Is ISIS the richest & most powerful terrorist organisation of all time?

Unknown but likely on both counts.

Hamas have received billions of dollars in aid for civic projects and reconstruction and used same to purchase weapons and construct defensive and offensive structures to wage war on Israel.

ISIS make millions (made millions before the drop in oil prices) per day illegally refining and selling contraband oil and oil by-products to Turkey. The illegal trade in tobacco and heroin has also been a source of large amounts of income, while nearly one billion dollars was looted from the Central Bank in Mosul when that city fell to them in 2014.

Add to that the billions from Saudi Wahhabi supporters and if they are not the richest of all time then they are in the top 5 IMHO.

Regarding their “power” – their influence and actions are global. Their campaigns international. Their recruits – cell based and lone wolf – are pervasive. And their ideology still gains traction.

The declaration of the caliphate made a universal call for Jihad beyond national and regional politics and as such created a global movement and an organisation and ideology with a reach not previously matched by any legacy terrorist organisation.

Regardless of the attitude to the declaration of the caliphate – it acts as a new departure in how radical Islam organizes and dispels with national and regional politics in favour of an over-arching unifying call to all Muslims in the context of the Mahdi and “end of days” concept.

As such its power is fundamental and has traction across all shades of Muslim opinion.

However, there are conflicting views.

Brian K. Price a twenty year and two war military veteran wrote on QUORA in response to the question that many sources do agree that ISIS is the richest terrorist organization of all time.

Here’s How The World’s Richest Terrorist Group Makes Millions Every Day

ISIS Is the World’s Richest Terror Group, But Spending Money Fast

ISIS – Annual Turnover $2 Billion – In Photos: The World’s 10 Richest Terrorist Organizations

There are many, many other sources which compare the dollar values of every terrorist organization. ISIS’s control of oil fields in eastern Syria and norther Iraq gives it unprecedented wealth.

Is it the most powerful? That’s a tougher question to answer. As far as deadliest, most sources claim that Boko Haram is deadlier:

The World’s Deadliest Terrorist Group

Boko Haram overtakes ISIS as deadliest terrorists: Study 

Though the title switches back and forth (and Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to ISIS, so there’s that…)

The 5 Deadliest Terrorist Groups on the Planet

But does highest kill count actually mean “most powerful”? Is the point of terrorism to kill people or to achieve one’s goals?

Both groups control large swaths of territory. So that could be considered a form of power and success. Al Qaeda successfully dragged the world into Afghanistan and led to the US invasion of Iraq.

These wars have cost trillions of dollars, beyond the economic down turn that occurred in the aftermath of 9/11, the Madrid bombings, and the London Underground bombings.

Financially, I think you could argue, AQ has still done the greatest amount of damage to the world. However, AQ achieved none of its goals (Brian K. Price’s answer to Did Osama bin Laden succeed in his mission?)

Achieving political goals and gaining enduring successes should be the measure of power. And in that case, it would appear that nationalist terrorist groups have been far and away far more successful than AQ or ISIS or Boko Haram are likely to be.

Their approach has left no room for compromise which means they either win everything or they lose everything. Nationalist groups were able to force their opponents to the negotiating table and to earn concessions that continue to exist well after their violent efforts. See How Successful Is Terrorism?

Terrorist groups associated with Algeria, Cyprus, and Palestine achieved their goals of mobilized populations and varying levels of independence. Other groups such as the ETA and the IRA have attained major objectives in the form of concessions from the governing powers.

So I would argue that ISIS is not the most powerful terrorist group. It has temporarily seized a considerable amount of territory but I do not expect this will last. It will be pushed back and eventually dispersed.

END.

Advertisements

Putting Islamic Sects & Extremism in Context

As a non-religious person it pains me that instruction in religion is still required to understand many present day world events. When I say non-religious – I mean that I do not subscribe to what is known as institutional or organized religion.

Many beliefs so fanatically pursued today by devoted adherents bear little to no resemblance to the goodness or opinions that inspired them in the first instance and say more about human weakness, geopolitics, ambition, greed and intolerance than spirituality.

Evolution & Interpretation of Islam  

Over the last thousand years Islam has spread through various groups spread and hundreds of ethnicities and in the process has evolved very differently in different locations.

The Indian sub-continent has a greater Muslim population than all the nations of the Arabian peninsula put together. With Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iran and Bangladesh in the mix then the the Arabs become a very small minority among Muslims worldwide.

Many Muslims (especially ones outside the Arabian peninsula) have adopted some elements of the surrounding culture and their traditions from pre-Islamic practice and look very different to the beliefs at the root of most of the trouble at the moment.

Islam is not Monolithic

Islam does not have a monolithic structure and is rather made up of many different sects. These sects vary widely in their interpretations of Hadith (Islamic customs), have varying internal structures, follow different worship patterns and have different attitudes to externals and other religions and belief systems.

For example the the Sufi school of thought is more tolerant of other religions a trait shared by the Ibadiyyas while the Saudi Hanbali sect is conservative and Wahhabi/Salafist movement is downright fascist in its views. Persian Muslims identify more as Persians than Muslims. The Shafi’i muslims of Southeast Asia and the Kurds of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq are moderate in their interpretation of Sharia. Sufism is prevalent in Southeast Asia but this also giving way to a more extreme Deobandi movement that has inspired the rise of Taliban. There are also a few very moderate schools like Ahmadiyya and Mahdavia a lot of it influenced by Indian cultural elements.

Almost every major religion has a conservative segment that interprets the religious edicts more seriously than the mainstream. Sometimes these extreme sects also get quite violent. Even the highly pacifist Buddhist religion went on a rampage against the minorities in Sri Lanka and Burma/Myanmar.

Tolerance and peaceful co-existence is the worldview of the majority of Muslims and the radical sects represent a very small but highly visible percentage of the total. It is the saturation coverage in the mainstream media of radical Islamism, much of it without context, that represents one of the greatest dangers we face in terms of marginalizing Islamic moderates in Western society.

Much of what is going on in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and North Africa at present has its roots in the actions of external groups and interfering foreign interest groups.

