Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #862 9/11, The Muslim Brotherhood and the Earth Island Boogie, Part 1

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by late spring of 2015. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more) con­tains FTR #850.  

WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE.

You can sub­scribe to e‑mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE

You can sub­scribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can sub­scribe to the com­ments made on pro­grams and posts–an excel­lent source of infor­ma­tion in, and of, itself HERE.

This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment

ISIS recruits pledg­ing alle­giance

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram under­scores key aspects of the high­ly com­plex dynam­ics sur­round­ing the 9/11 attacks and sub­se­quent events.

What is miss­ing in dis­cus­sion of the attacks and sub­se­quent events is analy­sis of the rela­tion­ship between the Broth­er­hood’s Islam­ic fas­cism and the ter­ror­ist groups that occu­py the headlines–Al Qae­da and ISIS, Hamas, Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad and Chechen ter­ror­ists.

Beyond that, the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic doc­trine of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the appar­ent use of its knock­off ter­ror­ist groups as proxy war­riors by ele­ments of West­ern and Sau­di intel­li­gence are as fun­da­men­tal to a true under­stand­ing of the phe­nom­e­non and they are absent from the vast bulk of media dis­cus­sion.

Broth­er­hood off­shoots have proved par­tic­u­lar­ly valu­able as proxy war­riors in petro­le­um and min­er­al-rich areas of the Earth Island.

Very, very trag­i­cal­ly, the world has cho­sen to ignore the fun­da­men­tal­ly impor­tant Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002, which revealed pro­found links between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, the Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute of Grover Norquist and the fund­ing appa­ra­tus sup­ply­ing Al Qae­da and Hamas with liq­uid­i­ty.

The con­tin­ued blood­shed is part of the price peo­ple are pay­ing for that dead­ly fail­ure.

It might be dif­fi­cult for some peo­ple to under­stand this. A dual­i­ty dom­i­nates analy­sis of the dynam­ics of this situation–a dual­i­ty sim­i­lar to one under­ly­ing both the Sec­ond World War and the Cold War. World War II was a very real con­flict, with Amer­i­can ser­vice men and women, as well as those of the oth­er Allied coun­tries, fight­ing against the armies of fas­cism. At the same time, dom­i­nant U.S. and West­ern finan­cial and indus­tri­al inter­ests favored their car­tel part­ners in the Axis nations and the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy they embraced.

Chechens in Ukraine (pho­to cred­it Reuters)

After the offi­cial end of the com­bat of World War II, the U.S. and U.K. incor­po­rat­ed the resid­ua of the Third Reich’s nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment into their own and saw to it that the fas­cist infra­struc­ture in Ger­many, Japan and else­where was main­tained in pow­er, behind a thin facade of democ­ra­cy.

In addi­tion, they sup­port­ed and enlist­ed fas­cists from oth­er coun­tries to assist with the fight against Com­mu­nism. The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was one of those.

The polit­i­cal dual­i­ty we are expe­ri­enc­ing is sim­i­lar to that of World War II–even as Amer­i­can ser­vice per­son­nel and those of oth­er coun­tries are fight­ing a very real war against Islam­ic fas­cism, pow­er­ful cor­po­rate inter­ests are sup­port­ive of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fas­cists and their cor­po­rate phi­los­o­phy.

The broad­cast begins by review­ing the fact that legal advice to the Bin Laden con­struc­tion firm is pro­vid­ed by the Sul­li­van & Cromwell law firm.

Sul­li­van & Cromwell fea­tured Allen and John Fos­ter Dulles as its (arguably) most impor­tant attor­neys.  It does­n’t require a great leap of imag­i­na­tion to see con­ti­nu­ity between that fir­m’s role on behalf of SBG (Sau­di Bin Laden Group), the Dulles broth­ers’ involve­ment with the finan­cial net­works that financed the Third Reich and the fir­m’s efforts on behalf of U.S. finan­cial firms seek­ing to blunt the Trea­sury Depart­men­t’s pro­posed new anti-ter­ror­ism reg­u­la­tions.

Note that Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Paul O’Neill was forced to resign short­ly after the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002.

Next, we note that the pres­ence in Chech­nya of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, Wah­habi and Al Qae­da relat­ed ele­ments is well doc­u­ment­ed. Sau­di Prince Ban­dar (nick­named “Ban­dar Bush”) has been quite frank about Sau­di con­trol of the Chechen fight­ers.

Two dif­fer­ent types of fas­cist cadres are oper­at­ing in tan­dem in Ukraine–in addi­tion to the OUN/B heirs such as the Pravy Sek­tor for­ma­tions, Chechen fight­ers (almost cer­tain­ly allied with some ele­ment of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood) are now fight­ing along­side them and under the Pravy Sek­tor admin­is­tra­tive com­mand.

Hamas Sol­diers Salut­ing (Hamas is the Pales­tin­ian branch of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood)

The Chechen for­ma­tions are described as “broth­ers” of the Islam­ic State. (The Boston Marathon bomb­ing appears to have been blow­back from a covert oper­a­tion back­ing jihadists in the Cau­ca­sus. That “op” has appar­ent­ly been extend­ed to Ukraine.)

Much of the pro­gram focus­es on the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy of the Broth­er­hood. It is this eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy that has endeared it to pow­er­ful cor­po­rate inter­ests in the U.S. and else­where, as well as the GOP.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • Review of the World Bank’s high regard for Ibn Khal­dun, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s eco­nom­ic the­o­reti­cian.
  • Review of “for­mer” CIA offi­cial Gra­ham Fuller’s views on the pos­i­tive val­ue of Islam­ic rad­i­cals.
  • Review of the net­work­ing between promi­nent Amer­i­can polit­i­cal and diplo­mat­ic fig­ures and the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.
  • Review of the links between Khairat el-Shater, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Al Qae­da.
1a. The broad­cast reviews some of the “net­work­ing” that has occurred among the house of Saud, the Third Reich, the Dulles broth­ers (prin­ci­pal oper­a­tors in Sul­li­van & Cromwell) and British spy and Nazi agent Jack Phil­by.

. . . . This peri­od, stretch­ing from the end of World War I to just after the end of World War II, was char­ac­ter­ized by three very evil men: Jack Phil­by, a British spy; Ibn Saud, his Arab pro­tégé; and Allen Dulles, an Amer­i­can spy and Wall Street lawyer spe­cial­iz­ing in inter­na­tion­al finance.

The racist nature of their secret war against Zion­ism does not appear in his­to­ry books for a sim­ple rea­son. Jack Phil­by lat­er was paid by West­ern oil com­pa­nies to write pro-Arab pro­pa­gan­da dis­guised as his­to­ry. Ibn Saud is remem­bered as the glo­ri­ous Arab leader who uni­fied Sau­di Ara­bia and led the rich­est oil region in the world into part­ner­ship with the West. Phil­by, if he is remem­bered at all, has the rep­u­ta­tion of a schol­ar­ly British Ara­bist over­shad­owed by his son, Kim, the infa­mous Sovi­et dou­ble agent.

Jack Phil­by has become an obscure foot­note to the his­to­ry of the Cold war. But his lega­cy was far from minor. He is one of the less­er-known but most influ­en­tial per­sons in the mod­ern his­to­ry of the Mid­dle East, the rene­gade British intel­li­gence agent who plucked an obscure ter­ror­ist out of the desert and helped to make him the king of Sau­di Ara­bia. Ibn Saud was very much his cre­ation. Phil­by stole the infor­ma­tion from British intel­li­gence files that engi­neered Sau­di con­trol over the holi­est shrines of the Moslem world.

Jack Phil­by and Ibn Saud betrayed the British Empire and made the Amer­i­can oil com­pa­nies eco­nom­ic mas­ters of the region. The man who helped them do it was Allen Dulles, an Amer­i­can spy who had befriend­ed Phil­by while he was coor­di­nat­ing Amer­i­can intel­li­gence gath­er­ing in the Mid­dle East in the first half of the 1920’s.

Between them, these three men built the very foun­da­tions of the mod­ern Mid­dle East. They were the archi­tects of the oil weapon, the insti­ga­tors of war, the manip­u­la­tors of his­to­ry. More impor­tant, Philby’s and Ibn Saud’s polit­i­cal and philo­soph­i­cal alle­giance was to Nazi Ger­many, while much of Dulles’s prof­its came from the same source. . . .

1a. The broad­cast reviews the fact that legal advice to the Bin Laden con­struc­tion firm is pro­vid­ed by the Sul­li­van & Cromwell law firm.

Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama Bin Laden; Peter L. Bergen; Copy­right 2002 [SC]; ISBN 0–7432-3495–2; p. 49.

“Fur­ther­more, the fam­i­ly com­pa­ny main­tained a satel­lite office in Mary­land dur­ing the 1990’s, employs a pub­lic rela­tions agency in Man­hat­tan, and receives legal advice from the white-shoe law firm Sul­li­van & Cromwell.”

2. Sul­li­van & Cromwell fea­tured Allen and John Fos­ter Dulles as its (arguably) most impor­tant attor­neys.  It does­n’t require a great leap of imag­i­na­tion to see con­ti­nu­ity between that fir­m’s role on behalf of SBG (Sau­di Bin Laden Group), the Dulles broth­ers’ involve­ment with the finan­cial net­works that financed the Third Reich and the fir­m’s efforts on behalf of U.S. finan­cial firms seek­ing to blunt the Trea­sury Depart­men­t’s pro­posed new anti-ter­ror­ism reg­u­la­tions.

Note that Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Paul O’Neill was forced to resign short­ly after the arti­cle excerpt­ed here was pub­lished.

“Finance Sec­tor Hits at Moves to Curb Ter­ror Funds” by Edward Alden; Finan­cial Times; 7/3/2002; p. 2.

“The U.S. finan­cial ser­vices indus­try has launched its first seri­ous chal­lenge to the slew of new reg­u­la­tions from Wash­ing­ton aimed at staunch­ing the flow of funds to ter­ror­ist groups.”

3. “The con­cerns, spelled out this week by 11 indus­try trade groups rep­re­sent­ing near­ly every major U.S. finan­cial insti­tu­tion, cast seri­ous doubt on the U.S. admin­is­tra­tion’s plans to imple­ment the most impor­tant of those reg­u­la­tions by a July 23 dead­line.”

(Idem.)

4. “They could also mark the begin­ning of a split between the gov­ern­ment and indus­try over just how much new reg­u­la­tion in need­ed to dis­cour­age financ­ing of ter­ror­ist groups.”

(Idem.)

5. “The Trea­sury depart­ment wants all banks and oth­er finan­cial groups to set up elab­o­rate schemes to mon­i­tor cor­re­spon­dent and pri­vate bank­ing accounts opened in the U.s. by for­eign banks or indi­vid­u­als.  These are thought to be a main con­duit for dirty mon­ey flow­ing into the U.S. finan­cial sys­tem.”

(Idem.)

