July 20, 2016

Sandcrawler PSA: Bigfoot More Likely to Exist Than Moderate Islamist Syrian Rebels

You've heard the BS, we need to support the moderate forces in Syria, There are none.

Yeah about that.

Videos have emerged online that appear to show Syrian rebels taunting and then beheading a boy they say is a captured Palestinian pro-government fighter.


One video shows five men posing with the frightened child, who could be as young as 10, in the back of a truck. One of the men grips him by the hair.

The same man is later filmed apparently cutting the boy's head off.


Here is the video although its pixelated I'm not going out looking for the original. I'm just not.


Nukes to end Syrian conflict, a mercy.

More here at Clarion Project.

By Howie at 10:32 AM | Comments |

June 30, 2016

Istanbul Airport Terrorists Sneaked Through Turkish Security by Posing as ISIS Fighters

I mean what's unusual about a Russian, Kyrgyz and Uzbek ISIS fighters traveling back and forth trough Turkey? It was the perfect cover really. ISIS fighters returning home to see Mommy and Daddy on Eid.

ISTANBUL — The three suicide bombers who attacked Istanbul's Ataturk Airport have been identified as nationals from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a senior Turkish official said Thursday.
Stealth Jihad.


By Howie at 07:16 AM | Comments |

March 01, 2016

Feel Good Story of the Day al-Qassam Murders Gay Palestinian

I'm sure progressives will dismiss it as caused by you know, The Juice.

GAZA CITY — The death of Mahmoud Ishtiwi had all the trappings of a telenovela: sex, torture and embezzlement in Gaza’s most venerated and secretive institution, the armed wing of Hamas.

Mr. Ishtiwi, 34, was a commander from a storied family of Hamas loyalists who, during the 2014 war with Israel, was responsible for 1,000 fighters and a network of attack tunnels. Last month, his former comrades executed him with three bullets to the chest.

Adding a layer of scandal to the story, he was accused of moral turpitude, by which Hamas meant homosexuality. And there were whispers that he had carved the word “zulum” — wronged — into his body in a desperate kind of last testament.

Actually Mahmoud may not have been gay, he confessed to many things under torture of buy his group Izzedine al-Qassam, one wonders how many he did the very same thing to before he became the scapegoat. But Hamas didn't waterboard him, no they hung him in the same manner John McCain was tortured for days, just for starters.

Anyway, you reap what you sow.

By Howie at 09:09 AM | Comments |

October 31, 2015

ISIS Murders Four Kurdish Soldiers in Revenge Video

So ISIS seems a little pissed off about the raid on the prison. Our hearts go out to the Kurds.

A video purportedly from ISIS surfaced online Friday and shows the terrorists beheading four Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in retaliation for the daring raid by U.S.-led coalition forces last week in northern Iraq.

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At the end of the 15-minute video, a masked English-speaking man delivers a warning to U.S. President Barack Obama before he executes one of the prisoners, who is wearing an orange jumpsuit.

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The three other prisoners are also seen being beheaded at the end of the video and Arabic text appears onscreen. It translates as "Peshmerga soldiers that Americans came down to rescue."

Earlier in the video, ISIS also claims to show the aftermath of the raid during which 70 hostages were rescued by Kurdish, U.S. and Iraqi forces from an ISIS prison in Hawija, in the northern Iraq province of Kirkuk.

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Here is the English spoken bu the first killer to Obama. He sounds American to me. But he's not very eloquent, obviously reciting a prepared statement in a halting fashion. Despite his claims of "victory" it seems we made quite the mess for ISIS.

Obama you have learned a new lesson. Six of the soldiers of the Caliphate faced Four Hundred of your children. They killed and injured them by Allah's grace. You are probably surprised by this.

Oh Crusader, it is the support of Allah.

You did not gain anything, you returned to your bases and with losses and humiliation. Obama you wage war against Allah, he supports us against you. It is the promise of Allah. Allah will never fail in his promise.

This man then beheads the first prisoner as the other three are forced to watch. Its a as gruesome a beheading as I've witnessed.

