‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات Syria. إظهار كافة الرسائل
‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات Syria. إظهار كافة الرسائل

3/16/2016

Do you want know the ISIS ! so you must know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

DO you want know the ISIS ! so you must know the History of  Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia



BEIRUT -- The dramatic arrival of Da'ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed -- and horrified -- by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia's ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, "Don't the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?"

It appears -- even now -- that Saudi Arabia's ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite "fire" with Sunni "fire"; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da'ish's strict Salafist ideology.













Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan -- please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da'ish (ISIS) -- and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia's direction and discourse.
THE SAUDI DUALITY
Saudi Arabia's internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom's doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.
One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader -- amongst many -- of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)
The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz's subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse -- and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export -- by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.
But this "cultural revolution" was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab's Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him -- hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.
MUSLIM IMPOSTORS
The American author and journalist, Steven Coll, has written how this austere and censorious disciple of the 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab, despised "the decorous, arty, tobacco smoking, hashish imbibing, drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca."
In Abd al-Wahhab's view, these were not Muslims; they were imposters masquerading as Muslims. Nor, indeed, did he find the behavior of local Bedouin Arabs much better. They aggravated Abd al-Wahhab by their honoring of saints, by their erecting of tombstones, and their "superstition" (e.g. revering graves or places that were deemed particularly imbued with the divine).
All this behavior, Abd al-Wahhab denounced as bida -- forbidden by God.
Like Taymiyyah before him, Abd al-Wahhab believed that the period of the Prophet Muhammad's stay in Medina was the ideal of Muslim society (the "best of times"), to which all Muslims should aspire to emulate (this, essentially, is Salafism).
Taymiyyah had declared war on Shi'ism, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He spoke out, too against visiting the grave of the prophet and the celebration of his birthday, declaring that all such behavior represented mere imitation of the Christian worship of Jesus as God (i.e. idolatry). Abd al-Wahhab assimilated all this earlier teaching, stating that "any doubt or hesitation" on the part of a believer in respect to his or her acknowledging this particular interpretation of Islam should "deprive a man of immunity of his property and his life."
One of the main tenets of Abd al-Wahhab's doctrine has become the key idea oftakfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead.

"Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. "

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity -- a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.


There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab's doctrine of "One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque" -- these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of "the word" (i.e. the mosque).


It is this rift -- the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests -- makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.


BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818


Abd al-Wahhab's advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town -- and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab's novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

"Their strategy -- like that of ISIS today -- was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. "



Ibn Saud's clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab's doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.


In the beginning, they conquered a few local communities and imposed their rule over them. (The conquered inhabitants were given a limited choice: conversion to Wahhabism or death.) By 1790, the Alliance controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula and repeatedly raided Medina, Syria and Iraq.


Their strategy -- like that of ISIS today -- was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.


A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: "They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein... slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants ..."


Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, "we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: 'And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.'"


In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab's followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.


But in November of 1803, a Shiite assassin killed King Abdul Aziz (taking revenge for the massacre at Karbala). His son, Saud bin Abd al Aziz, succeeded him and continued the conquest of Arabia. Ottoman rulers, however, could no longer just sit back and watch as their empire was devoured piece by piece. In 1812, the Ottoman army, composed of Egyptians, pushed the Alliance out from Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. In 1814, Saud bin Abd al Aziz died of fever. His unfortunate son Abdullah bin Saud, however, was taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, where he was gruesomely executed (a visitor to Istanbul reported seeing him having been humiliated in the streets of Istanbul for three days, then hanged and beheaded, his severed head fired from a canon, and his heart cut out and impaled on his body).


In 1815, Wahhabi forces were crushed by the Egyptians (acting on the Ottoman's behalf) in a decisive battle. In 1818, the Ottomans captured and destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The first Saudi state was no more. The few remaining Wahhabis withdrew into the desert to regroup, and there they remained, quiescent for most of the 19th century.


HISTORY RETURNS WITH ISIS


It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th century Wahhabism did not just wither in Nejd, but it roared back into life when the Ottoman Empire collapsed amongst the chaos of World War I.




The Al Saud -- in this 20th century renaissance -- were led by the laconic and politically astute Abd-al Aziz, who, on uniting the fractious Bedouin tribes, launched the Saudi "Ikhwan" in the spirit of Abd-al Wahhab's and Ibn Saud's earlier fighting proselytisers.


The Ikhwan was a reincarnation of the early, fierce, semi-independent vanguard movement of committed armed Wahhabist "moralists" who almost had succeeded in seizing Arabia by the early 1800s. In the same manner as earlier, the Ikhwan again succeeded in capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. Abd-al Aziz, however, began to feel his wider interests to be threatened by the revolutionary "Jacobinism" exhibited by the Ikhwan. The Ikhwan revolted -- leading to a civil war that lasted until the 1930s, when the King had them put down: he machine-gunned them.


For this king, (Abd-al Aziz), the simple verities of previous decades were eroding. Oil was being discovered in the peninsular. Britain and America were courting Abd-al Aziz, but still were inclined to support Sharif Husain as the only legitimate ruler of Arabia. The Saudis needed to develop a more sophisticated diplomatic posture.


