Dissimulation Exposed

Monday, May 11, 2009

Obama's Peace Gambit in Afghanistan


I just received an email briefing from Stratfor (http://www.stratfor.com). Their free Geopolitical Weekly email newsletter is a great resource for learning about important events around the world. Even though I don't always agree with their analysis, they often seem accurate and their distillation and presentation of important geopolitical events is oft second to none. The email message is reproduced on Stratfor's site and -- unlike the majority of their site -- is freely available: http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20090511_afghanistan_and_u_s_strategic_debate

In short, it sounds like our dear President Obama is now hell-bent on losing in Afghanistan. SecDef Gates and Obama are arguing that that our best chance of victory in Afghanistan is to reestablish Taliban control over Afghanistan, in return for an EFFING PROMISE not to give shelter and aid to al Qaeda. General Petraeus is arguing that such would be dangerous folly and that it ignores the lessons of Iraq.

Sadly, Obama and Gates appear belligerently ignorant (at best) or perhaps willfully blind to a few key concepts:

1. Hudna: Radical Muslim forces are NEVER allowed to create a permanent peace with infidels. At most, they are permitted to a ten year cease-fire when they are potentially too weak to succeed for the nonce (based on the Mohammed's similar truce with the Quraysh tribe during his ascent to power). In reality, Muslim forces will sometimes extend a truce beyond 10 years, but when the group in question is legitimately of the jihadist mindset (as are the Taliban), it cannot ever be permanent. In any case, it is very unlikely that the Taliban would agree to ANY terms favorable to us as they are doing well enough fighting and a peace offer to the Taliban High Command will only further embolden them.

2. Mailmastia and Pashtunwali - The only rules that have influence approaching that of Islamic jurisprudence among the Taliban are those of pashtunwali. Pashtunwali is the honor code of the Pashtun tribes, and the Taliban are made up near exclusively of Pashtun tribesmen. One principle under the code of pashtunwali is Mailmastia, or "hospitality and sanctuary". It is this same code that prevented the Taliban from handing over Osama bin Laden and his cohorts in 2001, when the failure to violate this principle all but guaranteed the destruction of their regime. Indeed, they chose to suffer the full force and terrible power of American military wrath instead of violating this most sacred of Pashtun codes. It is almost unthinkable that the Taliban would willingly violate this principle by agreeing to turn over (or even evict) al Qaeda. But if they did, it would likely be either very brief (as an example of hudna) or, even more likely, a ruse (as an example of al Taqiyya), which brings me to my next point.

3. al Taqiyya - Islam allows a Muslim to lie, deceive and dissimulate under certain conditions, including (but not limited to) when doing so would save their life (in fact in this case, dissimulation is mandatory) or allow them to soften the hearts of an enemy and thus bring them to reconcile favorably with the Muslim forces.

Surely, any agreement to oust their holy Muslim warrior allies would be overturned and justified under hudna, pashtunwali and al taqiyya.

This would be terrible enough if the only effect would be a long-term sanctuary for al Qaeda. But there is far more at stake. Briefly, some aspects of the price we'd pay include:

1. A permanent sanctuary for the Taliban. The Taliban have effectively declared war on Pakistan, a nuclear armed nation. They have been succeeding over and over again in their military advances and having unlimited sanctuary in Afghanistan, combined with the (albeit limited in this case, but non-zero) assets of state control, renders their victory over the government of Pakistan far, far more likely.

2. The betrayal, yet again, of stalwart American allies. All of our allies in Afghanistan who stood so bravely against the Taliban will be at best exiled and surely in many, many cases killed. We have a terrible record of fulfilling our promises to the weak and endangered among our allies, and this new stain will not serve us well in our future endeavours. Besides that, it is morally reprehensible and cowardly.

3. A clear victory for the jihadists. The Taliban and their al Qaeda allies would (legitimately-!) claim victory over the US. Twice, al Qaeda and the jihadists in Afghanistan will have defeated a superpower. This will encourage the defection of many in jihadist society from the "we approve of war but find it presently futile" party to the "let us destroy the infidels now, Inshallah" camp. Jihadists across the globe will revel in the glory of victory, and those standing against them will quiver with fear. These emboldened jihadists will be far more likely to strike out at the presently weakened US in an attempt to remove our influence permanently.

