Category Archives: Terrorism

Everybody loves Al-Qaeda – Part Two

Read Part One here.

Through their reactive kneejerk policies over the last few years, policies that conform both to their inherent nature and parochial interests, Russia, Iran, the Assad regime, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and all other Middle Eastern regimes managed to create a situation in Syria where the United States had no choice but to intervene to midwife a process that will eventually secure the interests of most of these regimes, most of which will survive the current mayhem with little or no change.

An ISIS parade in the Syrian town of Tal-Abyad
An ISIS parade in the Syrian town of Tal-Abyad.

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Collateral Damage

The Syrians, yes, even those who are now in danger of being harmed as a result of U.S. strikes, would have been much more forgiving, had the strikes come earlier and had Assad being in the visor as well, and not only ISIS and Al-Nusra. But seeing that the strikes came so late in the game and only in response to a potential threat to U.S. security, and that there do not seem to be any plans for targeting Assad and his loyalist militias as well, Syrians in target regions have little reason to be sympathetic to America’s plans. Even the Kurds, and after their initial euphoria, seem skeptical now, because ISIS’ positions around Kobani remain untouched, and its assault on the Kurdish town is still unfolding.

It pays to do this little comparison to see why the rebels are so focused on Assad, despite the world's obsession with ISIS.
It pays to do this little comparison to see why the rebels are so focused on Assad, despite the world's obsession with ISIS.

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Too early for true hope!

Ever since ISIS began making its presence felt on the Syrian scene, I predicted that eventually Obama will choose to intervene in Syria, but only to strike against ISIS. I warned that such a course will antagonize many Sunnis around the world, on account of Obama’s refusal to strike against the Assad regime which has committed much worse atrocities against the Syrian people, especially the Sunni majority. By enlisting the participation of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and even Qatar, Obama seems to think that he can avert giving such an impression. But he is wrong. Participation of the corrupt and authoritarian Sunni governments that have always had strong ties with the U.S. will not alleviate Sunni doubts and anger on the grassroots level, especially among the disaffected, and will probably further fuel it.

ISIS basis in the Syrian city of Raqqah
ISIS basis in the Syrian city of Raqqah.

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The Lesser Evil

So the group that could pose the greatest danger to America is Khorasan, a terror group whose leader Muhsin Al-Fadhli, used to live in Iran up until 2012, along other members of the Al-Qaeda, before finally relocating to Syria. Intelligence reports say that Al-Fadhli used to raise funds from various GCC donors, especially Kuwaitis, to help support Al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria.

Dead, but still relevant!
Dead, but still relevant!

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The Persecuted!

The author of this op-ed, Mr. Rich Ghazal, an ordained deacon in the Syriac Orthodox Church, makes some excellent points about the plight of the Middle East’s Christian communities, that is, until he gets to those two paragraphs that capture the real message that he and the IDC conference organizers wanted to deliver to President Obama and the American people at large: preserve the Assad regime.

"In Defense of Christians" Summit was a three day event that took place in Washington, D.C. between September 9-11, and included a meeting with President Obama.
"In Defense of Christians" Summit was a three day event that took place in Washington, D.C. between September 9-11, and included a meeting with President Obama.

The first paragraph:  Continue reading