So Wahhabism was forcefully changed from a movement of revolutionary jihad and theological takfiri purification, to a movement of conservative social, political, theological, and religious da'wa (Islamic call) and to justifying the institution that upholds loyalty to the royal Saudi family and the King's absolute power.


OIL WEALTH SPREAD WAHHABISM


With the advent of the oil bonanza -- as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to "reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world ... to "Wahhabise" Islam, thereby reducing the "multitude of voices within the religion" to a "single creed" -- a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were -- and continue to be -- invested in this manifestation of soft power.




It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection -- and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America's interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam -- that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz's meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.


Westerners looked at the Kingdom and their gaze was taken by the wealth; by the apparent modernization; by the professed leadership of the Islamic world. They chose to presume that the Kingdom was bending to the imperatives of modern life -- and that the management of Sunni Islam would bend the Kingdom, too, to modern life.

"On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism."


But the Saudi Ikhwan approach to Islam did not die in the 1930s. It retreated, but it maintained its hold over parts of the system -- hence the duality that we observe today in the Saudi attitude towards ISIS.
On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.
ISIS is a "post-Medina" movement: it looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs, rather than the Prophet Muhammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis' claim of authority to rule.
As the Saudi monarchy blossomed in the oil age into an ever more inflated institution, the appeal of the Ikhwan message gained ground (despite King Faisal's modernization campaign). The "Ikhwan approach" enjoyed -- and still enjoys -- the support of many prominent men and women and sheikhs. In a sense, Osama bin Laden was precisely the representative of a late flowering of this Ikhwani approach.
Today, ISIS' undermining of the legitimacy of the King's legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.
In the collaborative management of the region by the Saudis and the West in pursuit of the many western projects (countering socialism, Ba'athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence), western politicians have highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse.
After all, the more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan -- and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.


Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar's Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS? And why should we be surprised -- knowing a little about Wahhabism -- that "moderate" insurgents in Syria would become rarer than a mythical unicorn? Why should we have imagined that radical Wahhabism would create moderates? Or why could we imagine that a doctrine of "One leader, One authority, One mosque: submit to it, or be killed" could ever ultimately lead to moderation or tolerance?

2/18/2014

The Syrian child refugee whose photo hit a nerve online #Syria

It is an everyday occurrence at border crossings out of Syria, but for four-year-old Marwan, it must have been terrifying.
After being temporarily separated from his family at the remote Hagallat crossing on Sunday, he was found by staff from the UN's refugee agency.
Andrew Harper, the head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Jordan, took the picture and posted it on Twitter, where it hit a nerve with many users.
It was widely reposted online.
But however heartbreaking the picture was, Mr Harper said, it was not unusual in the "chaos and confusion" of refugee border crossings.
Most refugee groups were headed by mothers bringing several children and all their possessions out of Syria, he said.
When the gates open, there is a crush as desperate refugees surge forward. Every day, children get lost.
With UNHCR staff searching for them when the surge abates, they typically do not spend too long on their own.
Mr Harper said Marwan was taken across and reunited with his mother about 10 minutes after this picture was taken.
On Tuesday, he posted another photo on Twitter that shows Marwan was at the back of a group of refugees when he was met by UNHCR staff.

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Photograph showing Marwan among group of other Syrian refugees crossing border with Jordan (16 February 2014)The inset image shows Marwan was not far behind his family when met by UNHCR staff
"He is separated - he is not alone," Mr Harper added.
Crossing the border is a nervous time for the children and their families - one more trauma in the hellish journey from destroyed lives in Syria to an uncertain future as refugees in a foreign land.
Most of the refugees crossing at Hagallat - which lacks even a proper road - came from Homs and al-Quaryatayn, and it was likely Marwan was from there too, said Mr Harper.
He was just one of about 1,000 people who crossed into Jordan on that day alone.
There are now 600,000 Syrian refugees registered with the UNHCR in Jordan, part of an estimated 2.4 million across the region as a whole.
Smiling Syrian refugee children just inside the Jordanian borderA short distance inside Jordan, the mood of the children improved
Malala Yousafzai visiting the border and helping refugees with their bags, as part of her campaign for children's educationMalala Yousafzai visited the border as part of her campaign for children's education
It is not clear what the future holds for young Marwan.
But with the mood of other refugee children one of relief once they cross the border, it is hoped that he, too, might look forward to a brighter future.
Malala Yousafzai, the teenager who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in Pakistan and has become a global campaigner for children's education, was also at the border on Sunday.
She witnessed emotional scenes at the border and, with her father, helped several refugees cross the no-man's land that separates the two nations.
The Malala Fund is teaming up with local Jordanian and Syrian organisations to help Syrian children get an education.

9/13/2013

#Syria eyewitness to young Syrian man beheaded by Obama-backed #jihad Militias #graphic


A young Syrian man is executed by ant-regime rebels in the town of Keferghan, near Aleppo, on August 31, 2013.
 An anti-regime rebel whispers into the ear of the man before his execution.
 An anti-regime rebel whispers into the ear of the man before his execution.

