British Conservatives help ISIS


This 12 May 2015 video from Britain says about itself:

Russell Brand, Abby Martin: David Cameron: Islamophobia to Control You, Part 1.

This video is the sequel.

Since 2002, Right-wing White Terrorists have Killed More Americans Than Muslim Extremists: here.

By Seumas Milne in daily The Guardian in Britain:

By scapegoating Muslims, Cameron fuels radicalisation

Ministers foster terror with their wars. Now they attack liberties at home in the name of British values

Wednesday 24 June 2015 20.54 BST

The anti-Muslim drumbeat has become deafening across the western world. As images of atrocities by the jihadi terror group Isis multiply online, and a steady trickle of young Europeans and North Americans head to Syria and Iraq to join them, Muslim communities are under siege. Last week David Cameron accused British Muslims of “quietly condoning” the ideology that drives Isis sectarian brutality, normalising hatred of “British values”, and blaming the authorities for the “radicalisation” of those who go to fight for it.

It was too much for Sayeeda Warsi, the former Conservative party chair, who condemned the prime minister’s “misguided emphasis” on “Muslim community complicity”. He risked “further alienating” the large majority of Muslims fighting the influence of such groups, she warned. Even Charles Farr, the hawkish counter-terrorism mandarin at the Home Office, balked. Perhaps fewer than 100 Britons were currently fighting with Isis, he said, and “we risk labelling Muslim communities as somehow intrinsically extremist”.

But Cameron and his neoconservative allies are preparing the ground for the government’s next onslaught. The target will not be terrorism, but “non-violent extremism”. Next month, from nursery schools to optometrists, health services to universities, all will be legally obliged to monitor students and patients for any sign of “extremism” or “radicalisation”.

The new powers represent a level of embedded security surveillance in public life unprecedented in peacetime. We already know from the government’s Prevent programme the chilling impact of such mass spying on schools, where Muslim pupils have been reported for speaking out in favour of Palestinian rights or against the role of British troops in Afghanistan.

But the “counter-extremism” bill announced in the Queen’s Speech is about to take the anti-Muslim clampdown a whole stage further. The plans include banning orders for non-violent individuals and organisations whose politics are considered unacceptable; physical restriction orders for non-violent individuals deemed “harmful”; powers to close mosques; and vetting controls on broadcasters accused of airing extremist material. It’s censorship under any other name.

That was the view of Sajid Javid, then culture secretary, in a leaked letter to the prime minister earlier this year. But Cameron shows every sign of pressing ahead with what amounts to a full-blown assault on basic liberties. Most ludicrously, the new powers are defended in the name of “British values”, including “individual liberty” and “mutual respect and tolerance”.

But as became clear in the aftermath of the murderous Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo earlier this year, we are not all Charlie when it comes to freedom of speech. Anti-extremism powers will be used overwhelmingly against Muslims, rather than, say, non-Muslim homophobes and racists who have little interest in mutual respect and tolerance.

And they will fail, as their earlier incarnations have done, to discourage the small minority drawn to terrorism at home or jihadi campaigns abroad. Government ministers claim such violence is driven by “ideology” rather than injustice, grievance or its own policies. But, given that they refuse to speak to any significant Muslim organisation they don’t agree with or fund, perhaps it’s not surprising to find them in thrall to an ideology, neoconservatism, of their own.

Any other explanation for the terror threat would in any case implicate the government and its predecessors. In reality, it shouldn’t be so hard to understand why a small section of young alienated Muslims are attracted to fight in Syria and Iraq with Isis and other such groups. Jihadi “ideology” has been around for a long time. But there were no terror attacks in Britain before US and British forces invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and those behind every violent attack or terror plot have cited western intervention in the Muslim world as their motivation.

Isis has a different appeal to al-Qaida. It has taken huge stretches of territory using naked terror, destroyed borders and set up a self-proclaimed caliphate. In the Middle East it presents itself as the defender of Sunnis in a convulsive sectarian war. For a few young marginalised western Muslims, such groups can offer the illusion of a fight against tyranny and a powerful sense of identity.

But add in relentless media hostility, rampant Islamophobia, state surveillance and harassment of Muslim communities, and such alienation can only spread. In the past year, we’ve had the “Trojan Horse” Birmingham schools plot that never was, the ousting of an elected Muslim mayor of Tower Hamlets by a judge – including on grounds that he had exercised “undue spiritual influence” on Muslims – and evidence of an increasing level of anti-Muslim attacks. Islamophobia now far outstrips hostility to any other religion or ethnic group.