6. “The rules could also seri­ous­ly dis­rupt estab­lished finan­cial rela­tion­ships, the let­ter warned.  In the most extreme instances, finan­cial insti­tu­tions from a hand­ful of coun­tries such as Rus­sia, the Philip­pines and Egypt could be barred from deal­ing with U.S. banks unless they make avail­able data on all their cus­tomers world­wide.”

(Idem.)

7. H. Rod­gin Cohen, a lawyer with Sul­li­van & Cromwell, who led the effort on behalf of the 11 groups, said the Trea­sury’s def­i­n­i­tion of risky cor­re­spon­dent accounts was ‘so broad that they pick up basi­cal­ly all rela­tion­ships between U.S. finan­cial insti­tu­tions and for­eign insti­tu­tions and for­eign finan­cial insti­tu­tions.”

(Idem.)

8. The broad­cast delin­eates Labaviere’s alle­ga­tions con­cern­ing the pro­found rela­tion­ship between the Saud­is, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence and the Bin Laden orga­ni­za­tion.

Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; pp. 14–5.

. . . . Many times over, Amer­i­can, Euro­pean and Arab diplo­mats and pub­lic offi­cials advised me to fol­low the trail of ‘the dol­lars of ter­ror.’ . . Every time, I was brought back to both the offi­cial and the secret struc­tures of Sau­di finance. Every time, I stum­bled on the fra­ter­ni­ty of the Mus­lim Broth­ers. . .Where does the mon­ey for this dan­ger­ous pros­e­lytism come from? . . . Sau­di Ara­bia and oth­er oil monar­chies allied with the Unit­ed States. The great­est world pow­er is ful­ly aware of this devel­op­ment. Indeed, its infor­ma­tion [intel­li­gence] agen­cies have encour­aged it . . . . The CIA and its Sau­di and Pak­istani homo­logues con­tin­ue [as of 1999] to spon­sor Islamism. . . .

9. High­light­ing the com­par­isons between the Brotherhood’s pro­gram and those of Mus­soli­ni and Hitler, the broad­cast con­tin­ues:

Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; p. 127.

. . . . Tak­ing Italy’s choic­es under Mus­soli­ni for inspi­ra­tion, the eco­nom­ic pro­gram set three pri­or­i­ties . . . The social pol­i­cy fore­saw a new law on labor, found­ed on cor­po­ra­tions. This eco­nom­ic pro­gram would more direct­ly reveal its rela­tion­ship to total­i­tar­i­an ide­olo­gies a few years lat­er, with the works of Mohamed Ghaz­a­li . . . . Mohamed Ghaz­a­li rec­om­mend­ed ‘an eco­nom­ic reg­i­men sim­i­lar to that which exist­ed in Nazi Ger­many and fas­cist Italy.’ . . . The moral code is also an impor­tant com­po­nent in this pro­gram, which is intend­ed to cre­ate the ‘new Mus­lim man.’ . . . The notion of the equal­i­ty of the sex­es is inher­ent­ly negat­ed by the con­cept of the suprema­cy of male social respon­si­bil­i­ties. . .the ‘nat­ur­al’ place of the woman is in the home. . . .

  10. About the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s eco­nom­ic doc­trine:

“Islam in Office” by Stephen Glain; Newsweek; 7/3–10/2006.

Judeo-Chris­t­ian scrip­ture offers lit­tle eco­nomic instruc­tion. The Book of Deuteron­omy, for exam­ple, is loaded with edicts on how the faith­ful should pray, eat, bequeath, keep the holy fes­ti­vals and treat slaves and spous­es, but it is silent on trade and com­merce. In Matthew, when Christ admon­ishes his fol­low­ers to ‘give to the emper­or the things that are the emperor’s,’ he is effec­tively con­ced­ing fis­cal and mon­e­tary author­ity to pagan Rome. Islam is dif­fer­ent. The prophet Muhammad—himself a trader—preached mer­chant hon­or, the only reg­u­la­tion that the bor­der­less Lev­an­tine mar­ket knew. . . .

. . . In Mus­lim litur­gy, the deals cut in the souk become a metaphor for the con­tract between God and the faith­ful. And the busi­ness mod­el Muham­mad pre­scribed, accord­ing to Mus­lim schol­ars and econ­o­mists, is very much in the lais­sez-faire tra­di­tion lat­er embraced by the West. Prices were to be set by God alone—anticipating by more than a mil­len­nium Adam Smith’s ref­er­ence to the ‘invis­i­ble hand’ of mar­ket-based pric­ing. Mer­chants were not to cut deals out­side the souk, an ear­ly attempt to thwart insid­er trad­ing. . . . In the days of the caliphate, Islam devel­oped the most sophis­ti­cated mon­e­tary sys­tem the world had yet known. Today, some econ­o­mists cite Islam­ic bank­ing as fur­ther evi­dence of an intrin­sic Islam­ic prag­ma­tism. Though still guid­ed by a Qur’anic ban on riba, or inter­est, Islam­ic bank­ing has adapt­ed to the needs of a boom­ing oil region for liq­uid­ity. In recent years, some 500 Islam­ic banks and invest­ment firms hold­ing $2 tril­lion in assets have emerged in the Gulf States, with more in Islam­ic com­mu­ni­ties of the West.

British Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer Gor­don Brown wants to make Lon­don a glob­al cen­ter for Islam­ic finance—and elic­its no howl of protest from fun­da­men­tal­ists. How Islamists might run a cen­tral bank is more prob­lem­atic: schol­ars say they would manip­u­late cur­rency reserves, not inter­est rates.

The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood hails 14th cen­tury philoso­pher Ibn Khal­dun as its eco­nomic guide. Antic­i­pat­ing sup­ply-side eco­nom­ics, Khal­dun argued that cut­ting tax­es rais­es pro­duc­tion and tax rev­enues, and that state con­trol should be lim­ited to pro­vid­ing water, fire and free graz­ing land, the util­i­ties of the ancient world. The World Bank has called Ibn Khal­dun the first advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion. [Empha­sis added.] His found­ing influ­ence is a sign of mod­er­a­tion. If Islamists in pow­er ever do clash with the West, it won’t be over com­merce. . . .

11. In addi­tion to the appar­ent use of Mus­lim Brotherhood/Islamist ele­ments as proxy war­riors against Rus­sia and Chi­na, the Broth­er­hood’s cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ics are beloved to Gra­ham Fuller, as well as cor­po­rate ele­ments cdham­pi­oned by Grover Norquist.

“Chech­nyan Pow­er” by Mark Ames; nsfwcorp.com; 6/5/2013.

. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jiha­di form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-eco­nom­ic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon ene­my to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller.

Accord­ing to jour­nal­ist Robert Drey­fuss’ book “Devil’s Game,” Fuller explained his attrac­tion to rad­i­cal Islam in neoliberal/libertarian terms:

“There is no main­stream Islam­ic organization...with rad­i­cal social views,” he wrote.Clas­si­cal Islam­ic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully object­ed to social­ism and communism....Islam has nev­er had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is uneven­ly dis­trib­uted.” . . . .

12. Fuller has long been an advo­cate of a “turn to the Broth­er­hood.”

“In Search of Friends Among the Foes: U.S. Hopes to Work with Diverse Group” by John Mintz and Dou­glas Farah; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 9/11/2004; p. A01.

. . . Some fed­er­al agents wor­ry that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has dan­ger­ous links to ter­ror­ism. But some U.S. diplo­mats and intel­li­gence offi­cials believe its influ­ence offers an oppor­tu­ni­ty for polit­i­cal engage­ment that could help iso­late vio­lent jihadists. ‘It is the pre­em­i­nent move­ment in the Mus­lim world,’ said Gra­ham E. Fuller, a for­mer CIA offi­cial spe­cial­iz­ing in the Mid­dle East. ‘It’s some­thing we can work with.’ Demo­niz­ing the Broth­er­hood ‘would be fool­hardy in the extreme’ he warned.” . . .

13. More about the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fol­lows. Note that Khairat el-Shater was alleged by Egypt­ian intel­li­gence to have been run­ning Mohamed Mor­si, in effect. (We cov­ered this in FTR #787.) In turn, he was report­ed to be serv­ing as a liai­son between Mor­si and Mohamed Zawahiri, the broth­er of Al-Qae­da leader Ayman Zawahiri. Shater was also net­worked with: Anne Pat­ter­son, U.S. ambas­sador to Egypt, GOP Sen­a­tor John McCain and GOP Sen­a­tor Lind­say Gra­ham. In turn, Shater was alleged to have trans­ferred $50 mil­lion from the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to Al-Qae­da at the time that he was net­work­ing with the Amer­i­cans and Mor­si. Hey, what’s $50 mil­lion between friends?

“The GOP Broth­er­hood of Egypt” by Avi Ash­er-Schapiro; Salon.com; 1/25/2012.

While West­ern alarmists often depict Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as a shad­owy orga­ni­za­tion with ter­ror­ist ties, the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers.

The Broth­er­hood, which did not ini­tial­ly sup­port the rev­o­lu­tion that began a year ago, reaped its ben­e­fits, cap­tur­ing near­ly half the seats in the new par­lia­ment, which was seat­ed this week, and vault­ing its top lead­ers into posi­tions of pow­er.

Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat Al-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da.

At Al-Shater’s lux­u­ry fur­ni­ture out­let Istak­bal, a new couch costs about 6,000 Egypt­ian pounds, about $1,000 in U.S. cur­ren­cy. In a coun­try where 40 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lives on less than $2 a day, Istakbal’s clien­tele is large­ly lim­it­ed to Egypt’s upper class­es.

Although the Broth­ers do draw sig­nif­i­cant sup­port from Egypt’s poor and work­ing class, “the Broth­er­hood is a firm­ly upper-mid­dle-class orga­ni­za­tion in its lead­er­ship,” says Sha­di Hamid, a lead­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood expert at the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion in Wash­ing­ton.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, these well-to-do Egyp­tians are eager to safe­guard their eco­nom­ic posi­tion in the post-Mubarak Egypt. Despite ris­ing eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty and pover­ty, the Broth­er­hood does not back rad­i­cal changes in Egypt’s econ­o­my.

The FJP’s eco­nom­ic plat­form is a tame doc­u­ment, rife with promis­es to root out cor­rup­tion and tweak Egypt’s tax and sub­si­dies sys­tems, with occa­sion­al allu­sions to an unspe­cif­ic com­mit­ment to “social jus­tice.” The plat­form prais­es the mech­a­nisms of the free mar­ket and promis­es that the par­ty will work for “bal­anced, sus­tain­able and com­pre­hen­sive eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.” It is a pro­gram that any Euro­pean con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty could get behind. . . .

14. An arti­cle touch­es on Russ­ian charges that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Al Qae­da-relat­ed ele­ments are involved with the Chechen rebels. The arti­cle is patron­iz­ing and dis­mis­sive in tone, despite the fact that the pres­ence in Chech­nya of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, Wah­habi and Al Qae­da relat­ed ele­ments is well doc­u­ment­ed.

Note that Prince Ban­dar (nick­named “Ban­dar Bush”) has been quite frank about Sau­di con­trol of the Chechen fight­ers.

