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It’s War, You Idiots

August 18th, 2013 - 12:14 pm

It’s hard to get our minds around the dimensions of the slaughter underway in the Middle East and Africa, and harder still to see that the battlefields of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali are pieces in a global war in which we are targeted.  For the most part, the deep thinkers zero in on the single battlefields.  What if anything should we do about the big fight in Egypt?  Should we assist the Syrian opposition?  What to do in Lebanon or Jordan? Should we respond positively to the Iraqi government’s request for security assistance?  Is anyone thinking hard about Tunisia, likely to be the scene of the next explosions?

It could not be otherwise, since our government, our universities, our news organizations and our think tanks are all primarily organized to deal with countries, and our analysts, policy makers and military strategists inevitably think inside those boxes.  We don’t have an assistant secretary of defense for global strategy (FOOTNOTE:  actually we do, his name is Andrew Marshall, he’s a sprightly genius of 92 years, and he runs a largely ignored corner of the Pentagon called “Net Assessment”), but we do have one for the Near East and South Asia.  And there’s hardly a professor in America who is talking about the fundamental change in the nature of global affairs in which we are enmeshed, the paradigm shift from the post-World War II world dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union, to…we know not what.

So there’s a global war, we’re the main target of the aggressors, and our leaders don’t see it and therefore have no idea how to win it.

Any serious attempt to understand what’s going on has to begin by banning the word “stability,” much beloved of diplomats and self-proclaimed strategists. If anything is fairly certain about our world, it’s that there is no stability, and there isn’t going to be any.  Right now, the driving forces are those aimed at destroying the old order, and their targets (the old regimes, very much including the United States) have until recently showed little taste to engage as if their survival depended on it.  But things are changing, as always.

The war is easily described:  there is a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists, supported by a group of countries that includes Russia, at least some Chinese leaders, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.  The radicals include the Sunni and Shi’ite terrorist organizations and leftist groups, and they all work seamlessly with the narcotics mafias.  Their objective is the destruction of the West, above all, of the United States.

What if they win?  Some of them want to create a  (Sunni or Shi’ite) caliphate, others want Castro- or Kim-style communist dictatorships.  Like the five Mafia families in The Godfather, they have made their war plan, but, as with the Corleones and the Barzinis, they are riven by disagreements, some of which are fundamental.

War is foggy, and alliances are often very unstable, especially at moments when the whole world is up for grabs.  Look at Egypt, for example.  At one level, it’s a sectarian fight:  the “secular” military vs. the “Islamist” Muslim Brotherhood.  So nobody should be surprised when the Brothers burn churches and murder Christians.  But the top military dog, General Sisi, has some pretty impressive Islamist credentials.  Indeed, his elevation at the time of the Brothers’ purge of Mubarak’s generals was frequently attributed to his close ties to the Brotherhood.

I don’t think anyone nowadays would call him a friend of the Brothers.  So what happened?  Did he go secular all of a sudden?  Was his “Islamism” a trick from the get-go?  Or is “Islamism” less monolithic than some suppose?  A Saudi of my acquaintance showed up in Cairo a few days ago with a bunch of checks, some currently cashable, others postdated over the next twelve months, all hand-delivered to Sisi and his guys.  Their advice to the Egyptian military is to mercilessly crush the Brothers, and their advice will likely be adopted, both because the junta knows that death awaits them if they lose (2 Egyptian major generals and 2 brigadier generals, along with many colonels, have been assassinated by the Brothers in the current spasm), and because only the Saudis can foot the huge bill facing Egypt just to provide the basics for the people.  Most of whom, to the evident surprise of Western leaders and journalists, seem inclined to support the junta (neighborhood militias have taken on the Brothers throughout the country, for example).

So we’ve got an indubitably Islamist regime–the Saudi Wahhabis–supporting a military junta whose leader is famously Islamist against the infamously Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.  Yes, they may well all yearn for the destruction of the infidel West (although the junta impiously pockets our dollars), but for the moment the struggle for power trumps the power of the faith.

Notice that this bloody confrontation has nothing to do with the celebrated Sunni-Shi’ite war that is so often invoked to “explain” current events.  It’s all happening within Sunni Egypt (although the Shi’ite Iranians are certainly meddling–surprise!–on behalf of the very Sunni Brothers).  And there are plenty of “foreign fighters,” just as there were in Iraq, just as there are in Afghanistan:  in the last 8 days, according to usually reliable sources in Cairo, 253 Uzbeks, 21 Yemenis, 40 Afghans and 11 Turkmens have been arrested, along with  126 Hamas operatives, who bring weapons and train pro-Brotherhood Egyptians.