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Then a warning in Arabic is given to the Kurds and the other three prisoners are beheaded. (screencap and video below the fold)

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The video is available here by request.
(I'm not around to approve the requests so if you didn't get it by now, sorry.)

Its not clear if the following strike was before or after the video. But from the damage shown on the ground it may be after.


By Howie at 10:09 AM | Comments |

October 14, 2015

Peaceful Palestinians Stabbing Jews Celebrating Murder

You know those peace activists....

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...always looking out for the poor downtrodden Palestinians.


So since all those dead babies were such a tragedy, the Palis wouldn't dare risk more young lives by provoking a dead baby producing conflict would they? I mean these kids died because Hamas started a conflict.

Um, yeah... about that.


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BTW does the Imam seem obsessed with Zion (Jerusalem) or is it just me?

Breitbart:

Sheikh Muhammad Sallah “Abu Rajab,” who brandished the knife, told congregants of the Al-Abrar Mosque in Gaza that the stabbing attacks are just the “first phase” in Palestinians’ terror operations against Israel’s Jews, according to a transcript provided by the Middle East Media Research Center (MEMRI).

The cleric made clear that Muslims were engaged in a religious war against Jews.

The usual suspects are counting martyrs, of course those who murdered Jews in cold blood this week are counted.


And with Obama in office Israel stands alone, Clint Eastwood was right, empty chair, and everyone is out to stick to Israel and America while they still can, before the end of his term.

By Howie at 03:54 PM | Comments |

October 02, 2015

Embracing the Suck: A Free Form Blog Post

14 years, but, hey, Osama bin Laden is dead. And that's all that really matters, right?

Afghanistan: C-130 crashes, kills 11 Americans.

Taliban gaining more ground, not just Kunduz.

Confirmed: Russia bombing FSA positions.

Meanwhile: Dog and Pony officially confirm working for circus


My attitude towards the President, Syria, Afghanistan (also life, the universe, and everything)?:

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:29 PM | Comments |

December 26, 2014

Islamic State of Losers Plagued By Problems of Running a State

In stark contrast to earlier reports where IS paves some roads and passed out some of the war booty, IS has run out of booty.

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — The Islamic State’s vaunted exercise in state-building appears to be crumbling as living conditions deteriorate across the territories under its control, exposing the shortcomings of a group that devotes most of its energies to fighting battles and enforcing strict rules.

Services are collapsing, prices are soaring, and medicines are scarce in towns and cities across the “caliphate” proclaimed in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State, residents say, belying the group’s boasts that it is delivering a model form of governance for Muslims.

Slick Islamic State videos depicting functioning government offices and the distribution of aid do not match the reality of growing deprivation and disorganized, erratic leadership, the residents say. A trumpeted Islamic State currency has not materialized, nor have the passports the group promised. Schools barely function, doctors are few, and disease is on the rise.

When your only tool is a Koran, everything looks like a neck, but it will be be hard from Islamic State to murder its way out of winter.
In the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group’s self-styled capital, water and electricity are available for no more than three or four hours a day, garbage piles up uncollected, and the city’s poor scavenge for scraps on streets crowded with sellers hawking anything they can find, residents say.

Videos filmed in secret by an activist group show desperate women and children clamoring for handouts of food, while photographs posted on the Internet portray foreign militants eating lavish spreads, a disparity that is starting to stir resentment.

Bombs falling from the sly, the gutters running with blood, death, destruction and starvation!

Its Islamic Utopia!

Update thanks to pst314 for the awesome edit.

By Howie at 09:23 AM | Comments |

October 22, 2014

Yet Another Terrorist Attack in Canada (update Two Shooters One Dead Another in Custody)

It appears that ISIS appeals for Muslims to attack nations that are part of the coalition are being heeded resulting in yet another attack.

A uniformed Canadian soldier has been shot at the War Memorial in Ottawa, and gunfire has also broken out inside the Parliament buildings

CPR was performed on the soldier and he has been transported to hospital by ambulance.