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The man struggles as his executioners attempt to restrain him.


Anit-regime rebels gather around the man to restrain him just before his execution.
A young Syrian man is executed by ant-regime rebels in the town of Keferghan, near Aleppo, on August 31, 2013.


All wars are vicious, but the civil war in Syria seems every day to set new standards for brutality. As the fighting rages in its third year, increasing numbers of atrocities are committed by soldiers and fighters from forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad, as well as armed rebels and Islamic militants from the numerous, loosely aligned groups opposing Assad. The violence is frequently sectarian in nature, with fighters claiming they act in defense of their faith, be it Sunni, Alawite, Shiite or any of the other sects that contribute to Syria’s religious landscape.
The perpetrators of atrocities themselves often use digital cameras or smartphones to photograph or film their acts of torture and murder, uploading the images to the Internet. These images and videos are used for propaganda, and their authenticity is often impossible to verify. It is very rare that a group of fighters from either side gives a professional photojournalist from a country outside Syria full and unfettered access to chronicle an atrocity as it unfolds. The images above are products of that access.


6/21/2013

#Egypt Cuts Diplomatic Ties to #Syria #Morsi

The Egyptian government has announced it’s severing all ties to the Syrian government and backing the rebel fight seeking to oust Bashar al-Assad. On Saturday, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi told supporters he’s closing the Syrian embassy in Cairo and recalling his government’s envoy from Damascus.

--> Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi: "The Syrian people are facing a campaign of extermination and planned ethnic cleansing, fed by regional and international states who do not care for the Syrian citizen. The people of Egypt support the struggle of the Syrian people, materially and morally. And Egypt — its nation, leadership and army — will not abandon the Syrian people until it achieves its rights and dignity."

In his comments, Morsi also
 called on the international community to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria and urged all Hezbollah members fighting alongside Assad’s forces to return to Lebanon. In response, the Syrian government said Morsi has joined the "conspiracy and incitement led by the United States and Israel against Syria." The U.S. has denied pressuring Egypt on Syria.

