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When Rouhani says blaming ISIS on Islam is Islamophobic, is anyone listening?

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As you surely know, anti-Semitism is in the news. The New York Times did a big piece on anti-Semitism in Europe, saying that even if you don’t like Israel you can’t blame Jews and Judaism for Israel’s actions. You have to separate the two: “as European criticism of Israel… [has] hardened, many Jews describe a blurring of distinctions between being anti-Israel and being anti-Jew.”

OK, point taken. There’s no excuse for hating Jews, even if Israel just massacred 500 Palestinian children.

But then where’s the big piece on the scourge of Islamophobia? Yesterday I heard Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s excellent speech from Sept. 25 to the UN General Assembly on CSPAN. Rouhani said that when the western media blame Al Qaeda’s terrorism or ISIS’s beheadings on “radical Islam,” it’s smearing Islam. Islam has nothing to do with this violence. It’s anti-western violence, reflecting a history of colonialism and continued western meddling and slaughter in the region.

If you’re going to say that Judaism has nothing to do with Israel’s massacres, then for God’s sake, our press should be covering Rouhani’s argument against Islamophobia!

Thanks to the Times of Israel, here’s Rouhani’s text. Bear in mind he is a Muslim cleric and a constitutional lawyer. The relevant portions:

[The extremists] have a single goal: the destruction of civilization, giving rise to Islamophobia and creating a fertile ground for further intervention of foreign forces in our region….

Today’s anti-Westernism is the offspring of yesterday’s colonialism. Today’s anti-Westernism is a reaction to yesterday’s racism…

To fight the underlying causes of terrorism, one must know its roots and dry its source fountains. Terrorism germinates in poverty, unemployment, discrimination, humiliation and injustice. And it grows with the culture of violence. To uproot extremism, we must spread justice and development and disallow the distortion of divine teachings to justify brutality and cruelty. The pain is made greater when these terrorists spill blood in the name of religion and behead in the name of Islam. They seek to keep hidden this incontrovertible truth of history that on the basis of the teachings of all divine prophets, from Abraham and Moses and Jesus to Mohammed, taking the life of a single innocent life is akin to killing the whole humanity. I am astonished that these murderous groups call themselves an Islamic group. What is more astonishing is that the Western media, in line with them, repeats this false claim, which provokes the hatred of all Muslims. Muslim people who everyday recall their God as merciful and compassionate and have learned lessons of kindness and empathy from their Prophet, see this defamation as part of an Islamophobic project.

Of course if you follow Rouhani’s logic out, you’d see that the mirror of the extremists who speak in Islam’s name are the extremists who speak in Judaism’s name. It’s not likely we’ll see meditations on Israel’s racism and extremist violence in the western press. But at the very least we ought to read stories about the rise of anti-Palestinian racism and violence in Israel.

(Rouhani is as high-minded as Chomsky: they do not see this as a religious conflict but a clash between imperialists and subject nations. Myself I regard this as a conflict that has a religious component on both sides: violent extremists use religion to justify their actions. And just as ISIS is fostering Islamophobia in Rouhani’s view (and Obama’s too), Israel and its lobby help to foster anti-Semitism because they call themselves Jewish and insist on blurring the line between Israel and Jewry. Item: Benjamin Netanyahu says that the Jewish people had a rough summer because of the attacks on “our country.” Item: Jeffrey Goldberg refers to the Israel lobby group AIPAC as a “Jewish organization.” It’s actually a Zionist organization, but the confusion is intentional.)

 

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75 Responses

  1. just
    just
    September 28, 2014, 1:05 pm

    Thanks Phil.

    President Rouhani is right.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      September 28, 2014, 3:33 pm

      Nope.

      Terrorism germinates in poverty, unemployment, discrimination, humiliation and injustice.

      A few points.

      1. Terrorism isn’t an ideology, it is a tactic. And being poor is no excuse for being extreme. There are lots of poor countries in the world, yet the basic reality is that al-Qaida/ISIS and other organizations all congregate in the Middle East.

      Rouhani’s self-patting on the back, i.e. blame it all on the West, does indeed mirror Chomsky, who too refuses to see the cultural foundation of the natives as a crucial element and instead prefers to pass the buck onto the U.S. entirely, just like Rouhani.

      2. In addition, I’d take any moral preachings from Rouhani just a tad more seriously once gay people stop being publicly hanged in Tehran. We can debate how much actual power over that he does have, but Rouhani has come out against internet censorship, so if he can do that, why is it so hard to publicly attack the practice of hanging gays?

      (I’m making the assumption here that he is actually against it, but maybe he actually isn’t, considering his deafening silence on the topic).

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        September 28, 2014, 3:34 pm

        P.S. Chomsky is at least consistent in this, who also prefers this kind of narrow-minded approach to I/P where Jewish agency is entirely removed and it’s all about “U.S. imperialism” and “capitalism”.

        It’s the same fundamental flaw, whether it is ISIS in the Middle East or Likud in Israel that is being discussed.

      • just
        just
        September 28, 2014, 4:01 pm

        “Terrorism isn’t an ideology, it is a tactic. And being poor is no excuse for being extreme. There are lots of poor countries in the world, yet the basic reality is that al-Qaida/ISIS and other organizations all congregate in the Middle East.”

        And what has the US brought to the ME except terror?

        As for the rest of your comment about the “cultural foundation of the natives as a crucial element” — it’s as disparaging and repugnant as ever, Krauss.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        September 28, 2014, 4:25 pm

        I agree with Krauss that we must beware the temptation to idealise people who are anti-Zionist. Some of them aren’t that nice.
        As for the ‘germination’ of terrorism amid poverty and injustice – these two soils are rather different. Being poor in a society that is making a reasonable effort to help with the problems of poverty or at least has clear provision for constitutional reform is neither a moral justification nor a likely cause of violent resistance. Being poor or being conspicuously victimised in a society that is in some very marked sense uncaring, oppressive, unjust and unconstitutional is a reason, if nothing else seems to have any prospect of working, to consider violent resistance – but even then the very poor record of resistance and revolution in putting things right should be remembered.
        If Rouhani means that poverty, resentment and desperation tend to erode the restraints imposed by most religions it is hard to gainsay him. It’s also true that people in desperate moments, or when they think that the tide is turning in their favour and the advantage must be pressed home, tend to cry ‘God is on our side!’ at the moment when desperate or horrible measures are taken. In fact we have to be very careful whenever this cry is raised – at this point I think Rouhani, who raises this cry himself, might part company with me.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        September 28, 2014, 4:40 pm

        I suppose that there can be an ideology of terrorism – it’s attributed to the Russian nihilists – things are so bad we just have to be as violent as possible – ‘let the heavens fall’. That said, perhaps it is indeed more often a tactic in the sense of a semi-calculated means to a definable end. I lived through the years when the IRA was targeting places in my country. There was a major terrorist campaign in Sri Lanka by and perhaps against the LTTE and one continues in the Naxalite regions of India. There was a grand calamity in Rwanda, marked by extreme violence among neighbours. And there was Yugoslavia, that very former place. These conflicts did not have major ME roots.
        Not sure that the ME, considering its size, is all that prone to terrorist campaigns in the Naxalite or LTTE style. It is true that the Palestine conflict, with all the suffering it has engendered for such a fantastically long time and with all the links it has to religious sentiment all around the world, all the connections it has to other conflicts and all the influence it has on vital oil resources, is the worst thing in the world at the moment and outbreaks of extreme and dehumanising violence continue horribly.

      • just
        just
        September 28, 2014, 4:51 pm

        “Full translation of Ofer Winter’s letter:

        Commander’s Combat Material for “Solid Rock” Operation [a.k.a. Protective Edge]

        Dear commanders and fighters,

        It has been our great privilege to command and serve in the Givati Brigade at this time. History has chosen us to be the sharp edge of the bayonet of fighting the terrorist enemy “from Gaza” which curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel’s battles. We have practiced and prepared for this time and we take upon ourselves the mission with full humility, and being willing to endanger ourselves and give our lives to protect our families, our nation and our homeland.