 “Rus­sia Recasts Bog in Cau­ca­sus as War on Ter­ror” by Steven Lee Myers; The New York Times; 10/5/2002; p. A1.

Three years after Russ­ian forces poured into Chech­nya for the sec­ond time, the war grinds on, but Russia’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the fight with­out end has changed. No longer are 85,000 Russ­ian troops and police offi­cers sim­ply engaged in crush­ing a bat­tle for inde­pen­dence; instead, Chech­nya has become Russia’s war on ter­ror. Using the ratio­nale and some­times the rhetoric of the Bush administration’s antiter­ror­ism cam­paign, com­man­ders here said this week that the Chechen war is financed, armed and increas­ing­ly fought by Islam­ic mil­i­tants from abroad. The shift explains Russia’s roil­ing ten­sions with Geor­gia the for­mer Sovi­et repub­lic bor­der­ing Chech­nya that pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin has accused of shel­ter­ing what he calls Chechen and inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ists. . . .

. . . .The accu­sa­tions against Georgia–like the accu­sa­tions against the Chechens are spon­sored by Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and oth­er for­eign fighters—appear root­ed in Russia’s frus­tra­tion and a desire to exter­nal blame for the con­tin­ued fight­ing. [Those accu­sa­tions appear to be based in con­sid­er­able mea­sure in fact–D.E.] . . .

15. FTR#’s 330, 334, and 337 describe [Sau­di intel­li­gence chief] Prince Turki’s res­ig­na­tion short­ly before the 9/11 attacks. In addi­tion, FTR#343, among oth­er pro­grams, dis­cuss­es the alle­ga­tion that Tur­ki “ran” Osama Bin Laden. An intrigu­ing (and detailed) piece of schol­ar­ship recent­ly linked Tur­ki, the Sau­di Roy­al fam­i­ly, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Youssef Nada (Al Taqwa’s founder.) In turn, the broad­cast delin­eates these ele­ments’ activ­i­ties vis a vis the Chechen rebels.

“The Pol­i­tics of Three—Pakistan, Sau­di Ara­bia, Israel” by Paul W. Rasche; Stu­di­en von Zeit­fra­gen; 35. Jahrgang Inter­ne­tAus­gabe 2001; p. 6; accessed at www.studien-von-zeit…bal/Coalition_Risks/coalition_risks.html.

The pres­i­dent of the Al Taqwa Bank Group is Youssef Mustapha Nada, nat­u­ral­ized Ital­ian, and a mem­ber of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Jamaa-al-Islamiya, which is direct­ly allied with Al Qae­da through Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, said by some intel­li­gence sources to be the brains behind bin Laden. When the Bahamas closed Al Taqwa Bank Ltd. ear­ly this year, Swiss author­i­ties required a name change in Al Taqwa Bank, which then became reg­is­tered in Switzer­land as Nada Man­age­ment Orga­ni­za­tion SA. It is the same Al Taqwa Bank. . . .

16. Nada’s rela­tion­ship with the Broth­er­hood, the Saud­is and Islamist finance is high­light­ed in the fol­low­ing pas­sage.

In 1970, Youssef Nada moved to Sau­di Ara­bia and, with help from the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, estab­lished con­tact with mem­bers of the Sau­di Roy­al fam­i­ly, and found­ed a con­struc­tion com­pa­ny in Riyadh, much the same as the Bin Laden fam­i­ly. He remained active in Riyadh, and soon found­ed the first Islam­ic bank in Egypt, the Faisal Bank.

(Idem.)

17. Review­ing infor­ma­tion first pre­sent­ed in FTR#343, the broad­cast under­scores the rela­tion­ship between for­mer Sau­di intel­li­gence chief Prince Tur­ki, Bin Laden, Nada and the Faisal Islam­ic Bank.

The Faisal Islam­ic Bank of Sau­di Ara­bia is the head bank of a num­ber of affil­i­at­ed Islam­ic Banks under that name across the Islam­ic world from Egypt to Pak­istan to the Emi­rates and Malaysia. The head of Faisal Islam­ic Bank of Sau­di Ara­bia is for­mer Sau­di Intel­li­gence Chief, Tur­ki al-Faisal. Faisal Islam­ic Bank is direct­ly involved in run­ning accounts for bin Laden and his asso­ciates, and has been named by Lux­em­bourg bank­ing author­i­ties in this regard.

(Ibid.; p. 7.)

18. The nexus out­lined above is inti­mate­ly involved with the Al Hara­main reli­gious char­i­ty, alleged­ly used to chan­nel funds to the Chechen rebels.

In Sudan, Osama bin Laden and Al Qai­da have been named as prin­ci­pals in the Shamal bank in the 1990’s. The bank trans­ferred the funds for the US Embassy bomb­ings in East Africa in 1998, accord­ing to tri­al tes­ti­mo­ny in New York. A 15% share in al Shamal is held by wealthy Sau­di financier, Saleh Abdul­lah Kamel of the Dal­lah al Bara­ka Group, which owns the Jed­dah al Bara­ka bank. The oth­er non-Sudanese share­hold­er of the Khar­toum al Shamal bank is Faisal Islam­ic Bank. Russ­ian FSB intel­li­gence has charged that al Bara­ka Bank was used by a Sau­di reli­gious char­i­ty, Al Hara­main, to fun­nel funds to Islam­ic ter­ror­ists tied to al Qai­da in Chech­nya.

(Idem.)

19. Two dif­fer­ent types of fas­cist cadres are oper­at­ing in tan­dem in Ukraine–in addi­tion to the OUN/B heirs such as the Pravy Sek­tor for­ma­tions, Chechen fight­ers (almost cer­tain­ly allied with some ele­ment of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood) are now fight­ing along­side them and under the Pravy Sek­tor admin­is­tra­tive com­mand.

The Chechen for­ma­tions are described as “broth­ers” of the Islam­ic State.

The Boston Marathon bomb­ing appears to have been blow­back from a covert oper­a­tion back­ing jihadists in the Cau­ca­sus.

“Ukraine Merges Nazis and Islamists” by Robert Par­ry; Con­sor­tium News; 7/7/2015.

In a curi­ous­ly upbeat account, The New York Times reports that Islam­ic mil­i­tants have joined with Ukraine’s far-right and neo-Nazi bat­tal­ions to fight eth­nic Russ­ian rebels in east­ern Ukraine. It appears that no com­bi­na­tion of vio­lent extrem­ists is too wretched to cel­e­brate as long as they’re killing Russ-kies.

The arti­cle by Andrew E. Kramer reports that there are now three Islam­ic bat­tal­ions “deployed to the hottest zones,” such as around the port city of Mar­i­upol. One of the bat­tal­ions is head­ed by a for­mer Chechen war­lord who goes by the name “Mus­lim,” Kramer wrote, adding:

“The Chechen com­mands the Sheikh Mansur group, named for an 18th-cen­tu­ry Chechen resis­tance fig­ure. It is sub­or­di­nate to the nation­al­ist Right Sec­tor, a Ukrain­ian mili­tia. … Right Sec­tor … formed dur­ing last year’s street protests in Kiev from a half-dozen fringe Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist groups like White Ham­mer and the Tri­dent of Stepan Ban­dera.

“Anoth­er, the Azov group, is open­ly neo-Nazi, using the ‘Wolf’s Hook’ sym­bol asso­ci­at­ed with the [Nazi] SS. With­out address­ing the issue of the Nazi sym­bol, the Chechen said he got along well with the nation­al­ists because, like him, they loved their home­land and hat­ed the Rus­sians.”

As casu­al­ly as Kramer acknowl­edges the key front-line role of neo-Nazis and white suprema­cists fight­ing for the U.S.-backed Kiev regime, his arti­cle does mark an aber­ra­tion for the Times and the rest of the main­stream U.S. news media, which usu­al­ly dis­miss any men­tion of this Nazi taint as “Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da.” . . .

. . . . Now, the Kiev regime has added to those “forces of civ­i­liza­tion” — resist­ing the Russ-kie bar­bar­ians — Islam­ic mil­i­tants with ties to ter­ror­ism. Last Sep­tem­ber, Marcin Mamon, a reporter for the Inter­cept, reached a van­guard group of these Islam­ic fight­ers in Ukraine through the help of his “con­tact in Turkey with the Islam­ic State [who] had told me his ‘broth­ers’ were in Ukraine, and I could trust them.”

The new Times arti­cle avoids delv­ing into the ter­ror­ist con­nec­tions of these Islamist fight­ers. . . .

20. We present more about the Chechen/Islamic State fight­ers in Ukraine. Note that, as dis­cussed in FTR #830, the Islam­ic State appears to be anoth­er branch of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Note, also, that Geor­gia also was har­bor­ing Islamist fight­ers cam­paign­ing against Rus­sia. We high­light­ed this in FTR #710.

The Dai­ly Beast has a new piece on the Chechen Jihadists fight­ing in Ukraine after fight­ing for ISIS and how, with talk of mak­ing Right Sec­tor part of the SBU, there’s grow­ing spec­u­la­tion that a Chechen ‘vol­un­teer bat­tal­ion’ is just a mat­ter of time:

“Chechen Jihadists Join Ukraine’s Fight­ers” by Anna Nemtso­va  ; The Dai­ly Beast; 9/04/2015.

Chechen Jihadis Leave Syr­ia, Join the Fight in Ukraine

A bat­tal­ion of fight­ers from the Cau­ca­sus is deployed on Kiev’s side in the Ukraine war. But their pres­ence may do more harm than good.

Just an hour’s dri­ve from this city under siege, at an old resort on the Azov Sea that’s now a mil­i­tary base, mil­i­tants from Chechnya—veterans of the jihad in their own lands and, more recent­ly, in Syr­ia—now serve in what’s called the Sheikh Mansur Bat­tal­ion. Some of them say they have trained, at least, in the Mid­dle East with fight­ers for the so-called Islam­ic State, or ISIS.

Among the irreg­u­lar forces who’ve enlist­ed in the fight against the Russ­ian-backed sep­a­ratists in the Don­bas region of east­ern Ukraine, few are more con­tro­ver­sial or more dan­ger­ous to the cred­i­bil­ity of the cause they say they want to serve. Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin would love to por­tray the fight­ers he sup­ports as cru­saders against wild-eyed jihadists rather than the gov­ern­ment in Ukraine that wants to inte­grate the coun­try more close­ly with West­ern Europe.

Yet many Ukrain­ian patri­ots, des­per­ate to gain an edge in the fight against the Russ­ian-backed forces, are will­ing to accept the Chechen mil­i­tants on their side.

Over the past year, dozens of Chechen fight­ers have come across Ukraine’s bor­der, some legal­ly, some ille­gally, and con­nected in Don­bas with the Right Sec­tor, a far-right-wing mili­tia. The two groups, with two bat­tal­ions, have lit­tle in com­mon, but they share an ene­my and they share this base.