6/18/2013

العاهل السعودي يقطع إجازته بالمغرب بسبب تطورات المنطقة #السعودية

العاهل السعودي يقطع إجازته بالمغرب بسبب تطورات المنطقة

لم أفهم ولم يفهم غيري من ملايين العرب ماذا يعني هذا الخبر الذي تصدر النشرات ألإخبارية الخليجية وألذي جاء على الصفحات ألأولى وتصدر عناوين الصحف والمجلات والقنوات الإخبارية وجاء على رأس عناوين ألأخبار في ألصفحة ألألكترونية لقناة ألعربية. فلماذا قطع إجازته وعاد من المغرب وما الدور الذي سيلعبه ألآن في المؤامرة التي أشعل فتيلها في سوريا؟ 
هل سيقود جحافل الجيوش ألإسلامية والتي سيتقدمها أمراء وأميرات آل سعود وبقية حكام ألخليج ألذين لم يخوضوا حربا طوال حياتهم. أم سيجلس في قصره مستمتعا بما لذ وطاب من ألأكل والشراب والحسان بينما الشعب السوري يذبح عن بكرة ابيه بتمويل من حكومته وتوجيه من اسرائيل وامريكا؟ هل يعرف أحد منكم ألجواب أفيدونا أفادكم ألله. ماذا سيفعل هذا الحاكم حيال الوضع في سوريا؟ هل سيسلح المعارضة والتي هي أصلا مسلحة ومدربة ومجهزة من أموال آل سعود ولم يبقى أي نوع من السلاح الا وأرسل الي عصابات ألتكفير وألتهجير والقتل والتدمير؟ لم يبق أسلوب خسيس الا واتبعه هو واسياده حتى بلغت ألأمور ما بلغته هناك من أوضاع مزرية يندى لها الجبين. فلقد لفقت قنواته الأخبار وفبركت القصص والحكايات عن جرائم وهمية ارتكبها النظام السوري مدعوما بجيشه البطل. وعرض تحريضي لجرائم نسبت الى الجيش السوري ليتضح لاحقا ان منفذيها لم يكونوا سوى افراد العصابات الوهابية والإجرامية والتكفيرية والتي ارسلت إلى سوريا للقضاء على آخر معاقل الرجولة والشهامة والبطولة خدمة لأعداء العرب والمسلمين
 إذن ما هو ألأمر ألخطير ألذي أستدعى أن يعود عبد الله من المغرب ويعود على عجالة؟ ربما يكون الوضع السوري أحد هذه الأسباب مع أنني أشك في هذا. وأغلب الظن ان هناك مؤامرة ضده تنظم داخل عائلة آل سعود للإنقلاب عليه وإستلام مقاليد الحكم. فقبل أن يذهب لقضاء إجازته كان الوضع في سوريا أكثر تأزما ومع ذلك لم يأبه هادم الحرمين بكل ذلك وشد الرحال الى المغرب ولا أدري لماذا المغرب مع أن أمراء وأميرات عائلته لا يحلو لهم الإستجمام والسياحة والتسوق إلاّ في بلاد العم سام والدول الغربية
 ألمهم أن ألرجل عاد على عجالة من أمره ليتابع مشهد آخر من مشاهد التدمير والذي أعد له جيدا على مدى سنوات ليبلغ هذا المنحنى من الحرب المدمرة. أمريكا لا تلعب ولا تمزح وهي مصممة على إكمال هذه المهزلة من المبررات الوهمية لتدخلها العسكري في سوريا. تماما كما فعلت في العراق وليبيا. ونحن كعرب نصفق ونهلل بل وحتى نطالب وبقوة ان تتدخل امريكا وبأسرع وقت ممكن لتقضي على آخر معاقل ألصمود في وجه ألغطرسة ألصهيونية وألإمبريالية. نطالبها أن تسلح ألمعارضة بأسلحة فتاكة ومدمرة ونسينا ان هذه الدولة هي نفسها التي ترفض حتى ان تبيع لنا أسلحة دفاعية لمواجهة إسرائيل. ما ألذي لم شمل ألشامي على المغربي كما يقول ألمثل؟ لماذا هذا الحرص من قبل ألإدارة ألأمريكية على المضي قدما وألإستمرار في تدمير سوريا
 إذا تدخلت أمريكا وعربان ألخليج في هذه الحرب فستفتح كل أبواب جهنم على المنطقة ولن تنعم المنطقة لا بالأمن ولا بالسلآم لمئات ألسنين ألقادمة. فاذا كانت حرب العراق والتي حظيت بتاييد غالبية دول ألعالم لا زالت لحد ألآن لم تهدأ ولن تهدأ، فكيف للحرب ألسورية والتي ينقسم ألعالم حول أهدافها ومبرراتها أن تنتهي حسب خيال هؤلاء المغامرين. نعود إلى أسد ألأسود عبد الله بن عبد ألعزيز آل سعود ونسأله ما ألذي انت فاعله يا بطل ألإسلام يا من تحرص دائما على منع سفك نقطة دمِ واحدة من أي مسلم مهما كان مذهبه وطائفته. وتحرص دائما على عدم إزهاق روح أي مسلم إلاّ من أمر ربي. تاريخكم يشهد لكم على عدلكم وديموقراطيتكم
 لإن العدل عندكم هو أساس ألملك. وكل مواطن أو مقيم على أرض الجزيرة العربية يتمتع بكامل حقوق المواطنة ويحظى برعاية طبية وإجتماعية لا مثيل لها. طبعا هذه الممارسات التي ذكرتها هي بالأحلام. فعبد الله لا يعرف بالظبط ما يدور من إجراءآت تعسفية على أرض مملكته لم يمر مثلها على مدى التاريخ. فالإنسان المقيم هناك لا يشعر بفرق بينه وبين البهائم. فهو محروم من كل شيء بما فيه حرية ألتعبير والإفصاح عن رأيه بصراحة وبدون خوف عن أي موقف سياسي لا يتماشى مع سياسة آل سعود. فجأة اصبحت السعودية واحة للديموقراطية واراد ملكها نقل النموذج ألسعودي ألتعسفي الى باقي الدول ألعربية بما في ذلك سوريا طبعا. يريد أن يوهمنا هذا الخرف بأن ما يفعله هو خدمة للشعب السوري كي يحرره من قبضة النظام العلوي والذي كفرّه هو وعلماؤه. إكتملت ألإستعدادات للمرحلة الثانية من ألحرب الممنهجة والمخطط لها جيدا من أمريكا وحلفائها. تدريبات ألأسد ألمتأهب في ألأردن والتي شاركت بها أكثر من تسعة عشرة دولة بما فيها دولة آل سعود طبعا. ونشر صواريخ الباتريوت في كل من تركيا وألأردن قد اكتمل
 وإسرائيل انهت أجراء مناوراتها الداخلية. ماذا بقي إذن؟ أن يعطي عبد الله شارة بدء ألحرب لتندلع على كل الجبهات ويكون له شرف المساهمة في تدمير بلد عربي آخر يضاف الى قائمة ألدول ألتي ساهمت بلاده في تدميرها. ألتردد الحاصل حاليا لبدء هذه الحرب له ما يبرره. فلا أحد يعرف إذا ما ابتدأت كيف ستنتهي. ولا أحد يعرف حجم ألخسائر ألبشرية وألمادية التي قد تتسبب بها هذه الحرب. ولا أحد يعرف الى أين ستمتد نيران هذه الحرب إن ابتدأت