Ministers and their media allies downplay the role of “foreign policy” in Muslim radicalisation, against all the evidence. By foreign policy, they mean multiple western invasions and occupations of Muslim states, torture and state kidnapping on a global scale, and support for dictatorships across the Arab and Muslim world. That includes Saudi Arabia, of course, which shares much of Isis’s “ideology” and practices; and Egypt, whose ex-military leader, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, overthrew the elected president in 2013 and is soon to be welcomed to Downing Street.

Isis is itself the direct product of the US and British occupation and destruction of Iraq, and both countries back armed rebel groups fighting in Syria – as they did in Libya. So no wonder would-be jihadis get confused about who is on whose side. Western Isis volunteers are a disaster for Syria and Iraq, but so far they haven’t carried out return attacks at home.

That could of course change, not least as the government criminalises dissent, brands conservative religiosity “extremist” and, in the formulation of ministers, “quietly condones” Islamophobia. The British government has long fed terrorism with its warmaking abroad. Now it’s also fuelling it with its scapegoating of Muslims at home.

ISIS’ war in Syria, helped by Western governments


This video from London, England says about itself:

UK: Kurds hurl eggs at Turkish embassy during anti-ISIS demo

22 September 2014

Approximately a dozen Kurdish protesters rallied outside the Turkish embassy in London, with some hurling eggs at the building and being carried off by police during the protest against the advancement of the Islamic State (IS) into the Kurdish town of Kobane, Monday.

During the demo, protesters chanted ‘Stop Supporting ISIS‘ and waved a banner ‘Hands off Kobane.’

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

HAWK’S LIE: How the West backed Isis in Syria’s war

Thursday 18th June 2015

READING radical alternative news and commentary about Western foreign policy often leads to intense self-doubt and to questions like “why isn’t anyone else talking about this?”, “am I reading this right?” and even “perhaps I am losing my mind?”

Two recent news reports about the US involvement in Syria have triggered these exact questions for me.

Last month a formerly classified August 2012 Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) report was published by the right-wing watchdog Judicial Watch.

In the heavily redacted document the DIA — the intelligence arm of the US Department of Defence — notes that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI (al-Qaida in Iraq) are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

The next sentence in the report is this: “The West, Gulf countries and Turkey support the opposition, while Russia, China and Iran support the (Bashar al-Assad) regime.”

Later, the DIA makes another extraordinary statement: “There is the possibility of (the opposition) 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.”

Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Centre and arguably the leading expert on the Syrian insurgency, provided the second jaw-dropping reading experience in May 2015. “The US-led operations room in southern Turkey, which co-ordinates the provision of lethal and non-lethal support to vetted opposition groups (…) specifically encouraged a closer co-operation with Islamists commanding frontline operations,” including with official al-Qaida branch Jabhat al-Nusra, Lister explained in Foreign Policy magazine.

So, to summarise, the West — the US and likely Britain too — was supporting Syria’s armed insurgency in 2012 in the full knowledge it was dominated by Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida in Iraq. Three years later the US is encouraging rebel groups to co-operate with al-Qaida’s branch in Syria.

What happened, you might well ask, to the epic generational struggle against al-Qaida and radical jihadists that we have been fighting since 2001 to save Western civilisation? A war and evil enemy, lest we forget, that has been repeatedly hyped up by a pliant media and supported by all the main political parties in the US and Britain.

Except for Seumas Milne in the Guardian, the mainstream media has ignored the extraordinary revelations of the DIA and Lister. The BBC has, as far as I’m aware, not mentioned either on any of its many news platforms.

Incredibly, the highly respected Middle East specialist Shadi Hamid describes the Obama administration as “opting to remain disengaged in Syria”.

In addition to this explosive new evidence of Western support for jihadists, the West’s key allies in the region have also been supporting the more extreme elements of the resistance to the Syrian government.

In August 2014 the Washington Post reported that before their blitz in Iraq, “Turkey rolled out the red carpet” to Islamic State, eager to aid any enemy of the Assad government. “Wounded jihadists from the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front (…) were treated at Turkish hospitals,” the Post noted. “Most important, the Turks winked as (…) Turkish towns became way stations for moving foreign fighters and arms across the border.”

The Wall Street Journal carried a similar report in March this year, except this time it concerned Israel and how some of the al-Nusra Front’s “severely wounded fighters are regularly taken across the frontier fence to receive treatment in Israeli hospitals.”