Monarchies & Dictatorships

Many successful Muslim countries – Indonesia, Turkey and Malaysia are democracies. The majority of Muslims in these countries are moderate given the level of social stability although this has changed significantly in Turkey over recent years. Historically though the Arab world has in the main been defined by monarchies or dictatorships promoting a tendency towards extremism in the population manifested in 2011 in the Arab Spring which kicked off events in Syria and Libya.

Foreign influence

The 2004 BBC television documentary series by Adam Curtis called The Power of Nightmares explains the evolution and escalation of the current conflict over time and the external influences and politics that motivated many of the actions that have the region where it is today.

The Middle East is of course a very strategic region and thus a number of external players have always operated there out of self-interest preventing democracy and in many cases supporting tyranny. The Saudi regime is supported by the Americans who have also fomented sectarian conflict in Iraq by supporting the anti-Sunni government some years ago. Over the last 50 years Russia, France and Great Britain have all sought to overtly and covertly influence events in the region.

The Many Forms of Extremism

Salafi is the most extreme Islamic school of thought (Sayyid Qutb) and is the biggest source of terror groups funded by Saudi oil money. They are ~1% of the world Muslim population, but are responsible for a big chunk of the trouble. Al Qaeda and ISIS are both Salafi groups.

The Taliban is a Afghan Pashtun organization based on the Deobandi school of thought. The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are Sunni. Hezbollah is a Shia organization. The civil wars in Syria and Iraq have exposed the radical sectarian tendencies within Islamism and the Saudi-Iranian proxy conflict in Yemen has showcased the fact that much of the funding and motivation for the sectarian conflict in the region has its roots in these two countries as they compete for regional influence.

Controlling the Ummah

Conservative extremists have not agreed on how they should remove the non-Islamic influences and even what is counted as non-Islamic. Many of the extreme groups believe their own interpretation of the Quran (religion), Hadith (customs), Sharia (law) is correct and that the other schools of thought are deluded or even demonic. And they go to extreme lengths to prove the other one is incorrect. Fundamentally, it is all about power. Each ethnicity and each school of thought wants to be the one that controls the Ummah.

European Freedoms undermined by an Ultra-Liberal Fifth Column

When did having national pride, holding a strong justified opinion on equality and freedoms, practicing your religion (Christianity), identifying with your culture and seeking to preserve hard won freedoms evolve from being noble activities to frowned upon signs of potential ultra right-wing fascist tendencies.

For the sake of clarity the definition of a fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group — such as a nation or group of nations in an alliance (substitute the EU) — from within, usually in favour of an enemy group or nation. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine.

The Vacuous PC Pseudo-Ideology

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
In the case of current German and Swedish refugee policy they are overt and facilitated by the main stream media and a slavish adherence to the bonkers notions dictated by that non-specific vacuous pseudo-ideology that is referred to as “political correctness”. This misguided set of cobbled together directionless principles is code for “I have not got the strength of character to defend an opinion that upholds the traditions and beliefs of my community” or “I despise my own culture and wish to dilute it and eventually replace it with an external alien set of aggressive, contradictory and oppressive ideologies”.

PC slaves label opponents as “reactionaries” but if you define this as a person who holds political views that favour a return to the status quo ante, the previous political state of society, which they believe possessed characteristics (discipline, respect for authority, etc.) that are negatively absent from the contemporary status quo of a society – then it is a badge to be worn with pride.

Putting Minority Rights in Context

The most extreme treatment of minorities has been carried out by 20th and 21st-century dictatorships. The worst examples are those of totalitarian regimes that carried out genocide to eradicate unwanted groups in society. Ironically the main players in the most extreme of these events were the Germans, Russians and Turks during the Holocaust, the Purges and the Armenian Genocide respectively. All once again playing an active role in the facilitation and exacerbation of contemporary tragedies of a similar scale.

In the case of current #German and #Swedish #refugee policy they are overtly anti-European facilitated by the main…
Posted by TMG Corporate Services on Friday, January 8, 2016

The Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews, one-third of the total world Jewish population, as well as a significant portion of the Roma (“Gypsy”) community. Homosexuals were also a targeted minority for extermination.

The Soviet Union, under Stalin, carried out mass executions and deportations of dozens of Caucasian and Central Asian ethnic groups; some now face extinction. More recently, the Russian Federation has waged a brutal war against its own republic of Chechnya, killing tens of thousands of civilians and displacing more than half the population.

In April 1915 the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population. The persecutions continued with varying intensity until 1923 when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. The Armenian population of the Ottoman state was reported at about two million in 1915. An estimated one million had perished by 1918, while hundreds of thousands had become homeless and stateless refugees. By 1923 virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolian Turkey had disappeared.

Other examples of mass killings of a minority by a dictatorship include the Nigerian campaign against Biafrans, the Hutu genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda, Saddam Hussein’s mass killing of Kurds and Shiites in Iraq, and the Sudanese government’s sponsorship of mass killing, raping, and deportation in Darfur. The project for an “ethnically pure” Greater Serbia undertaken by Slobodan Milosevic resulted in the murder of 200,000 Bosnian Muslims and 10,000 Albanian Muslims in Kosovo by a killing machine that was stopped only by military campaigns carried out by NATO.

The Tyranny of the Majority Reconsidered

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in the “Tyranny of the Majority,” Chapter XV, Book 1, Democracy in America: “If it be admitted that a man possessing absolute power may misuse that power by wronging his adversaries, why should not a majority be liable to the same reproach? Men do not change their characters by uniting with one another; nor does their patience in the presence of obstacles increase with their strength. For my own part, I cannot believe it; the power to do everything, which I should refuse to one of my equals, I will never grant to any number of them.”

Democracy in its purest form requires minority rights equally as it does majority rule. As democracy was conceived, the minority’s rights must be protected no matter how singular or alienated that minority is from the majority society; otherwise, the majority’s rights lose their meaning – in theory.

