iraq. And that would be the case even if Blair and Blush hadn't intervened.Before 2003, there was the Iran-Iraq war. There was the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds and southern Shia too. As well as the deaths in the prisons. Why is what's happening today worse than that? The only big difference I can see is that the Western media is focused on what's happening with ISIS and that's also because of the Blair-Bush intervention of 2003.


6) Nothing I've said denies that ISIS could spread the terror abroad. Incidentally, Saddam himself financed terrorists of various kinds, which is not to say that the situation is not worse today.

So I agree that Blair might have made it worse for the West.