Unsurprisingly, on this issue the Western media invariably report the official US government line that the US is opposed to these actions and is putting pressure on Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop supporting jihadists in Syria.

However, a close reading of mainstream news reports suggests that far from being opposed, the US is deeply involved in these nefarious networks. For example, earlier this year the Wall Street Journal published a story with the headline Saudis Agree to Provide Syrian Rebels With Mobile Anti-aircraft Missiles.

According to the report, “rebel leaders say they met with US and Saudi intelligence agents, among others, in Jordan on Jan. 30 (…) That is when wealthy Gulf States offered the more sophisticated weapons (anti-aircraft missiles).”

Writing about increased co-ordinated support to the Syrian rebels provided by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Guardian’s Martin Chulov recently noted the Saudi king told allies “the US would not stand in the way.”

And in June 2013 the Los Angeles Times noted that arms shipments from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to Syrian rebels were “provided with assent from the US.”

Public denials at odds with covert actions are, of course, meat and potatoes when it comes to outsourcing foreign policy to regional proxies. “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,” the US-supported Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh told US General David Petraeus in January 2010 about US drone strikes in his country.

According to the Washington Post, a similar deception has long been in effect between the US and Pakistan, with the Pakistani government publicly condemning US drone strikes, while at the same time secretly co-operating with the US.

And of course, if the US really felt about its Middle East allies as they publicly claim to, a simple way to pressure them to stop supporting jihadis in Syria would be for the US to threaten to stop selling its allies arms.

In reality, the US continues to arm countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia despite — or perhaps because of — their support for the Syrian insurgency. In March 2015 the Stockholm Peace Research Institute noted that the Gulf Co-operation Council states and Turkey are “scheduled to receive further large order of major arms in the coming years” — mainly from the US and Europe.

It’s certainly possible I’m not reading the evidence correctly. I may be taking it out of context. There may well be good reasons why the media has chosen not to cover the story, and I could well have lost my mind. But what if the reports point to a far more frightening conclusion — that it is the Western media and political elite is mad and delusional?

Ian Sinclair is the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of February 15 2003, published by Peace News Press. He tweets from @IanJSinclair.

Turkish and Jordanian military forces, including tens of thousands of ground troops, are preparing to invade Syria, with the aim of establishing militarized buffer zones in the northern and southern areas of the country, according to media reports Tuesday: here.

British ex-jihadi recruiter denounces ISIS, al-Qaeda


Abu Muntasir in Deeyah Khan’s television documentary: 'If people want to call me a coward, fine – I’m a coward.' Photograph: ITV

From weekly The Observer in Britain:

‘Recruiter’ of UK jihadis: I regret opening the way to Isis

Abu Muntasir sobs on TV documentary as he tells of raising funds and recruiting fighters before turning his back on violence

Tracy McVeigh

Saturday 13 June 2015 22.03 BST

The “godfather” of the British jihadi movement, who recruited dozens of young men to fight in foreign wars, has said he now regrets opening the way for people to join terror groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaida.

Abu Muntasir, 55, who lives in Suffolk, was one of the first influential propagandists in the UK for a radical Islamist message. Active in the 1980s and 1990s, he helped to radicalise “thousands” of young Muslims, encouraging many of them to travel to fight in wars in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Burma, Bosnia and Chechnya.

Among the first to invite speakers to the UK from abroad who preached violence and hatred to disaffected Muslims, he distributed speeches from hate preachers Ali al-Timimi, now serving a life sentence in the US for inciting terrorism, and the late Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a controversial CIA drone attack in Yemen that also left his children dead.

In a documentary by Emmy-winning film-maker Deeyah Khan to be shown on ITV this week, Muntasir and several former extremists speak of their deep regret at the decisions of hundreds of UK Muslims to travel to join Isis in Syria and Iraq, and of their efforts to educate young people away from the same paths they followed as angry young men.

Muntasir, who is seen sobbing in the film as he recounts the horrors of his own days on battlefields in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Burma, is described as one of the “founding fathers of western jihad” and admitted that he worked to “create the link and clear the paths. I came back [from war] and opened the door and the trickle turned to a flood. I inspired and recruited, I raised funds and bought weapons, not just a one-off but for 15 to 20 years. Why I have never been arrested I don’t know.”

A comment at the Observer site on this article says on this:

Good point. Why wasn’t he arrested? Has anyone from the security services been asked that question?

Maybe the answer is that at some stages, organisations like al-Qaeda were and are allies of secret services and armed forces of NATO countries.