 من ألمؤكد أن كل هذه الأفكار وغيرها تتبادر إلى أذهان مروجي هذه ألحرب باستثناء قادة دول الخليج والذين لا يعنيهم لا من قريب ولا من بعيد حجم ألخسائر ألتي ستتسبب بها هذه ألحرب. فهم يملكون المال والذي يوفر لهم الحماية ويمنع عنهم الشر والضرر. هم واهمون بأن المال سيمنحهم الحماية ويبعد عنهم الجماهير الغاضبة التي ضاقت ذرعا بممارساتهم التعسفية والإستبدادية والسلطوية. ألحرب ان اندلعت فستطول، ولن يكون هناك رابح أو خاسر. فمؤيدي النظام السوري لن يسمحوا بسقوطه بينما معارضيه لا يهمهم هذا الموضوع فهدفهم هو تدمير سوريا بمنجزاتها وحضارتها وقوتها خدمة للعدو ألإسرائيلي وألذي يريد جاراً له منزوع ألأظافر ومنزوع ألسلاح لا يسبب له الإزعاج ويحافظ على أمن كيانه من عبث ألعابثين وتهديداتهم، تماما كما تفعل بقية الدول العربية المحيطة بالكيان الإسرائيلي مثل ألأردن ومصر ولبنان ألرسمي
 لننتظر لنرَ ما ألذي دفع ألعاهل ألسعودي إلى قطع إجازته والعودة بسرعة الى بلاده. وإن غدا لناظره قريب. ويبدو اننا لن ننتظر طويلا فها هو عميلً آخر وضيع قد أنضم الى جوقة العملاء ضد العروبة والإسلام هو رئيس مصر المنتخب والذي أعلن الليلة الفائتة قطع علاقاته مع سوريا وقرر طرد السفير السوري من مصر مع أنه وعد هو وحزب الإخوان بطرد السفير ألإسرائيلي إذا إستلم ألحكم، ولكن يبدو أن ألأمور قد تداخلت على بعض ولم يعد يميز بين إسرائيل وسوريا. وطالب أيضا بتطبيق منطقة ألحظر ألجوي على شمال سوريا. فلماذا هذا التسارع الغريب لتصعيد التوتر في سوريا علما بانه كان هناك إستعدادات تجري لعقد مؤتمر جنيف 2 لحل المشكلة في سوريا بشكل سلمي. كل هذه الدول لا تريد حلاّ سلميا للمشكلة ألسورية، تريثد فقط شحن ألأجواء وصب المزيد من البنزين عل نارها لتزداد لهيبا وانتشارا.
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5/17/2013

Syria’s lung-eating rebel explains himself




 

The shocking video of a Syrian rebel eating the lung of a pro-Assad fighter spread like wildfire across the Internet earlier this week. The rebel, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Sakkar, has filmed a YouTube video explaining his actions. 
"I am willing to face trial for my actions if Bashar and his shabeeha [militiamen] stand trial for their atrocities," he says. "My message to the world is if the bloodshed in Syria doesn't stop, all of Syria will become like Abu Sakkar."
The Syrian rebel, whose real name is Khalid al-Hamad, goes on to explain that he did what he did because of atrocities committed by pro-Assad fighters. He said that evidence taken from their cell phones showed how they raped women, killed children, and tortured men. In an article published this week by TIME magazine, the rebel fighter explained that he had a sectarian hatred of Alawites, and that he had made another video where he cuts up a pro-Assad fighter's body with a saw.
Abu Sakkar's actions not only created controversy among observers of the conflict, but also prompted the Syrian rebel leadership to take action. The Free Syrian Army's Military Council released a statement condemning Abu Sakkar's "monstrous act," and instructed field commanders to being an investigation "in which the perpetrator will be brought to justice."
So far, however, Abu Sakkar appears to still be on the battlefield. At the end of the video, the cameraman asks him whether he will continue fighting after this controversy. "Victory or martyrdom, I will fight to the death," he replies, then walks off down the road. 


Posted By David Kenner


5/07/2013

Hackgate - The IPCC and Surrey's "Collective Amnesia"

Hackgate - The IPCC and Surrey's "Collective Amnesia" 

 

Published in late April '13, the Independent Police Complaints Commision (IPCC) Commissioner’s Report entitled 'IPCC independent investigation into Surrey Police’s knowledge of the alleged illegal accessing of Amanda (Milly) Dowler’s mobile phone in 2002' runs to just 6 scathing pages.  Its key observation is that
former senior officers at Surrey Police were 'afflicted by a form of collective amnesia' in relation to the force’s failure to investigate an allegation in 2002 that the voicemail of Amanda (Milly) Dowler had been hacked by the News of the World (NOTW).
The relevant documents in the public domain consist of a letter from Surrey Police to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee (CMS) on Surrey's own investigation (Operation Baronet), evidence read-in to the Leveson Inquiry from the Metropolitan Police Service (MET), as well as that IPCC Commissioner's Report.  The latter specifically focused on the referrals of Maria Woodall and Craig Denholm for potential recordable conduct.


MARIA WOODALL

Then: In 2002, Maria Woodall was Detective Sergeant and Action Team Manager of Surrey Police's investigation Operation Ruby into the abduction of missing teenager Millie Dowler. She appears to have been frank with the IPCC that the hacking of Millie's mobile phone by NOTW was known by several on the investigation team - for example, DC John Lyndon's 23rd April '02 log entry (p14)
...in light of the News of the World revelation that they or a third party has accessed the voicemail it is possible that the messages had previously been listened to by unknown persons and deleted.
Millie's mother Sally recounted to the Leveson Inquiry (p14) her own suspicions that NOTW had intercepted family phones to get a particularly intrusive story for publication ('The Longest Walk').
Woodall's referral to the IPCC  however was not about 2002. She was investigated for allegedly failing to pass on knowledge of NOTW's hacking later during the investigation which led to the convictions of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire (p4):  
The case against her rested on her actions and knowledge in 2007, when the first phone hacking convictions took place. It is clear that at that point she accessed the HOLMES system to view documents from 2002 associated with phone hacking.
Though the IPCC investigation "concluded that there was no case to answer for misconduct."  From 2006, Operation Ruby's Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) was Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Rowley. It is not known if Woodall informed him of her HOLMES searches.