ANOTHER FOOTNOTE:  During the Cold War, Ignazio Silone mused that the last war would be between the Communists and the ex-Communists.  Maybe the Middle East is now the scene of a war between Islamists and ex-Islamists, or between pious Muslims and not-so-pious ones, or even between Muslims and ex-Muslims.  In this context, we should ban the use of the word “moderate,” along with “stability”…

Does that picture give you mental cramps?  Then move on to Syria.  You’ve got Bashar Assad on top in a neighborhood of Damascus, supported by Iran and Russia, fighting against a variety of insurgents including al-Qaeda units, Salafists, former members of Assad’s military, and the usual mob of adventurous souls, including Americans and Europeans, who believe they are waging jihad in the name of Allah.

Assad is actually a figurehead; the real capital of Syria is in an office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.  A leader of the Syrian opposition made this clear, saying that Hezbollah and Iran were the real powers in Syria, and there’s plenty of evidence for his assertion, including dead Hezbollahis and Quds Forcers.

So al-Qaeda’s fighting Iran in Syria, right?  That fits nicely into the Sunni vs. Shi’ite meme, thereby relieving a mental cramp or two.  But wait:  our very own Treasury Department, which is as good as we’ve got when it comes to deciphering the crazy quilt network of global terrorism, told us in no uncertain terms a couple of years ago that there was a secret deal between AQ and the mullahs.  Moreover, the tidal wave of terrorism that has crashed on Iraq is universally termed a resurgence of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has been Iranian-sponsored since Day One (just ask the late unlamented Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, sent to paradise by U.S. Special Forces).  Which gives us a big mental cramp indeed:  an Iranian (Shi’ite)-sponsored (Sunni) al-Qaeda assault against (Shi’ite) Iraq, and right next door an Iranian-assisted (Sunni) al-Qaeda, alongside other (mostly Sunni) foreign and domestic fighters against a (kinda Shi’ite) regime under the control of (totally Shi’ite) Tehran.

Who’s on first?  Is Iran sponsoring AQ in Iraq and killing AQ next door in Syria?  Is it some sort of trick (Iran using AQ to penetrate the opposition in order to have some control over whatever follows a defeat of the current Syrian regime, for example, or a deception, using AQ in Syria to subvert the opposition)?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I'm afraid it's a broader war than even Mr. Ledeen points out. Consider:


The Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated Islamist organizations are engaged in a global war against secular rule and democracy. Does the media ever come out and say this? No. Does the Obama administration ever talk about this? No. What gives?
In Turkey, secularists protests raged in Taksim Square against the rule of Muslim Brotherhood Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan. Erdogan has imprisoned Kemalist (i.e. secularist) political opposition and military leaders, on charges arising from a series of show trials known over an alleged conspiracy known as Ergenekon. Erdogan cracked down on these protests violently.
http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/06/04/obama_erdogan_turkey_protests_friends
In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi was constitutionally recalled by voters after a short rule that produced no economic growth and was marked by violence against Christians and Jews. Right now, Egyptian secularists, especially Christians and moderate Muslims, are waging a war in the streets against armed bands of Ikhwani partisans.
Bangladesh is descending into utter chaos following sentencing of Jamaat-e-Islami leader, the local Muslim Brotherhood party in February. Abdul Quader Mollah was convicted of rape and mass murder on charges from 1965. The country, like many others, is divided between supporters of democracy and supporters of Sharia.
In Kashmir, once again, Indian and Pakistani forces are exchanging fire. Pakistan’s mendacious Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, which harbored Osama bin Laden, is at the heart of much the global Islamist revolution. For decades, the ISI has provided money and arms to Muslim Brotherhood insurgencies around the globe. The ISI also provides cover for underworld drug lord Dawood Ibrahim, the World’s #3 most wanted man.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Dawood-protected-by-ISI-moves-under-its-cover-claims-Tunda-Delhi-police-sources/Article1-1109417.aspx
In Syria, a broad coalition of Muslims, including Alawis and Shiites, Christians, and Kurds are battling Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda mujahedeen who would overthrow Bashar Assad and install a Sharia-based, totalitarian state.
In Libya, the governing (Muslim Brotherhood) Justice and Construction Party offices were under siege by protestors following the assassination of an anti-Brotherhood political activist as he left a mosque.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23477992
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is destabilizing North Africa, including Mali, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. AQIM is little more than smuggling ring who brings goods from western Africa north to the Mediterranean, including drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Many AQIM employees fighters claim that it’s simply a good way to earn a living.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17308138
In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three states to the north of the country. Boko Haram, aka Congregation and People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad, is waging war on the Nigerian government to institute Sharia across the religiously diverse country.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
War is about breaking things and killing people. It isn't about nation building or regime change.