Police have told reporters that the suspect, reportedly carrying a "large weapon," possibly a shotgun or rifle, is still on the loose, and the parliament buildings are on lockdown. Prime Minister is safe and "off the hill."

The situation is still developing. Updates will follow.

A terrorist and recent revert to Islam was killed when using his car as a weapon earlier this week.

I'll bet you $100 that the perpetrator of this attack was on Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau's now defunct Facebook page friends list.

Which is why I feel Facebook removed Ahmad's page. So the public can't see all his other terrorist pals.

We'll update when we know more about today's um, incident.

Update: More here from CBCNews:

Update II: The Sudbury Star reports that one terrorist was arrested and the second killed inside the parliament building.

An arrest has been made after at least two people were shot in a hail of gunfire on Parliament Hill and the nearby cenotaph.

The victim appears to be a soldier. Several people were seen performing CPR.

Another body is reported to be on the ground just outside the Library of Parliament.

Veteran Affairs Minister Julian Fantino told QMI Agency at least one of the shooters was shot and killed inside the building.

Two men were seen jumping from a Toyota Corolla, followed by dozens of shots.

The car now sits empty outside Centre Block. It has no licence plates.

Journalists reported police were trying to keep them away from the scene. Those inside Parliament reported they were told to stay inside rooms with the door locked.

Update IV: Coincidence or motive?


It appears there was only one shooter despite earlier reports of two. ISIS has claimed the attack.


Update 10/23/2014 06:00 CDT: Robert Stacy McCain has more on Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

We learn that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the terrorist killed in his attack Thursday on the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa, was both mentally ill and a convert to Islam:
Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. The two were divorced in 1999. . . .

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau grew up in Eastern Canada, including Ottawa and Montreal, and had spent time in Libya before moving to Western Canada to become a miner and labourer, according to friend Dave Bathurst.

...At the Burnaby mosque, Mr. Bathurst said his friend’s “erratic” behaviour — he did not elaborate — caused frictions with the elders at the house of worship, who asked him to stop attending prayers. At that time, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was living in a barely furnished single-room apartment.

Mr. Bathurst said he recalls his friend being arrested at the mosque a few years ago after bizarrely calling police to tell them about a crime he had committed many years before.

So we don’t know, and may never know, exactly how it was that Zehaf-Bibeau went from crazy Muslim to terrorist. Rather than focus on the details of that, however, let’s look at the general pattern in the context of history. What you find about killers like this is that the misfit or mental case has both real-life problems and an extremist ideology. Think about Lee Harvey Oswald who, like Zehaf-Bibeau, was the product of a broken home and, like Zehaf-Bibeau, adopted the ideology of a foreign enemy. Whereas the Canadian-born Zehaf-Bibeau became a Muslim in the 21st century, the American-born Oswald became a Marxist at a time when the Soviet Union was America’s greatest enemy.

What causes some people to adopt the ideology of hostile foreign powers? They are misfits and malcontents who are alienated from their own national society, hostile to the dominant culture. By identifying with an extremist ideology, this type of warped personality seeks a kind of empowerment that enables them to enact their fantasy of revenge on the society that rejects the misfit.


By Howie at 10:00 AM | Comments |

September 22, 2014

Racist ISIS Post Calls Obama The Mule of the Jews Calls on Muslims To Murder Kuffar in US, France and Australia

Another day another verdict on our necks brought you by the Religion of Peace™.

Femininican: In an audio recording distributed widely on social media Sunday, Islamic extremist group ISIS urged Muslims globally to launch attacks on civilians in member countries of a U.S.-led coalition opposed to their violent spread through areas of Syria and Iraq.
The statement begins with the usual All Praise be to Allah the Most Merciful the Most Beneficient line of BS. Then goes on about Obama being a Mule to the Jews and also contains a particular jab at the Filthy French.
And O Obama, O mule of the jews. You are vile. You are vile. You are vile. And you will be disappointed, Obama. Is this all you were capable of doing in this campaign of yours? Is this how far America has reached of incapacity and weakness? Are America and all its allies from amongst the crusaders and atheists unable to come down to the ground? Have you not realized – O crusaders – that proxy wars have not availed you nor will they ever avail you? Have you not realized, O mule of the jews, that the battle cannot be decided from the air at all? Or do you think that you are smarter than Bush, your obeyed fool, when he brought the armies of the cross and placed them under the fire of the mujahidin on the ground? No, you are more foolish than him.