I've only touched on the costs we will ultimately pay should Obama proceed with his plan; what prize could be possibly worth such a steep price?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dissimulation on Display

The Western World is in a tragic state. When confronted with a direct threat from a murderous Islamic movement, we equivocate. We try to excuse their brutality by appealing to arguments of moral equivalence; by enumerating the many legitimate and illegitimate grievances as insisted by Muslim apologists.

This is precisely what our enemies hope -- and expect -- we will do. The idea that the West is being justly punished by an enemy David finally lashing out at a brutal Goliath is the main thrust of al Qaeda statements prepared for consumption in the West. But the statements al Qaeda prepares for its fundamentalist allies and potential recruits deliver a far darker, more insidious message. It is the message of unending, offensive jihad.

Raymond Ibrahim skillfully explains this duplicity in his article The Two Faces of Al Qaeda. Therein, he cites former jihadi Hassan Butt's article I was a fanatic[...]".

These articles are required reading for those who wish to defeat the lie that many in the West believe, that -- as claimed by bin Laden in his "Why Did We Not Attack Sweden" speech -- if we only left the Middle East the West would be free of this threat.

This dissimulation must be exposed, for if we surrender, our enemies will not let allow us to live in peace. As intrepid journalist Michael Ware reports from Iraq:

"You [an insurgent] once said to me [Michael Ware] if the Americans left, your war was over. What now, if the Americans leave, what will you do?" He [the insurgent] looked at me straight back and said, "If the Americans leave now, I must follow them wherever they go."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Facing al Qaeda

Bernard Lewis shared some interesting ideas regarding al Qaeada's strategy in a recent article on Opinion Journal. I'd like agree in principle, yet highlight some slight errors or generalizations contained therein.

The Soviets and The Taliban

He wrote:

An organization known as the Taliban (literally, "the students") began to organize resistance and even guerilla warfare against the Soviet occupiers and their puppets. For this, they were able to attract [...] money, and [...] volunteers to fight [...]. Notable among these was a group led by a Saudi of Yemeni origin called Osama bin Laden.

There are some chronological issues with this claim. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan started in December of 1979 and ended in February of 1989[1]. But the Taliban was not militarily effective until 1994[2], far after the withdrawal of Russian troops, and following even the defeat of the hold-over Communist proxy government of Najibullah in 1992.

After Najibullah was force to step down, a coalition of mujahideen took control of the government. Unfortunately, the Afghan hero Ahmed shah Massoud, the feared and fearless "Lion of the Panjshir" -- who was killed on September 9th, 2001 -- could not convince the other mujahideen groups to continue sharing power. A brutal civil war among the them commenced, lasting for six years. The Taliban appeared like a bolt of lightning in 1994 and quickly took control of somewhere between 75% and 90% of the country. Throughout this, Massoud and his Northern Alliance remained the only barrier to the Taliban's reign over all of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's civil war led to a chaos and a very real sense of lawlessness. Warlords placed militia on every road, stifling trade, while others raped children with impunity. It is in this lawless milieu that the Taliban first rose. Their Pashtun brethren in the South, and even the urbanized Afghans in the cities,were willing to sacrifice nearly anything for the hope that law and order would be restored to their weary nation. Meanwhile, the Taliban's supporters in Pakistan's ISI were more than happy to develop a proxy force with which to influence Afghanistan. The criminals in the smuggling mafia and the powerful Pakistani shipping unions supported the Taliban in the hope of reestablishing the smuggling routes and highways that were long too dangerous to be profitable.

So when the Taliban finally came to prominence, they were not battling the Russians, or even Communist Afghans. Instead, their foremost enemy was Massoud, a politically liberal Muslim who fought to establish a just society over all of Afghanistan, as he had already done in the North. He continued to fight the Taliban, and their al Qaeda allies, until he was murdered on September 9, 2001. An team of al Qaeda assassins posing as journalists exploded a camera during an interview with him. some believe that Osama bin Laden ordered the hit as a gift to the Taliban preceding the 9/11 attacks two days later, to insure their continued support [3].

These details are important because there is often popular confusion regarding where American military support went during the Afghan-Soviet war. Many believe that we founded and funded the Taliban, others even that we helped to establish al Qaeda. But al Qaeda was mostly self-funded and armed through bin Laden's inheritance and business investments, Muslim donations (in the early years to Abdullah Azzam's Services Bureau), as well as -- as some
analysts claim --through the drug trade and other illicit activities.