These rights are considered the essential element of any liberal democracy. The British political philosopher John Stuart Mill took this principle further. In his essay On Liberty he wrote, “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will is to prevent harm to others.”

The Tyranny of the Minority

Mill’s “no harm principle” aims to prevent government from becoming a vehicle for the “tyranny of the majority,” which he viewed as not just a political but also a social tyranny that stifled minority voices and imposed a regimentation of thought and values. Mill’s views became the basis for much of liberal political philosophy since, whether it is free market or economic liberalism or social liberalism.

The irony is that as we stand today in Europe the principle has been reversed as a social tyranny prevails that is implemented by elected governments that stifles majority voices and imposes an alien and contradictory set of undermining minority agendas.

Surely Frau Merkel your Salafi Wahhabi jihadi friends will be offended by this public display of such an offensive hand gesture.  

The German 20th Century Guilt Complex

The time line that explains how Europe has developed contradictory attitudes to “tolerance” that undermines its own people and favours external opportunists begins at the end of World War II. Europe and Europeans have a cultural and historical distinctiveness that sets them apart from other regions and in particular is entirely at odds with the alien cultures of the Middle East and Near Asia both politically, ideologically and spiritually.

Even the most uninformed are in some way aware that the cultures of Europe and the Middle East / Near Asia have been at loggerheads for millennia. The fact that Europe maintained an upper hand in recent centuries belies the uncomfortable truth that from the mid-500s to the mid-1500s Europe risked being overrun by various aggressively expansionist Islamic empires.

I will not do justice to the usual anti-Crusader rant that Islamic extremist apologists use to justify Islamic disgruntlement with Europe and Europeans. Suffice to say that those events were a direct response to incursions and threats from the Caliphate(s) at that time and have worn thin as any form of practical justification for any contemporary ideology that seeks to use these almost millennia old events to justify any current foreign or cultural policy.

The refugee crisis in Europe has been caused in many respects by the naive social policies of Germany and Sweden. After the events of the 20th century, Germany has since the 1940s, sought to “atone” for the atrocities and deprivations it imposed on most of Europe in the previous 50 years by seeking to demonstrate its alleged tolerance and openness.

The “lost post war generation” in Germany struggled with an identity crisis and a guilt complex and subsequently heavily subscribed to even the most misguided 60s civil rights movements, soviet infiltrated anti-nuclear campaigns, “believe in nothing” flower power nonsense and embraced and encouraged most all marginal and deviant groups that emerged then and since, under the guise of equality and multiculturalism.

Sweden’s Self-Serving Opportunism  

The “brave” Swedes who to their eternal shame – along with Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Vatican City, San Marino and Switzerland held a neutral stance during World War II – breached the nation’s neutrality in favour of both Germany and the Western Allies when it became expedient.

During the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Sweden allowed the Wehrmacht to use Swedish railways to transport (June–July 1941) the German 163rd Infantry Division along with howitzers, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons and associated ammunition, from Norway to Finland. German soldiers traveling on leave between Norway and Germany were allowed passage through Sweden — the so-called “permittenttrafik”. Iron ore was sold to Germany throughout the war.

And for the Allies, Sweden shared military intelligence and helped to train soldiers made up of refugees from Denmark and Norway, to be used in the liberation of their home countries. It also allowed the Allies to use Swedish airbases between 1944 and 1945. In 1943, following an order to deport all of Denmark’s Jewish population to concentration camps, nearly all of Denmark’s 8,000 Jews were brought to safety in Sweden. Sweden also became a refuge for Norwegian Jews who fled from Nazi occupied Norway.

They now confuse the noble activity of becoming a refuge for anti-fascist and Jewish refugees from all over the region during that time with their current open door policy to Islamic economic migrants and other North African and Asian opportunists.

What the actions of Sweden during that time demonstrate about Swedish mentality is that they are incapable of holding a strong opinion – they are opportunists unlike the ruling classes in Germany who are simply determined to thrust Europe headlong once again into a crisis of their making.

Economic & Ideological Bullies

Not content with being the economic bully boy of the European Union the Germans now insist on foisting their twisted visions on the rest of Europe and in doing so undermine many of the principles that Europeans hold dear. Germany like Russia has always shown a propensity for authoritarianism and the psyche of the German nation is demonstrably schizophrenic as it flip flops from one extreme to another as everyone else picks up the tab for their ideological mis-adventures.

Migrant Crisis is putting whole of Europe in Danger
(This section is an excerpt taken entirely from an article in The Express 7th January 2016)

Countries such as Sweden and Germany that have taken in large numbers of migrants now have significantly more men than women. According to Dr Valerie Hudson this alone is a recipe for higher crime. But we cannot discount the fact that these migrants are also coming from an alien culture.

The dangers are already obvious. In Germany a wave of sex attacks over the New Year was perpetrated by migrants who showed no regard for their victims or the law. The threat is compounded by the possibility of jihadists using the crisis as a cover to sneak operatives into Europe. Even if only a tiny minority of the migrants identify with terrorist groups the risk is still unacceptably high.

There are still those labouring under the delusion that these people are refugees. They are not.

Historically when refugees have fled persecution they have overwhelmingly been women, children and the elderly. What we witnessed in 2015 – something which shows no sign of stopping in 2016 – was the mass movement of young men. These are migrants coming to Europe to further their own interests, not vulnerable people in need of sanctuary.

We owe them nothing. Europe’s leaders need to stop ushering in ever more of these new arrivals and start doing something about the problems caused by their obsession with open borders.

Paris police got it right Paris yesterday marked the first anniversary of the attacks on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. A year on from those dreadful events Europe’s anti-terror forces are still on tenterhooks.

This was graphically demonstrated in the French capital as police shot dead a man who was wearing a fake suicide vest and soldiers were deployed on to the streets. The officers involved had little choice but to shoot to kill.

The officers involved had little choice but to shoot to kill. While his bomb may not have been real he was still waving a knife, shouting jihadist slogans and carrying an IS flag. As a spokeswoman for France’s interior ministry said: “The security forces showed true professionalism and vigilance.” The police must do everything in their power to keep the public safe.