        We will act together forcefully and with resolve, with initiative, and with deceptive tricks and aim for contact with the enemy. We will do everything to live up to the mission and wipe out the enemy and remove the threat from the Nation of Israel. Nobody here returns without performing.

        We will act and do everything to return our lads safely. Using all means at our disposal and with all required force.

        I trust you, each and every one of you, to act in that spirit, in the spirit of Israeli fighters who are the pioneers leading the camp. The spirit of Givati. I turn my eyes to the sky and call with you “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” God, the Lord of Israel, make our path successful, as we are about to fight for Your People, Israel, against an enemy who defames your name. In the name of the IDF fighters and in particular, the fighters and commanders from the Brigade, make the phrase “For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” come true, and we shall answer: Amen.”

        http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-commander-declares-holy-war-palestinians

        “Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Christian right and its allies in the Republican Party have sought to stoke up religious intolerance. US Attorney General John Ashcroft still refuses to issue a forthright apology or disavow anti-Islamic comments he made last fall. In an interview with syndicated columnist and radio commentator Cal Thomas, Ashcroft declared, “Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.”

        Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson, an ideological soul mate of Ashcroft, declared on his television program, the “700 Club,” that Islam “is not a peaceful religion that wants to coexist.” Robertson continued: “They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and, if need be, destroy…. And the Koran makes it very clear, if you see an infidel, you are to kill him.”

        The remarks of Ashcroft at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention last February in Nashville, Tennessee, where he invoked religion in support of Bush’s “war on terrorism” and attacked the democratic and secularist underpinnings of the US Constitution, deserve particular note.”

        http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/05/ashc-m15.html

        “George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a senior Palestinian politician in an interview to be broadcast by the BBC later this month.

        Mr Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

        One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I am driven with a mission from God’. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.”

        Mr Bush went on: “And now, again, I feel God’s words coming to me, ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East’. And, by God, I’m gonna do it.””

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

        “In an October 15, 2003 speech to a community church in Oregon, Boykin was recorded stating that Islamic extremists hate the United States “because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christians. … And the enemy is a guy named Satan.”.[10][12] William Arkin,[13] military analyst for NBC News, was the source of the video and audiotapes of Boykin. The following day the Los Angeles Times ran a piece on Boykin. Among several quotes, the article revealed Boykin giving a speech about hunting down Osman Atto in Mogadishu: “He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, ‘They’ll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.’ Well, you know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” [14] Boykin later clarified this statement, saying that he was implying that Atto’s true “god” was money.[15]”

        (wiki)

        A teensy sampling from folks with nukes.

      • tree
        tree
        September 28, 2014, 6:03 pm

        Rouhani’s self-patting on the back, i.e. blame it all on the West, does indeed mirror Chomsky, who too refuses to see the cultural foundation of the natives as a crucial element and instead prefers to pass the buck onto the U.S. entirely, just like Rouhani.

        If you are going to make pronouncements about the failings of Rouhani’s speech, it would be better if you read it in its entirety rather than just the tidbits Phil mentions in order to make his point about blaming Islam for extremism. Phi; linked to the full speech. Why not read it before umping to the conculsion that Rouhani “blame(s) it all on the West”? Here’s another portion of Rouhani’s speech.

        The Middle East longs for development and is weary of war. It is the natural right of the peoples of the fertile lands of the Middle East to live in peace and prosperity. In the past, colonialism denied them this right, and today; the shadow of war and violence threatens their security. There are moderate politicians and elites in our region who enjoy the confidence of their peoples. They are neither anti-Western nor pro-Western. While aware of the role of colonialism in the backwardness of their nations, they are not neglectful of the role of their nations in reaching the development they seek. They do not absolve the West from its misdeeds, but are also aware of their own failings. These leaders can take positions of active leadership by attracting the confidence of the people in their societies and establish the strongest national and international coalitions against violence.

        Try reading the whole speech.

        And as for killing innocents, I suspect that the US tops them all in that sorry statistic, by a very significant margin.

      • Keith
        Keith
        September 28, 2014, 11:44 pm

        KRAUSS- “Rouhani’s self-patting on the back, i.e. blame it all on the West, does indeed mirror Chomsky, who too refuses to see the cultural foundation of the natives as a crucial element and instead prefers to pass the buck onto the U.S. entirely, just like Rouhani.”

        Once again, your “analysis” is little more than the ritual incantations of a diehard anti-Chomskyite. Why bring Chomsky into this? The rest of your so-called analysis is basically an updated version of the white man’s burden. Rather than claim that these Third World people are racially inferior, you blame their situation on their “cultural foundation.” In doing so you whitewash the ongoing effects of imperialism and Western interventions. Almost all of these countries are totally screwed up as a consequence of Western imperialism which destroyed the indigenous culture and replaced it with Western oriented subservience. Any leader which resisted, like Mossadegh in Iraq was overthrown and replaced by satraps and compradors. Most of these corrupt leaders take their cue from Wall Street and the IMF. You seem in deep denial about the consequences of Western imperialism.

        Krauss: “It’s the same fundamental flaw, whether it is ISIS in the Middle East or Likud in Israel that is being discussed.”

        The fundamental flaw is your inability to perceive reality due to your overpowering bias in regards to the Lobby. I have put together a few quotes and links for people who actually make an attempt to understand what is going on.

        “Who supports ISIS, anyway, if not the countries committed to “degrade and destroy” it? These include the US, European NATO countries, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others. ISIS is a convenient way of dividing, weakening and sometimes overthrowing all the societies in the region.” (Paul Larudee)
        http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/09/how-to-bomb-syria-2/#more-55750 .

        “Obama assures us that he is assembling a new coalition of the willing to join him in smashing ISIS. It turns out that every prospective member of the coalition was a co-conspirator with the United States in giving birth to ISIS – Britain and France and other Europeans, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates…ISIS has many, many fathers, all of whom now deny patrimony.”

        “Turkey, which is part of NATO, has been a wonderful father to ISIS, allowing the caliphate’s fighters free use of its long border with Syria and Iraq. In return, Turkey gets to buy the cheap oil from the fields that ISIS seized from Syria and Iraq, which makes the Turks somewhat reluctant to try to kill little baby ISIS.” (Glen Ford)
        http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/14423

        “ISIS leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi is known to be a US intelligence asset, according to a former senior Al Qaeda operative, Nabil Naim, among other sources. Former CIA personnel have also disclosed that ISIS, like Al Qaeda, was set up to further geopolitical goals for Washington and its allies in the Middle East. These goals include regime change in target countries, such as Syria, and perpetuating the money-spinning American military-industrial complex by creating an endless security threat. Officially, the network may be a proscribed terror organization and “an enemy of the state”. But in the underworld of black operations, ISIS is a covert instrument of US government and corporate interests.” (Finian Cunningham)
        http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/isis-beheadings-on-cue-from-washington-and-london/#more-167452

        “Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.” (Garikai Chengu)
        http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/19/how-the-us-helped-create-al-qaeda-and-isis/

        “Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS).” (Nafeez Ahmed)
        http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/how-the-west-created-the-islamic-state/

      • aiman
        aiman
        September 29, 2014, 9:12 am

        Just: ‘As for the rest of your comment about the “cultural foundation of the natives as a crucial element” — it’s as disparaging and repugnant as ever, Krauss.’

        This is all the more weird since Krauss is Jewish, a member of “the natives” himself according to older Orientalists. He continues to spout the worldview of newer Orientalists like Bernard Lewis who having attained to privilege can look down upon those other “natives”.