Now: Temporary Detective Superintendent Woodall is about to leave Surrey for a new job with the City of London Police.

STUART GIBSON

Then: Detective Chief Inspector Gibson was the initial appointed Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) when Millie Dowler disappeared in March 2002.  It has been alleged that Gibson was one of the Surrey officers who met with NOTW senior journalists and were told of the hacking. (here)

Documented evidence of his meeting(s) with NOTW are missing.  Within a few weeks, Gibson was removed from Operation Ruby. The conclusions from a progress review by Sussex Police undertaken in the summer of 2002 are here.

At the same time, there was adverse criticism from the press - one "describing the investigation under DCI Gibson as 'rudderless' and this media coverage has since been described by (then Deputy Chief Constable) Peter Fahy as 'a factor in replacing the SIO for [the investigation]".  (p9)

Now: Stuart Gibson is retired.

The IPCC Investigation also states that amongst senior officers interviewed were those at Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) level.

CRAIG DENHOLM  (ACPO level)

Surrey Police's evidence to the CMS Committee and the Leveson Inquiry came from Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Kirkby. Normally, both might have warranted the attention of the force Chief Constable.  However, Surrey's Chief Constable Mark Rowley had just left for a new post with the MET and Temporary Chief Constable Craig Denholm was himself implicated as the focus of Operation Baronet.

Then: In 2002, Detective Chief Superintendent Denholm (Head of Crime) was Overall Officer in Charge (OOC) of Operation Ruby - the immediate superior officer to SIO Stuart Gibson.

The case against Denholm "rested on his claim to have had no knowledge about the alleged hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone before this was revealed publicly in 2011. Given the extent of knowledge within the investigation team, and Surrey Police as a whole, and the fact that this was referred to in documents which he is known to have received, the investigation found it hard to understand how he, the officer in charge, could not have been aware of the alleged hacking. But despite detailed examination of all extant documents and interviews with all relevant witnesses, the investigation was unable to find any witness or documentary evidence that contradicted Mr Denholm’s own repeated assertions to the IPCC that he did not know, and had not made the relevant connections. In view of that...there was insufficient evidence to support a finding of a case to answer for gross misconduct."

Now: Denholm has just been appointed Deputy Chief Constable of Hampshire Police. Its Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: "Craig is an experienced and very capable DCC with a good track record of leadership and delivery of excellent policing services to the public."

MARK ROWLEY (ACPO level)

Then: Rowley joined Surrey in 2002 as Chief Superintendent to command West Surrey Basic Command Unit.  Previously (Guardian)
as a detective superintendent at the National Criminal Intelligence Service, he 'led on the national deployment of covert techniques to combat organised crime such as telephone interception' 
Rowley became Surrey Assistant Chief Constable from November 2003 and assumed the role of OOC for Operation Ruby in 2006.  He was appointed Chief Constable in 2009. Following the conviction of Levi Bellfield in 2011 for Millie Dowler's murder, Rowley iniated Operation Baronet under AC Jerry Kirkby.

Now:  Rowley is Assistant Commissioner at the MET. For some time he was direct superior officer of DAC Sue Akers command of Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta.  Responsibility for these investigations was subsequently transferred to AC Cressida Dick.


PETER FAHY  (ACPO level)

Then: Throughout 2002, Fahy was Deputy Chief Constable of Surrey Police under Chief Constable Denis O'Connor. Fahy left Surrey in Dec '02 to become Chief Constable of Cheshire Police.

Now: Knighted in 2012, Sir Peter Fahy is currently Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.

DENIS O'CONNOR  (ACPO level)

Then: In 2002, O'Connor was Chief Constable of Surrey Police. In all available evidence, O'Connor has been very keen to distance himself from the NOTW phone hacking in 2002.  Instead, he has consistently emphasized his heavy reliance on Peter Fahy's responsibility to have informed him:
You will understand that as a discipline authority, not everything reaches the Chief Constable, who must sit in judgment of things. So I may have been partially safe from it, but I would have expected and, you know,my sort of --my concern with the mission of policing and its credibility, that people would have drawn -- my senior staff, my professional standards department -- if there was anything significant, they would have told me... Particularly my Deputy Chief Constable at the present (sic) time, Peter Fahy, I had absolute faith in his integrity. I thought he would make the right judgments
Lord Justice Leveson did however challenge O'Connor on this strategy of continuing, unsighted insulation (pp 98-100).  His witness statement added (1st witness statement, p7):
I am not fully sighted on the details of the alleged contact between the News of the World and my staff during the Amanda Dowler investigation (I have deliberately limited my contact with Surrey Police pending current investigations) so cannot comment on the specifics of this issue.
Now:  Knighted in 2010, Sir Denis O'Connor is currently Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

And STILL there are inconsistencies emerging on the hacking of Millie Dowler. Note the investigation of Maria Woodall "rested on her actions and knowledge in 2007, when the first phone hacking convictions took place. It is clear that at that point she accessed the HOLMES system to view documents from 2002 associated with phone hacking."