Acknowledgements & References

1. John Stuart Mill. On Liberty, The Library of Liberal Arts edition, p.7. https://publius2013.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/tyranny-of-the-minority/
2. A Przeworski, JM Maravall, I NetLibrary Democracy and the Rule of Law (2003) p.223
3. John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, Vol. Three (London: 1788), p. 291.
4. Volk, Kyle G. (2014). Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.
5. Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: First Sequel: Mixed Opinions and Maxims, 1879
6. Ayn Rand (1961), “Collectivized ‘Rights,'” The Virtue of Selfishness.
7. The Repressive Tolerance by Herbert Marcuse Jump up
8. Lani Guinier, The Tyranny of the Majority (Free Press: 1994)
9. Lacy K. Ford Jr., “Inventing the Concurrent Majority: Madison, Calhoun, and the Problem of Majoritarianism in American Political Thought”, The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 60, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 19–58 in JSTOR
10. University of Virginia
11. First Principles Journal
12. Democracy Web
13. Donald J. Maletz The Journal of Politics Vol. 64, No. 3 (Aug., 2002), pp. 741-763 Publish
14. Daily Express
15. CNN
16. BBC.com
17. Channel 4 Dispatches
18. Mail on Sunday
19. The Times
20. Vocativ
21. The IB Times
22. Business Insider
23. Newsweek
24. The Long War Journal
25. Defense One
26. The Washington Institute
27. Reuters
28. VICE News

So you "Stand with France"?

Please note: This article was inspired by the LinkedIn post by Peter Coffman, Student at Command and General Staff College

What happened in Paris, France last week was an act of war by Radical Islam against the West. A declaration made by ISIS on behalf of myriad well known terrorist groupings, their franchisees and all their adherents (a significant portion of whom live in the West).

This is not a well defined enemy denoted by geographic borders with a clear set of strategic targets to be overrun to ensure their defeat. The enemy and the objectives which motivate them are mind bending in their complexity and they are global, see a small subset below:

Abu Sayyaf, Philippines; Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Egypt; Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Gaza Strip and West Bank; Al-Shabaab, Somalia; Al-Qaeda, Global; Ansar al-Islam, Iraq; Armed Islamic Group (GIA), Algeria; Boko Haram, Nigeria; Caucasus Emirate (IK), Russia; East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), China; Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Egypt; Great Eastern Islamic Raiders’ Front (IBDA-C), Turkey; Hamas, Gaza Strip and West Bank; Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Alami, Pakistan; Hezbollah, Lebanon; Islamic Movement of Central Asia, Central Asia; Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan; Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Iraq and Syria; Jaish-e-Mohammed, Pakistan and Kashmir; Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna, Iraq; Jemaah Islamiyah, Indonesia; Lashkar-e-Taiba, Pakistan and Kashmir; Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Pakistan; Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Philippines; Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, Morocco and Europe; Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Gaza Strip and West Bank; Tawhid and Jihad, Iraq.

And now, caught in a moment of outrage, the public demand action and ask “how has it come to this?”

People would do well to remember the following:

1. You think something should be done about ISIS. Its high time, right? So who is going to do it? You? Probably not. Less than 1% of America joined up to fight in the last 20 years. So remember what it means when you say “we” should go to war. You are sending others.

2. So they go … then two months later, you are into the latest that the Kardashian’s are doing. You lose interest. The West does not have the stomach to see it through and leaves early, or the public hamstring the military into unachievable political goals for the sake of appeasement (which never worked before) or (insert random thing here).

3. While the military are there, they will need things. Things like money and lots of it to bring the military to where it needs to be to wage effective war after a decade of cutbacks.  Why? Because the politicians you voted for have stripped down the military and Army to balance the budget (instead of removing funds from more logical areas). The US military was supposed to be able to fight two wars in two places at once. Now they cannot.

4. To tackle the enemy within – Western governments will need greater central powers – mass surveillance, erosion of civil liberties, closure of borders, restrictions on free travel, checkpoints and so on. Powers that must be surrendered by the military and the state when the fight is over. Safeguarding the future of our open societies post conflict is as important as defeating the jihadists thugs.

5. While war is waged, people will die. You may become upset that civilians died, or soldiers, or cats and dogs, or (insert random thing here). Really? It is war. Have realistic expectations and understand that collateral damage is a fact of life during conflict.

6. Free speech for those ISIS apologists, recruiters, illegal immigrant facilitators, anti-war movements and so on must be suppressed during this time. You are either on our side or you are the enemy. These are the standards that have always applied when a nation is fighting for its survival. You cannot “half” wage war.

7. ISIS is one thing, but Russia, China and Iran have been emboldened by the disastrous foreign policy of the Obama administration. The West does not have enough manpower to tackle these adversaries and a global terrorist network – be careful what you mandate your elected representatives to do during this emotional time but most importantly accept that your direct participation may be required.

8. Pay attention and stay informed. You know more about your favourite football team or movie star than you do about how Radical Islam has been allowed to flourish on your doorstep and within your communities. If they succeed – football and the movies is not on the Radical Islamists Sharia playbook of acceptable pastimes for you.

9. The geopolitical imperatives surrounding the problems in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya and the national security impact of the refugee crisis in Europe escape the vast majority of the public. Merkel, Pope Francis and other ultra liberals have compromised your safety and will continue to do so unless they are halted. Get educated on the issues and the real threat that Radical Islam poses to your way of life and allow yourself to make better decisions and comment intelligently without pandering to the most simplistic ultra-liberal lowest common denominator that has landed you in this mess in the first place.

10. And after all of that, if you decide to hobble the military politically and socially instead of concentrating on allowing them to train for and execute a war in a strategic manner, then when the next Paris occurs (and it will – soon and on an ongoing basis) then consider yourself as culpable in this as those crazed radical islamist jihadi gangs who slaughtered hundreds of innocents last week while they sat unarmed in the theatre, restaurant or bar.

Get some perspective. 