The Dai­ly Beast spoke with the Chechen mil­i­tants about their pos­si­ble sup­port for the Islam­ic State and its affil­i­ate in the North­ern Cau­ca­sus region of Rus­sia, which is now called the Islam­ic State Cau­ca­sus Emi­rate and is labeled a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion by both Rus­sia and the Unit­ed States.

The Chechen fight­ers said they were moti­vated by a chance to fight in Ukraine against the Rus­sians, whom they called “occu­piers of our coun­try, Ichk­eriya,” anoth­er term for Chech­nya.

Indeed, they were upset that Ukrain­ian author­i­ties did not allow more Chechen mil­i­tants to move to Ukraine from the Mid­dle East and the moun­tains of the Cau­ca­sus. The Sheikh Mansur Bat­tal­ion, found­ed in Ukraine in Octo­ber 2014, “needs re-enforce­ment,” they said.

The man the Chechens defer to as their “emir,” or leader, is called “Mus­lim,” a com­mon fore­name in the Cau­ca­sus. He talked about how he per­son­ally crossed the Ukrain­ian bor­der last year: “It took me two days to walk across Ukraine’s bor­der, and the Ukrain­ian bor­der con­trol shot at me,” he said. He lives on this mil­i­tary base here open­ly enough but is frus­trated that more of his recruits can’t get through. “Three of our guys came here from Syr­ia, 15 more are wait­ing in Turkey,” he told The Dai­ly Beast. “They want to take my path, join our bat­tal­ion here right now, but the Ukrain­ian bor­der patrol is not let­ting them in.”

Mus­lim pulled out a piece of paper with a name of anoth­er Chechen head­ing to join the bat­tal­ion. The hand­writ­ten note said that Amayev Khavadzhi was detained on Sep­tem­ber 4, 2014, in Greece and now could be deport­ed to Rus­sia. (Khayadzhi’s lawyer in Greece told The Dai­ly Beast on the phone that there was a chance that his defen­dant would be trans­ferred to his fam­ily in France instead.)

“Two more of our friends have been detained, and are threat­ened with depor­ta­tion to Rus­sia, where they get locked up for life or Kady­rov kills them,” Mus­lim told The Dai­ly Beast, refer­ring to the pro-Putin strong­man of Chech­nya, Ramzan Kady­rov.

The com­man­der point­ed at a young beard­ed mil­i­tant next to him: “Mansur came here from Syr­ia,” Mus­lim said. “He used ISIS as a train­ing base to improve his fight­ing skills.” Mansur stretched out his right hand, which was dis­fig­ured, he said, by a bul­let wound. Two more bul­lets were still stuck in his back, he said.

“No pho­tographs,” Mansur shook his head when a jour­nal­ist tried to take his pic­ture. Not even of his hand, not even from the back: “My reli­gion does not allow that.”

...

Mansur said he did not have to run across the bor­der under a hail of of bul­lets like Mus­lim. “We man­aged to reach an agree­ment with the Ukraini­ans,” he said.

The arrival of pro-Ukrain­ian Chechen fight­ers from abroad helped relieve some of the immi­gra­tion prob­lems of Chechens already liv­ing in Ukraine, the mil­i­tants explained.

Kady­rov had sent some of his Chechens to fight on the Russ­ian side of the con­flict last year, said Mus­lim, and as a result “there was a tem­po­rary dan­ger that Chechen fam­i­lies might be deport­ed from Ukraine… But as soon as we start­ed com­ing here last August, no Chechen in Ukraine had rea­sons to com­plain.”

Were for­mer fight­ers com­ing to Ukraine from Syr­ia because they were dis­ap­pointed (or appalled) by the ide­ol­ogy of ISIS?

“We have been fight­ing against Rus­sia for over 400 years; today they [the Rus­sians] blow up and burn our broth­ers alive, togeth­er with chil­dren, so here in Ukraine we con­tinue to fight our war,” the com­man­der said. Many in Ukraine remem­bered the Chechen war of the mid-1990s as a war for inde­pen­dence, which briefly was giv­en, then tak­en away.

Since then the war in the Cau­ca­sus has mor­phed into ter­ror­ism, killing about 1,000 civil­ians, many of them chil­dren, in a series of ter­ror attacks. And what­ever the com­mon ene­my, that pos­es a seri­ous prob­lem for Kiev if it embraces such fight­ers.

“The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment should be aware that Islam­ic rad­i­cals fight against democ­racy,” says Var­vara Pakhomenko, an expert at the Inter­na­tional Cri­sis Group. “Today they unite with Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists against Rus­sians, tomor­row they will be fight­ing against lib­er­als.”

Pakhomenko says some­thing sim­i­lar hap­pened in Geor­gia in 2012 when the gov­ern­ment there found itself accused of coop­er­a­tion with Islam­ic rad­i­cals from Europe, Chech­nya, and the Pankisi Gorge, an eth­nic Chechen region of Geor­gia.

For inter­na­tional observers cov­er­ing ter­ror­ism in Rus­sia and Cau­ca­sus in the past 15 years, the pres­ence of Islam­ic rad­i­cals in Ukraine sounds “dis­as­trous,” mon­i­tors from the Inter­na­tional Cri­sis Group told The Dai­ly Beast.

But many ordi­nary Ukraini­ans and offi­cials in Mar­i­upol sup­port the idea of retain­ing more Chechen mili­tia fight­ers. “They are fear­less fight­ers, ready to die for us, we love them, any­body who would pro­tect us from death,” said Gali­na Odnorog, a vol­un­teer sup­ply­ing equip­ment, water, food, and oth­er items to bat­tal­ions told The Dai­ly Beast. The pre­vi­ous night Ukrain­ian forces report­ed six dead Ukrain­ian sol­diers and over a dozen wound­ed.

“ISIS, terrorists—anybody is bet­ter than our lame lead­ers,” says local leg­isla­tive coun­cil deputy Alexan­der Yaroshenko. “I feel more com­fort­able around Mus­lim and his guys than with our may­or or gov­er­nor.”

The Right Sec­tor bat­tal­ion that coop­er­ates with the Chechen mil­i­tants is a law unto itself, often out of con­trol, and tend­ing to incor­po­rate any­one it wants into its ranks. In July two peo­ple were killed and eight wound­ed in a gun and grenade bat­tle between police and Right Sec­tor mili­tia in west­ern Ukraine. On Mon­day, Right Sec­tor mil­i­tants trig­gered street bat­tles in the cen­ter of Kiev that left three police­men dead and over 130 wound­ed.

Yet the gov­ern­ment in Kiev has been con­sid­er­ing the trans­fer of the Right Sec­tor into a spe­cial unit of the SBU, Ukraine’s secu­rity ser­vice, which has made many peo­ple won­der whether the Chechen mili­tia will be join­ing the gov­ern­ment units as well. So far, nei­ther the Right Sec­tor bat­tal­ion nor the Chechen bat­tal­ion have been reg­is­tered with offi­cial forces.

In Ukraine, which is los­ing dozens of sol­diers and civil­ians every week, many things could spin out of con­trol but “it would be unimag­in­able to allow for­mer or cur­rent ISIS fight­ers to join any gov­ern­ment-con­trolled or –spon­sored mil­i­tary unit,” says Paul Quinn-Judge, senior advis­er for Inter­na­tional Cri­sis Group in Rus­sia and Ukraine. “It would be polit­i­cally dis­as­trous for the Poroshenko admin­is­tra­tion: No West­ern gov­ern­ment in its right mind would accept this, and it would be an enor­mous pro­pa­ganda gift for the Krem­lin. The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment would be bet­ter served by pub­li­ciz­ing their deci­sions to turn ISIS vets back at the bor­der.”

The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment should be aware that Islam­ic rad­i­cals fight against democ­racy,” says Var­vara Pakhomenko, an expert at the Inter­na­tional Cri­sis Group. “Today they unite with Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists against Rus­sians, tomor­row they will be fight­ing against lib­er­als.”

...
The Right Sec­tor bat­tal­ion that coop­er­ates with the Chechen mil­i­tants is a law unto itself, often out of con­trol, and tend­ing to incor­po­rate any­one it wants into its ranks. In July two peo­ple were killed and eight wound­ed in a gun and grenade bat­tle between police and Right Sec­tor mili­tia in west­ern Ukraine. On Mon­day, Right Sec­tor mil­i­tants trig­gered street bat­tles in the cen­ter of Kiev that left three police­men dead and over 130 wound­ed.

Yet the gov­ern­ment in Kiev has been con­sid­er­ing the trans­fer of the Right Sec­tor into a spe­cial unit of the SBU, Ukraine’s secu­rity ser­vice, which has made many peo­ple won­der whether the Chechen mili­tia will be join­ing the gov­ern­ment units as well. So far, nei­ther the Right Sec­tor bat­tal­ion nor the Chechen bat­tal­ion have been reg­is­tered with offi­cial forces.

21. The pro­gram con­cludes with Robert Par­ry’s obser­va­tions about the dan­gers of pro­mot­ing Sun­ni Islamist fight­ers in Syr­ia. With recent Russ­ian mil­i­tary moves into Syr­ia, we won­der if this is an attempt by the Krem­lin to neu­tral­ize Chechen fight­ers in both the Cau­ca­sus and Ukraine.

We note the use by the West and Sau­di Ara­bia of Sunni/Muslim Broth­er­hood com­bat­ants as proxy war­riors against Rus­sia and Russ­ian sup­port for Shi­ite regimes in Iran and Syr­ia as proxy defens­es against the West­’s com­bat­ants.

One should not mis­take the fact that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy is well regard­ed by the transna­tion­al cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ty. IF ISIS or the Al Qae­da-affil­i­at­ed Al Nus­ra Front come to pow­er in Syr­ia, the flow of refugees will fur­ther desta­bi­lize Europe, giv­ing a boost the neo-fas­cist polit­i­cal par­ties that are mak­ing hay from anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ment. (We dis­cussed this dynam­ic in FTR #830.)

“Mad­ness of Blockad­ing Syr­i­a’s Regime” by Robert Par­ry; Con­sor­tium News; 9/10/2015.

Does the U.S. gov­ern­ment want the Islam­ic State and/or its fel­low-trav­el­ers in Al Qae­da to take over Syr­ia? As far as the State Depart­ment is con­cerned, that seems to be a risk worth tak­ing as it moves to cut off Russia’s sup­ply pipeline to the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-Assad — even as Sun­ni ter­ror­ist groups expand their grip on Syr­i­an ter­ri­to­ry.

It appears that hard­lin­ers with­in the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion have placed the neo­con goal of “regime change” in Syr­ia ahead of the extra­or­di­nary dan­gers that could come from the black flag of Sun­ni ter­ror­ism raised over the cap­i­tal of Dam­as­cus. That would like­ly be accom­pa­nied by the Islam­ic State chop­ping off the heads of Chris­tians, Alaw­ites, Shi­ites and oth­er “heretics” and/or Al Qae­da hav­ing a major Mideast cap­i­tal from which to plot more attacks on the West.

