ISIS torture based on Guantanamo torture


This video from the USA is called STILL Think Waterboarding Isn’t Torture? Try it Bush.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

“James Foley waterboarded by ISIS

Update: Thursday 28 Aug 2014, 23:29

ISIS fighters in Syria have tortured at least four prisoners by waterboarding, The Washington Post reports. One of the victims was the American journalist James Foley, who was later beheaded.

In waterboarding someone gets a cloth over one’s face, then water is thrown over it. This leads to a feeling of drowning. The United States used the method often in Guantánamo Bay, until President Obama banned it.

ISIS has copied more Guantánamo techniques. Eg, ISIS prisoners also wear orange overalls and they are sometimes subjected to mock executions.

What to Do About ISIS: here.

French government admits arming Syrian jihadists


This video says about itself:

Syria – Who are Jabhat al-Nusra? – Truthloader

23 May 2013

A lot of the graphic footage coming out of Syria has been associated with extremist opposition groups but the name that has cropped up the most is Jabhat al-Nusra. But who are the secretive jihadists? Where do they come from and what links to they have with al Qaeda, Iraq and what have they got to do with The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham?

By Pierre Mabut in France:

France admits it directly supplied arms to Syrian “rebels”

27 August 2014

President François Hollande confirmed in a Le Monde interview on August 19 that France has been directly supplying arms to the “rebels” of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in its proxy war to remove the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. This came ahead of the recent US decision to intervene militarily in Syria, ostensibly to crush the Islamic State (IS) opposition militia operating in Iraq and Syria.

French imperialism has been arming Syrian Islamist opposition forces since at least the spring of 2013. According to Le Monde, it provided weapons including 12.7-mm machine guns, rocket launchers, body armour and communications equipment—but “ nothing”, according to a Le Monde source, “which ‘could have been turned against us’ such as explosives”. The same weapons are also being shipped to the Peshmerga Kurdish militias in northern Iraq to stop the progress of the IS takeover, a direct product of the US war in Iraq. …

The IS and large parts of the FSA are composed of Islamist groups using terror bombings and mass killings to conduct a brutal civil war that left nearly 190,000 dead and millions of refugees. Indeed, it is precisely these crimes that Washington is now cynically exploiting to claim it has to intervene in Iraq and Syria in order to crush the IS.

Hollande turned reality on its head, claiming the growth of the IS in Syria and its sectarian wars was due to the NATO powers’ decision not to go to war with Assad.

“The international community carries a heavy responsibility in what is taking place in Syria, If two years ago there had been action to install a transition, we would not have had the Islamic State. If one year ago, there had been a proportionate reaction of the great powers to the use [by al-Assad] of chemical weapons, we would not be faced with this terrible choice between a dictator and a terrorist group,” he said.

Indeed, President Hollande and the US bear a “heavy responsibility”, but it is for fomenting the civil war, using reactionary jihadist forces such as the FSA and IS as proxies.

The lawlessness of Hollande’s PS government was witnessed in August 2013, when it clamoured for the bombing of Syria for regime change over a threatened Russian veto in the UN Security Council. War was averted at the last minute, due to deep splits in the foreign policy establishment and broad popular opposition to the war reflected in a vote against war in the British parliament—much to the chagrin of Hollande’s government, which was prepared to risk provoking a war with Russia and Iran.

The growth of the jihadist forces in Syria is the direct result of the arming and financing by the CIA, France and the Gulf monarchies as proxy forces to overthrow Assad. Substantial sections of the FSA, which Hollande cynically called “democratic,” have defected to the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front.

France has openly stoked the flames of civil war ever since 2012, when Hollande recognised the Syrian National Coalition—on which the FSA sits, together with representatives of various Islamist groups and liberal opponents of Assad—as Syria’s government. Hollande’s PS government is one of the most bellicose warmongers on the planet—launching wars in Mali and the Central African Republic in a drive to re-colonise Africa, and backing Washington and Berlin in their proxy war with Russia over Ukraine.

Harper to escalate Canadian military intervention in Iraq: here.

How the Islamic State pushed Al-Qaida to Israel’s doorstep: here.

