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Thread: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

  1. #2656
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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    A bit better informed about the state of Iraqi nationhood and politics than the Spartacists -

    https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2017/...iraq/#comments

    There is an increasingly visible US presence on the ground: the strategy of reliance on proxies alone has failed. Setting up of US bases in Syria and Iraq is a red rag to a bull.
    I am uninpressed by this piece. Are the Kurdish statelets viable? No, because both of them are dependent on US support, and the second that ISIS is defeated that US support will be withdrawn in the traditional fashion. Betrayal of the Kurds by the US is one of the oldest and most consistent story lines of recent Middle Eastern history.

    That the article fails to even mention the Shi'ite sectarian nature of the PMU is even worse. After ISIS is destroyed, PMU atrocities vs. Sunnis, with the weight of both the US and Iran behind them, will plunge Iraq into yet further misery, and likely soon generate a new version of ISIS on the Sunni side. (How the growing hostility between the US and Trump will effect this is hard to say, but it is hard to see Trump trying to play the "Awakening" card again, after the results the last time.)

    And that the article fails to even notice that the Syrian army (with the support of Iran of course) has already definitively cut off the Syrian Kurds and their US paymasters from any possibility of going after Deir al-Zour or advancing south of Tabqah shows am ignorant misunderstanding of the military situation. Indeed, reports are that the Kurds and the Syrian regime, apparently with Trump's permission, have agreed on mutual boundaries.

    And who is this "axis of the resistance" they are muttering about? The "tribes of the north" they mention have apparently, wanting to be on the side of the winner, gone over to Assad. A central role in recent Assad advances south of Raqqah is being played by what are described as "tribal forces."

    The "resistance" at this point increasingly boils down to HTS, the allegedly ex-franchise of Al Q'aida, who are literally the blood brothers of ISIS, the falling out between them being still only a few years ago. If ISIS is just an imperial puppet and creature, why would HTS be anything else? The string of evidence you've come up with to try to prove, or at least suggest, that ISIS is a creature of US imperialism surely could be matched with an identical string of suspicious-looking factoids for HTS.

    When the dust settles after the defeat of ISIS, what will US policy for Syria be? Well, if Trump manages to hang onto the White House (which I think he will) probably a US/Russia/Turkey/Assad alliance vs. the Kurds and Iran.

    How can the desirable goal of Kurdish national self-determination (the Kurds unlike Iraq really are a nation) be achieved? Only through revolution against all the reactionary states of the Middle East and their imperial masters. Certainly not through reliance on temporary support from US imperialism. And that is not just an assertion, but the lesson of a long history.

    -AMH-

  2. #2657
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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    I am uninpressed by this piece. Are the Kurdish statelets viable? No, because both of them are dependent on US support, and the second that ISIS is defeated that US support will be withdrawn in the traditional fashion. Betrayal of the Kurds by the US is one of the oldest and most consistent story lines of recent Middle Eastern history.

    That the article fails to even mention the Shi'ite sectarian nature of the PMU is even worse. After ISIS is destroyed, PMU atrocities vs. Sunnis, with the weight of both the US and Iran behind them, will plunge Iraq into yet further misery, and likely soon generate a new version of ISIS on the Sunni side. (How the growing hostility between the US and Trump will effect this is hard to say, but it is hard to see Trump trying to play the "Awakening" card again, after the results the last time.)

    And that the article fails to even notice that the Syrian army (with the support of Iran of course) has already definitively cut off the Syrian Kurds and their US paymasters from any possibility of going after Deir al-Zour or advancing south of Tabqah shows am ignorant misunderstanding of the military situation. Indeed, reports are that the Kurds and the Syrian regime, apparently with Trump's permission, have agreed on mutual boundaries.

    And who is this "axis of the resistance" they are muttering about? The "tribes of the north" they mention have apparently, wanting to be on the side of the winner, gone over to Assad. A central role in recent Assad advances south of Raqqah is being played by what are described as "tribal forces."

    The "resistance" at this point increasingly boils down to HTS, the allegedly ex-franchise of Al Q'aida, who are literally the blood brothers of ISIS, the falling out between them being still only a few years ago. If ISIS is just an imperial puppet and creature, why would HTS be anything else? The string of evidence you've come up with to try to prove, or at least suggest, that ISIS is a creature of US imperialism surely could be matched with an identical string of suspicious-looking factoids for HTS.

    When the dust settles after the defeat of ISIS, what will US policy for Syria be? Well, if Trump manages to hang onto the White House (which I think he will) probably a US/Russia/Turkey/Assad alliance vs. the Kurds and Iran.