And, as desta­bi­liz­ing as the cur­rent flow of Mid­dle East refugees is to Europe, a vic­to­ry by the Islam­ic State or Al Qaeda’s Nus­ra Front would open the flood gates, send­ing mil­lions of des­per­ate peo­ple pour­ing out of Syr­ia and cre­at­ing a polit­i­cal as well as human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis. At that point, there also would be enor­mous pres­sure on Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma or his suc­ces­sor to mount a full-scale inva­sion of Syr­ia and attempt a bloody occu­pa­tion.

The human and finan­cial costs of this night­mare sce­nario are almost beyond com­pre­hen­sion. The Euro­pean Union – already strained by mass unem­ploy­ment in its south­ern tier — could crack apart, shat­ter­ing one of the pre­mier achieve­ments of the post-World War II era. The Unit­ed States also could under­go a final trans­for­ma­tion from a Repub­lic into a per­ma­nent-war­rior state.

Yet, Offi­cial Wash­ing­ton can’t seem to stop itself. Instead of work­ing with Rus­sia and Shi­ite-ruled Iran to help sta­bi­lize the political/military sit­u­a­tion in Syr­ia, the pun­dit class and the “tough-guy/­gal” politi­cians are unleash­ing tor­rents of insults toward the two coun­tries that would be the West’s nat­ur­al allies in any effort to pre­vent a Sun­ni ter­ror­ist takeover.

Beyond words, there has been action. Over the past week, the State Depart­ment has pres­sured Bul­gar­ia and Greece to bar Russ­ian trans­port flights head­ed to Syr­ia. The U.S. plan seems to be to block­ade the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment and starve it of out­side sup­plies, whether human­i­tar­i­an or mil­i­tary, all the bet­ter to force its col­lapse and open the Dam­as­cus city gates to the Islam­ic State and/or Al Qae­da.

In explain­ing its near­ly inex­plic­a­ble behav­ior, the State Depart­ment even has adopt­ed the sil­ly neo­con talk­ing point which blames Assad and now Rus­sia for cre­at­ing the Islam­ic State, though the blood­thirsty group actu­al­ly orig­i­nat­ed as “Al Qae­da in Iraq” in reac­tion to Pres­i­dent George W. Bush’s inva­sion of Iraq in 2003.

Then, backed by mon­ey and weapons from Sau­di Ara­bia, Qatar and oth­er U.S. “allies,” AQI moved into Syr­ia with the goal of oust­ing Assad’s rel­a­tive­ly sec­u­lar gov­ern­ment. AQI lat­er took the name Islam­ic State (also known by the acronyms ISIS, ISIL or Daesh). Yet, the State Department’s offi­cial posi­tion is that the Islam­ic State is Assad’s and Russia’s fault.

“What we’ve said is that their [the Rus­sians’] con­tin­ued sup­port to the Assad regime has actu­al­ly fos­tered the growth of ISIL inside Syr­ia and made the sit­u­a­tion worse,” State Depart­ment spokesman John Kir­by said on Tues­day. “If they want to be help­ful against ISIL, the way to do it is to stop arm­ing and assist­ing and sup­port­ing Bashar al-Assad.”

Yet, the real­i­ty is that Assad’s mil­i­tary has been the prin­ci­pal bul­wark against both the Islam­ic State and the oth­er dom­i­nant Sun­ni rebel force, Al Qaeda’s affil­i­ate, the Nus­ra Front. So, by mov­ing to shut down Assad’s sup­ply line, the U.S. gov­ern­ment is, in effect, clear­ing the way for an Islam­ic State/Al Qae­da vic­to­ry since the U.S.-trained “mod­er­ate” rebels are large­ly a fic­tion, num­ber­ing in dou­ble dig­its, while the extrem­ists have tens of thou­sands of com­mit­ted fight­ers.

In oth­er words, if the U.S. strat­e­gy suc­ceeds in col­laps­ing Assad’s defens­es, there is real­ly noth­ing to stop the Sun­ni ter­ror­ists from seiz­ing Dam­as­cus and oth­er major cities. Then, U.S. airstrikes on those pop­u­la­tion cen­ters would sure­ly kill many civil­ians and fur­ther rad­i­cal­ize the Sun­nis. To oust the Islam­ic State and/or Al Qae­da would require a full-scale U.S. inva­sion, which might be inevitable but would almost cer­tain­ly fail, much as Bush’s Iraq occu­pa­tion did. . . .

 

 

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR #862 9/11, The Muslim Brotherhood and the Earth Island Boogie, Part 1”

  1. Regard­ing the poten­tial for the ongo­ing Mid­dle East­ern refugee cri­sis to fur­ther fuel the Euro­pean far-right, with Ger­many and France call­ing for refugee quo­ta for EU mem­bers that could force mem­ber states to take in a min­i­mum num­ber of refugees, an obvi­ous ques­tion is raised: Is the refugee cri­sis was going to be con­sid­ered an “extra­or­di­nary event” that would allow nations to tem­po­rary sus­pend the EU’s aus­ter­i­ty-fetish and bud­get con­straints while Europe absorbs hun­dreds of thou­sands of des­per­ate peo­ple to ensure that this vital task does­n’t turn into an end­less source of pro­pa­gan­da for Europe’s xeno­phobes who will be able to claim that the refugees on caus­ing even more aus­ter­i­ty than before? Well, if Berlin gets its way, no, there will be no sus­pen­sion of the aus­ter­i­ty mad­ness and we should all stop ask­ing. Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble finds such pes­ter­ing ques­tions “almost bor­ing”:

    Dow Jones Busi­ness News
    Ger­many’s Schaeu­ble Says Refugee Cri­sis No Excuse for Break­ing EU Bud­get Rules

    By Gabriele Stein­hauser
    Sep­tem­ber 12, 2015, 11:49:00 AM EDT

    LUXEMBOURG–European Union gov­ern­ments should­n’t use the costs of deal­ing with refugees arriv­ing in their coun­tries as an excuse for loos­en­ing the bloc’s bud­get rules, Ger­many’s finance min­is­ter and cen­tral bank pres­i­dent said Sat­ur­day.

    Their com­ments come after EU finance min­is­ters on Fri­day asked the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to ana­lyze whether spend­ing on refugees could be con­sid­ered an “extra­or­di­nary event,” and as such not count toward annu­al deficits.

    Under the EU’s bud­get rules, known as the Sta­bil­i­ty & Growth Pact, gov­ern­ments need to keep their deficits below 3% of gross domes­tic prod­uct and keep their debts at a max­i­mum of 60% of GDP. Gov­ern­ments that fail to meet these goals, or don’t make enough progress toward even­tu­al­ly meet­ing them, risk sanc­tions.

    Ger­man Finance Min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble said attempts to use the refugee cri­sis as an excuse not to meet deficit tar­gets were “almost bor­ing.”

    His oppo­si­tion was echoed by Jens Wei­d­mann, pres­i­dent of the Bun­des­bank. “Using this to drill into the deficit rule would be mis­guid­ed,” he said.

    ...

    Sor­ry every­one.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 12, 2015, 4:57 pm
  2. Ger­many just made a sur­prise move in its refugee poli­cies and sud­den­ly closed its bor­der with Aus­tria. This, in turn, caused Aus­tria to announce it would tough­en its own bor­der con­trols and deploy­ing sol­diers on its bor­der with Hun­gary. And in both cas­es it was a vio­la­tion of the Schen­gen agree­ment. So that was rather omi­nous

    Busi­ness Insid­er
    Ger­many just reversed course with its refugee pol­i­cy, and it caught Aus­tria by sur­prise

    Bar­bara Tasch
    9/14/2015

    To every­one’s sur­prise, Ger­many announced Sun­day night that the coun­try could no longer cope with the unend­ing flow of asy­lum seek­ers com­ing into the coun­try and would rein­state bor­der con­trols with Aus­tria, Reuters reports.

    The move par­tic­u­lar­ly sur­prised Aus­tria, as just last week the two coun­tries had worked togeth­er to freely let refugees enter their coun­tries as tens of thou­sands have been arriv­ing through Hun­gary and oth­er Balkan coun­tries.

    And on Mon­day, Aus­tri­an offi­cials announced that the coun­try would deploy sol­diers to its bor­der with Hun­gary and tough­en their bor­der con­trols.

    The Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed that the Aus­tri­an vice chan­cel­lor, Rein­hold Mit­ter­lehn­er, said at a news con­fer­ence in Vien­na that it was a direct con­se­quence of Ger­many’s deci­sion.

    “If Ger­many does bor­der con­trols, then Aus­tria must also strength­en bor­der con­trols — in the inter­est of the domes­tic pop­u­la­tion — and we are doing this now,” he said.

    Mit­ter­lehn­er also explained that this should be a sig­nal to the refugees that the “dis­or­der­ly cross­ing of the bor­der” could not take place any longer.

    Ger­many and Aus­tri­a’s bor­der con­trols go against the prin­ci­ple of the Schen­gen agree­ment, which guar­an­tees free move­ment of goods and peo­ple among the coun­tries that are part of the zone.

    Accord­ing to an Aus­tri­an police offi­cer who spoke to Reuters, 14,000 refugees arrived in Aus­tria Sun­day, and by mid-morn­ing Mon­day about 7,000 had arrived since mid­night.

    Trains between Ger­many and Aus­tria have been tem­porar­i­ly halt­ed as Munich’s may­or announced the city was “full.” All the refugee cen­ters are filled to capac­i­ty and refugees had to sleep on the streets fol­low­ing the huge amount of peo­ple com­ing in.

    The move comes only a few days after Angela Merkel said there was no legal lim­it to the num­ber of refugees her coun­try would take in, and her vice chan­cel­lor said that Ger­many could take in 500,000 refugees each year for years to come.

    ...

    Well, so long Schen­gen treaty! This is, of course, a tem­po­rary mea­sure. But it’s also a high­ly unusu­al mea­sure and one that rais­es a num­ber of ques­tion, the most obvi­ous ques­tion being, “will Schen­gen sur­vive?”:

    Quartz
    The 30-year-old agree­ment that sym­bol­izes Euro­pean uni­fi­ca­tion is fray­ing at the edges

    Writ­ten by
    Annal­isa Merel­li
    Sep­tem­ber 13, 2015

    The Schen­gen agree­ment is almost syn­ony­mous with the Euro­pean Union itself. The treaty that lets peo­ple trav­el between 26 of the EU’s mem­ber coun­tries with­out show­ing any doc­u­ments is, next to the euro, the sin­gle most vis­i­ble day-to-day man­i­fes­ta­tion of Euro­pean uni­ty in people’s lives. And it’s com­ing under increas­ing strain.

    On Sept. 13, Ger­many start­ed enforc­ing pass­port checks at its bor­der with Aus­tria, say­ing the coun­try couldn’t host any more refugees after see­ing a surge that was expect­ed to reach some 40,000 peo­ple (pay­wall) over the week­end. Trains between Aus­tria and Ger­many were stopped for 12 hours.