Since the Taliban weren't around during the period of American beneficence, it's not possible that they were aided by the Americans in the manner you suggest. Still, it's important to realize that almost all of the materiel and financial support given to the mujahideen in Afghanistan by the US was distributed through Pakistan's ISI. In return for (unconvincing) plausible deniability vis-a-vis the Soviets, the US gave the Pakistanis control over distributing the materiel to the Afghans. While they claimed to meritoriously fund the most effective fighters, they often helped those who shared their radical agenda (like the Hizb-i Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the mujahideen commander who betrayed Massoud in the heady days after the fall of the Soviet's puppet Najibullah).

Incidentally, in the 90s the Clinton administration offered the Taliban tacit support, with the hope that they might stabilize wartorn Afghanistan. This continued until the Taliban engaged in widely acknowledged war crimes against
civilians (particularly the Hazara ethnic group). The Bush administration later granted the Taliban 48 million dollars in return for, and to aid in, a 98.6% reduction in poppy cultivation. These last two examples are included for sake of completeness and are mostly unrelated to your original point.

The Soviets and the 'Muslim' nations

While discussing the general fear with which Muslim's regard the Soviet's, he wrote:

Most remarkable of all was the response of the Arab and other Muslim countries to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. [... When given the chance to condemn the Soviet aggression,] South Yemen voted no; Algeria and Syria abstained; Libya was absent; the nonvoting PLO observer to the Assembly even made a speech defending the Soviets. [...] After a month of negotiation [...] Arab states, South Yemen and Syria, boycotted the meeting. The representative of the PLO, a full member of this organization, was present, but abstained from voting on a resolution critical of the Soviet action; the Libyan delegate went further, and used this occasion to denounce the U.S.

It is important to note that all of the countries you mention were ruled by leaders who are only nominally Muslim and are certainly not militant Islamists. In fact, in 1979, most of those countries were ruled by left-leaning dictators who had warm relations with the Soviets. So I think it would be wrong to conclude -- at least from these examples -- that Islamists were afraid to stand up to Russia. In fact, insurgencies in Afghanistan, Chechnya and several other former Soviet states stood tenaciously against the titan of Soviet brutality.


I do, however, agree with the crux of your argument. Radical Islamists have long been split in their approach to confronting the West. Many argue that the West is too powerful to be defeated militarily and that instead they should use the their so-called "demographic weapon" and the West's own liberal political system to defeat it. In the opposing camp, bin Laden and his fellow violent Islamists argue (somewhat convincingly) that the West -- and the US in particular -- is a 'paper tiger', too politically correct and cowardly to stand against the mujahideen.

Abandoning Iraq or Afghanistan would essentially hand both military and ideological victory to bin Laden, proving that those in the 'peaceful' Islamist camp should join him. It is thus more important than ever to demonstrate to these warring camps that the West's resolve is steeled; that we will never cow to the forces of evil and violence that are so determined to crush our spirits.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Afghanistan
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Shah_Massoud#Death

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Glimpse of Iraq: Shalash al Iraqi

A Glimpse of Iraq is another blog in which you'll find the thoughts, feelings and raw emotions of Iraqis. Here is an excerpt:
The fearsome nights are stifling us and we now have come to hate the Fall [of Baghdad]; we hate Liberation; we hate Sunnis; we hate Shiites; we hate turbans and sidaras [Baghdadi head gear – a reference to Adnan al-Dulaimi a ‘Sunni’ politician]; we hate Jihad and Jihadists, resistance and resistors; we hate concrete; we hate streets and sidewalks; we hate the Ministries; we hate Establishments; we hate news channels and news and communiqués; we hate the Parliament that has now become a venue for swearing-in ceremonies and nothing else; we hate songs; we hate commercials; we hate newspapers; we hate cars and car-depots; we hate conferences; we hate ‘surprise visits’; we hate neighboring countries; we hate the ‘multinational forces; we hate the night; we hate the day; we hate Summer; we hate the sun that sends hell; we hate sleep; we hate water and electricity; we hate petrol and corruption and theft; we hate sectarianism; we hate sectarian ‘allocations’; we hate Reconciliation; we hate the government of national unity; we hate committees and Commissions of Integrity, Trash, Rehabilitation and Silliness; we hate [political] parties and organizations; we hate assemblies, demonstrations, banners and chants; we hate laughter; we hate crying; we hate work; we hate study; we hate each other. And we hate ourselves. But (and this is our problem) we still love something that was called Iraq. - Shalash al-Iraqi [emphasis added]

"abolish the fountains of terror in Gaza"

I highly reccommend the Iraq the Model blog; it has been truly inspiring. There, I found this quote, among many others:

And to Olmert I say: Go forward and abolish the fountains of terror in Gaza" - A free Iraqi: Baghdad
Reading this post was like glimpsing a single ray of sunshine after being confined too long to the dark.