A rebel force linked to Al Qaeda has taken control of a Syrian border post adjacent to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and at least one Israeli soldier was wounded during fighting between the rebel group, the al-Nusra Front, and troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: here.

ISIS terrorists against Syrian Kurdish ‘terrorists’


This video from Syria says about itself:

2014 International Women’s Day in Qamishlo – Rojava Kurdistan

13 March 2014

Unlike the areas under the control of the Syrian regime and Islamic opposition forces, Kurds and Syriac Christian women organised public events in their self-rule autonomous cantons [in] northeast Syria, which promoted gender equality.

By Derek Wall in Britain:

Rojava: a beacon of hope fighting Isis

Monday 25th August 2014

The socialist Kurdish region in Syria has successfully resisted the Islamic State and deserves our solidarity, says DEREK WALL

Rojava should be trending on Twitter. Rojava should be on the lips of all of us, especially of those on the left. Rojava (or Syrian Kurdistan) is a sign of hope in a world which often seems rather dark. However, most of us haven’t even heard of Rojava.

Rojava is an autonomous socialist state with a population of 2.5 million that has recently been formed in the Middle East.

Rojava community self-defence units have been fighting the so-called Islamic State and consistently winning. We should all be fundraising for Rojava’s medical appeal, learning more about Rojava, giving its people solidarity and above all spreading the word.

The discourse in the mainstream media around Iraq and Syria is simple.

Murderous fundamentalists are killing Christians, Shia, Yazidis and terrorising people of all faiths in Iraq and Syria.

The killing of James Foley and threats to the US and Britain make them our enemy. For both pragmatic and ethical reasons, the US and Britain should return to the region and take them on.

Those who oppose direct military interventions are appeasing a force of supreme evil.

The history of US/British intervention suggests that this line of argument contains flaws. In 2003, when George Bush invaded Iraq, one of his pretexts was that Saddam Hussein had been working with al-Qaida.

However it is clear that while in 2003 al-Qaida had no serious support in Iraq, the chaos unleashed by the invasion has enabled the building of a force so repellent and regressive that even al-Qaida condemns them.

Cock-up or conspiracy, interventions have grown and fuelled this threat and with the supplying of weapons to Islamist groups in Syria, Isis have been armed by Obama.

A number of different organisations and states have been fighting Isis. It is forgotten, for example, that Russia has been supporting Iraqi forces for some time.

However, the force that has had the most consistent success in combatting the Islamic State is Rojava.

However Rojava, being a socialist autonomous state, has received no media publicity and no support from the US or Britain.

Rojava gained a measure of autonomy from Syria, and its main political party, the Democratic People’s Union, has organised self-defence units called the YPG. The Democratic People’s Union is affiliated to the Kurdish Workers’ Party, commonly referred to as the PKK.

A long-standing Kurdish revolutionary party, the PKK has been heavily repressed by the Turkish state. In fact much of the rise of the so-called Islamic State can be explained by Turkish opposition to an autonomous Kurdish state.

Turkey’s border has been closed to Rojava to strangle this new socialist and Kurdish state. In contrast, the border has been open from Turkey to jihadists fighting the Kurds.

The long-standing PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was kidnapped in Nairobi in 1991 by the Turkish secret service and remains in prison.

The PKK is listed as an international terrorist organisation and is subject to intense repression. Yet in Rojava, despite all this pressure, their sister organisation has achieved something interesting.

The PKK and PYD advocate socialism, feminism, freedom of religious belief and pluralism.

In a region dominated by authoritarian regimes and sectarianism, their experiment in democratic socialism should be celebrated. One of Ocalan’s key influences, somewhat surprisingly, is the late US social ecologist Murray Bookchin.

Thousands of Rojavans have been murdered by the fundamentalists, and Rojavan school students have been kidnapped to put pressure upon their families.

However, Rojava has fought back impressively, forming community defence group the YPG. Yazidis from Mount Sinjar, under threat of death from the Islamic State, were led to freedom in Rojava by members of the YPG.

There is much in the media and from politicians like David Cameron about the threat from Islamic fundamentalists.