You claimed to have withdrawn from Iraq – O Obama – four years ago. We said to you then that you were liars, that you had not withdrawn, and that if you had withdrawn that you would return, even if after some time, you would return. Here you are; you have not withdrawn. Rather you hid some of your forces behind your proxies and withdrew the rest. Your forces will return greater in number than they were before. You will return and your proxies will not avail you. And if you are not able to return, then we will come to your homeland by Allah’s permission.O mule of the jews, you claimed today that America would not be drawn to a war on the ground.

Then the speaker goes on to ask Muslims all over the world to kill Americans, French, Australians and pretty much everybody. Specifically issuing a religious ruling against civilians that their blood is halal and murdering Non-Muslim civilians in the west is the same as spilling the blood of a dog, ISIS considers dogs unclean, and you also a subhuman animal, you blood is Halal, or permitted for any Muslim to spill as he see's fit. They also ask Muslims to spit int he face of Non-Muslims in the west or to bash in our heads with rocks.

O muwahhidīn in Europe, America, Australia, and Canada… O muwahhidīn in Morocco and Algeria… O muwahhidīn in Khorasan, the Caucasus, and Iran… O muwahhidīn everywhere upon the face of the earth… O brothers in creed… O people of walā’ (allegiance to the Muslims) and barā’ (disavowal of disbelievers)… O patrons of the Islamic State… O you whohave given bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) to the Caliph Ibrāhīm everywhere… O you who have loved the Islamic State… O you who support the Caliphate… O you who consider yourselves from amongst its soldiers and patrons…Your state is facing a new campaign by the crusaders. So O muwahhid, wherever you may be, what are you going to do to support your brothers? What do you wait for as the people have become two encampments and the heat of the war increases day by day? O muwahhid, we call you up to defend the Islamic State. Dozens of nations have gathered against it. They began their war against us at all levels. So rise O muwahhid. Rise and defend your state from your
place wherever you may be. Rise and defend your Muslim brothers, for their homes, families, and wealth are threatened and deemed lawful by their enemies. They are facing a battle which is of the decisive, critical battles in the history of Islam. If the Muslims are defeated, they will be humiliated in such a manner that no humiliation compares to. And if the Muslims are victorious – and this will be the case by Allah’s permission – they will be honored with all honor by which the Muslims will return to being the masters of the world and kings of the earth.

So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawāghīt. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European –especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war [the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims]. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy, for blood does not become illegal or legal to spill by the clothes being worn. The civilian outfit does not make blood illegal to spill, and the military uniform does not make blood legal to spill. The only things that make blood illegal and legal to spill are Islam and a covenant (peace treaty, dhimma, etc.).

Blood becomes legal to spill through disbelief. So whoever is a Muslim, his blood and wealth are sanctified. And whoever is a disbeliever, his wealth is legal for a Muslim to take and his blood is legal to spill. His blood is like the blood of a dog; there is no sin for him in spilling it nor is there any blood money to be paid for doing such.

Allah the Exalted said, {And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush} [At-Tawbah: 5].

And He the Exalted said, {So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks} [Muhammad: 4].

And Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “The disbeliever and his killer will never gather in Hellfire.” And he said, “Whoever kills a disbeliever, then he can have his loot [which is on his person].”

So O muwahhid… O you who believes in walā’ and barā’… will you leave the American, the Frenchman, or any of their allies to walk safely upon the earth while the armies of the crusaders strike the lands of the Muslims not differentiating between a civilian and fighter? They have killed nine Muslim women three days ago by striking a bus transporting them from Shām to Iraq. Will you leave the disbeliever to sleep safely at home while the Muslim women and children shiver with fear of the roars of the crusader airplanes above their heads day and night?
How can you enjoy life and sleep while not aiding your brothers, not casting fear into the hearts of the cross worshippers, and not responding to their strikes with multitudes more?