Hope is still alive.

Friday, June 30, 2006

"Not everything is fit to print." - Alexander Bickel

The SWIFT anti-terror program allows US government officials to track, in detail, international monetary transactions.

SWIFT led a team of Thai police and CIA agents to terrorist mastermind Hambali. Hambali, also known as "Indonesia's bin Laden", masterminded the 2002 Bali bombing, in which "more than 200 innocent people, mostly Australians, were ripped apart, maimed or burned beyond recognition when dual explosions tore apart the Sari Club, a popular Kuta Beach nightspot." [1] Besides several other small terrorist attacks, he is responsible for planning and directing the murder of at least 20 more innocents in a series of suicide bombings against Western targets in Southeast Asia.

The SWIFT program similarly led to the arrest of Uzair Paracha. Paracha was convicted of several crimes, including an attempt to smuggle al Qaeda member Majid Khan into the country. Paracha confessed that Khan was trying to enter the country to perpetrate a chemical attack within its borders.

SWIFT also helped in investigating the 7/7 attacks in the UK and yielded the arrest of a man aiding terrorists in Iraq. Presumably, there are more investigations currently ongoing and there may have been many more in the future.

That is, until the New York Times, in a shocking display of arrogance[2], decided for We the People that it was no longer in the interest of our National Security for the program to remain secret. The administration, and members of the 9/11 Commission, pleaded with the New York Times not to reveal the details of it to our enemies, citing the nontrivial success stories that grew out of the programs use. But successful or not, legal or illegal, no secret, anti-terror program this administration develops is safe from the prying spies in the New York Times.

In a reaction to the massive public outcry, the New York Times has since attempted to defend its dangerous act. They claim that the program was well-known -- thus, it's revelation would have no effect. But within the Times article itself, they state that the program was meant to be secret and that the government pains itself to sanitize information it has gathered from SWIFT to prevent terrorists from recognizing the source (ie, SWIFT) of our intelligence. Also, why would a program that is well-known by all be newsworthy, and stranger still, worthy of a prominent front page display? These arguments, deployed by the Times in an attempt to defend itself, are eloquently refuted by Hugh Hewitt.

Clearly, something must be done. Most importantly, the government needs to ruthlessly investigate, and punish, officials who illegally leak classified information. There are legal mechanisms for declassifying information, when it is in the best interest of the nation. When the illegal route is taken, there should be no mercy, for any official, at any level.

I am still mulling over the appropriate sanction for the Times. Clearly, they have acted immorally, but a legal punishment might set a dangerous precedent. Or is that precedent precisely what is needed?

[1] From the CrimeLibrary.
[2] Registration required.
[*]See also Fit and Unfit to Print and National Security Be Damned.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"[Islam] is a faith based upon love, not hate." - President Bush

Palestinian militants from the military wing of Hamas set up an explosive device in preparation for a possible Israeli army ground operation in Gaza Strip June 27, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES)[1]

It doesn't take much exposure to the media to know who would be blamed if some cruel fate were to befall these children. Surely, a Palistinian standing nearby would be more than willing to film the aftermath of the "Zionist Entity's Brutal Massacre". The New York Times and the BBC would call for an investigation, and the UN would almost unanimously (perhaps with the US dissenting), condemn the action.

By allowing these children to loiter around them, we learn just how much Hamas cares for the Palistinian people, and ultimately for humanity itself.

[1] Thanks Backspin.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Allah Akbar

My father finally has started blogging!