The Observer article continues:

He said it was not until he realised, while fighting in the jungles of Burma with armed resistance groups, that what was going on was not a holy war, but nothing less than the butchery and exploitation of young Muslims, that he turned his back on violence. “If people want to call me a coward, fine – I’m a coward.”

Muntasir, founder and chief executive of Jimas, said it was time for people who supported Islamic extremism to ask why their sons and daughters were being blown up for false ideals in “unwinnable wars”. Hate, he said, is not what Islam or the prophet taught.

“It was a virus with which we infected a generation. Now it has proliferated,” said one of Muntasir’s former followers, Alyas Karmani, now a peace campaigner, youth worker and imam in Bradford. He said the psychology used by Isis to groom youngsters is similar to that which Muntasir used to bring in followers.

“He was a charismatic father figure. It was exciting and there was an energy. I was an activist, never an extremist. For me I always had an inner voice telling me that a lot of this is not right.

“But I was angry. I had a very violent dad. I had a lot of racism. I was angry and frustrated. So we planted this virus. And the kids today have caught it.

“It’s the same attraction then as it is for young people now. A range of factors that is the same for Muslims and non-Muslims. Young people want to change the world, to feel loved and have a sense of belonging, a sense of attachment. That might just be in a foreign field.”

Speaking to the Observer, Karmani said that to tackle the numbers of young people leaving the UK for Syria, Iraq and Libya, it was important that the debate should change to understanding the human elements at play.

“It’s not about ideals – 90% of them never subscribe to the ideals – it’s other factors that are a draw. This is the new rock and roll; jihad is sexy. The kid who was not very good-looking now looks good holding a gun. He can get a bride now, he’s powerful. The Isis gun is as much a penis extension as the stockbroker with his Ferrari.

“There is a fundamental disconnect with our young people. Youth work used to be a brilliant vehicle but that’s all gone in the cuts, so who connects with young people now?”

He said many first- and second-generation immigrants were forced to live double lives. “I do blame the parents. If their kids aren’t able to talk about what’s going on in their lives outside the house, that’s a massive problem.

“If they have to be repressed about sex, about their friendships, who are they going to talk to? It makes them exposed and vulnerable. We have to stop seeing Muslims as ‘other’. They’re not. See them as the same.”

In making the film, Khan, “born in the west to parents from the east” and forced to give up a singing career because of extremists’ threats to her and her family, said she had been shocked by many attitudes she found in talking to young people across the UK: “I was horrified to find so many people with backgrounds like mine turning to extremism.”

Exposure: Jihad – A British Story will be on ITV at 10.40pm on 15 June.

Why ISIS terrorism? Mark Fiore animated cartoon


This video from the USA says about itself:

Who Created ISIS?

8 June 2015

With the fall of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, fingers are pointing faster than you can say “Preemptive War.” John McCain thinks the crazy Islamic extremists of ISIS wouldn’t be causing the world all this trouble if only Obama hadn’t spent so much time worrying about global warming. Jeb Bush says Al Qaeda in Iraq was wiped out and ISIS didn’t exist when his dear ol’ brother was president. You can read more here.

Al Qaeda massacre of Syrian Druze


This 2008 video is called The Druze Religion.

From daily The Morning Star in Britan:

Syria: Jihadists slaughter 30 Druze villagers

Friday 12th June 2015

SYRIAN anti-government militants linked to al-Qaida have massacred some 30 Druze villagers.

The killings happened on Wednesday in the Druze village of Qalb Lawzeh in the Jabal al-Summaq region after the Nusra Front tried to seize the home of a Druze government official.

The militants shot a villager dead, prompting another to grab one of the fighters’ rifles and kill a member of the jihadist group.

The Nusra Front group later returned with reinforcements and opened fire, killing dozens of residents.

Syrian news agency Sana said that 30 died in the “horrible massacre,” including five members of the same family, adding that the Nusra Front burned down several homes.

Lebanese Druze leader Sheikh Naim Hassan condemned the killings and said that efforts were being made to “contain this regrettable and painful incident.”

Syrian civil war: Jabhat al-Nusra’s massacre of Druze villagers shows the group is just as nasty as Isis. The incident last week suggests that the US have let the al-Qaeda affiliate off lightly: here.

Trial collapses after threatened exposure of UK backing of Syrian terror groups: here.

ISIS terrorism, with help from Washington D.C.


This video from the USA says about itself:

Covert cash: How did CIA money end up in al-Qaeda coffers?