So O muwahhid wherever you may be, hinder those who want to harm your brothers and state as much as you can. The best thing you can do is to strive to your best and kill any disbeliever, whether he be French, American, or from any of their allies.

{O you who have believed, take your precaution and [either] go forth in companies or go forth all together} [An-Nisā’: 71].

If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.

Do not lack. Do not be contemptible. Let your slogan be, “May I not be saved if the cross worshiper and taghūt (ruler ruling by manmade laws) patron survives.”If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops. If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face. If your self refuses to do so, while your brothers are being bombarded and killed, and while their blood and wealth everywhere is deemed lawful by their enemies, then review your religion. You are in a dangerous condition because the religion cannot be established without walā’ and barā’.

This is the compassion and mercy that the Religion of Peace has saved for you, And although ISIS cannot even correctly spell the insuilt to Christians, Cross Worshiper, correctly that doesn't mean they still won't cut your head off.

Wipe ISIS out, all of them.

Full translation here.

By Howie at 09:33 AM | Comments |

September 03, 2014

These Aren't The Moderate Opposition We're Looking For

Pajamas Media:

As the Obama administration struggles to address the threat from ISIS and plans to go to Congress in coming weeks to up its commitment against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, multiple media reports indicate that the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) is operating openly with ISIS and other designated terrorist groups. And yet financial and military support for the FSA is the keystone to the administration’s policy in Syria.

Last week the Washington Post reported on the Syrian ‘rebel’ takeover of the Golan Heights Quneitra border crossing with Israel (where I reported from last year), with the ‘rebels’ capturing the UN peacekeepers stationed at the crossing. The Post noted:

The United Nations gave no further details, but an Israeli military spokesman told CNN that the captors are suspected to be members of al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been fighting alongside more-moderate, Western-backed rebels for control of the area.
The “more-moderate, Western-backed rebels” fighting alongside with Jabhat al-Nusra the Post was referring to, but didn’t dare name, was none other than the FSA.

This is not the only time the FSA has been caught allied with US-designated terrorist groups. Just a month ago the New York Times quoted a ‘rebel’ field commander saying that the FSA had joined ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in attacking a border post in Lebanon:

Reached by phone in Arsal, Abu Osama, a member of Mr. Jomaa’s brigade, said that the sole purpose of Saturday’s attacks was to secure the release of Mr. Jomaa and that they were carried out as a combined operation involving fighters from the Free Syrian Army, the Nusra Front and ISIS.
The Times report was quick to note that Abu Osama’s claim could not be confirmed, no doubt because that fact would be devastating to the Obama administration’s ongoing narrative about the “moderate, vetted” FSA. But the facts about the true nature of the FSA are getting harder to conceal.
As they say, Read the Rest.

Hat Tip: Achmed.

By Howie at 03:07 PM | Comments |

August 28, 2014

ISIS Massacred 200+ Syrian Soliers

The claim on the first video is that these are captured Syrian army soldiers being marched through the desert in their skivies.


Assad soldiers from the special forces of the Islamic State fist recession

This vid shows te same group of men after being executed. For some reason ISIS seems to be slowing down on the publishing the actual murders. PR problem I guess.


Prisoners Nusayris this Maxpettm kindness of your war on Muslims and next Edhi and orderedHe says (and taken to Hell who disbelieve see troops) Congratulations to you and congratulations humiliation us victory and splendor.

The term Nusayris means Alawite.

Alawites are sometimes called "Nusayris" (Nuṣayrī Arabic: نصيرية‎), though this term has come to have derogatory connotations in the modern era; another name, "Ansari" (al-Anṣāriyyah), is believed to be a mistransliteration of "Nusayri"
Thanks to Axe Grinder.