Of course US and British intervention led to the creation of such a threat, funding from Qatar and Saudi Arabia fed this threat and Turkey has turned a blind eye to jihadists from all parts of the globe moving to Syria and Iraq to cause murder and mayhem.

Real hope in the region will have to come from democratic and plural political structures, based on self-respect, and in the immediate term the so-called Islamic State needs to be challenged. Those who have done so most effectively in Rojava need to be supported.

Yet, at present, the PKK and its affiliates are listed as international terrorist organisations by the US, Nato and the EU.

All of us on the left must call for an end to this terrorism listing, demand the release of Ocalan and challenge the role of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in supporting fundamentalism.

My knowledge of Rojava is basic but I know I need to find out more. We should set up solidarity organisations, spread the word about Rojava, organise film showings — there are a number of excellent films about Rojava — and, above all, donate to the medical appeal for Rojava.

You can find details of how to send donations to the medical fund here.

Derek Wall is international co-ordinator of the Green Party.

The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes: here.

The barbaric murder of American journalist James Foley, and his apparent beheading by a masked British man, is being used to move the UK towards direct military participation in Iraq and Syria: here.

The murder of James Foley is being manipulated to gain support for a new war in Syria, argues Colin Toddhunter: here.

US military to initiate operations in Syria: here.

Britain: HOME SECRETARY May is set to bring in special measures to deal with British terrorists returning from Syria and Iraq, where they were allowed to go to fight President Assad with the tacit encouragement of her government and its security forces: here.

Theresa May has a short memory on Syria. The government seeks to punish Britons going to fight in Syria, when a year ago we were on the verge of air strikes there: here.

BRITISH Home Secretary May, driven by the desperate home and foreign policy crisis of British imperialism, is lashing out at basic rights in the UK, at the same time as a civil war has broken out in the Tory Party, and spreading into the army leadership, over whether the British ruling class should back Syria’s President Assad, and seek an alliance with President Rouhani of Iran, as Cameron has suggested, against the ISIS movement. This is a movement that has been built up and financed by Saudi Arabia, where chopping off heads and a Caliphate are still the norm: here.

Men and women in Britain appear to hold very different views on whether the government should sanction RAF air strikes against Isis militants in the Middle East: here.

The drive to war is a measure of the crisis facing US imperialism in the Middle East, after a quarter century of escalating intervention, characterized by the combination of recklessness and brutality that is the particular specialty of the American ruling class. While increasingly apocalyptic administration comments and media headlines declare ISIS to be a deadly threat to the United States, there has been virtually no acknowledgement that the crisis in the Middle East is the direct product of the repeated US interventions: here.

Australian government weighs up joining US air war in Iraq: here.

Italian government sends weapons to northern Iraq: here.

For the US and its allies, Mount Sinjar is a success story: a humanitarian disaster alleviated by US air power. But hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqis – mostly sick and old – remain atop the mountain, with no relief on its way: here.

British government, from war on Assad’s Syria to alliance?


This video, based on the book 1984, is called 1984 – The War among Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia.

First, a quote from the dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell. The book is set in a fictional year 1984 (still in the future in 1948 when Orwell wrote the novel), in the dictatorial superstate Oceania (roughly, the USA plus Britain). Oceania is perpetually at war against another superstate; either Eurasia or Eastasia.

On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions, the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the posters, the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet, the grinding of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of massed planes, the booming of guns — after six days of this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd could have got their hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-criminals who were to be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings, they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces — at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally.

There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy. …

Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia. A large part of the political literature of five years was now completely obsolete. Reports and records of all kinds, newspapers, books, pamphlets, films, sound-tracks, photographs — all had to be rectified at lightning speed. Although no directive was ever issued, it was known that the chiefs of the Department intended that within one week no reference to the war with Eurasia, or the alliance with Eastasia, should remain in existence anywhere.

Today, in 2014, Oceania does not exist. NATO and its member states come closest to it.

Eurasia and Eastasia do not exist. However, Syria has at least some resemblance to it.

Last year, David Cameron’s British government almost started a war against the Assad regime in Syria; a war with Al Qaeda in Syria and Al Qarda spin-off ISIS as allies of the NATO ‘free world’. That war did not start because of overwhelming popular opposition to it.