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/06/27/bernard-lewis/

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 29, 2014, 12:16 pm

        “And being poor is no excuse for being extreme”

        Holy Makeral! Yeah, Krauss, I’m sure that kind of poverty and environment is something you know a lot about. And naturally, having lived under similar political and military repressions, didn’t turn you extreme.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 29, 2014, 12:18 pm

        “This is all the more weird since Krauss is Jewish, a member of “the natives” himself according to older Orientalists. He continues to spout the worldview of newer Orientalists like Bernard Lewis who having attained to privilege can look down upon those other “natives”.

        That’s a nice way of putting it, thanks.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 29, 2014, 12:21 pm

        “1. Terrorism isn’t an ideology, it is a tactic.”

        Thanks God the same exigencies which drive “Arabs” to terrorism have never, ever pushed Jews, or The Jews, or Zionists, or whatever you want to call them, to the same extremes. Gosh, we seem to be immune to it! That’s something to be proud of, huh?

      • manfromatlan
        manfromatlan
        June 23, 2015, 12:47 am

        Little proof these kids were gay. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Asgari_and_Ayaz_Marhoni

        Rape is also punishable by death, so we just have the usual suspects hiding behind the gay banner to demonize Iran.

        Few women were executed also. Most executions were for drug trafficking.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Iran

  2. JeffB
    JeffB
    September 28, 2014, 1:24 pm

    Both President Bush and President Obama have repeatedly and forcefully distanced Islam from Al Qaeda and ISIS. Bush most passionately, most frequently and to a constancy where that position probably lost him support. The press covered it.

    That being said, Phil I agree with you. Israel is the state that collectively represents the Jewish people. The Jewish people in Israel elect that government and the Jewish people in America and in most other countries support it. It is reasonable to hold Jews responsible for the actions of Israel, in the same way you can hold the French people responsible for the actions of France.

    As far as ISIS I don’t think its fair to say it represents muslims. I do think it is fair to say it represents at least strong undercurrents of the Sunnis of Eastern Syria and Northern Iraq. ISIS is clearly drawing broadly from those communities and is able to function in them with broad community support. ISIS doesn’t hold elections but i think it is fair to say that if the Sunnis had a choice to vote between an ISIS government or the Iraqi Shia government they would pick ISIS. I think it is fair to say that the Sunnis of Eastern Syria have picked ISIS over the Alawite government of Assad. Those people might choose a different form of government if/when they are no longer under occupation (i.e. they have a government which represents their interests) but I think it is fair to hold them responsible for ISIS.

    I have always objected to the idea that people aren’t responsible for the collective acts of the societies to which they belong. This idea that government have no tie to their population’s political will is simply UN fantasy.

    • annie
      annie
      September 28, 2014, 1:35 pm

      . I think it is fair to say that the Sunnis of Eastern Syria have picked ISIS over the Alawite government of Assad.

      why? i suppose you know the majority of the syrian army are sunni.

      I do think it is fair to say it represents at least strong undercurrents of the Sunnis of Eastern Syria and Northern Iraq. ISIS is clearly drawing broadly from those communities and is able to function in them with broad community support.

      who is your source on this (“clearly drawing broadly from those communities “) analysis? the US gov? please provide some links. and why aren’t you mentioning the foreign fighters? you’re making isis sound home grown. it isn’t. it’s not indigenous to iraq or syria, nor funded locally.

      this might interest you http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/09/wapo-propaganda-vs-mcclatchy-journalism.html

      http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/09/23/240813/syrian-rebels-angry-that-strikes.html?sp=/99/117/

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 28, 2014, 2:27 pm

        @Annie

        why? i suppose you know the majority of the syrian army are sunni.

        I don’t know that I know they are a big chunk so more than a 1/3rd. I do know that secular Sunnis are backing the Alawites. Heck I have secular Sunni Syrian friends that have always been pro-Assad (though they aren’t in the military). For a Sunni secularist if the two parties are the Sunni religious extremists and the Alawite seculars picking the later seems like a rational choice. Also the Christians are mostly pro-Assad.

        Same as America. The core of the Republican party is white evangelicals. That doesn’t mean there aren’t non-whites and non-evangelicals who support them, their 1996 and 2008 Presidential candidates being good examples.

        who is your source on this (“clearly drawing broadly from those communities “) analysis? –

        Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — born in Iraq, educated in Bagdad. Became a major Iraqi political figure in 2003 when he founded Jamaat Jaysh Ahl al-Sunnah.

        Most of the next tier are graduates of Camp Bucca, they were Saddam loyalists or members of Al Qaeda in Iraq; manythe leadership from Zarqawi’s time. In what sense aren’t they home grown?

        and why aren’t you mentioning the foreign fighters?

        Because they aren’t in positions of leadership. Right now they are mostly symbolic or cannon fodder.

        it’s not indigenous to iraq or syria, nor funded locally.

        Their major source of funding is pumping oil from Northern Iraq and selling it to Syria. How is that not local funding? As for indigenous your own articles have Syrians saying they are being pushed towards ISIS because the USA isn’t attacking Assad. How is that consistent with ISIS being a bunch of foreign fighters.

        ___

        I don’t really know what you are getting at here. So I’m not even sure what we are debating. What is your theory for the origins of ISIS? Who in your opinion forms the majority of the membership? Who do you think is funding it?

      • annie
        annie
        September 28, 2014, 2:40 pm

        i think you misunderstood me jeff b. i didn’t asked for more of your analysis when i asked who is your source on this (“clearly drawing broadly from those communities “) analysis?

        can you just link to the source of your assertions/allegations please. iow, who is it that informs you?

        also, wrt al baghdadi being “homegrown” did you read Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/world/africa/18iht-iraq.4.6718200.html?_r=1&

        On Wednesday, a senior American military spokesman provided a new explanation for Baghdadi’s ability to escape attack: He never existed.

        Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima.

        The ruse, Bergner said, was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was trying to mask the dominant role that foreigners play in that insurgent organization.

        The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and then arrange for Masri to swear allegiance to him. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements.

        The evidence for the American assertions, Bergner announced at a news briefing, was provided by an Iraqi insurgent: Khalid Abdul Fatah Daud Mahmud al-Mashadani, who was said to have been captured by American forces in Mosul on July 4.

        anyway, you see how this works? please provide a link. thanks

        and this:

        they were Saddam loyalists or members of Al Qaeda in Iraq; manythe leadership from Zarqawi’s time.

        again, source please.

      • annie
        annie
        September 28, 2014, 3:26 pm

        How is that not local funding? As for indigenous your own articles have Syrians saying they are being pushed towards ISIS because the USA isn’t attacking Assad. How is that consistent with ISIS being a bunch of foreign fighters.

        hmm, how is that (Syrians saying they are being pushed towards ISIS because the USA isn’t attacking Assad) inconsistent with ISIS being foreign fighters? locals being pushed towards supporting foreign influence doesn’t refute the idea foreign influence exists.

        either way, i wasn’t linking to that because i agreed with all of it (at all) i linked to it as well as the MOA link so you could see what is informing me. ie WHERE I GET MY INFORMATION. something you are refusing to do. i think it is a fair question. if you’re mouthing daniel pipes, SITE, the weekly standard, WAPO, rudoren.. or some israeli think tank. just spit it out.

    • annie
      annie
      September 28, 2014, 1:43 pm

      if the Sunnis had a choice to vote between an ISIS government or the Iraqi Shia government they would pick ISIS.

      why are the only choices between ISIS government or a US designed and imposed government? and saddam (like assad) squashed religious extremists, yet the US squashed him. why was he a threat to the US or iraqis more than isis?

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 28, 2014, 2:09 pm

        @Annie

        why are the only choices between ISIS government or a US designed and imposed government?

        I’m not sure if I’d call the Shia government US designed. I’d probably consider it Iranian if you are going to blame anyone. If the USA had had less interference from Iran we might have been able to import ideas which we use successfully domestically like federalism and that might have worked. But that’s a long conversation.