Yet it is debatable just how much documentation was on the second generation HOLMES (Home Office Large Major Enquiry System) in 2002... or even in 2007. The - redacted - Sussex Review of September 2002 made Operational Recommendations:
Recommendation 56
That Surrey Police in general ensure that sufficient analysts are trained on the HOLMES 2 system.
Recommendation 57
That Surrey Police formulate an appropriate policy regarding the typing of at least the most significant 'other documents' onto HOLMES 2 during any enquiry.
Were those Sussex Police recommendations ignored? Or if significant 2002 Dowler phone hacking documents were in the HOLMES system, were they still there when Woodall looked in 2007? Had some disappeared by the time of the 2012 Operation Baronet?  Given that one of the aims of HOLMES is to facilitate crucial information access across force boundaries, was cross-force access to HOLMES 2002 documents volunteered by Surrey to Operation Caryatid (the MET 2005-6 investigation into Goodman and Mulcaire)? If not, why not?  Alternatively - following the high profile convictions of Goodman and Mulcaire in 2007 - Woodall may have tried to access cross-force MET HOLMES databases on NOTW phone hacking.

There were none. The MET did not enter details of the key Mulcaire Archive into HOLMES during the Operation Caryatid investigation in 2005. Or 2006. Or post-conviction in 2007.  It was only in July 2009, following intense criticism, that the MET's John Yates ordered the phone hacking data entry into HOLMES to enable victim notification. It was costly, protracted, and poorly executed.

The IPCC confirms "widespread knowledge uncovered in this investigation, we consider that it is scarcely credible that no one connected to the Milly Dowler investigation recognised the relevance and importance of the knowledge that Surrey Police had in 2002...There is no doubt, from our investigation and the evidence gathered by Operation Baronet, that Surrey Police knew in 2002 of the allegation that Milly Dowler’s phone had been hacked by the News of the World. It is apparent from the evidence that there was knowledge of this at all levels within the investigation team  ...former senior officers in particular appear to have been afflicted by a form of collective amnesia about this"

All this is highly reminiscent of the (contagious?) 'omerta' culture at the News of the World. Surrey Police seem to have demonstrated the self-same collective amnesia and willful blindness of NOTW senior executives, the plausible deniability of Andy Coulson, the trusting reliance on subordinates of Rupert Murdoch, the inability to read a log/email chain of James Murdoch, the document preservation abilities of News International's Datapool 3 team, and the reputational management skills of Colin Myler.

To date, six have been charged with conspiracy to intercept the voicemail messages of Millie Dowler in April 2002 - Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Greg Miskiw, Neville Thurlbeck and Glenn Mulcaire.  Unless all six defendants plead guilty, these charges will have to be defended in open court. So there is much more evidence yet to emerge on the Dowler hacking, including the potential for former senior officers of Surrey Police being called as prosecution witnesses.

The short IPCC Commissioner's Report is a much-truncated and redacted version. The full IPCC formal Investigation Report "contains full details of the evidence supporting the findings and conclusions and the report into this case is not being published at this time at the request of the Crown Prosecution Service, in view of ongoing criminal proceedings."

This sorry Surrey saga is not over yet.

4/28/2013

More Details Of Air-To-Air Missiles Used As Surface-To-Surface Missiles

More Details Of Air-To-Air Missiles Used As Surface-To-Surface Missiles

Yesterday I wrote about K-13 series air-to-air missiles being used as surface-to-surface missiles, and today we now have a new video that provides more information about the way in which they are being used (thanks to Mads Dahl)



Unlike the previous video, this new video contains much clearer shots of the missiles, and how they are being used.  One thing that stands out for me is the item at the bottom of this frame



In the previous video it was clear the seeker at the end of the missile had been removed, which led me to question how the missile was being detonated when it reached it's target.  What I believe we have here is the answer to that question, a DIY impact fuze, which can be seen on the rocket just before the launch



It's still questionable how useful these rockets are, as they don't have a particularly large payload, and are almost certainly going to be inaccurate when used this way.  However, I don't imagine they would be much less powerful or accurate than the DIY rockets the opposition are using (if not more), so they aren't exactly out of place in the opposition arsenal, and this is another example of them using what is at hand to fight the conflict, even if it requires a bit of modification.

4/16/2013

How the #Muslim_Brotherhood Hijacked #Syria Revolution



No one in Syria expected the anti-regime uprising to last this long or be this deadly, but after around 70,000 dead, 1 million refugees, and two years of unrest, there is still no end in sight. While President Bashar al-Assad's brutal response is mostly to blame, the opposition's chronic failure to form a viable front against the regime has also allowed the conflict to drag on. And there's one anti-Assad group that is largely responsible for this dismal state of affairs: Syria's Muslim Brotherhood.