The Usual Mechanics of an Obama Speech

Case Study: Address to the UN General Assembly (09.28.2015)

Main Take Outs & Speech Summary 

Blah, blah, blah …. incorrect reference to historical precedent …. blah, blah …. sincere look …. blah …. fake empathy …. blah, blah, blah …. backslap and high five for fellow ultra-liberals (Choose Merkel or Pope Francis) …. blah blah blah …. dramatic pause …. blah …. knowing stare into the middle distance …. blah blah …. lots more words with no substance …. blah blah blah …. minorities matter, majorities must comply …. blah blah ….

Say more words that translate to weakness pretending to be strength …. blah, blah, blah …. more words that loosely mean more inaction disguised as diplomacy …. blah, blah …. make appeal to irrelevant emotions – your kids, my kids, the future …. blah, blah, blah …. some more vague general piffle …. blah, blah ….

Quote the US Constitution which you have rode rough shod over since 2008 (Choose creating own laws without due process using the Supreme Court, number of executive orders issued in last seven years, lack of consultation with Congress the alleged voice of the people) …. blah, blah ….

Make some more vague generalisations and non-specific argument …. blah blah blah …. point a finger (choose Israel, Syria or Russia in order of indifference to their respective motivations)…. blah, blah …. speak of friends and partners (choose Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Qatar) …. blah, blah, blah …. offer inappropriate comparison between problems resolved in Senegal, Singapore and Colombia and those of the current global war on terror specifically Syria and Iraq …. blah, blah ….

The end … cue lack lustre applause and eye rolling by the audience and a look of satisfaction and utter accomplishment from Mr. President …. meanwhile nothing changes for the better in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Ukraine, Crimea, the refugees crisis, the rest of the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans while race relations, illegal immigration and the deficit have all reached “basket case” scenarios in the USA.

Two Flawed Triumvirates Seek to Undermine Western Europe

Ultra Liberals Disguised as Capitalists

On one hand, we observe Obama peddling a socialist manifesto ignoring the reality of global sectarianism, energy imperialism and economic warfare while pretending to push a capitalist agenda to disguise his ultra-liberal policies. Obama’s arguments that he supports capitalism and democracy (the rule of the majority) are reductio ad absurdum if one accepts that capitalism is engineered for inequality and fails to function if it is expected to operate alongside a belief that within a system that rewards risk, innovation and merit that all people can be equal and all opinions accommodated. On his flanks are Merkel in Germany and the South American liberation theologian in the Vatican.

These three are not overtly aligned but each with a significant power base and influence are pushing the same concepts – all of which are detrimental to Western interests and influence and the ultimate outcome of whose policies, if allowed to succeed, can only place the West at the mercy of more martial and aggressive regimes.

Weakness Masquerading as Strength

Human nature does not change quickly – these alleged students of the human condition wish us to take a path that will only result in our demotion globally to mere slaves of external events and concepts, rather than masters of our destiny. It puts us on a path of inevitable identity and cultural destruction.

Our opponents do not struggle with such issues. They hold a set of beliefs which they pursue relentlessly with a vigour that leaves no room for dissent. How can one be expected to accept a compromised position that weakens our ability to defend our beliefs in the face of such ideologues and fanaticism.

On the other hand Obama et al. – like all of their persuasion – seek to rule by the consensus of the lowest common denominator. This results in the usual liberal conundrum – perpetual inaction or at the very least confused, misguided and misdirected action – generally too late to influence events.

The “Might is Right” Misfits 

The opposing trio, led in theory by the bully boy Putin cosy in his arrangements with Hassan Rouhani (Iran) and Xi Jinping (China), are resolutely opposed to a progressive agenda and firmly united in their anti-American sentiment. They possess a clear set of focussed short term objectives that play to all the basic human emotions – nationalism, aggression and a clearly identifiable common enemy to unite against – in this case two – ISIS a form of radical Islam (I do not denote it as “the” form of radical Islam as Iran is the Sh’ia version of the ISIS Sunni form) and of course the USA.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The former are offering a loose set of vague promises of future peace, prosperity and universal brotherhood based on complete sacrifice by the most powerful and the most comfortable nations – financially and politically – all the while eroding the cultural identities and traditional values of those constituencies they allegedly represent.

The real power lies in the “Might is Right” alliance and it is that challenge that needs to be addressed by the next US administration, the Conservatives in the UK and the other realistic member states of the EU and Eastern Europe.

The Political Landscape in the West

Obama and the Democrats have 14 months left in office before a generation in the political wilderness. Merkel is riding a wave of nauseating self-applause regarding her disastrous refugee policies and in the spirit of classic Teutonic arrogance continues to use the very federal institutions that were created in the EU to protect against historical German aggression and bullying to push the German agenda and harass the weaker EU nations.

When the UK inevitably decides that enough is enough and leaves the EU it will create at last a second lever of power in Western Europe. The path is clear for the Conservatives to take the initiative on this long held wisdom as the only viable opposition – the Labour Party – is now led by the divisive Corbyn, a figure of contempt for many in his own party, a thinly disguised Marxist and terrorist apologist.

Papal Hand-Wringing Hides Classic Self-Interest

Pope Francis is simply a sideshow to fill a few minutes at the end of the news segments with his appeals that are attractive to the billions of Catholics in developing South America, Asia and Africa. The Catholic church having lost its foothold in its traditional power base after decades of financial and sexual abuse scandals must now do what it does best – pretend to champion the poor in order to maintain its relevance and more importantly its coffers.

Whether the Pope realises it or not, his rhetoric is only a tool to keep the institution relevant to its current flock of poverty stricken less educated members and contributors to whom religion is always a salve in their world with few comforts or allies.

Pathetic Justification of Obama’s Foreign Policy Free-Fall

Yesterday Obama delivered a “why can’t we all just get along” plea at the United Nations General Assembly in the spirit of the most self-deluded, self indulgent, unrealistic antics of the 60s “love and peace to all men, women and the gender neutral” movement. Obama imposed forty minutes of nonsensical rationalisation for inaction and justification, informed by hindsight, for the train wreck that is his administrations foreign policy outcomes.