And now, will we soon hear in the official war propaganda, similarly to Orwell’s 1984: “Assad is an ally. Assad has always beenm an ally”?

By Ben Chacko in Britain:

Chaos in Con-Dem Isis plan

Saturday 23rd August 2014

Middle East foreign policy branded shambolic after Dannatt calls for alliance with Syria’s Assad

THE government’s chaotic Middle East policy was on the ropes yesterday as Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tried to fend off calls for an alliance with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Former army chief General Richard Dannatt said a “conversation has got to be held” with the Syrian leader because of efforts to halt the advance of the Islamic State (Isis).

Isis now dominates the Western-supported uprising against the Assad government and has recently won control of huge swathes of neighbouring Iraq.

“The Syrian dimension has got to be addressed. You cannot deal with half a problem,” the retired general declared on the Today programme.

He raised the spectre of British air strikes against Isis on Syrian territory — and added that “it’s got to be with the Assad regime’s approval,” arguing that Britain should admit it had “misread” the situation in the country.

The US is conducting air strikes against the Islamist group. Britain has so far restricted involvement to aid drops and surveillance missions.

But Mr Hammond shied away from any alliance — which would be a dramatic U-turn for a government which tried and failed to win Parliament’s backing for a military assault on Syria last year.

Britain has continued to call for Mr Assad’s removal from power while lending assistance to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters battling Isis in Iraq.

“We may very well find that we are fighting, on some occasions, the same people that he is but that doesn’t make us his ally,” the Foreign Secretary obfuscated on Radio 4’s World at One.

Labour MP Paul Flynn derided the “chaos” of Britain’s foreign policy.

“On August 29 last year the government wanted to attack Syria and remove Assad.

“Now the United States is saying he’s the least-worst option.

“This just illustrates the futility of Western interference.

“As for Gen Dannatt, he wants a bigger role and more military spending when we already have the fourth-highest military budget in the world.

“We can’t keep punching above our weight and dying beyond our responsibilities.”

Communist Party leader Robert Griffiths said the government’s role in the rise of Isis could not be ignored.

“It’s all very well for generals and politicians to be wise after the event but there was no great mystery about the revolt in Syria,” he said.

“Plenty of us were warning when the government wanted to topple the secular Assad government that helping its enemies would end up strengthening jihadist terrorists.”

Obama vows protracted military campaign in Iraq, Syria: here.

ISIS, and other violent crime


This video from the USA is called CIA: Al-Qaeda Rebels Taking Over Syria.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

A US-made barbarism

Friday 22nd August 2014

Anybody with an ounce of humanity would be revolted by the apparently cold-blooded murder in Syria of US photojournalist James Foley. No cause can justify such barbaric inhumanity and, indeed, is besmirched by it.

His death at the hands of a deranged psychopath should remind us of the courageous efforts of Mr Foley and other journalists who seek to inform us of what they witness on the front line of conflicts around the world.

As the National Union of Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists and Unesco point out, this can be a very dangerous profession. Almost 70 journalists have been killed so far this year from Colombia to Yemen and Gaza.

The NUJ is right to demand that governments there and everywhere else investigate all such killings, recognising the importance of free press and broadcasting media to any society which claims to be civilised.

The Morning Star holds no brief for Isis and other Islamic fundamentalist groups.

We know that they are opposed to even the most basic democratic rights for women, workers and people in general. Their first victims are often communists and socialists which is why, in the past, they have received support and even sponsorship from Western governments.

Last year, the British government wanted us to intervene militarily in Syria to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s secular regime, although even the dogs in the Damascus street understood that the most likely beneficiaries would be Islamic jihadists rather than some Western-backed “moderate” sock puppet.

But this is not the only reason why British, US and other condemnations of Isis barbarism will cut no ice in Iraq, Syria or in extreme Islamist circles in Britain.

Nobody will be dissuaded by Prime Minister David Cameron, President Barack Obama or the likes of Tony Blair from signing up for “holy war” against secularism and the West.

It is the sheer hypocrisy and double standards of Western imperialism which render their condemnations utterly ineffective.