        But in answer to your question, AFAICT those are the two choices that Iraqis on the ground in 2014 have. Often reality isn’t ideal. There may be new choices in 2015 with all the countries in the region throwing force around but for the last year, those were the options.

        why was [Saddam] a threat to the US or iraqis more than isis?

        I’m not sure he was. I think Saddam was tremendously annoying and disrespectful and thus over the 1990s the American people had come to believe that regime change should be our policy. Once Saddam didn’t agree to participate helpfully in the War on Terror (which had tremendous support at the time) there was support for removing his government. What was completely lacking was any consensus about what our long term policy was.

        OTOH I don’t think ISIS is a threat either, I’m opposed to what we are doing. I think we should have a policy of containment and negotiation I don’t see anything that justifies the expense and brutality of destroying ISIS at this time. Hopefully all this bellicose rhetoric is just designed because the 2014 elections are mainly in the South and we chill out after November.

      • annie
        annie
        September 28, 2014, 4:28 pm

        I’m not sure if I’d call the Shia government US designed.

        yeah, in fact hakim visited the WH. it was the US that threw all the power to the shias in iraq. this is not rocket science.

        iraq was a secular country w/saddam. people inter married. it was the US who set the sunni and shia against each other in iraq. google black and decker.

      • just
        just
        September 28, 2014, 6:28 pm

        Thanks Annie.

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      September 28, 2014, 7:25 pm

      JeffB
      Yikes!
      “It is reasonable to hold Jews responsible for the actions of Israel, in the same way you can hold the French people responsible for the actions of France.”
      “I have always objected to the idea that people aren’t responsible for the collective acts of the societies to which they belong.”
      So you, sitting comfortably in the US, as an American, are claiming responsibility for its meddlesome actions around the world, its failings at home AND for the same wrt Israel?? And you don’ need to go claim that second passport because you’re already part of that society thru’ faith/heritage?! Yet it seems you can have all the responsibility you want with complete impunity – such an easy claim to make!

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 28, 2014, 9:02 pm

        @Bumblebye

        So you, sitting comfortably in the US, as an American, are claiming responsibility for its meddlesome actions around the world

        Yes it is reasonable to hold the American people responsible for the acts of the American government. The people know and approve if not in specific than at least in general of the policies the government carries out, with a very few exceptions.

        you’re already part of that society thru’ faith/heritage?!

        I’m not part of Israel, I’m not Israeli. Jews globally are supporters of Israel.

        Yet it seems you can have all the responsibility you want with complete impunity

        I’m not sure what you mean by impunity. When the USA gets hit I lose stuff. I don’t have any more impunity than people anywhere else do with regard to their societies.

      • just
        just
        September 28, 2014, 9:26 pm

        “im·pu·ni·ty
        imˈpyo͞onitē/
        noun
        noun: impunity

        exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.”

        Please explain how you have been “hit”. What “stuff” did you” lose”?

  3. seafoid
    seafoid
    September 28, 2014, 2:26 pm

    ISIS is the West’s baby

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/sep/25/iraq-outlaw-state/

    “Even by the standards of Iraq’s turbulent history, its past few decades have been unusually relentless. Just since 1980 Iraqis have experienced three major wars that wrecked the country’s physical infrastructure and left perhaps half a million dead; an attempt at genocide that permanently alienated Iraq’s five million Kurds; a ten-year siege under the UN’s “Oil-for-Food” program that devastated the economy, ruined the middle class, and forced the most talented into exile; an American invasion that shattered national pride and stoked bitter divisions; and a civil war that displaced as many as 4.7 million Iraqis from their homes and has driven a deep, perhaps irreparable chasm of mistrust between Iraq’s 60 percent Shia Arab majority and the once-dominant 20 percent Sunni Arab minority. Excepting perhaps the Russians from 1914 to 1953, few modern nations have been so cursed by ill luck for such an extended period.”

    the disposable heroes give a great intro to the 91 war

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g_t8tQ4zyo

    Some of the sunni men now in ISIS were kids in Fallujah in 03

    So many things never make it into the narrative and this is a classic of the genre

    • just
      just
      September 28, 2014, 2:36 pm

      Thanks seafoid .

      Too few people acknowledge the truth in this as in the P/I story.

      And, JeffB– stop trying to assign blame to Iran for any of this crapola.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 28, 2014, 4:14 pm

        @Just —

        Iran was bombing USA troops and destabilizing Iraq. Even the Iraqis Shia believe that.

      • just
        just
        September 28, 2014, 4:22 pm

        what are you smoking?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        September 28, 2014, 6:31 pm

        Jeff, Baby

        “War doesn’t change anything”, Doc Bryan says. “This place was f#cked up before we came and it’s f#cked up now. I don’t personally believe we liberated the Iraqis. Time will tell.””The American people ought to know the price we pay to maintain their standard of living ” Espera says .

        Generation Kill page 348

        Possibly a bit over your head:

        Pru and Roy and Nelson retreat into their room and he sits a while and watches while Judy, the remote control in hand, bounces back and forth between The Cosby Show, some ice capades, and a scare documentary about foreigners buying up American businesses, and then between Cheers and a drama about saving a fourteen year-old girl from becoming a prostitute like her mother. So many emergencies, Harry thinks, so much canned laughter, so many actors’ tears, all this effort to be happy, to be brave, to be loved, all this wasted effort.

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia
        September 28, 2014, 7:45 pm

        http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IH16Ak04.html

        Gareth Power demolishes the myth of Iranian violence against US troops in Iraq.

  4. JeffB
    JeffB
    September 28, 2014, 4:13 pm

    @Annie

    do. i think it is a fair question. if you’re mouthing daniel pipes, SITE, the weekly standard, WAPO, rudoren.. or some israeli think tank. just spit it out.

    I didn’t even know my position that ISIS is indigenous isn’t controversial. If you want a few links:

    From 2009 when the foreign influence was dropping in Al Qaeda: http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/11/18/idUSLI176502

    David Petraeus on the reason that ISIS has the support of locals: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/iraq-war-on-terror/losing-iraq/david-petraeus-isiss-rise-in-iraq-isnt-a-surprise/

    BBC: ISIS in Syria is 60-70% Syrian:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-25460397

    The latest CIA estimate was up to 15k foreigners have joined ISIS with 31,500 active fighters. They didn’t know how many of the foreigners had died.

    Everywhere I google that’s what I find. As for your NYTimes leak in context it doesn’t appear the NYTimes believes that actor theory and attributes it to trying to rattle ISIS. But you should note that the very article sees the ground forces for ISIS as indigenous and this ploy as trying to get them to view ISIS as doing the bidding of foreigners. So I’m not sure how you see it supporting your case since if ISIS were openly foreign then this ploy wouldn’t work.