He sees a world of “equals” albeit that some will be more “equal” than others. A world where a centrally based well armed unelected power – the United Nations – will “implement” policy at a global level despite its failure to do so on umpteen occasions in the past and without an awareness apparently of the veto that his main opponents possess at that forum.

Perpetual Flux & Cultural Abandon

He envisages the first world in a state of perpetual flux and cultural abandon – welcoming countless un-vetted refugees as “brothers and sisters” and granting every seemingly minority view a status equalling that of the majority. Regardless of the prevailing “mood” of the populace in our countries we are to be forced to allow every refugee, asylum seeker or economic migrant to choose our locale for their new start and to be pleased.

Many of these “travellers” are neither Syrian or from conflict zones. Those that are, have in the main, been created by US foreign policy disasters but the bill for these adventures is being picked up in general by Western Europe and in particular the populations of the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden whose social structures and rampant political correctness are so attractive to these “travellers”.

However, Obama has saddled his own nation with a similar version of unbridled immigrant access from Mexico and South America.

Breathtaking Paradoxes

He notes that “democracy”, in his view, will and should take different forms in nations across the globe as it takes account of local “cultural” variations, religious preferences and regional ethnic themes. Failing it would seem to appreciate that his administration and he himself personally have done all they can to undermine these local variations in his own nation and in Western Europe.

Clearly, with a sideways glance at irony his speechwriters then ignored the juxtaposition of his comments regarding capitalism beside what amounted to a socialist policy document.

“The commitments we’ve made to the Sustainable Development Goals speak to this truth. I believe that capitalism has been the greatest creator of wealth and opportunity that the world has ever known. But from big cities to rural villages around the world, we also know that prosperity is still cruelly out of reach for too many. As His Holiness Pope Francis reminds us, we are stronger when we value the least among these, and see them as equal in dignity to ourselves and our sons and our daughters.”

A Legacy of Failure & Betrayal

Obama stands atop a pile of the corpses of US veterans, coalition partners and local militia’s whose past efforts he has squandered or current efforts left unsupported via his administrations stuttering hesitancy. Obama has presided over a foreign policy free-fall that has seen countless Middle Eastern and North African bombed-tortured-enslaved-persecuted-murdered-drowned civilians, led Europe to a state of cultural collapse in the face of unhindered economic migration, and seen factions across the globe create allegiances that are firmly polarised across religious and sectarian lines.

The lampoonish figure of this man who is responsible for these outcomes lecturing us like a Mandelaesque wannabe all the while waving a CND flag while allowing Iran access to the technologies for a nuclear weapon, clutching his pro-choice card and popping dandelions in the barrels of jihadi AK-47s is all the more aggravating as he has the audacity to look as smug as his co-conspirators while pontificating. Completely ignorant of his own legacy of failure.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. At best this is what Obama and Merkel and Francis are guilty of.

Yesterday Obama delivered a “why can’t we all just get along” plea at the United Nations General Assembly in the spirit…
Posted by TMG Corporate Services on Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Misguided Faith in Failed Institutions

“It is this international order that has underwritten unparalleled advances in human liberty and prosperity. It is this collective endeavour that’s brought about diplomatic cooperation between the world’s major powers, and buttressed a global economy that has lifted more than a billion people from poverty. It is these international principles that helped constrain bigger countries from imposing our will on smaller ones, and advanced the emergence of democracy and development and individual liberty on every continent.”

Obama spoke these words as fact – the test however is “time” and to put forward this thesis as fact bears no witness to the truth that since 1945 the “institutions” which he refers to are just seventy years old and are not mature enough or tested enough to offer, as he does, as the undisputed “global solution” going forward.

In fact on countless occasions the economic, social and military concepts of co-operation and mutual self interest and “self-evident truths” – a phrase he borrowed from a Constitution which he has shamelessly trampled on since his inauguration – have crumbled in even the most minor of crises.

We are globally more unequal now than we have been at any point in the past and all the credible studies show this is to continue and not reverse.

Add to that climate change, population growth, failures in disease control, economic uncertainty and global regional conflicts and one wonders how Obama can expect those who have in the previous centuries suffered and dragged themselves from these deprivations are simply going to mortgage their nations and families futures to those who have either abandoned or destroyed theirs in their own countries.

A Race To The Lowest Common Denominator

These are facts and not ultra-liberal fiction – Obama views “equality” not as the improvement of the conditions of those who are already comfortable but a race to the lowest common denominator where those in the first world move downwards to joined those in the second and third world as they rise upwards.

It is a dreamers concept where the hodge-podge of argument and rationalisation for such a policy can only be realistic in the mind of a egocentric with a mood of entitlement.

Misquoting History

“The people of our United Nations are not as different as they are told. They can be made to fear; they can be taught to hate—but they can also respond to hope. History is littered with the failure of false prophets and fallen empires who believed that might always makes right, and that will continue to be the case. You can count on that. But we are called upon to offer a different type of leadership—leadership strong enough to recognize that nations share common interests and people share a common humanity, and, yes, there are certain ideas and principles that are universal.”

His reference to reasons for the failure of historical empires and the cherry picking of examples to support his argument makes assumption that while he is arguing against holding strong values and opinions that the number of empire’s that fell because they stuck rigidly to their beliefs is matched by those that fell by allowing the utter dilution of the very principles that made them great – most notably the greatest of them all – the Roman Empire. Obama is no student of history.

But Obama was never one for digging deep to rationalise his opinions – he after all represents a minority view of sweeping generalisations but considers himself above reproach with respect to minority affairs. A worn out notion but one which still seven years on he pulls out of his single bag of tricks to push down any opposition as radical, racist, extreme or all three preferably – completely undermining the very “message” that he purports to be the on-high appointed courier for – namely tolerance.

The Erosion of US Prestige

He has failed to grasp and those willing nodders around him have also left unobserved the awkward fact that US influence and prestige has eroded globally over the last seven years to a point where former stalwart allies and client states have sought or are seeking options elsewhere.