    How can the desirable goal of Kurdish national self-determination (the Kurds unlike Iraq really are a nation) be achieved? Only through revolution against all the reactionary states of the Middle East and their imperial masters. Certainly not through reliance on temporary support from US imperialism. And that is not just an assertion, but the lesson of a long history.

    -AMH-

    Whatever makes you think the HTS is anything other than another proxy group ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  3. #2658
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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Whatever makes you think the HTS is anything other than another proxy group ?
    Pretty much everything. Have they gotten occasional subsidies from Qatar or Turkey or whoever? Yes, but that is really no different from Irish rebels getting help from Germany. All the signs are that they are beholden to nobody in particular. Their vileness seems strictly homegrown.

    -AMH-

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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    Pretty much everything. Have they gotten occasional subsidies from Qatar or Turkey or whoever? Yes, but that is really no different from Irish rebels getting help from Germany.
    Yes it is entirely different. In Ireland the agenda was anti-Imperialist and progressive and they did not commit sectarian atrocities.
    All the signs are that they are beholden to nobody in particular. Their vileness seems strictly homegrown.
    Your own view entirely and one that ignores the history of this particular kind of vileness and ignores the history of Syria.

    Time and again the MB and co were supported by the CIA to heave against the state. Of course the HTS has been externally funded.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Yes it is entirely different. In Ireland the agenda was anti-Imperialist and progressive and they did not commit sectarian atrocities.
    Absolutely true, but actually besides the point. ISIS are profoundly reactionary, the Irish rebels progressive. But neither were or are puppets of foreign masters.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post

    Your own view entirely and one that ignores the history of this particular kind of vileness and ignores the history of Syria.

    Time and again the MB and co were supported by the CIA to heave against the state. Of course the HTS has been externally funded.
    My view entirely? Yes, but very far from my view alone, and here I am not talking about the Spartacists. IMHO my view is founded precisely on the history of ISIS and Syria--but we have been arguing this out for years now here, I am not at all sure there is much more to say.

    The MB and its offshoots (which one perhaps could argue might include ISIS in some sense) have certainly received foreign backing and support, but thinking that the MB was ever simply a foreign puppet, in Egypt or elsewhere, shows an utter miscomprehension of the Middle East.

    Why did it receive foreign support? Quite simply, because it is a reactionary force, and in the era of imperialism imperialists will inevitably in the last analysis support reaction, as that is the nature of the capitalist imperialism of this era. Whatever the maneuverism of the moment may require. End of story really.

    -AMH-

  6. #2661
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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    The BBC yesterday published a lengthy report uncovering the fact that the US and other aligned forces cut a deal with ISIS to allow thousands of ISIS fighters and their families, including leading figures, to leave Raqaa and disappear, with weapons in hands.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/...s_dirty_secret

    Lorry driver Abu Fawzi thought it was going to be just another job.
    He drives an 18-wheeler across some of the most dangerous territory in northern Syria. Bombed-out bridges, deep desert sand, even government forces and so-called Islamic State fighters don’t stand in the way of a delivery.
    But this time, his load was to be human cargo. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters opposed to IS, wanted him to lead a convoy that would take hundreds of families displaced by fighting from the town of Tabqa on the Euphrates river to a camp further north.
    The job would take six hours, maximum – or at least that's what he was told.
    But when he and his fellow drivers assembled their convoy early on 12 October, they realised they had been lied to.
    Instead, it would take three days of hard driving, carrying a deadly cargo - hundreds of IS fighters, their families and tonnes of weapons and ammunition.



    Abu Fawzi and dozens of other drivers were promised thousands of dollars for the task but it had to remain secret.
    The deal to let IS fighters escape from Raqqa – de facto capital of their self-declared caliphate – had been arranged by local officials. It came after four months of fighting that left the city obliterated and almost devoid of people. It would spare lives and bring fighting to an end. The lives of the Arab, Kurdish and other fighters opposing IS would be spared.
    But it also enabled many hundreds of IS fighters to escape from the city. At the time, neither the US and British-led coalition, nor the SDF, which it backs, wanted to admit their part.
    Has the pact, which stood as Raqqa’s dirty secret, unleashed a threat to the outside world - one that has enabled militants to spread far and wide across Syria and beyond?
    Great pains were taken to hide it from the world. But the BBC has spoken to dozens of people who were either on the convoy, or observed it, and to the men who negotiated the deal.