    • annie
      annie
      September 28, 2014, 4:38 pm

      jeff, AQ was not indigenous to iraq and came in after saddam was not in power. saddam’s forces and sunni iraqis were referenced by US military as “sunni insurgents”. but that put the US military in the uncomfortable position of being at war with iraqis, whereas they are always more comfortable positioning themselves as ‘a moderating force’ so very conveniently AQ showed up and started attacking…other sunnis!!!

      anyway, they were not one in the same during that period in 06 petraus was referencing in the article:

      First of all, you have to recognize that the Sunni Arabs were not going to reconcile. They were not going to have an awakening, if you will. They weren’t going to raise their hand and say, “We’ll take on Al Qaeda,” until they were assured that we could secure them. …

      Once they saw that we were committed, once they saw that we were able to secure them, they’d gotten tired of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda had been abusive. It had been blowing Sunni Arabs up and Sunni mosques up in addition to Shia Arabs and mosques. So they were keen to get these individuals out of their areas and to reintegrate into an Iraq which has such bounty.

      so when you said Saddam loyalists or members of Al Qaeda in Iraq umm, that was not the case.

      and it was under petraeus the US “lost” like hundreds of thousands of machine guns in iraq. enough to supply a civil war. i am not sure he’s the best source of info on iraq. nor the cia. but even by their own estimates, according to your bbc link:

      The latest CIA estimate was up to 15k foreigners have joined ISIS with 31,500 active fighters.

      even that is 50%. i don’t think the US gov analysis (all that talk of ‘moderate’ oppositon??) is very accurate at all. they never even admitted the vast majority of assad opposition were jhihadists until after they announced they joined isis and that was something any informed person knew for at least a couple years prior.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 28, 2014, 9:14 pm

        @Annie

        jeff, AQ was not indigenous to iraq and came in after saddam was not in power. saddam’s forces and sunni iraqis were referenced by US military as “sunni insurgents”. but that put the US military in the uncomfortable position of being at war with iraqis, whereas they are always more comfortable positioning themselves as ‘a moderating force’ so very conveniently AQ showed up and started attacking…other sunnis!!!

        AFAIK the Iraqi insurgency stars essentially immediately with the fall of Saddam and AQ allies itself with the insurgents in 2004. In 2003 they weren’t indigenous, in 2004 they were indigenous with some foreign leadership in 2014 they are indigenous though still open to foreign cooperation. The same way chess wasn’t indigenous to the USA but now there are indigenous chess clubs in the USA. Cultures borrow from one another, ideas spread and organizations spread.

        and it was under petraeus the US “lost” like hundreds of thousands of machine guns in iraq. enough to supply a civil war. i am not sure he’s the best source of info on iraq. nor the cia

        Remember you were asking my source. My source is mainstream news and opinion. Like I said I don’t think what I was saying about who is in ISIS was even controversial, it is boring mainstream opinion.

        even that is 50%.

        Not all of those 15k are still alive. ISIS has lost people in the civil war as well.

        they never even admitted the vast majority of assad opposition were jhihadists

        That came up repeatedly in the debate about bombing Syria last year and in the year prior when McCain was arguing for arming the rebels. So I’d say they have been pretty open since at least Feb 19, 2012 when this was debated. There may have been references earlier I haven’t checked.

      • annie
        annie
        September 28, 2014, 10:24 pm

        Remember you were asking my source. My source is mainstream news and opinion.

        yeah, i wanted to know your source. ‘saddam had WMD’s’ was ‘mainstream’ too, didn’t make it right and didn’t make it mainstream public opinion either.

        Like I said I don’t think what I was saying about who is in ISIS was even controversial,

        i could care less whether you think it’s controversial, it’s BS

        it is .. mainstream opinion.

        no, it is not. it is hogwash used to brainwash the american public. i’m done w/your idiotic ‘analysis’.

  5. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    September 28, 2014, 4:15 pm

    JeffB September 28, 2014, 2:09 pm
    You are making no sense . Iran did not stop US from planning and carrying out any meaningful establishment of some kind of stable society in Iraq after the war. The planned chaos was in the works before the war. It just got unplanned by the ferocious pushback from everybody in Iraq. That also satisfied the neocons . Check with Daniel Pipes,Krystol,Kuthammaer ,and Ledeen, Zinni, Scheniski, and British intelligence .
    You with straight face can say that Iraq was detested[ sanctions ,bombing,and no fly activities are evidence of detestation! ] for Saddam was disrespectful and Saddam was attacked for not supporting war on terror. You are amazing !

    • Walker
      Walker
      September 28, 2014, 4:29 pm

      I certainly agree. This site’s restriction on replying to nested comments prevents me from directly responding to JeffB’s breathtaking claim that “over the 1990s the American people had come to believe that (Iraqi) regime change should be our policy”. According to who?

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 28, 2014, 10:50 pm

        @Walker

        e. This site’s restriction on replying to nested comments prevents me from directly responding to JeffB’s breathtaking claim that “over the 1990s the American people had come to believe that (Iraqi) regime change should be our policy”. According to who?

        The government of the United States: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Liberation_Act

      • annie
        annie
        September 28, 2014, 11:29 pm

        jeff, often congressional resolutions reflect the will of lobbiests, like aipac, not the american public. ever heard of the balochistan freedom act 2005? ‘over the 2000s the American people had come to believe that freedom in (balochistan) should be our policy!!!!’

        hahahaha

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      September 28, 2014, 9:18 pm

      @traintosiberia

      Iran did not stop US from planning and carrying out any meaningful establishment of some kind of stable society in Iraq after the war.

      That’s been the assertions of USA intelligence, the USA media and almost all the western press. I’m sticking with that opinion unless I see very strong evidence to the contrary.

      and Saddam was attacked for not supporting war on terror

      Yes when Bush gave his “with us or against us” speech Saddam went for against us.

      • just
        just
        September 28, 2014, 9:33 pm

        Any fool who listened to the BushCo. Cabal or the “with us or against” speech and invited the US to come in and kill at will, occupy and destroy their country was an IDIOT.

        Saddam Hussein was a lot of things, but he was ‘our’ guy and he was secular. We armed him to kill millions and then turned away and made him the enemy in the benighted GWOT.

        Do you know history?

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia
        September 28, 2014, 11:13 pm

        “Yes when Bush gave his “with us or against us” speech Saddam went for against us.’
        It is a lie from the point of Bush and it is a lie to say that Bush went to war for it.

        Neoocns were within 5 hours of 911 linking Saddam to 911.later they linked him to Al Quida . later they linked him to some sinister motive behind Aluminium Tube
        later they linked him to Pargue and Atta of Al quida of 911
        Later they linked him to Niger Uranuim . All these were manufactured,created,and spread by neocons. in Sept 2001 neoocns were telling Wesley Clark how they planned to topple 5 countries in ME ( including Iran and Syria 2 in that 5 condemned 911 nad lent helps against Al Quida ) . hey they even linked him to Anthrax .

        Prior to that in 1991 Wolfowtiz was waxing eloquent how US (read neoocns wil taack Arab countries )

        Before that in 1979 Wolfowiz was planning to remove Saddam since Saddam was demed a threat to US (read Israel )

        Next time we might hear from you that Saddam was attacked for the sky was blue over Iraqi sky . Both are true- Sky is blue, and Saddam was attacked .

        It can convince some since Americans dont look up to see the color of the sky and accept what color was being told by the weather channel from FOX ,WSJ,CNN,WaPO,NY Sun, Weeky Standard . It does not have make sense . They just need to be told what to believe . But you JeffB cant take advantage of that at least not on this site.

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia
        September 28, 2014, 11:23 pm

        “That’s been the assertions of USA intelligence, the USA media and almost all the western press. I’m sticking with that opinion unless I see very strong evidence to the contrary.

        Sure it has asserted. I know the names- Krauthhammer,Krystol,Podohretz,Joe Liberman, Singer, Gordon,Grecht,Goldberg, Ilena Roth, Kirk, Menendez, MEK, Likud party, and WaPO,NYT,Weekly Standard, FOX,

        Large number of those who died in Soviet Russia before 1990 went tp the garve beleiving in the sacred truthiness of the lies spewed by the communist . Those leis came from government and the media .

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 29, 2014, 4:17 pm

        “Yes when Bush gave his “with us or against us” speech Saddam went for against us.”

        No Bush did not use “for us or against us” in reference to Saddam in that speech. That, JeffB, is first prize stupidity on your part.

        I’m sure the text of the speech is easily available..

  6. Brewer
    Brewer
    September 28, 2014, 4:34 pm

    Rouhani has it nailed.
    I.S. is what happens when you indiscriminately bomb and strafe a heterogeneous populace on spurious grounds. The unifying factor is outrage against the aggressor. Remember that these people do not have the Western Media to lull them with facile blandishments such as “war on terror”, “regime change”, “WMDs” or whatever the Usrael warmongers spout. They know what the real agenda is.