Throughout the Syrian uprising, I have had discussions with opposition figures, activists, and foreign diplomats about how the Brotherhood has built influence within the emerging opposition forces. It has been a dizzying rise for the Islamist movement. It was massacred out of existence in the 1980s after the Baathist regime put down a Brotherhood-led uprising in Hama. Since then, membership in the Brotherhood has been an offense punishable by death in Syria, and the group saw its presence on the ground wither to almost nothing. But since the uprising erupted on March 15, 2011, the Brotherhood has moved adroitly to seize the reins of power of the opposition's political and military factions.
According to a figure present at the first conference to organize Syria's political opposition, held in Antalya, Turkey, in May 2011, the Brotherhood was initially hesitant to join an anti-Assad political body. The group had officially suspended its opposition to the Baathist regime in the wake of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza in 2009, and it pulled out of an alliance with Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian vice president who defected in 2005.
The Brotherhood nonetheless sent members to participate in the conference, including Molhem Droubi, who became a member of the conference's executive bureau. Meanwhile, it took steps to form fighting groups inside Syria, recruiting potential fighters and calling on its relatively meager contacts on the ground in Homs, Hama, Idlib, and Aleppo.
As the idea of a unified opposition group to lead the popular revolt gained momentum, the Brotherhood became more involved. A month after the meeting in Antalya, it organized a conference in Brussels, attended by 200 people, mostly Islamists -- one of the first obvious fractures in the unity of the opposition. The Brotherhood subsequently organized several conferences that formed opposition groups to serve as fronts for the movement, allowing it to beef up its presence in political bodies.
After the conference in Brussels, at least three groups were formed "to support the Syrian revolution." The organizations continued to hatch, and a few months after the first conference they were present in opposition bodies that later formed the core of the Syrian National Council (SNC), an umbrella group that ostensibly represented all anti-Assad forces. The council set aside seats for both the Brotherhood and members of the Damascus Declaration, a group of Syrian reformists established in 2005 -- but the Brotherhood already had a significant presence within the Damascus Declaration group.

4/12/2013

#Sex Trade: #Iraqi girls who Become Prostitutes in #Syria



This feature, written by Lina Sinjab (BBC journalist in Damascus), was published on the Middle East page of the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/

With their bright neon signs and glitzy decor, dozens of nightclubs line the streets of the Maraba district in the Syrian capital Damascus.
It's here that men come from far and wide - car number plates are not just from Syria but Iraq and Saudi Arabia - to watch young women dancing.
Most of the dancers are teenagers and many of them are Iraqi refugees.
They dance for the cash which gets tossed onto the stage.
The dancers are surrounded by bodyguards, to stop them being touched by the men. But the guards also arrange for their charges to be paid for sex with members of the audience.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees have moved to Syria and Jordan during the past four years, escaping the violence and instability that followed the US-led toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Women supporting families face the greatest challenge.
The Syrian authorities and aid agencies do not know the exact numbers, but many of the women say they have little choice but to work in places like Maraba.

Lost innocence
Rafif is an innocent-looking 14-year-old, her long hair tied in a pony tail. She seems barely to understand the enormity of the crisis she is living.
"I have three sisters who are married and four brothers. They are all in Baghdad. I am here with my mother and young brother only. None of my family know what I do here."
Banned from doing regular work in Syria, she says their money ran out and her mother started looking for other means to survive.
She says she makes about $30 a night at the clubs, but when men take her to private villas she makes $100. She won't say what she must do to earn this money.
"A woman came and spoke to my mother, who agreed to send me to these places. We needed the money.
"I have already been arrested for prostitution and sent back to Iraq, but I came back with a false passport."
Not all sex workers went into the industry by choice.
Nada, 16, says was dumped by her father at the Iraq-Syria border after her cousin "took away my virginity".
Five Iraqi men took her from the border to Damascus, where they raped her and sold her to a woman who forced her to work in nightclubs and private villas.
She is now waiting at a government protection centre to be deported back to Iraq.
Exploitation
The government says police have arrested Iraqi girls as young as 12 working as prostitutes in the nightclubs.
"We are coming across increasing numbers of women who do not manage to make ends meet and are therefore more vulnerable to exploitative situations such as prostitution," says Laurens Jolles of the UN refugee agency.
"Intimidation and shame means the numbers of trafficking victims and sex industry workers in Syria may never be known by government or aid agencies."
Women picked up by the police are sent to protection centres, which they frequently escape from, or are sent to prison.
"Immediately after we get to them, or sometimes before, they are bailed out of prison, often by the same people who probably forced them into prostitution," says Mr Jolles.
Many of the young women who leave Iraq hoping for an easier, safer existence find what is in some ways an even tougher life in Syria.
At an age when life should just be beginning, Iraqi teenagers like Nada feel they have reached a dead end.
"Now they will send me back to Iraq, I have no-one there and in any case I am afraid for my life. I have no hope leaving here. I have told the government I don't want to go back. My family has abandoned me."