15 March 2015

A New York Times investigation found that at least $1 million from the CIA wound up in the coffers of al-Qaeda in 2010. Matthew Rosenberg, a reporter for The New York Times, joins Hari Sreenivasan from Washington, D.C with more on the report.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

The sectarian terror group won’t be defeated by the western states that incubated it in the first place

Seumas Milne

Wednesday 3 June 2015 20.56 BST

The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions. On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after it became clear British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups the defendant was charged with supporting.

The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. The defence argued that going ahead with the trial would have been an “affront to justice” when there was plenty of evidence the British state was itself providing “extensive support” to the armed Syrian opposition.

That didn’t only include the “non-lethal assistance” boasted of by the government (including body armour and military vehicles), but training, logistical support and the secret supply of “arms on a massive scale”. Reports were cited that MI6 had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime.

Clearly, the absurdity of sending someone to prison for doing what ministers and their security officials were up to themselves became too much. But it’s only the latest of a string of such cases. Less fortunate was a London cab driver Anis Sardar, who was given a life sentence a fortnight earlier for taking part in 2007 in resistance to the occupation of Iraq by US and British forces. Armed opposition to illegal invasion and occupation clearly doesn’t constitute terrorism or murder on most definitions, including the Geneva convention.

But terrorism is now squarely in the eye of the beholder. And nowhere is that more so than in the Middle East, where today’s terrorists are tomorrow’s fighters against tyranny – and allies are enemies – often at the bewildering whim of a western policymaker’s conference call.

For the past year, US, British and other western forces have been back in Iraq, supposedly in the cause of destroying the hyper-sectarian terror group Islamic State (formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq). This was after Isis overran huge chunks of Iraqi and Syrian territory and proclaimed a self-styled Islamic caliphate.

The campaign isn’t going well. Last month, Isis rolled into the Iraqi city of Ramadi, while on the other side of the now nonexistent border its forces conquered the Syrian town of Palmyra. Al-Qaida’s official franchise, the Nusra Front, has also been making gains in Syria.

Some Iraqis complain that the US sat on its hands while all this was going on. The Americans insist they are trying to avoid civilian casualties, and claim significant successes. Privately, officials say they don’t want to be seen hammering Sunni strongholds in a sectarian war and risk upsetting their Sunni allies in the Gulf.

A revealing light on how we got here has now been shone by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts – and effectively welcomes – the prospect of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. In stark contrast to western claims at the time, the Defense Intelligence Agency document identifies al-Qaida in Iraq (which became Isis) and fellow Salafists as the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” – and states that “western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey” were supporting the opposition’s efforts to take control of eastern Syria.

Raising the “possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality”, the Pentagon report goes on, “this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)”.

Which is pretty well exactly what happened two years later. The report isn’t a policy document. It’s heavily redacted and there are ambiguities in the language. But the implications are clear enough. A year into the Syrian rebellion, the US and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of “Islamic state” – despite the “grave danger” to Iraq’s unity – as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.

That doesn’t mean the US created Isis, of course, though some of its Gulf allies certainly played a role in it – as the US vice-president, Joe Biden, acknowledged last year. But there was no al-Qaida in Iraq until the US and Britain invaded. And the US has certainly exploited the existence of Isis against other forces in the region as part of a wider drive to maintain western control.

The calculus changed when Isis started beheading westerners and posting atrocities online, and the Gulf states are now backing other groups in the Syrian war, such as the Nusra Front. But this US and western habit of playing with jihadi groups, which then come back to bite them, goes back at least to the 1980s war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, which fostered the original al-Qaida under CIA tutelage.

It was recalibrated during the occupation of Iraq, when US forces led by General Petraeus sponsored an El Salvador-style dirty war of sectarian death squads to weaken the Iraqi resistance. And it was reprised in 2011 in the Nato-orchestrated war in Libya, where Isis last week took control of Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte.

In reality, US and western policy in the conflagration that is now the Middle East is in the classic mould of imperial divide-and-rule. American forces bomb one set of rebels while backing another in Syria, and mount what are effectively joint military operations with Iran against Isis in Iraq while supporting Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen. However confused US policy may often be, a weak, partitioned Iraq and Syria fit such an approach perfectly.

What’s clear is that Isis and its monstrosities won’t be defeated by the same powers that brought it to Iraq and Syria in the first place, or whose open and covert war-making has fostered it in the years since. Endless western military interventions in the Middle East have brought only destruction and division. It’s the people of the region who can cure this disease – not those who incubated the virus.

Who Created ISIS? Satiric video by Mark Fiore from the USA: here.