In May 2014 we paraphrased coverage of Obama’s whistle stop tour of the East that stated:

America’s allies are nervous. With Russia grabbing territory, China bullying its neighbours and Syria murdering its people, many are asking: where is Globocop? Under what circumstances will America act to deter troublemakers? What, ultimately, would America fight for?

In the intervening seventeen months we have been given the answer: America – under its current leadership will fight for nothing.

Filling the Vacuum

Russia is still grabbing territory but has now been joined by China and Iran who have observed – in the spirit of Chamberlain – Obama’s lack of firm intervention with respect to both the de-stabilisation of Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.

Obama offers the “success” of economic sanctions as the justification of not wielding a stronger stick. The uncomfortable fact is that economic sanctions have led Iran to negotiate a pro-Iranian nuclear deal which the misguided President still believes is verifiable. And pushed Russia to further expansion as a direct result of US actions. Clearly Putin is protecting Assad who has vehemently opposed the construction of the Qatari gas pipeline which actions protects Russia as the key supplier of that resource to Western Europe and the foreign currency he so badly needs.

To quote Global Research: “A battle has raged over whether pipelines will go toward Europe from east to west, from Iran and Iraq to the Mediterranean coast of Syria, or take a more northbound route from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Syria and Turkey. Having realized that the stalled Nabucco pipeline, and indeed the entire Southern Corridor, are backed up only by Azerbaijan’s reserves and can never equal Russian supplies to Europe or thwart the construction of the South Stream, the West is in a hurry to replace them with resources from the Persian Gulf. Syria ends up being a key link in this chain, and it leaned in favour of Iran and Russia; thus it was decided in the Western capitals that its regime needs to change. The fight for democracy is a false flag thrown out to cover up totally different aims.”

In January 2015 in our post “Risks Ahead in the South China Sea” we noted that China continues to bully in the region around the Spratly and Paracel Islands.

Syria in the intervening period, along with Libya, is a failed state witness to destruction, genocide and a regional humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since the 1940’s. The outcome of Obama inaction is that the isolated Assad and the vacuum created by lack of Western support for a lesser evil in the face of ISIS has meant that Russia, China and Iran have moved to a position of unassailable control in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

Iran has been allowed to position its Sh’ia militias all across non-KRG Iraq and embolden its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon and Golan.

Putin’s Vision of the Middle East

Putin has a vision of a wall of Iranian-dominated, Russia-friendly, anti-American states stretching from western Afghanistan through Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea. And he’s well on his way to achieving it, thanks to the nuclear deal with Iran, US military hesitancy in the region and, now, an open alliance between Russia, China, Iran, Iraq’s Shia militias, Hezbollah and the forces of the Assad regime.

That wall would not only keep out the United States, it would isolate the Kurds and overshadow the last US clients in the region, including Israel who has already moved to improve relations with Moscow and receive assurances with respect to Moscow and Beijing’s intentions as they commence a military buildup based around the port of Tartus and the Assad heartland of Damascus.

At the time (May 2014) the following was noted of Obama’s questioning by the media:

The answer to this question matters. Rogue states will behave more roguishly if they doubt America’s will to stop them. As a former head of Saudi intelligence recently said of Vladimir Putin’s land grab in Ukraine: “While the wolf is eating the sheep, there is no shepherd to come to the rescue.” Small wonder that Barack Obama was asked, at every stop during his four-country swing through Asia, how exactly he plans to wield American power. How would the president respond if China sought to expand its maritime borders by force? How might he curb North Korea’s nuclear provocations? At every press conference he was also quizzed about Ukraine.

None of these legacy issues have been materially addressed by Obama and Co. in the intervening months and yesterdays speech suggests that will be the case until November 2016 – for that speech naively pleaded for reasonable actions from unreasonable people as the solution to these problems.

Indifference in the Audience

The sceptical faces of many at the Assembly was not just made up of the usual suspects but many formerly “standing ovation” members when any US President previously delivered a keynote address at a time of great import. The lack lustre applause at the appointed times throughout the cringe worthy oratory was also notable and telling.

Obama’s own rationale and metrics can equally be applied to the foreign policy failures that he has created and presided over. In trying to cater to everybody he caters to nobody and undermines not emboldens the principles that he allegedly finds so appealing. His removal from office by the expiry of his abused mandate (making his own laws via the Supreme Court / signing Executive Orders on a weekly basis / failure to consult the “Voice of the People” – Congress) or impeachment cannot happen too quickly for the West. An abrogation of responsibility, in favour of unproven and previously failed strategies, on the scale of Obama’s has not been witnessed before and hopefully will never be again.

Terrorist Hamas uses extreme violence but not to further the Palestinian cause or to defend Palestinians

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsI am vehemently anti-Hamas although not exclusively because they arm themselves and use violence. Every society past and present has used violence to defend itself and/or to protect its interests and will continue to do so. Some were/are “just” causes others were/are not. 

Violence is & always was an integral element of human nature

The type and scale of violence and the “standards” with respect to armed conflict that used to apply – in theory (a gentleman’s code if you will / Geneva Convention most recently) – have long since fell by the wayside. 

Violence is unsavoury in all its forms but Hamas’ use of violence and the methods of its equivalents (Radical Islamists) has passed all acceptable thresholds from as far back as the 1970’s. 

Hamas Hijacking: This time it’s the Palestinian Cause not an Airplane

Hamas claim that they use force to protect their “people” against oppression, occupation, injustice and persecution. This is simply not the case. This disconnect results in tacit and in some cases outright support in the West for the Palestinian cause “represented” by Hamas. However, Hamas has in fact hijacked the Palestinian cause to further an entirely different set of strategic goals. Many in the West who lend this support misunderstand or are taken in by the false propaganda that Hamas peddles to disguise the true objectives of its use of extreme violence and aggression. 

Western Audiences Rationalising the Unthinkable

People understand others based on their own experiences. When we approach a topic like suicide bombing which is alien to all right thinking people they ask: “Wow…what would it take to make me strap a bomb to my chest to blow up a bunch of innocent people in a neighbouring country?” 