    In fact, I.S. is a bit of a paper tiger, an entity seized on by the perps to justify more bombing since the sheeple didn’t buy Assad as the next great evil.

    http://pando.com/2014/06/23/the-war-nerd-like-it-or-not-whats-happening-in-iraq-right-now-is-part-of-a-rational-process/

    Here is one of my favorite writers. He is rarely wrong – if you check his back catalogue with the advantage of hindsight you will find he has been on the button in every one of these affairs.

    http://pando.com/author/garybrecher/

  7. just
    just
    September 28, 2014, 5:04 pm

    “The Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, on Sunday ramped up the political rhetoric over Syria and Iraq by saying American forces will need to be put on the ground in the battle against the Islamic State (Isis).

    Boehner’s comment that at some point “boots have to be on the ground” marks a significant inflation in the terms of the debate over how to deal with Isis. President Barack Obama has repeatedly said US ground forces will not be used in the conflict, which on Sunday saw US-led strikes in Syria and the first British strikes in Iraq, though the Pentagon has ordered the dispatch of 1,600 US troops to Iraq for what it insists will be training and other support functions.”

    more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/28/us-attack-new-isis-targets-syrian-border?commentpage=1

  8. PeaceThroughJustice
    PeaceThroughJustice
    September 28, 2014, 5:49 pm

    Here’s the Rouhani speech on RT–

  9. subconscious
    subconscious
    September 28, 2014, 6:58 pm

    While Rouhani’s speech makes reasonable points, it also conveys notable hypocrisy. Rouhani, as the president of a Muslim country, would do well to set an example by practicing in his own society what he “high-mindedly” preaches to others. The Islamic Republic has a very poor record of tolerance & respect towards religions outside the state orthodoxy. The “phobia” of other religions that Rouhani criticizes in the West, are extensively engaged in by Iranian state media and some gov’t officials. Vulgar anti-Baha’i and antisemitic propaganda on state TV are not infrequent and often reach lunatic levels. Other sects of Islam, including branches of Shi’ism, that differ from state orthodoxy are also demonized. Baha’is, as well as various sects of Islam are actively persecuted in the Islamic Republic.

    Rouhani, himself, by any indication I know of, is probably not in support of such practices, at least, not to the extent that is happening. The state media is in the hardliner camp, and its directors act under the Supreme Leader’s supervision. Judicial persecution of certain faiths is also headed by clerics loyal to Khamenei and not directly controlled by the Rouhani administration. However, as president of the country, Rouhani has at least a platform and some influence in speaking (and acting) against such abominations taking place under his watch. But all that seems to have taken place in the 1 year since his inauguration, has been respectful messages towards Iran’s Jews, such as his foreign minister’s, Zarif’s, acknowledgement of the Holocaust & Rosh Hashana message to Iran’s Jews last year. (Jews are mostly allowed to practice their religion, as they’re officially a “recognized faith.” But Jews in general are demonized in state media and by certain officials.) But persecution and demonization of faiths, including Islamic ones, not acceptable to state orthodoxy continue unabated. Since Iranian propaganda often refer to the Supreme Leader as “Leader of the Faithful,” meaning Muslims worldwide, you could say that Iranian leaders are aiding and abetting Islamophobia by engaging in such intolerant practices, and Rouhani hasn’t done much to alleviate it.

    To say that “Rouhani is as high-minded as Chomsky” is quite a stretch. Chomsky has for decades been criticized for being too “anti-American” for not criticizing other states as strongly as the US gov’t. His response has always been that, while he has criticized other states (including the Islamic Republic), a citizen’s responsibility is first & foremost towards the actions of his own state & society, which is why he mainly focuses on US policies. Rouhani, being part of the leadership, is more than a citizen in his country and, hence, should at least show as much commitment to combating religious intolerance taking place under his watch, as he advocates in sermonizing others.

    • Sassan
      Sassan
      September 28, 2014, 11:06 pm

      Well said. Bahai people are persecuted for their faith for the simple fact that they came after Islam. Bahai’s have been executed for not converting to Shiism and for being Bahai. Bahai’s are systematically oppressed inside of Iran. All this is irony coming from such a regime.

      • annie
        annie
        September 29, 2014, 12:32 am

        Bahai’s have been executed for not converting to Shiism and for being Bahai. Bahai’s are systematically oppressed

        i thought this might interest you. from The Bahai Insider http://thebahaiinsider.com/2013/08/11/bahais-engage-in-acts-of-cyber-terrorism-against-iran-2011/

        Came across the following article on the web sent by one of my FaceBook friends..time and again, we find Bahai violating the rules of the land – when it comes to spying (remember Indian spying case), conversions (remember Indonesia, Uzbekistan etc). And then they cry hoarse about how these countries are treating them shabbily.

        Some things will never change…

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/03/13/us-iran-arrests-idUSTRE62C1D220100313

        Iran Arrests 30 Over U.S.-linked Cyber Ring
        Reuters

        March 14, 2010
        Editor’s note: In February, the Bipartisan Policy Center held a war game and concluded cyber attacks would come from Russian, Chinese, and Sudanese hackers. It now appears the cyber threat in part originates from the CIA-supported Mujahadeen-e-Khalq.

        Iran has arrested 30 people suspected of belonging to a U.S.-linked cyber network gathering information on Iranian nuclear scientists and sending people abroad for training, a news agency reported on Saturday.

        It said the group sought to recruit people through the Internet for training in Iraq with the People’s Mujahideen Organisation, a leftist exile group which launched attacks on the Islamic Republic from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq

        “Thirty people were arrested in connection with an organised American cyber war network via a series of complex security measures in the field of information technology and communications,” the Fars news agency said.

        Tehran’s general and revolutionary court said one of the group was linked to an outlawed sect — a reference to the Baha’i religious minority, the agency said.

        “Among the charges against this network are creating an intelligence gathering network, including identification of the country’s nuclear scientists and staging illegal demonstrations and encouraging the public to take part in them after the presidential elections,” it said.

      • Sassan
        Sassan
        September 29, 2014, 1:38 am

        @Annie Robbins: Are you seriously posting a link to a website dedicated to bashing Bahai’s and justifying their oppression? Bahai people have been executed for not converting to Shiite Islam. This is a fact. Bahai’s in Iran are denied the opportunity to get an education and employment. Bahai people in Iran have had their homes taken away for the simple fact that they are Bahai. Bahai’s are not considered human by the regime in Iran for the simple fact that they are a faith that came after Islam. Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism are tolerated (although these minority groups are oppressed) since they came before Islam and therefore are “accepted”. But those who came AFTER Islam are considered heretics and are systematically oppressed and terrorized. What I am stating are facts. Just look to the U.N. reports on how Bahai’s inside of Iran are treated..: http://shaheedoniran.org/english/dr-shaheeds-work/latest-reports/october-2013-report-of-the-special-rapporteur-on-the-situation-of-human-rights-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2/#sect5a

      • Sassan
        Sassan
        September 29, 2014, 1:41 am

        @Annie Robbins: not to mention that you accept at face value the slanders and lies by the Islamist regime. Everything that happens, Bahai’s are the scapegoat without providing a single shred of evidence. Being someone who supposedly supports human rights and are against people being discriminated, the justification for such tyranny and oppression of an entire group of people speaks volumes.

      • annie
        annie
        September 29, 2014, 9:50 pm

        hi guys, i had never heard of the Bahai people until Sassan’s post. my comment “i thought this might be of this interest to you” is neither an endorsement or a condemnation of the site or the information in it. the information was linked by me ‘opinion-less’ because i don’t know anything about it. i added the reuters link for further reference. the MEK is a notorious terrorist group who has worked with both israel/US/mossad/cia but i don’t know how connected, if any, they are to the MEK. reuters is a somewhat reputable msm.

        either way i don’t support collective punishment of a people, any people. and again, i know nothing of the bahai people.