    Ger­many is well with­in its rights. As the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion explained in a state­ment, impos­ing bor­der con­trols tem­porar­i­ly is “an excep­tion­al pos­si­bil­i­ty explic­it­ly fore­seen in and reg­u­lat­ed by the Schen­gen Bor­ders Code, in case of a cri­sis sit­u­a­tion.” But events that can be inter­pret­ed as a “cri­sis” are becom­ing more com­mon.

    In the sum­mer of 2015, as the flow of refugees has swollen, var­i­ous coun­tries have threat­ened to sus­pend the Schen­gen treaty. In June, France tem­porar­i­ly did so, impos­ing con­trols at its bor­der with Italy, leav­ing hun­dreds of refugees hop­ing to head north strand­ed. France has done this before, too: In 2011, it blocked trains from Italy car­ry­ing an unusu­al influx of Tunisian immi­grants. There have been claims that this action, by being focused on a par­tic­u­lar group of peo­ple, was ille­gal under Schen­gen (pdf).

    That’s no doubt why, in the wake of the 2011 inci­dent as well as this sum­mer, there have been calls for reforms to Schen­gen that would make it eas­i­er for coun­tries to impose tem­po­rary bor­der con­trols or clo­sures. A poll in July found that majori­ties in sev­er­al west­ern Euro­pean coun­tries want­ed the Schen­gen treaty scrapped. This past weekend’s heart­warm­ing demon­stra­tions of wel­come for refugees across the con­ti­nent like­ly rep­re­sent the minor­i­ty view.

    But even adding only mild restric­tions on Schen­gen could put fur­ther pres­sure on the sys­tem. If one coun­try clamps down on move­ment across its bor­ders, it can increase the strain on oth­ers fur­ther upstream where refugees are arriv­ing, caus­ing them to pan­ic the way Ger­many did this week­end. Thus reform­ing Schen­gen increas­es the risk that the treaty as a whole will unrav­el.

    This is par­tic­u­lar­ly trou­bling in what is shap­ing up as arguably the worst sum­mer ever for the Euro­pean Union. It’s been only a few weeks since a last-minute agree­ment between Greece and its cred­i­tors pre­vent­ed a “Grex­it” from the euro zone. The elec­tion of Jere­my Cor­byn to the head of Britain’s Labour par­ty this week­end could, some think, increase the pres­sure (pay­wall) there for a “Brex­it” from the EU. And nation­al­is­tic, anti-Euro­pean ten­den­cies are emerg­ing in many of the mem­ber states. Could Germany’s tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion of Schen­gen be the begin­ning of the treaty’s death rat­tle?

    “Could Germany’s tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion of Schen­gen be the begin­ning of the treaty’s death rat­tle?”
    That’s going to be an increas­ing­ly rel­e­vant ques­tion until this issue gets resolved. And it’s not at all clear how it’s going to get resolved when, as the arti­cle points out, just a few mild tweaks to the Schen­gen treaty could how a domi­noe effect:

    ...
    But even adding only mild restric­tions on Schen­gen could put fur­ther pres­sure on the sys­tem. If one coun­try clamps down on move­ment across its bor­ders, it can increase the strain on oth­ers fur­ther upstream where refugees are arriv­ing, caus­ing them to pan­ic the way Ger­many did this week­end. Thus reform­ing Schen­gen increas­es the risk that the treaty as a whole will unrav­el.
    ...

    And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in recent years about how the EU and euro­zone func­tions, it’s that rad­i­cal sud­den changes to the sys­tem are very much a pos­si­bil­i­ty. Whether it’s a Fis­cal Com­pact treaty or the new bank­ing union, big changes with major long-term reper­cus­sions can indeed hap­pen when there’s a cri­sis in the new Europe...assuming the dom­i­nant pow­ers want to see those reforms and enough of the sec­ond-tier gov­ern­ments are inter­est­ed in fol­low­ing suit. So if there’s going to be any changes to the Schen­gen treaty it seems like now, when there’s an urgent cri­sis, would be the time we would expect to see those changes.

    At the same time, as the arti­cle below points out, one of the new EU goals is to fig­ure out a sys­tem for redis­trib­ut­ing 160,000 refugees from Greece, Italy, and Hun­gary across the EU, so if there are any Schen­gen treaty changes com­ing up, they’re pre­sum­ably going to most­ly involve new restric­tions in exchange for tak­ing in a refugees because a lot of coun­tries aren’t very hap­py about the “share the refugees” idea

    USA Today
    Ger­man min­is­ter: EU to relo­cate 160K migrants from Greece, Italy, Hun­gary

    Kim Hjelm­gaard and Jane Onyan­ga-Omara,
    3:35 p.m. EDT Sep­tem­ber 14, 2015

    BERLIN — Euro­pean Union nations have “agreed in prin­ci­ple” to relo­cate across the con­ti­nent 160,000 refugees from Italy, Greece and Hun­gary, Ger­man Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Thomas de Maiziere told reporters Mon­day fol­low­ing a meet­ing of EU min­is­ters.

    Mean­while, the Euro­pean Union Coun­cil reached a pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment to redis­trib­ute over the next two years 32,000 refugees from Italy and Greece, pri­ma­ry gate­ways for a flood of migrants pour­ing into Europe.The coun­cil hopes to raise that fig­ure to 40,000 by Decem­ber.

    “The first relo­ca­tions of peo­ple in need of inter­na­tion­al pro­tec­tion can start quick­ly,” Euro­pean Coun­cil pres­i­dent Jean Assel­born said Mon­day.

    The Unit­ed Nations Refugee Agency esti­mates Europe has been flood­ed this year with more than 410,000 refugees and migrants flee­ing war and pover­ty in the Mid­dle East, Africa and Afghanistan.

    The inte­ri­or and jus­tice min­is­ters of the 28-nation EU met in Brus­sels Mon­day as Sig­mar Gabriel, Ger­many’s vice chan­cel­lor, warned that his coun­try is expect­ing more than 1 mil­lion migrants this year, 200,000 high­er that the pre­vi­ous esti­mate.

    The EU is look­ing for mem­ber states to con­tribute mil­i­tary ships and planes for an inter­na­tion­al oper­a­tion in the Mediter­ranean to counter human traf­fick­ing by smug­glers, the Asso­ci­at­ed Press report­ed. If the pro­gram is approved, the ships could seize and divert ves­sels that are not car­ry­ing nation­al flags in inter­na­tion­al waters, the AP said, adding that approval could take sev­er­al weeks.

    The EU wants to reset­tle 160,000 peo­ple across 22 mem­ber states to relieve pres­sure on Greece and Italy, but there is fierce oppo­si­tion to the pro­pos­al from coun­tries in cen­tral Europe, led by Hun­gary. Budapest wants the EU to take a much tougher line on keep­ing the migrants out by secur­ing the bloc’s bor­ders.

    The Unit­ed Nations Refugee Agency has warned that with­out a deal, large num­bers of refugees in Europe will be left in “legal lim­bo,” as EU nations adopt dif­fer­ent rules for tak­ing in an influx of peo­ple on a scale not seen in Europe since the end of World War II.

    The sum­mit comes as train ser­vices resumed Mon­day between Ger­many and Aus­tria after Berlin tem­porar­i­ly rein­tro­duced con­trols on its bor­ders to stem the flow of thou­sands of refugees who are mak­ing their way to Ger­many, which has more read­i­ly accept­ed appli­ca­tions from asy­lum seek­ers.

    Austria’s Chan­cel­lor Wern­er Fay­mann told reporters Mon­day that the army will help at the country’s bor­ders if required, the Aus­tria Press Agency report­ed. Vice Chan­cel­lor Rein­hold Mit­ter­lehn­er added: “If Ger­many car­ries out bor­der con­trols, Aus­tria must put strength­ened bor­der con­trols in place,” accord­ing to Reuters. “We are doing that now.”

    In Hun­gary on Sun­day, police detained 5,809 migrants, break­ing the pre­vi­ous one-day record of 4,330 set Sat­ur­day, the AP said. Because of a fence under con­struc­tion aimed at seal­ing off Hun­gary’s bor­der with Ser­bia, migrants have walked along rail­way tracks. But Hun­gar­i­an author­i­ties unveiled a razor-wire-topped car­go con­tain­er Mon­day that can be used to tem­porar­i­ly close rail­way bor­der gaps, accord­ing to the AP.

    Hun­gar­i­an police moved onto a major rail­way cross­ing point Mon­day near the city of Roszke to stop the foot-traf­fic along the tracks there and hun­dreds of migrants were blocked, AP report­ed.

    ...

    “The EU wants to reset­tle 160,000 peo­ple across 22 mem­ber states to relieve pres­sure on Greece and Italy, but there is fierce oppo­si­tion to the pro­pos­al from coun­tries in cen­tral Europe, led by Hun­gary. Budapest wants the EU to take a much tougher line on keep­ing the migrants out by secur­ing the bloc’s bor­ders.

    So it sounds like the emerg­ing debate or the refugee cri­sis response will involve calls for greater exter­nal EU bor­der con­trols and pos­si­ble new restric­tions on the Schen­gen treaty in exchange for a col­lec­tive refugee response. Whether or not that’s going to involve some sort of col­lec­tive action in secur­ing the EU’s exter­nal bor­ders remains to be seen, but giv­en the costs incurred by coun­tries like Greece and Italy in dra­mat­i­cal­ly increas­ing their bor­der patrols, the ques­tion of whether or not coun­tries will share in the cost of exter­nal EU board­er patrols is prob­a­bly going to come up...a lot:

    Greek Reporter
    Greece in Dan­ger of Hav­ing to Keep Hun­dreds of Thou­sands Refugees

    By Philip Chrysopou­los -
    Sep 14, 2015

    Greece is in dan­ger of hav­ing to acco­mo­date hun­derds of thou­sands of refugees after Ger­many decid­ed to tem­porar­i­ly sus­pend the Schen­gen Treaty.

    The Schen­gen agree­ment guar­an­tees the right of free move­ment across the bor­ders of Euro­pean Union mem­ber states. How­ev­er, on Sun­day Ger­many closed its bor­ders with Aus­tria refus­ing to receive any more refugees. As a result, hun­dreds of thou­sands refugees might end up trapped in Greece and Italy, which are the main entry points to Europe.

    Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel said that, “Greece must take respon­si­bil­i­ty for the pro­tec­tion of the EU’s exter­nal bor­ders, which are cur­rent­ly not secure.” Now Athens is forced to keep more refugees and migrants who are not like­ly to be for­ward­ed to the Euro­pean des­ti­na­tion of their choice

    New Aegean Sea tragedy as 34 refugees lose their lives

    Mean­while, a new mar­itime tragedy occurred on Sun­day morn­ing in the sea area off Phar­makon­isi island, adding to the large num­ber of vic­tims of the exo­dus from Syr­ia and Afghanistan.

    A wood­en boat car­ry­ing an unknown num­ber of refugees and migrants cap­sized off Phar­makon­isi. The Hel­lenic Coast Guard col­lect­ed the bod­ies of 34 peo­ple near the boat. Among the dead refugees were four babies and eleven chil­dren.

    The coast guard res­cued 68 peo­ple while 29 oth­ers man­aged to swim to Phar­makon­isi.