By Howie at 10:37 AM | Comments |

August 19, 2014

Islamic State of Losers Issue Sternly Worded Letter to Freemasons

And to the Black of Washington which I assume is President Obama, ISIS are racists? Who knew.

I can't speak to the validity of the statement, other than its being passed around by various ISIS cheerleaders. ISIS cheerleaders recently passed around a faked Iranian phsyop Fatwa claiming ISIS called for genital mutilation of adult females. Some ISIS cheerleaders apparently agreed with it tho.

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So there you have it folks ISIS didn't really get beaten and they are ready to die. And also, Juice! Crusaders! Romans! Whaaah!

Shut up kid!

Hat Tip: Some Jooo Hater.

Update: ISIS reference to Obama as a Black can also be translated as slave. Because among the other things ISIS is bringing back with its Kalifa is slavery.

That's right slavery.

By Howie at 07:50 AM | Comments |

July 29, 2014

Dueling Atrocities

Yesterday a defector from the Assad regime called Caesar released a report on the Assad's regime, its eliminating its opponents on an industrial scale.

At Hospital 601, not far from the presidential palace in Damascus, Syrian guards ran out of space to store the dead and had to use an adjoining warehouse where military vehicles were repaired.

A forensic photographer working for Syria's military police walked the rows and took pictures of the emaciated and disfigured corpses, most believed to be anti-Assad activists. Numbers written on the bodies and on white cards, the photographer said, told regime bureaucrats the identities of the deceased, when they died and which branch of the Syrian security services had held them.

U.S. investigators who have reviewed many of the photos say they believe at least 10,000 corpses were cataloged this way between 2011 and mid-2013. Investigators believe they weren't victims of regular warfare but of torture, and that the bodies were brought to the hospital from the Assad regime's sprawling network of prisons. They were told some appeared to have died on site.

The report comes complete with graphic images of the dead and highlighted evidence of torture. And Assad's forces to torture. I've seen videos of them chopping off wounded Jihadi's fingers and general abuse of corpses and the living. I've seen Assad's forces dumping Jihadi bodies by the dozen into ravines and rivers. In general they are pretty brutal..

The full report is here(pdf). And embedded her at the Guardian.

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What a coincidence ISIS is also killing on an industrial scale and yesterday released a new video to prove just how efficient their genocide against the Iraqi Shia can be.

Near the end they are killing people and pushing them into the river. I guess to poison the water down stream. The dock they push the victims from is soaked in blood.

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Q: So which side is worse?

A: Both.

Update: More at Gateway Pundit.

ISIS supporters cheered the bloody massacre video.

The comments on YouTube were overwhelmingly positive. One supporter called the massacre a “most beautiful Christmas bonus (present).” Another supporter praised the massacre with, “Allahu Akbar!”

By Howie at 08:38 AM | Comments |

May 20, 2014

War Porn: Syrian SU-22 Bombs the Muj

Ackbar 5.0!

Hat Tip: The Aviationist.

By Howie at 07:49 AM | Comments |

October 30, 2013

Arab Spring! Tunisia's First Suicide Bombing

Allah and I will show these decadent half naked tourists!

In what is believed to be the first suicide bombing in Tunisia, a man walked off the beach in a resort town on Wednesday and blew himself up in front of a seaside hotel, the Interior Ministry said. No one else was hurt.
Oh well you know what they say, practice makes perfect. Maybe he'll have better luck next time.

Oh um, never mind.

By Howie at 07:53 AM | Comments |

August 28, 2013

Arab Liberalism, Biased Selection, & Why Academics and Journalists Get the Arab World So Wrong So Often

I saw this link over at Ace's and took the time to watch the whole video of Elizabeth O'Bagy from the Institute for the Study of War break down who the Syrian rebels are.

The takeaway: the vast majority of Syrian rebels are liberals who's interests are congruent with US interests, or 'moderates' who could be swung to our side.

It's worth the watch. For what it's worth, I follow the ISW's work and am on their email list. They do good work, generally.

But I have a hard time believing the conclusions of it. We've been burned before. Western academics and journalists tell us over and over again, in report after report, that the vast majority of [insert name of group in Muslim country here] is moderate or even liberal.