    We took out around 4,000 people including women and children - our vehicle and their vehicles combined. When we entered Raqqa, we thought there were 200 people to collect. In my vehicle alone, I took 112 people.”
    Another driver says the convoy was six to seven kilometres long. It included almost 50 trucks, 13 buses and more than 100 of the Islamic State group’s own vehicles. IS fighters, their faces covered, sat defiantly on top of some of the vehicles.
    Footage secretly filmed and passed to us shows lorries towing trailers crammed with armed men. Despite an agreement to take only personal weapons, IS fighters took everything they could carry. Ten trucks were loaded with weapons and ammunition.
    No surprises here, apart from for those who were convinced that ISIS would make a last ditch heroic stand up to their knees in their own blood.

    foreign fighters – those not from Syria and Iraq - were also able to join the convoy, according to the drivers. One explains:
    There was a huge number of foreigners. France, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi, China, Tunisia, Egypt...”
    Other drivers chipped in with the names of different nationalities.
    In light of the BBC investigation, the coalition now admits the part it played in the deal. Some 250 IS fighters were allowed to leave Raqqa, with 3,500 of their family members.
    “We didn’t want anyone to leave,” says Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the Western coalition against IS.
    “But this goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians – they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations,” he says.
    While a Western officer was present for the negotiations, they didn’t take an “active part” in the discussions. Col Dillon maintains, though, that only four foreign fighters left and they are now in SDF custody.
    In Muhanad’s tiny village, people fled as the convoy approached, fearing for their homes - and their lives.
    But suddenly, the vehicles turned right, leaving the main road for a desert track.
    “Two Humvees were leading the convoy ahead,” says Muhanad. “They were organising it and wouldn't let anyone pass them.”
    As the convoy disappeared into the haze of the desert, Muhanad felt no immediate relief. Almost everyone we spoke to says IS threatened to return, its fighters running a finger across their throats as they passed by.
    “We've been living in terror for the past four or five years,” says Muhanad.
    Isis in Raqaa according to this report was broken by a short intense bombing that killed around 500 fighters and family members. This does not make much sense of all the reports from the US military that they had killed tens of thousands of ISIS fighters in bomb strikes in past years whilst ISIS continued to expand rapidly.

    The BBC report says, significantly, that 'much wanted' senior members/leaders of ISIS were released and moved on in this deal which also involved hand back of a much smaller number of SDF fighters.

    This release of ISIS fighters by the thousands sits a little awkwardly against General Matthis's announcements that the US will keep its multiple bases in northern and southern Syria "because of ISIS".
    Last edited by C. Flower; 15-11-2017 at 05:55 PM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  7. #2662
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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    The BBC yesterday published a lengthy report uncovering the fact that the US and other aligned forces cut a deal with ISIS to allow thousands of ISIS fighters and their families, including leading figures, to leave Raqaa and disappear, with weapons in hands.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/...s_dirty_secret

    No surprises here, apart from for those who were convinced that ISIS would make a last ditch heroic stand up to their knees in their own blood.

    Isis in Raqaa according to this report was broken by a short intense bombing that killed around 500 fighters and family members. This does not make much sense of all the reports from the US military that they had killed tens of thousands of ISIS fighters in bomb strikes in past years whilst ISIS continued to expand rapidly.

    The BBC report says, significantly, that 'much wanted' senior members/leaders of ISIS were released and moved on in this deal which also involved hand back of a much smaller number of SDF fighters.

    This release of ISIS fighters by the thousands sits a little awkwardly against General Matthis's announcements that the US will keep its multiple bases in northern and southern Syria "because of ISIS".
    I think there can be no question but that, now that it is obvious that ISIS is on the verge of total collapse, the US government and its Kurdish puppets in Syria decided that the disintegrating remnants could be useful tools against the Syrian government forces. Too much evidence of that from multiple sources.

    Air force commanders always claim that bombing campaigns are much more effective against entrenched enemies than is the reality. I would place no more credence in the BBC report that ISIS in Raqqah was finally smashed by a "short intense bombing" than previous ludicrous claims. Bombing campaigns on cities are very effective at killing civilians, and over the nearly yearlong siege of Raqqah, the city was destroyed and most of the civilian population murdered or left homeless, just like in Mosul and Kobane. Against dug in defenders living in tunnels, not so much, unless nuclear weapons are used.

    ISIS was willing to cut a deal as by then the ISIS forces were cut to pieces and had been surrounded on all sides for months. Fighting to the last corpse would have been stupid. And from the US/YPG viewpoint it made perfect sense. Without the deal with ISIS, the US/YPG would not have been able to beat the Syrian army to the oil fields east of the Euphrates, and nothing is more important in Middle East warfare than who gets the oil.