Some would say that this type of barbarous activity could only be justified because of provocation of the most extreme kind that resulted in the death of family and friends, or intense humiliation, or pure desperation. The fact is no justification exists that could legitimise anyone committing such a dreadful act. 

The Role of Veneer Thin Analysis & Biased Media Reportage 

The Western media then showcases the actions of a large, modern, well-funded army (IDF) apparently crushing an underdog that is fighting with stones and light weapons. They publish pictures of bloodied children in Gaza, bombed out houses and dead civilians to generate the impression that these actions which they describe as atrocities or state sponsored terror fuel the response from Hamas. 


Extremism & Frames of Reference

Suicide bombing is extreme, but in the context of how the media report it some people see a kind of twisted rationale behind it. However, the public’s thinking short circuits when it comes to groups like Boko Haram and ISIS, which all view as barbarians. 

Every sane person draws a blank when asking themselves “What circumstances would it take for me to behead all the men in a neighbouring town, enslave the women, and rape them until they have my children?” They have no answer – they lack anything resembling a perspective that could comprehend this let alone justify it or support it. 

The Israelis as victims of Hamas, the Christians and Muslims of the Northern States of Nigeria as victims of Boko Haram and the Kurds as victims of ISIS and Turkish State Terror all understand the perspective they are dealing with. 

Hamas, Boko Haram and ISIS all use violence as a form of religious devotion justified by their twisted interpretation of a book that was written 1400 years ago and which they interpret to suit their agenda and to develop their charters. 

The key difference between Hamas and Boko Haram / ISIS is not its ideology, it is merely that Hamas’ military tends to lose more regularly and spectacularly and use that “underdog” being bullied by an aggressor (Israel) as the key ingredient in their propaganda and funding strategies.  

They share only one thing – they are murderous extremists who cannot be negotiated with and are entrenched in views which they will not compromise for the sake of peace because they feel their cause is divine. 

The West labels it all “extremism” without fully realising that in these societies for these people it is normality and indeed seen as a religious duty. 

The Actual Strategic Objectives of Hamas

Hamas’ goal with their use of violence is not peace nor is it the achievement of a two state solution and it most certainly is not the defence of the Palestinian people. 

The Hamas objective is the explicit destruction of the sovereign State of Israel, the elimination of all Jews – man, woman and child, and the purification of a land currently held by non-believing infidels – not just Jews but Christians, Hindu’s, Buddhists, minorities – all in fact who are not Radical Islamists. This is not conjecture. The following excerpts are from the Hamas founding charter:

On Hamas belief system: 
Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief.

On killing Jews (pre-amble):
Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!

On peace (article 13):
Peace initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.

On Israel (article 28)
Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.

Read in full the published document: The Charter of the Hamas

Fostering A Culture of Violence and Hate 

From cradle to grave, Hamas and its predecessors have attempted to ingrain in their people a belief that the highest form of religious sacrifice is to commit violence and to give ones life for their “truths” as interpreted by them to suit their sinister agenda. Those who make that sacrifice are honoured in this world and the afterlife – by the governemnt. Streets are named after martyrs: PA names Ramallah street after Hamas terror mastermind 

Money is paid to their families as incentives rather than compensation: Documents: Saudis Paid Bombers’ FamiliesPalestinians get Saddam funds

The government has and continues to support this sacrifice by their citizens including their children who they encourage to become Shahid (witness or martyr): Arafat – “Dead Palestinian Children are the Greatest Message to the World”


Children are taught their role in the struggle: MEMRI: Hamas TV Children’s Show Encourages Killing of Jews. Palestinian children aspire to death as martyrs:

And some children play a more active role: Israel Says Children Enlist Children as Suicide Bombers – here a 14 year old suicide bomber:

Hamas possesses a entirely different mentality than Boko Haram or ISIS. Hamas many misinformed Westerners believe use violence to resist the Israeli “occupation” without realising that Hamas refers to the mere existence of Jews in Israel as an “occupation”. 

Bodies of dead and injured civilians are released and picked up globally by a liberal anti-Israeli media and attract audiences who do not understand that Hamas encourages and highlights these tragedies as a key weapon in their black propaganda efforts. 

An entire Hamas industry exists to stage powerful propaganda videos to elicit sympathy from the broader world. 

What really happens in Palestinian Media: Pallywood

This is an interesting “60 Minutes” segment about how the Palestinians use their own camera crews and actors to basically set up war scenes in their favour. Observers call it Pallywood:


Global sympathy elicited from pictures and videos of dead children are Hamas’ primary defence against the technologically stronger IDF. Sympathy is their primary source of funding from nations and individuals abroad; whether it be from those that are sympathetic to the goal of destroying Israel or those who are sympathetic to Palestinian suffering.

And the real Palestinians are suffering. Through the deprivation of their basic rights, through the stifling of their freedom to live differently, and through the constant state of war they find themselves in from both within and without – fostered by their “protectors” – Hamas.  

In summary, I do not disapprove of the use of violence to protect rights and preserve justice and oppose tyranny. But the Palestinians have a government that uses violence for far different reasons and not as a last resort – and rather than protecting free speech they stifle it, rather than uphold the rights of women to vote they suppress it, rather than encouraging new ideas to flourish they crush them, and instead of defending the Palestinian people they place them in harms way – for their own sake, for their twisted ideologies and for their personal enrichment.

The Noble (and Uber Wealthy) Man of the People

Yasser Arafat was the original head of the PLO, the mastermind behind the suicide bombing tactic, and the leader of the Palestinian PR strategy. Hamas has since taken control of Gaza, but they mention their close relationship with the PLO in their charter. 

Arafat was estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of US$300m at the time of his death, and a peak net worth of over US$1b; almost all of which was international aid and donations. His wife was well-known for her extravagant lifestyle in France, where she rented entire floors of luxury hotels and spent millions on high fashion: Why was €1m a month sent to Arafat’s wife?

Sixty Seconds to Show You What Hamas Does With Foreign Aid for its People



Acknowledgements:

First published Anonymously on Quora here.