Instead of his paradise of running water, gardens and virgins he was terribly suprised by the realization that his maker is Jehovah and that at His right side is Jesus Christ "The Lion of the Tribe of Judah" not the "Prophet" of Islam. Imagine the awesome realization that what he lived and died for was wrong and that the Christ that he hated could have been his saviour but is now his judge. It is at once a wonderful and terrible thing to contemplate. When I sent the news to my son by text message he responded back "Allah Akbar", what a terrific response from a great son!!![1]

[1] Conservative Ramblings: Zarqawi Dead - Allah Akbar

From the inside

A muslim author in the Pakistan's Daily Times refers to Muslim dissimulation:

When Abu Musab al Zarqawi was killed in Iraq a week ago, Pakistani parliamentarians belonging to Islamist parties demanded that the National Assembly hold a condolence meeting. The country’s Urdu newspapers are referring to Zarqawi as a martyr for Islam (shaheed). There have been demonstrations in the Palestinian territories hailing him as a hero.

Arabic Islamist chat rooms claim that Zarqawi is in heaven. One wrote: “Oh God, make heaven celebrate his arrival there.” “Oh Allah, reunite us with Abu Musab al Zarqawi in the great paradise alongside Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him],” wrote another. “Farewell, oh hero,” said an unsigned poem. “We hope to meet you in ... a paradise filled with rivers and sweetness /And beautiful virgins that beckon to us in a unique voice.”

The subject of these fulsome tributes was a man whose barbarity knew no bounds. Zarqawi’s achievements included the “horribly grotesque” beheading of the Jewish-American businessman Nick Berg, in May 2004, publicised in his promotional video titled Sheikh Abu Musab Zarqawi Slaughters an American Infidel....

The very people who openly or secretly admire Zarqawi will, at the appropriate forums, cite the Quranic verse to the effect that the killing of even one innocent person is tantamount to the killing of all mankind and to emphasise that Islam literally means peace. Those who will not allow any differences of opinion or interpretation even within the Muslim community convene and attend what are called inter-faith dialogues with followers of other faiths, some of whom they regard as errant or misguided and others as evil and sinful....

Via Jihad Watch.

Friday, April 21, 2006

'Lawful' Islamism

Daniel Pipes, an expert on political Islam, announces Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. The mission of Islamist Watch is to:
Islamist Watch combats the ideas and institutions of nonviolent, radical Islam in the United States and other Western countries. It exposes the far-reaching goals of Islamists, works to reduce their power, and seeks to strengthen moderate Muslims.

He provides some examples of non-violent Islamist activism:
In the long-term, this 'lawful' approach to Islamism, combined with the explosive demographics of Islam, poses a potentially far more serious threat to the West than its violent counterparts.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Hamas or Fatah or ... The Third Way

Many commentators [0] have claimed that the Palestinian people elected Hamas only as an alternative to Fatah. According to this line of reasoning, the Palestinians righteously scorned the Fatah party for its long record of corruption. They conclude that the Palestinian people do not, in general, support terrorism -- had there been a third option, the Palestinians surely would have embraced it.

This is patently false. There was another group of candidates running in the territories, the so-called "Third Way" [1]. These candidates stood remarkably unstained by corruption, violence and terror.

This false dichotomy has been loudly touted by the appeasers, the undereducated and, especially, the Muslim practitioners of Al-Taqiyya[2]. It is sad, but the reality is that when the Palestinian people were given a choice between violence, corruption or a clean, liberal alternative, they voted overwhelmingly for a party that remains committed to "resistance" (which includes, as Hamas has admitted by claiming responsibility for certain terrorist attacks, violence targeted against innocents).

By refusing to alter it's charter[3], Hamas has demonstrated that it's long-term strategic goals have not changed: the destruction of Israel is the "bright light of hope" that Hamas offers to its constituents.

[0] Eg, President Bill Clinton

[1] The Palestinian "Third Way"

[2] Al-Taqiyya at Wikipedia

[3] Eg, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." and "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." - see the full charter.


Welcome to the Dissimulation Exposed blog. Dissimulation Exposed will serve as a place to collect, organize and record my thoughts. Often, but not always, those thoughts will be related to Al-Taqiyya, Islam, violent jihad and dhimmitude. Occasionally, I will write about other political, philosophical or nonsensical subjects. Hopefully, I can also help to educate readers regarding the threat that orthodox Islam poses to Western Civilization.

NB: Islam has noble practitioners. Even some Mujahideen were noble men -- Ahmed Shah Massoud comes immediately to mind. No one is perfect, but his case helps to illustrate that men can interpret the tenets of Islam in an unorthodox -- and moral -- manner. Unfortunately, it seems that a large number of the world's Muslim population instead prefer to emulate men like Osama bin Laden and Zarqawi.