    -AMH

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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    I think there can be no question but that, now that it is obvious that ISIS is on the verge of total collapse, the US government and its Kurdish puppets in Syria decided that the disintegrating remnants could be useful tools against the Syrian government forces. Too much evidence of that from multiple sources.

    Air force commanders always claim that bombing campaigns are much more effective against entrenched enemies than is the reality. I would place no more credence in the BBC report that ISIS in Raqqah was finally smashed by a "short intense bombing" than previous ludicrous claims. Bombing campaigns on cities are very effective at killing civilians, and over the nearly yearlong siege of Raqqah, the city was destroyed and most of the civilian population murdered or left homeless, just like in Mosul and Kobane. Against dug in defenders living in tunnels, not so much, unless nuclear weapons are used.

    ISIS was willing to cut a deal as by then the ISIS forces were cut to pieces and had been surrounded on all sides for months. Fighting to the last corpse would have been stupid. And from the US/YPG viewpoint it made perfect sense. Without the deal with ISIS, the US/YPG would not have been able to beat the Syrian army to the oil fields east of the Euphrates, and nothing is more important in Middle East warfare than who gets the oil.

    -AMH
    And the US bases peppered around Syria ? Any comments on that ? None of this is a surprise to me.

    The only aspect of the ME developments of the last seven years that I seriously underestimated was the Qatar / Saudi divide. There were genuinely regional forces at play, although not the idealised Che Guevara in the desert version that some people fantasised about.

    The US chose to stay firmly ensconced in the Saudi saddle, and could not risk that Iran would saddle up Qatar.

    And the working class for now continues to stand back and try to avoid the debacle.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  10. #2665
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    Default Re: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab etc. etc. - Where did they come from, where are they going ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    And the US bases peppered around Syria ? Any comments on that ? None of this is a surprise to me.
    Eh? Obviously, the US bases in the YPG areas are vital components of the US/YPG alliance I discussed in the posting. The only mystery here is what will happen to the base at al-Tanf, the only US base in "rebel" territory, whose purpose is allegedly to fight ISIS, with which it has no contact. Despite Trump's alleged partisanship for Putin, the US/YPG forces are on the verge of shifting from fighting ISIS to fighting the Syrian government, or rather Iran, as according to the Trumpistas Iran is almost as bad as ISIS, and allegedly the Syrian government are now more Iranian puppets than Russian. Southfront is now claiming that the Israeli military is making public admissions that it is supporting the remnants of ISIS against Hezbollah etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post

    The only aspect of the ME developments of the last seven years that I seriously underestimated was the Qatar / Saudi divide. There were genuinely regional forces at play, although not the idealised Che Guevara in the desert version that some people fantasised about.

    The US chose to stay firmly ensconced in the Saudi saddle, and could not risk that Iran would saddle up Qatar.
    An ugly squabble over oil between two equally corrupt and oppressive vestiges of the Dark Ages, both resting on the back of semi-enslaved foreign workforces. Who are the working class. Few Saudi citizens who are workers in the oilfields, and probably close to zero Qatari citizens who are workers in the oidfields. Indeed neither are real countries, unlike Yemen, whose population is considerably larger than Saudi Arabia and has a history of many thousands of years. Unlike the jumped up oil sheikdoms which really ought not to exist at all, Saudi Arabia included. In a better world, it would be Yemen conquering Saudi Arabia rather than the other way around.

    The US sides with the Saudis, but in a limited fashion. Trump has made it clear that the US base in Qatar is staying there. If it were removed, the Saudis would certainly send the tanks in and remove Qatar from the map. Very simple unless Iran intervened, which would be hard given the US Navy's control of the Persian Gulf. With it there they can't, so this will sooner or later die down. Unless Qatar and Iran actually get involved against the Saudis in Yemen in a serious way.

    Militarily, that war is not going well at all for Saudi Arabia, though there has been so much destruction that the country is being destroyed. The cholera epidemic killing huge numbers of people is just one of the horses of the apocalypse trampling this ancient bastion of civilization. As a result, the Saudi regime is emulating Erdogan, with much of the Saudi royal family under lock and key and, according to some accounts, being tortured to get them to sign away their assets. Like something straight out of Game of Thrones.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post

    And the working class for now continues to stand back and try to avoid the debacle.
    The working class of Syria continues to try to flee the country, but that is getting more and more difficult daily.

    -AMH

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