    Greek inter­im Prime Min­is­ter Vas­si­li­ki Thanou crit­i­cizes Merkel for her com­ments

    Greek inter­im Prime Min­is­ter Vas­si­li­ki Thanou crit­i­cized the com­ments of the Ger­man Chan­cel­lor about Greece’s alleged fail­ure to pro­tect its bor­ders say­ing that it is hard to guard 16,000 kilo­me­ters of sea bor­ders with­out the help of the EU.

    Thanou was at the island of Lesvos on Sun­day inspect­ing the pro­cess­ing of refugees. She reit­er­at­ed that the refugee issue is not sole­ly a Greek prob­lem but a Euro­pean prob­lem and called on Euro­pean nations to assume their share of respon­si­bil­i­ty.

    On Tues­day, Greece will receive 33 mil­lion euros from the EU as a first tranche of funds allo­cat­ed to deal with the pro­cess­ing of migrants.

    ...

    “Greece must take respon­si­bil­i­ty for the pro­tec­tion of the EU’s exter­nal bor­ders, which are cur­rent­ly not secure.”
    So says Angela Merkel. Good luck Schen­gen treaty.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 14, 2015, 3:09 pm
  3. Ser­bia expressed its ‘harsh­est pos­si­ble protest’ against Hun­gary today. With good rea­son:

    Think Progress
    Hun­gar­i­an Police Are Using Tear Gas And Water Can­nons On Migrants

    by Tara Culp-Ressler Sep 16, 2015 11:44am

    Some Euro­pean offi­cials are resort­ing to dras­tic mea­sures to stem the influx of migrants attempt­ing to seek refuge in their coun­tries. Along Serbia’s bor­der with Hun­gary, where hun­dreds of migrants are cur­rent­ly strand­ed after Hun­gary abrupt­ly sealed its bor­ders this week, police offi­cers in riot gear are report­ed­ly using tear gas and water can­nons as crowd con­trol tac­tics.

    Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban, who leads an ardent­ly anti-immi­grant gov­ern­ment, has cit­ed his country’s “1,000-year-old Chris­t­ian cul­ture” to explain why he doesn’t want an influx of refugees. “We Hun­gar­i­ans don’t want the glob­al-sized move­ment of peo­ple to change Hun­gary,” Orban said this week, explain­ing that his coun­try needs to pre­serve its her­itage.

    One of the world’s most influ­en­tial Chris­t­ian lead­ers, how­ev­er, has tak­en some­what of a dif­fer­ent approach to the cur­rent migrant cri­sis that’s been spurred by wide­spread vio­lence and unrest in Syr­ia and its neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. Pope Fran­cis has asked every Catholic parish in Europe to “wel­come a fam­i­ly of refugees,” point­ing out that the Gospels call on Chris­tians to treat oth­er peo­ple as their neigh­bors. Ear­li­er this year, when sim­i­lar clash­es broke out along Italy’s bor­ders, the pon­tiff said that offi­cials who shut out refugees should seek for­give­ness, espe­cial­ly those who “close the doors on these peo­ple who are search­ing for fam­i­ly, that are search­ing for safe­ty.”

    Thou­sands of migrants have attempt­ed to enter Hun­gary over the past sev­er­al days dur­ing their jour­ney to reach Euro­pean coun­tries like Ger­many, where Syr­i­ans dis­placed by a civ­il war in their home coun­try are seek­ing asy­lum. The Euro­pean Union has not been able to reach con­sen­sus on how to han­dle the unprece­dent­ed influx of peo­ple in recent months.

    In Hun­gary, offi­cials are tak­ing mat­ters into their own hands. On Wednes­day morn­ing, offi­cials from Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al con­firmed that Syr­i­an refugees gath­er­ing along the Hun­gar­i­an bor­der are being tear gassed. Accord­ing to AFP reporters, some chil­dren are also being affect­ed by the use of tear gas, which can cause eye irri­ta­tion and res­pi­ra­to­ry prob­lems.

    ...

    Hun­gar­i­an offi­cials, who sealed the country’s bor­der on Tues­day by erect­ing a razor wire fence to keep out asy­lum seek­ers — a dras­tic move that’s been crit­i­cized by human­i­tar­i­an groups — say they deployed riot police to deal with an unruly crowd that had become aggres­sive. Some peo­ple have attempt­ed to breach the bor­der, even though Hungary’s right-wing gov­ern­ment has promised to arrest and deport migrants who enter the coun­try with­out per­mis­sion. Hun­gary declared a state of emer­gency after police said some migrants start­ed throw­ing things at them.

    Over the past 24 hours, crowds of strand­ed migrants have been beg­ging to be allowed to pass through Hun­gary, some demon­strat­ing on the Ser­bian side of the bor­der with signs and chants of Europe, Shame.” One woman along Hungary’s new­ly con­struct­ed fence held up a ban­ner read­ing, “Mama Merkel, please help us!”

    ...

    Note that this isn’t the first time Hun­gar­i­an police have fired tear gas as refugees in recent weeks.

    Also note that many refugees are now mak­ing their way into the EU via Croa­t­ia and while the Croa­t­ian gov­ern­ment is cer­tain­ly more wel­com­ing and humane towards the refugees than its Hun­gar­i­an coun­ter­part, not all parts of Croa­t­ia are so wel­com­ing. Specif­i­cal­ly, the many unmarked mine fields left over from Croa­t­i­a’s civ­il war are def­i­nite­ly not very wel­com­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 16, 2015, 1:08 pm
  4. A fre­quent obser­va­tion of the cur­rent Euro­pean refugee cri­sis is that a large num­ber of the refugees are sin­gle young men. This is often being used as a rea­son to be extra wary of the refugees and fol­lowed with calls for send­ing them back to fight. Pre­sum­ably they’re expect­ed to fight both ISIS and Assad. But as the arti­cle below points out, in addi­tion to over half of Syr­i­a’s refugees glob­al­ly being chil­dren, the unusu­al­ly high num­ber of young men in this cur­rent wave of refugees is do to the fact that ISIS and Assad are active­ly try­ing to recruit or con­script them:

    Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times
    Europe Refugee Cri­sis Facts: Wealthy, Edu­cat­ed Syr­i­ans Risk­ing Lives To Leave War

    By Jess McHugh on Sep­tem­ber 09 2015 2:13 PM EDT

    “Doc­tor Ali” saw the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment heli­copter fly­ing near his home min­utes before the bar­rel bomb explod­ed, killing his best friend and near­ly claim­ing his own life. The death last month prompt­ed Ali, 25, to final­ly flee his war-torn nation in hopes of mak­ing a safer life in Europe after four years of car­ing for the sick and wound­ed in his home­town.

    “Every day, we treat­ed the wound­ed from the bom­bard­ment and dug out the dead,” recalled Ali, who was only iden­ti­fied by his first name, in a Human Rights Watch report pub­lished Tues­day. Like hun­dreds of his coun­try­men, he jour­neyed to Hun­gary this week to board a train for neigh­bor­ing Ger­many, where he hoped to seek asy­lum.

    Thou­sands of peo­ple have arrived in Europe in recent months in what experts have called the worst refugee cri­sis since World War II. The geo­graph­ic, polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic back­grounds of the arrivals has been the sub­ject of much con­fu­sion and debate among schol­ars and Euro­pean cit­i­zens alike, amid grow­ing con­cerns over the cost of inte­grat­ing so many for­eign­ers. Recent fig­ures from the U.N. and oth­er aid orga­ni­za­tions, how­ev­er, have shown that the major­i­ty of peo­ple arriv­ing in Europe often come from upper mid­dle class, well-edu­cat­ed back­grounds.

    “Sim­i­lar to our­selves, they have aspi­ra­tions for uni­ver­si­ty, for careers,” said Paul Dono­hoe, spokesman for the Inter­na­tion­al Res­cue Com­mit­tee, an inter­na­tion­al non­prof­it that assists in emer­gency aid sit­u­a­tions.

    Fam­i­lies And Chil­dren Flee­ing Syr­ia

    More than half — 53 per­cent — of the 380,412 peo­ple who have arrived in Europe since Jan­u­ary are from Syr­ia, the Unit­ed Nations report­ed Wednes­day. Syr­i­ans are dif­fer­ent from oth­er refugees in that they are far more like­ly to come from pro­fes­sion­al back­grounds than refugees orig­i­nat­ing in African coun­tries like Eritrea, for instance, accord­ing to migra­tion experts.

    The Syr­i­an civ­il war began in 2011 after protests against the regime of Pres­i­dent Bashar Assad turned vio­lent and even­tu­al­ly spi­raled into a full-blown civ­il con­flict. The vio­lence in Syr­ia has only grown over the past four years, as fac­tions splin­tered along increas­ing­ly sec­tar­i­an lines, and the Islam­ic State group (ISIS) cap­i­tal­ized on the chaos to take over vast swathes of Iraq and Syr­ia in an attempt to impose extrem­ist Islam­ic law. Over 220,000 peo­ple have died since 2011 in Syr­ia, and 11 mil­lion have been dis­placed.

    Chil­dren rep­re­sent more than half of all Syr­i­an refugees world­wide. Of those chil­dren, the major­i­ty are under 12 years old, and wide­ly pub­li­cized images have cir­cu­lat­ed of babies as young as one-month-old cross­ing into Greece. At least 15 per­cent of the refugees that have arrived in Europe this year have been chil­dren, and 13 per­cent have been women, accord­ing to the Unit­ed Nations.

    After Syr­ia, the top three nations of ori­gin for refugees were Afghanistan, account­ing for 14 per­cent of refugees; Eritrea, account­ing for 7 per­cent; and Nige­ria, account­ing for 3 per­cent. Refugees from these nations were far more like­ly to come from agrar­i­an back­grounds than Syr­i­ans.

    Dai­ly threats of vio­lence and lim­it­ed eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties are not the only fac­tors dri­ving mil­lions out of Syr­ia. The cri­sis’ esca­la­tion has result­ed in the need for more aggres­sive con­scrip­tion and recruit­ment, fac­tor­ing into the huge drain of young men leav­ing Syr­ia.

    “We have cer­tain­ly dealt with young men who were flee­ing recruit­ment by ISIS, as well as by the gov­ern­ment and any num­ber of the insur­gent groups,” said Judith Sun­der­land of the non­prof­it Human Rights Watch.

    Smart Phones And Refugee Camps

    Dono­hoe said many of the refugees liv­ing in camps in Les­bos, Greece — one of the most pop­u­lar arrival points for refugees and migrants — had smart­phones. At least a few peo­ple could speak Eng­lish on every boat arriv­ing to Les­bos, mean­ing that many of them like­ly had a for­mal edu­ca­tion or came from an upper mid­dle-class back­ground, he said.

    Doc­tors, bankers and Syr­i­ans from oth­er high-pay­ing pro­fes­sions have been among the arrivals. Sev­er­al of the refugees inter­viewed by the Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times had uni­ver­si­ty edu­ca­tions, and one pair of broth­ers had worked in invest­ment bank­ing in Syr­ia and were look­ing to do the same in Europe.