      • Rosalita
        Rosalita
        September 29, 2014, 10:32 pm

        If you’ve never heard of the Baha’i religion I don’t think you know too much about Iran.

  10. Sassan
    Sassan
    September 28, 2014, 7:01 pm

    As an Iranian-American, I am offended by the insinuations of this article. Since when do we take seriously the words of a terrorist regime that implements Shariah law in oppressing and terrorizing the Iranian people? This is a regime that hangs gays and stones women to death. I don’t think other terrorist regimes guided by an apocalyptic ideology in the “return of the hidden imam” have any business lecturing us on topics of radical Islam and terrorism.

    • just
      just
      September 28, 2014, 9:37 pm

      My guess is that you are a Shah baby, sassy.

      • Sassan
        Sassan
        September 28, 2014, 11:05 pm

        I am an Iranian who believes in freedom and democracy. Being born in Iran, having most my family in Iran and having been back to Iran extensively, I feel that I can talk on this subject. This is a regime that rules through terror and tyranny. Nothing more and nothing less.

      • annie
        annie
        September 29, 2014, 12:26 am

        sure, you can talk on the subject. but there are probably millions of iranians born in iran, with most of their family in Iran, who believe in freedom and democracy who do not believe the regime rules through terror and tyranny. so, based on your qualifications alone, your opinions are not more valid than anyone else who shares them and they are perhaps much less valid than an iranian who lives there year round.

        btw, from past experience i know you support the zionist regime in israel. so that sort of disqualifies your allegation that you believe in freedom and democracy.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 29, 2014, 10:50 am

        Right, just, because it’s not possible to oppose a radical Islamic theocratic dictatorship and be against the Shah at the same time. I think maybe that people here read too much Iranian state media. After all, Press TV is cited all the time here.

  11. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    September 28, 2014, 8:40 pm

    Iranian president should remember that it took a decade to get regime change in Iraq. Neocons don’t give up .they pass the torch to the next in line.
    In 1992 it was Scooter Libby and Wolfowitz authoring the defense planning guidance for attack against Iran.It was resurrected by Libby and Wolfowitz in 2000PNAC issued report rebuilding America’s defense .the threat picked up more steam as Wolfowitz and Feith started approving meetings between defense department officials and rogue Iranian agents in Rome and other places Michael Ledeen met Iran Contra arms dealer and later in 2002 teamed up with former AIPAC executive director Morris Amtay creating the letter head organization Coalition For Democracy in Iran. Very soon Larry Franklin who along with Rhode and Ledeen met some of those Iranian interested in regime change ended up in jail for spying . Very soon Feith and Wolfowitz expanded the scope against Iran and placed the relevant department under OSP the rogue intelligence organization .2000 PNAC signatory Abram Shulsky was in charge. Forward magazine weighed in and provided new name like Michael Rubin getting into OSP with vocal advocacy for regime change in Iran. That was May 2003. At that time stories spread by Ledeen regarding uranium going to Iran was debunked by CIA .who was pressurized to look at again but investigation ended in same conclusion.Lawrence Wilkerson bitterly admitted that 2003 attempts of negotiation between Iran and US was scuttled by the group. But the neocons kept on piling up pressure on administration and succeeded in reducing the influences of Condi Rice and sidelong John Negroponte by running parallel and separate operations outside Congressional oversight and CIA and National Intelligence director’s office or influences.
    Do don’t pin your hopes high. 1 / 23/2007 http://www.rawstory.com by Larissa Alexandrovna and M Kane

  12. Horizontal
    Horizontal
    September 28, 2014, 9:36 pm

    @ just ~

    Seems the whole thing is a setup. Check out Glenn Greenwald over at The Intercept:

    “As the Obama administration prepared to bomb Syria without Congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the “homeland.” A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.

    “The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded “The Khorasan Group.” After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat – too radical even for Al Qaeda! – administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.”

    The Intercept

    First, the generals tell us that bombing can’t do anything. Then all of a sudden, we’re bombing someone, but “boots on the ground” is definitely off the table. Now someone in congress (from the opposition, no less) is talking about the need to put “boots on the ground.”

    In some dark place, strings are being pulled . . .

    • just
      just
      September 28, 2014, 10:40 pm

      The strings and stings are @ Koch Bros. Inc. and the complicit US Congress and some preferred lobbyists with mucho moolah! Netanyahu and Modi have paved the proverbial red carpet today.

  13. JeffB
    JeffB
    September 29, 2014, 6:33 am

    @traintosiberia

    At any given time there are factions within the United States lobbying for closer relationships with just about every country and other factions lobbying for more hostile relationships. Republican trade associations like China, human rights groups don’t. For example there are factions that want USA intervention in Honduras on both sides. And this was more common during the time of the cold war, when the USA population was more willing to establish long term military bases with large numbers of troops.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f4/US_military_personnel_and_expenditures.png

    The question is not whether there were a small number of people who wanted to invade Iraq, but how they won the argument with the more skeptical interest groups, the broader public and the government. By the time Bush-43 wanted to invade the Iraq war was a very popular policy.

    And they did it because Saddam was constantly annoying. Time and time again he interfered with USA policy in the region. Barack Obama’s was elected on a platform of winding down Bush’s war on terror. During his first year in office his approval / disapproval numbers of foreign policy went from 54-22 to 51-44 that is over 20% of the population that didn’t have an opinion on his foreign policy began to dislike his more passive approach. Or to pick another more recent example. Right now about 58% don’t like USA intervention on the Ukraine issue thinking we are about right or doing too much. 29% want a much stronger intervention in Ukraine, escalation. And that’s with Russia.

    There is no conspiracy. There just a bunch a population that dislikes most foreign leaders and likes violent resolutions to conflict but doesn’t want to bear the costs of interventions. Interests groups and factions try and build a semi-stable consensus among that population and enact policy.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 29, 2014, 12:36 pm

      “There is no conspiracy. There just a bunch a population that dislikes most foreign leaders and likes violent resolutions to conflict but doesn’t want to bear the costs of interventions. Interests groups and factions try and build a semi-stable consensus among that population and enact policy.”

      Yeah, and war is just, uh, yeah, politics by other means, that’s it, and everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

      Thanks, Candide, we get it.

  14. Rosalita
    Rosalita
    September 29, 2014, 8:48 am

    Everything Sassan said about Iran is true. I guess I will be bullied now for agreeing with him. No I am not pro Shah or pro Israel. If this site is pro Islamic Rep of Iran or pro Assad I am so out of here. If you support either one you are pro terrorism. I am so sick of politics right now. How can you ignore the massive election frauds and political repression? I am really disgusted.

    • Gene Shae
      Gene Shae
      September 29, 2014, 8:40 pm

      Every public figure who is even slightly anti-Israel is given all sorts of forgiveness here.

    • annie
      annie
      October 1, 2014, 10:00 am

      so why are you here rosalita? what brought you here? just cruising the internet bashing iran?

  15. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    September 29, 2014, 4:39 pm

    The clash between modernism and traditional societies is traumatic, meaning there is physical and spiritual loss involved in the intrusion of the modern on traditional societies.

    Iran in its revolutionary stage represented one attempt to reject the modernism of the west. their revolution is no longer in the early phase, which occurred 35 years ago and so their leaders are no longer appalled at modernism or burnt at the stake for modernism and instead there is a struggle on a different level. (There is still repression of democracy, but there is repression of democracy in China and that has nothing to do with rejecting modernism, but only has to do with the maintenance of stability as perceived by the ruling elite.)