It's about the complete and utter destruction of the enemy's ability to wage war. It's about the total and complete destruction of his will to wage war.

To do this, you bomb Dresden into rubble, burn it all to the ground, and then make the rubble bounce. To do this, you drop The Bomb on Hiroshima. To do this, you kill all of the buffalo and attack villages and encampments in the midst of winter, destroying everything in sight.

If you want to defeat Muslim 'militants', you 'attack' their banking and finances. You destroy and level their mosques and holy places. You bomb the capitals and infrastructure of supporting nations into rubble, burn the rubble and then make the rubble bounce. ...and you do not -absolutely do not- send the death and destruction until none of them are fighting you -or threatening to fight you- anywhere, on any front.

War is a terrible and horrible business. Never, ever start a war.

...but, once it starts...

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's much more difficult to win a war when your leader identifies with the enemy.

"In “Audacity of Hope” he writes: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” The quote comes from page 261 of the paperback edition of “The Audacity of Hope."

http://www.conservativecrusader.com/articles/b-hussein-obama-i-will-stand-with-the-muslims
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (119)
All Comments   (119)
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To meddle or not to meddle, that is the question. At best, we can monitor the situation and prepare to take action, if necessary. The Obama administration seems to be maintaining a cautious distance from the situation. Frankly, for this man, it is the right decision. He's incompetent at the job, and I prefer he stay out of it.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of our court jesters and morons, McCain claimed we could pick out the good guys in Syria and depose Assad, put friends in charge and live happily ever after. at least the Egyptians found and neutralized a few of the foreign jihadis, but the idea that our people could tell the good guys from the bad guys played itself out in Benghazi.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
You fall for the old "America bad" rhetoric though. Islamists have been attacking the US since 1782. It's time to pull your head out.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just can't seem to fall for the "they hate us because of our freedoms" rhetoric. I think more likely, the terrorist's actions are blowback because of our government's intervening foreign policies and CIA actions (God only knows what they're up too). This "War on Terror" is just BS. I'm more afraid of my own government's actions against my civil rights than any terrorist.

If you're in the war business, what better business model than a never-ending war?
- Try to kill all the terrorists anywhere in the world
- Kill thousands of innocent civilians in the process; creating a whole NEW crop of "terrorists".
- pretty soon, you're left scratching your head wondering why the whole world hates us.

How about we just leave those f'ckers alone?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're confused. It's not really because they hate our freedoms - although they do, some of them - it's because running a terrorist organization, which is secretive in nature, is also very profitable. When you're growing opium and coca, and transporting, and in the sex slavery business, money comes easy. Convinced now?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
So is running a defense industry, not hidden, that "needs" to find all of that hidden organization. Very, very profitable.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
As for the narcotics aspect, Mr. Ledeen’s analysis needs a little sorting out. Iran, Venezuela, and the FARC countries are not exactly pro-Brotherhood. Ed Snowden was shopping his asylum across FARC Land, remember? If anything, they’re pro-Russia. It seems that the one time truce between cartels, which had the FARC/Russian bloc working alongside the Islamists and ISI is breaking down over the Syrian turf war. In Syria, split it into two camps: AQIM vs. PKK. That’s the deal – see here.

Behind the facade of Islamiism, Naziism, Pan-Arab Nationalism… whatever the cause of the day… is the boss: Dawood Ibrahim, who has Pakistan’s ISI bought and paid for, serving as a bodyguard, international negotiator, and enforcer for his vast underworld enterprise.

In a nutshell, the Cold War picked up where it left off, except that this time around the United States has chosen as its chief ally not Western Europe, but the Muslim Brotherhood… a Nazi party in all but name whose foot soldiers are involved deeply in the narcotics trade. On one side Aleksandr Dugin, a Russian Christian fundamentalist who mentors Putin and Medvedev; and on the other Obama, a supporter of the Ikhwan’s intentions.

Where does this leave the normal person? It’s recalls the position of East Germany, caught between Nazism and Communism – two horrible choices that really weren’t that different at the end of the day. Still, one must consider that it is the Brotherhood who is brandishing the sword of the conqueror, not Russia. If there’s one group chiefly responsible upsetting global order, it’s the Brotherhood and their puppet master, Dawood Ibrahim.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The straight dope... http://nyyrc.com/blog/

Mr. Ledeen is mostly correct. I also appreciate his use of the word “idiot,” because the people who should know better apparently don’t. Obama really has sparked a war by destabilizing the Middle East, and bungling the fight against organized crime.