    On the eve of the civ­il war in ear­ly 2011, Syr­i­an GDP per capi­ta was as high as $5,000, more than dou­ble what it was in neigh­bor­ing Pak­istan and Yemen, and five times as much as the aver­age GDP per capi­ta in Afghanistan. By 2013, Syr­i­a’s GDP dropped by 20.6 per­cent. World Bank author­i­ties have not been able to col­lect eco­nom­ic data in Syr­ia since 2014 because of the chaos in the region, and experts esti­mate that the GDP has con­tin­ued to plum­met.

    ...

    There’s noth­ing that dri­ves a mass exo­dus quite like aggres­sive con­scrip­tion and recruit­ment dri­ves by ISIS and Assad:

    ...
    Dai­ly threats of vio­lence and lim­it­ed eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties are not the only fac­tors dri­ving mil­lions out of Syr­ia. The cri­sis’ esca­la­tion has result­ed in the need for more aggres­sive con­scrip­tion and recruit­ment, fac­tor­ing into the huge drain of young men leav­ing Syr­ia.

    “We have cer­tain­ly dealt with young men who were flee­ing recruit­ment by ISIS, as well as by the gov­ern­ment and any num­ber of the insur­gent groups,” said Judith Sun­der­land of the non­prof­it Human Rights Watch.
    ...

    Of course, as the arti­cle below points out, anoth­er key rea­son for the large num­bers of young men among this lat­est wave of refugees is due to the fact that it’s an incred­i­bly dan­ger­ous jour­ney and, as such, a num­ber of fam­i­lies are send­ing the fathers on the quest for a safe haven before the rest of the fam­i­ly joins them. It just makes sense unless you want more chil­dren drown­ing and dodg­ing land mines.

    So there’s prob­a­bly going to be quite a few more waves of refugees flow­ing out of Syr­ia and they’re prob­a­bly going to be mak­ing their way to Europe because, as the arti­cle below also points out, the exist­ing aid effort has failed to pro­vide any­thing more than basic sub­sis­tence to the refugees who have already fled the con­flict into Jor­dan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq and it is unre­al­is­tic and inhu­mane to expect them to put their lives on hold in a war zone or dys­func­tion­al refugee camp indef­i­nite­ly:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post
    ‘Syr­ia is emp­ty­ing’

    By Liz Sly Sep­tem­ber 14 at 8:22 PM

    IZMIR, Turkey — A new exo­dus of Syr­i­ans is fuel­ing the extra­or­di­nary flow of migrants and refugees to Europe, as Syria’s four-year-old war becomes the dri­ving force behind the great­est migra­tion of peo­ple to the con­ti­nent since the Sec­ond World War.

    Syr­i­ans account for half of the 381,000 refugees and migrants who have sought asy­lum in Europe so far this year, which is in turn almost a dou­bling of the num­ber in 2014 — mak­ing Syr­i­ans the main com­po­nent of the influx.

    The con­tin­ued surge through Europe prompt­ed Hun­gary, Aus­tria and Slo­va­kia to tight­en bor­der con­trols Mon­day, a day after Ger­many pro­ject­ed that in excess of a mil­lion peo­ple could arrive by year’s end and began to impose restric­tions on those enter­ing the coun­try.

    How many more Syr­i­ans could be on the way is impos­si­ble to know, but as the flow con­tin­ues, their num­ber is ris­ing. Accord­ing to the U.N. High Com­mis­sion­er for Refugees, 78 per­cent of those who washed up on inflat­able dinghies on the beach­es of Greece in July were Syr­i­an, the lat­est month for which fig­ures are avail­able..

    Some were already among the 4 mil­lion refugees who have sought sanc­tu­ary in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries, but many also are com­ing from inside Syr­ia, con­sti­tut­ing what Melis­sa Flem­ing of the UNHCR called a “new exo­dus” from the rav­aged coun­try. They are bypass­ing the refugee camps and head­ing straight for Europe, as the fall­out from a war Pres­i­dent Oba­ma once called “some­one else’s civ­il war” spills far beyond Syria’s bor­ders.

    More are on the way. Syr­i­ans are piled up on the streets of the Turk­ish port city of Izmir wait­ing for a place on one of the flim­sy boats that will fer­ry them across the sea to Greece, and they say they have friends and fam­i­ly fol­low­ing behind.

    “Every­one I know is leav­ing,” said Mohammed, 30, who climbed three moun­tains to make his way across the Turk­ish bor­der from the city of Alep­po with his preg­nant wife, under fire from Turk­ish bor­der guards. “It is as though all of Syr­ia is emp­ty­ing.”

    Ana­lysts say it was inevitable it would come to this, that Syr­i­ans would even­tu­al­ly tire of wait­ing for a war of such excep­tion­al bru­tal­i­ty to end. At least 250,000 have been killed in four fero­cious years of fight­ing, by chem­i­cal weapons, bal­lis­tic mis­siles and the bar­rel bomb­ings by gov­ern­ment war­planes that are the biggest sin­gle killer of civil­ians, accord­ing to human rights groups.

    Men on both sides die in the end­less bat­tles between the gov­ern­ment and rebels for towns, vil­lages and mil­i­tary bases that pro­duce no clear vic­to­ry. The Islam­ic State kills peo­ple in the areas it con­trols with behead­ings and oth­er bru­tal pun­ish­ments. The Unit­ed States is lead­ing a bomb­ing cam­paign against the Islam­ic State but has shown scant inter­est in solv­ing the wider Syr­i­an war, which seems des­tined to only esca­late fur­ther with the deep­en­ing involve­ment of Russ­ian troops.

    “It should sur­prise no one. Hope­less­ness abounds,” said Fred Hof, a for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cial who is now with the Atlantic Coun­cil. “Why would any Syr­i­an with an option to leave and the phys­i­cal abil­i­ty to do so elect to stay?”

    There are oth­er nation­al­i­ties, too; refugees from con­flict zones such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Soma­lia, along­side a small num­ber of eco­nom­ic migrants from coun­tries that include Bangladesh, Pak­istan and Sene­gal.

    But over­whelm­ing­ly this is a cri­sis of peo­ple flee­ing war, and above all, the one in Syr­ia, Flem­ing said.

    “In the absence of the Syr­i­ans com­ing in the num­bers they are com­ing, there wouldn’t be this huge surge in num­bers,” she said. “This is why we are call­ing it a refugee cri­sis, not a migrant cri­sis.”

    The exo­dus speaks in part to the defi­cien­cy of the under­fund­ed aid effort, which has failed to pro­vide any­thing more than basic sub­sis­tence to the refugees who have already fled the con­flict into Jor­dan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

    Since the flow of refugees first began in 2012, U.N. offi­cials have repeat­ed­ly warned of the con­se­quences of neglect­ing the refugee cri­sis, Flem­ing said.

    “This was some­thing Syr­i­ans felt they could tol­er­ate for a cer­tain amount of time because they hoped they could go home,” she said. “But with that hope becom­ing dim­mer and dim­mer and con­di­tions becom­ing even hard­er, no one should ques­tion or be amazed at the large num­bers of Syr­i­ans risk­ing their lives to get to Europe.”

    Inter­views with the Syr­i­ans crowd­ing into Izmir to make the sea cross­ing from Turkey to Greece sug­gest that just as many are arriv­ing from inside Syr­ia.

    They come from every cor­ner of Syr­ia, but main­ly the gov­ern­ment and rebel-held areas that are more dense­ly pop­u­lat­ed and more fierce­ly con­test­ed than the desert ter­ri­to­ries held by the Islam­ic State.

    Their sad sto­ries track the tides of a war that has been large­ly ignored by the out­side world.

    Ramadan Mohammed, 53, a wid­ow­er who lost his leg in shelling in Alep­po in 2012, spends his days on a blan­ket on the street, wait­ing for anoth­er chance to board a boat after mul­ti­ple failed attempts. It isn’t easy to climb into a flim­sy dinghy with only one leg, he said, and if it sinks, as many do, he won’t be able to swim.

    But he grew despon­dent liv­ing alone in a tent in a refugee camp in Lebanon, and he hopes he will be able to find a job in Europe.

    Mohammed Has­san, 33, fled to a refugee camp in Lebanon from the town of Yabroud out­side Dam­as­cus after Hezbol­lah fight­ers cap­tured it from rebels in 2014. He said he could no longer bear watch­ing his three chil­dren grow up with­out going to school, and he plans to bring them to Europe after he has set­tled there.

    “My wife wants me to go so that the chil­dren can get an edu­ca­tion,” he said.

    Most mak­ing the jour­ney are men, in part because fam­i­lies pre­fer to send their fathers and sons on the dan­ger­ous trek, to send lat­er for their rel­a­tives after they have secured legal res­i­den­cy, Flem­ing said.

    But many are young and sin­gle, escap­ing a war they might oth­er­wise have to fight.

    Saleh, 24, and his friend Abdul-Qad­er, 27, were sol­diers in the Syr­i­an army until rebels over­ran their check­point in the province of Idlib last year. They man­aged to get away but felt betrayed by their government’s fail­ure to send rein­force­ments or sup­plies to their besieged post.

    “We were with the regime, but when they didn’t come to defend us, we decid­ed to desert,” Saleh said. The pair have been on the run since, find­ing occa­sion­al work, and now have saved enough for the trip.

    Syria’s bit­ter­ly divi­sive pol­i­tics are most­ly for­got­ten in the dash to get to Europe.

    “Syr­i­ans are dis­gust­ed by pol­i­tics,” said a 24-year-old man who left Dam­as­cus last week and hopes to resume his law stud­ies in Ger­many. He fought briefly with a gov­ern­ment mili­tia in 2013 and decid­ed to leave Syr­ia after he was sum­moned last month to join the army, part of a new, coun­try­wide call-up of reservists that has con­tributed large num­bers of young men from gov­ern­ment-held areas to this lat­est exo­dus from Syr­ia.

    “I would have had to serve the regime and par­tic­i­pate in killing civil­ians,” said the man, who asked to be iden­ti­fied only by his first name, Bashir. “Most Syr­i­ans are now con­vinced the war is point­less. We don’t know who is win­ning, and they are all just killing each oth­er.”

    Lying on a mat near­by was a group of men who had fought with the rebels and had trav­eled from the south­ern province of Daraa, the birth­place of the 2011 revolt that sparked the war that trig­gered the refugee cri­sis. Their 500-mile jour­ney, an eight-day trek across the length of Syr­ia and many of its front lines, guid­ed by Bedouin smug­glers, was more haz­ardous than any chal­lenge they may encounter in Europe.

    ...

    “I would have had to serve the regime and par­tic­i­pate in killing civilians...Most Syr­i­ans are now con­vinced the war is point­less. We don’t know who is win­ning, and they are all just killing each oth­er.”
    That sense of despair in the face of a “kill or be killed” real­i­ty is some­thing that’s going to be increas­ing­ly impor­tant to keep in mind.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 16, 2015, 5:05 pm

Post a comment