    The basis of the Iraq regime of Saddam Hussein seems to have been the repression of Shiite population in order to enable the ascendancy of the Sunni minority. The destruction of the Saddam regime led to a confrontation between these two communities.

    Certainly the west intruding and drawing lines of borders and going to war and then deciding “time to go home. enough foreign involvement” created dynamics that would not have existed without the west’s interference.

    there were forces at play in syria aside from the natural rebellion of a people against an oppressive leader. i don’t know enough about the natural dynamics of nascent rebellions and the specifics of the syria situation, but clearly just a perusal of headlines did not reveal anything conclusive to this lay reader.

    the arab spring of tunisia and egypt was a natural reaction to oppressive complacent regimes and coincidentally or not happened at the time of an american administration living up to its “power to the people” rhetoric and not to the powers of stasis that normally rule american attitudes towards “backwards” parts of the world. egypt is more or less back where it started after the failure of morsi, but meanwhile a real grass roots rebellion erupted in syria was met with a bloody fist and then there was a rebellion of arms, the development of which i cannot comment upon.

  16. kalithea
    kalithea
    October 4, 2014, 5:32 am

    This is the type of article I like, it strikes a chord and hits the right nerve that gets people to take note of reality for a change.

    Jeffrey Goldberg refers to the Israel lobby group AIPAC as a “Jewish organization.” It’s actually a Zionist organization, but the confusion is intentional.)

    So then the Jewish State, we all know as Israel, isn’t the Jewish State it’s the Zionist State. Oh, but it sounds so much more victim-like as the Jewish State, such an easy sell! Zionist State connotes domination, you know, hubris and power, meanwhile Jewish State, although blatantly bigoted lets everyone know that it has that exclusive status, that it’s a state above the law for the poor victims who are endangered species in perpetuity, no matter how much wealth, power and nuclear warheads they have amassed, which of course defies logic and insults anyone’s intelligence and creates seething resentment. By calling itself Jewish instead of Zionist State, its hasbara handlers are telling everyone that our lying eyes deceive us, and that we must view it as the victim state and not the barbaric oppressor it really is, lest we be damned and condemned as anti-Semites.

    I disagree that Zionist extremists are comparable to ISIS extremists. Yes both the Jewish State i.e. Zionist State and the Islamic State commit barbaric crimes in the name of supremacy, but here’s the catchy thing, Zionism is NOT a religion even though it milks Judaism to sustain legitimacy. And the legitimacy it has succeeded in acquiring, ISIS can only dream of. Sure, in my eyes Zionism is as perverse as ISIS, but in the dum-dum Western world I’ve been born and bred in, Zionism is legit and untouchable, no matter how barbaric, cruel and unjust it is because we’ve been monumentally deceived into believing that Zionism and Judaism are synonymous. So lets drop the Zionist extremists as an excuse; Zionism itself is extremist and Zionists whether rightist or liberal are both guilty of promoting an extremist ideology and the latter i.e. liberal are the most deceptive and guilty of all.

    Now remember I already stated that Zionism is NOT, I repeat NOT a religion, but imo, Zionism is the new Judaism and if it is, and I know it is neo-Judaism, then who’s fault is it that Judaism has been hijacked or morphed into this extremist cult/ideology? It’s certainly not mine; I’m the Cassandra who’s been warning everyone about the destructive nature of Zionism and getting flak from all directions.

    So the question is: Who’s fault is it that Zionism is the New Judaism? It didn’t happen overnight folks in the Jewish Community! The irony here is that Muslims are not to blame for the rise of the Islamic State; the irony is that Zionist-fueled foreign policy IS. As long as we are mired in this Zionist-driven foreign policy hell-bent on neutralizing the Muslim problem that surrounds the Zionist State there will always be a new form of extremism breeding AQ, Khorasan, Nusra, ISIS… to replace the old one. Amongst other things all negative, Zionism is nothing but a vortex of cyclical violence without end and is to blame both for whatever rise in Anti-Semitism is really happening AND the very significant rise in Islamophobia.

    Bombing ISIS, bombing in Syria, bombing in Iraq again and again; none of this will work and will beget only more violence. The Western world has been put on a fool’s quest to Zionize the Middle East and America’s selfish interests in the region will be the basis for a future of bloodshed and misery for all sides especially hundreds of thousands or more Muslims.

    And I have to say one more thing that is hardly being expressed regarding the beheadings by ISIS. As barbaric as what ISIS is doing to innocent victims is, I find what the U.S., U.K. and now France has done JUST as barbaric in abandoning those citizens. It was not impossible to save those victims from that horrible death but these countries chose to be complicit in the beheadings and previous mass killings ISIS committed through misguided interventions and sadistic hubris! It just shows us to what extreme they have taken us in the name of the war on terror i.e. THE WRONG DIRECTION that we must witness people beheaded and feel powerless to save them while these lame-brain politicians dig in their heels – I’m disgusted by this display of mutual inhumanity. We were led to this point by our own so-called leaders and our impotence to categorically reject this detrimental foreign policy.

  17. kalithea
    kalithea
    October 6, 2014, 2:10 am

    Since Zionist foreign policy is almost always based on strategies designed to stick it to Iran, and because Zionist foreign policy is the basis for all U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, the U.S., UK and often some EU nations and Canada and Australia will forever be dragged into one disastrous blunder after another with unforeseen consequences such as the one that arose i.e. ISIS thanks to the meddling in Syria. The U.S. keeps trying to blame this on Iraq and yes, the Sunni in Iraq helped ISIS advance in Iraq, but even more so did the Sunni opposition in Syria help ISIS gain real power ergo they established their headquarters there! And I’d really like to know how many ISIS fighters are coming from other Sunni Arab states. We don’t get those figures from the media. No doubt Zionists secretly believe that ISIS represents a real threat to the shiite and therefore Iran and ISIS’ expansion in Iraq and Syria doesn’t bother them that much, but if ISIS succeed in their mission, Israel will be devoured next. But Zionists will open just about any pandora’s box because of their obsession with Iran and to hell with the rest of the world.

  18. Pippilin
    Pippilin
    October 10, 2014, 11:43 am

    To rearrange a question that I remember from old IQ or Achievement Tests: ” All ISIS members are Muslims; therefore all Muslims are ISIS.” True or false? It seems that most Islamophobes
    fail the test.

  19. santasa
    santasa
    November 1, 2014, 9:57 pm

    This is one truly brilliant piece of work on your part Philip.
    (Zionism needs anti-Semitism, Serbian nationalism thrives on anti-Serbian sentiments, Russian nationalism on perceived NATO threat, etc.)

    • santasa
      santasa
      November 1, 2014, 10:02 pm

      Same is with ISIL, they find fear of Islam & Islamophobia to be very useful tool.

  20. light2014
    light2014
    November 2, 2015, 4:51 pm

    “To fight the underlying causes of terrorism, one must know its roots and dry its source fountains. Terrorism germinates in poverty, unemployment, discrimination, humiliation and injustice The pain is made greater when these terrorists spill blood in the name of religion and behead in the name of Islam ”
    Why doesn’t ISIS proclaim that the source of their beheading of infidels and rape of yazidi girls and pillage of others property is due to the causes stated above by Rouhani?
    Why does ISIS murder more Muslim infidels then Westerners? Why do the terrorist murderers come from middle class and wealthy families? Why do they teach that one gets closer to God by committing savagery? Why is Israel reluctant to use force and than only in response to a threat? Why doesn’t Israel do what ISIS does and go unprovoked from Arab area to Arab area and slaughter ,enslave or deport all those who do not believe in Judaism? Why does Israel protect religious sites ,even pagan ones, and not destroy them as ISIS does? Why is a gentile on the Supreme Court of Israel? Why does Hadassah Hospital treat Muslims? In a sanctuary whether for elephants or Jews all other creatures or inhabitants are welcome and are encouraged to thrive except those that would slaughter the endangered species.

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