Here’s a run down of the countries involved in this war against narco-caliphate:

The Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated Islamist organizations are engaged in a global war against secular rule and democracy. Does the media ever come out and say this? No. Does the Obama administration ever talk about this? No. What gives?

In Turkey, secularists protests raged in Taksim Square against the rule of Muslim Brotherhood Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan. Erdogan has imprisoned Kemalist (i.e. secularist) political opposition and military leaders, on charges arising from a series of show trials known over an alleged conspiracy known as Ergenekon. Erdogan cracked down on these protests violently. Erdogan, of course, is Obama’s close friend.
http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/06/04/obama_erdogan_turkey_protests_friends

In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi was constitutionally recalled by voters after a short rule that produced no economic growth and was marked by violence against Christians and Jews. Right now, Egyptian secularists, especially Christians and moderate Muslims, are waging a war in the streets against armed bands of Ikhwani partisans.

Bangladesh is descending into utter chaos following sentencing of Jamaat-e-Islami leader, the local Muslim Brotherhood party in February. Abdul Quader Mollah was convicted of rape and mass murder on charges from 1965. The country, like many others, is divided between supporters of democracy and supporters of Sharia.

In Kashmir, once again, Indian and Pakistani forces are exchanging fire. Pakistan’s mendacious Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, which harbored Osama bin Laden, is at the heart of much the global Islamist revolution. For decades, the ISI has provided money and arms to Muslim Brotherhood insurgencies around the globe. The ISI also provides cover for underworld drug lord Dawood Ibrahim, the World’s #3 most wanted man.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Dawood-protected-by-ISI-moves-under-its-cover-claims-Tunda-Delhi-police-sources/Article1-1109417.aspx

In Syria, a broad coalition of Muslims, including Alawis and Shiites, Christians, and Kurds are battling Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda mujahedeen who would overthrow Bashar Assad and install a Sharia-based, totalitarian state.

In Libya, the governing (Muslim Brotherhood) Justice and Construction Party offices were under siege by protestors following the assassination of an anti-Brotherhood political activist as he left a mosque. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23477992

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is destabilizing North Africa, including Mali, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. AQIM is little more than smuggling ring who brings goods from western Africa north to the Mediterranean, including drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Many AQIM employees fighters claim that it’s simply a good way to earn a living. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17308138

In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three states to the north of the country. Boko Haram, aka Congregation and People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad, is waging war on the Nigerian government to institute Sharia across the religiously diverse country.

In Afghanistan, Karzai doesn't trust Obama and is fending off an advance from the Taliban. Apparently, now the US negotiates with the Taliban

***

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm pretty sure this is the reason that the Christian God designed incendiary and concussion bombs.
I have a personal liking of the MOAB.....sucks the oxygen out of their lungs.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations."

Above is the official credo of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). They are, in their own words, a jihadist, terrorist organization.

Most would agree that the first duty of any government is the physical protection of the citizenry. During the MB backed Morsi presidency, the Coptic Christians were attacked periodically by murderous, salafist mobs. As they died and their churches and businesses burned, all reports conformed that the security forces didn't intervene or lift a finger to to save lives and property. Further, not a single arrest was ever made.

The Morsi government was, therefore, guilty of high crimes, and at that moment lost their moral right to govern by any reasonable metric. The government was complicit in murder, and should pay the full price through a trial and punishment.

The Syrian civil war has devolved into a tribal/religious conflict (the Majority Sunnis vs the Syrian Alawites and the Iranian/Hezbollah Shi'ites).

The "moderate" Syrian Liberation Army who we may yet send weapons to, is not a militia, but rather an umbrella organization composed of many militias. Commander Idris freely admits that he allows any militia into the tent which wishes to enter, including the Islamists. This is because the more men he can claim he has in his organization, the more Western largess he can reasonably ask for.
The reason the various Isalmist militias wish to join is simply because they want to get some of the goodies. Any Western weapons sent will inevitably end up in the hands of al Qu'eda related groups, as they are now not only in the vanguard of the revolution, but represent the vast majority of the foot soldiers.

www.TheCamelsHumpBlog.com
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
You say we are in a war with both radical leftists and radical islamicists, and say our leadership, obama, is now losing that war. But what you are forgetting is obama likes both radical leftists and radical islamicists more than he likes the US, which he wants to fundamentally transform. So its no surprise that all of obamas actions are helping our enemies so far, since obama is on their side. Obama is not losing the war he is fighting, since he is on the side of our enemies. Instead the US is losing the war because we dont yet realize that our own president is fighting on the enemies side.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gee it is not that hard, Muslims, we are at war with all muslims everywhere.---duh

It is nice to have a muslim president who hates America and hates white people.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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