After all, Israeli killers have just murdered more than 2,000 defenceless Palestinian civilians in Gaza with no condemnation worth the name from the British or US governments.

True, Israeli soldiers didn’t individually cut the throats of all these women, children and men, but is it fundamentally less barbaric to blast people to pieces in their own homes by fighter plane rocket or artillery shell?

Moreover, it is almost grotesquely comic to see the countries which plunged Afghanistan and Iraq into bloody chaos, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of their citizens in the process, now wringing their hands over a single death — however vile and tragic — in Syria.

In Iraq and Yugoslavia, US and British forces attacked television stations and killed journalists and other media personnel.

In truth, it must fall to ordinary decent people around the world to uphold civilised and democratic values.

We must continue to demand that our governments stop trying to shape the world in their own image by military force. …

And we must not allow hand-wringing hypocrites to erode our civil and democratic liberties at home in the name of the “war on terror” which they wage against super-exploited peoples and non-compliant governments around the world.

ISIS, Iraq, Syria, David Cameron and hypocrisy


This video says about itself:

I’ll never forgive Tony BlairBianca Jagger on Iraq, human rights and gender equality

17 Febuary 2014

Bianca Jagger, Founder of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, speaks to the host of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi, about the war in Iraq, 11 years on. She says she will never forgive Tony Blair for taking the country to war, and people are still suffering from his poor choices. She explains why she campaigned against the war right from the start, and talks about the fact-finding mission she made to Iraq before the war started. Also, she wants to keep fighting to ensure women everywhere have the same rights as men, and the challenges people campaigning for gender equality still must overcome.

By Ben Chacko in Britain:

Tuesday 19th August 2014

DAVID CAMERON insisted yesterday he had a “fully worked through” strategy to deal with Islamic State (Isis) extremists as he prepared for his second holiday this month.

The Labour Party and senior Church of England figures have branded as “incoherent” the Prime Minister’s approach to the terrorist group, which has taken over vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

But he did not respond to calls from Anglican canon Andrew White of St George’s Church in Baghdad for the British government to offer asylum to up to 30,000 persecuted Iraqi Christians.

Mr Cameron failed to answer accusations of hypocrisy for having backed the insurgency in Syria which put Isis on the map.

The terror group’s equipment and funds come disproportionately from Western powers and regional allies such as Saudi Arabia.

Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths said the government’s “top priority should be to enforce the UN security council resolution preventing the flow of arms to Isis and its allies.

“It is a tragedy that US, British and Nato support for Syrian rebels has led to this catastrophe.”

TOP brass rounded on holidaying PM David Cameron yesterday, adding their voices to the clamour for clarity on his Iraq policy. General Sir Richard Dannatt said “the nation would expect” Parliament to be recalled for a full debate if there was a risk of British forces getting involved in the battle between Islamic State (Isis) militants and Iraqi and Kurdish troops: here.

UK joins US military offensive in Iraq: here.

Germany expands its intervention in Iraq: here.

Meanwhile, the number of anti-aircraft missiles in the hands of Syrian rebels poses a serious threat to commercial aircraft. [AP]

Turkish government helped ISIS terrorists


This video is about ISIS killing truck drivers for religious sectarian reasons.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

August 12 2014

REYHANLI, Turkey — Before their blitz into Iraq earned them the title of the Middle East’s most feared insurgency, the jihadists of the Islamic State treated this Turkish town near the Syrian border as their own personal shopping mall.

And eager to aid any and all enemies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey rolled out the red carpet.

In dusty market stalls, among the baklava shops and kebab stands, locals talk of Islamist fighters openly stocking up on uniforms and the latest Samsung smartphones. Wounded jihadists from the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front — an al-Qaeda offshoot also fighting the Syrian government — were treated at Turkish hospitals. Most important, the Turks winked as Reyhanli and other Turkish towns became way stations for moving foreign fighters and arms across the border.

“Turkey welcomed anyone against Assad, and now they are killing, spreading their disease, and we are all paying the price,” said Tamer Apis, a politician in Reyhanli, where two massive car bombs killed 52 people last year.

See also here.