Remember those heady days of the street protests in Egypt, when Western reporters turned their cameras towards protesters who said the things they wanted to hear? That this was all about democracy, human rights, flowers, and puppies?

The problem that Westerners have is that when we talk to people in the Middle East we talk to people who share our values. Our friends in the Middle East are liberals. So, when an academic or journalist goes to Egypt they crash on the couch of their buddy who they went to grad school with. The guy they use to chug beers with. The girl they had a brief but passionate affair with. People like us.

And then our buddy connects us with their buddies. And what do the friends of this over educated, Mac using, iPhone tweeting, beer drinking, nominally Muslim guy or gal look like? Why, he hangs out with a bunch of people like him. A bunch of other liberals.

So, our "researcher" gets a first hand view of the "Arab street" which, oddly enough, seems to be filled with people not so different than them. The people we meet at the hookah bar debating the relative merits of ios6 vs. Android's jellybean don't seem much different from the grad students down at the Kebab shop just off of Harvard square.

We conclude from our "experience with the Arab street" that any change will be a change for the better. From a more repressive regime to a more liberal regime. Shiny happy thoughts.

The problem with this, as you can see, is that our contact with the so-called "Arab street" is biased because our sample is non-representative. In order for a sample to represent the larger population is must be random.

I believe this is why so many people were fooled into thinking the Arab Spring! was a movement towards liberalism. Empirical observations made from biased samples mislead the observer to erroneous conclusions.

Politicians on "fact finding" trips make the same mistake. Of course John McCain thinks we should be supporting the Syrian opposition militarily. When McCain went to Syria, who did he meet? Well, other than a terrorist or two accidentally thrown into the mix, he met with the liberal/secular opposition. He met with the people he was meant to meet with. And this isn't a conspiracy, it's just a fact that if a US Senator wants to meet with people fighting the Assad regime and he asks the State Department to make arrangements then he will be introduced to the people on the State Department's speed dial. Al Qaeda isn't on their speed dial, but secular liberals are.

And so, too, do academics. I have to wonder where Dr. O'Bagy got her information from on who controls what territory in Syria? From her interview, if I'm understanding it correctly, she's been on the ground in Syria recently. I'm betting that she was shown around by ... her friends in Syria. See above.

Also, notice that on her chart on who controls what territory that a great deal of it is controlled by the "Syrian Islamic Front" who she describes as "moderates". But listen carefully to how she constructs the term "moderate". In this context, a "moderate" is any group that is not liberal but which is willing to work with the liberals and follow the chain of command. Sure, that's "moderate" in this specific context -- an ongoing armed conflict. But such "moderation" tells us nothing about how that group will act post-Assad nor does it tell us anything about the congruence of that group's interests and US interests. If our only interest in Syria is overthrowing Assad, then by that standard we should be supporting al Qaeda.

What I'm suggesting here is that without knowing more about Dr. O'Bagy's methodology, then I have serious doubts about the conclusions drawn from her study. Especially given the great number of similar studies which have suffered similar researcher bias in the past.

However, let us -- for the sake of argument -- grant that O'Bagy has not been mislead and that she is correct in that the vast majority of those fighting against Assad in Syria are liberals or moderates. A counterfactual analysis. Okay, so, the opposition wins. Assad falls. Then what? Do we really believe that once Assad falls that the opposition will unite in calling for free, fair, elections? That the al Nusrah Front will lay down its arms and become a minor political party in a multiparty parliamentary system? That fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq will, like Cincinnatus, return to the fields they were plowing before all this unpleasantness began?

It's not that I think academics and journalists are lying about what is happening in the Arab world, it's just that their experience is a very limited view of a much larger picture.

Except for the liars. The MSM employs more than a few of these.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:50 AM | Comments |

August 02, 2013

Morocco: The Anti-Everywhere Else in the Middle East

As I read this essay by Michael Totten on why Morocco is a much better place then practically everywhere else in the Muslim world, I couldn't help but think of Burke's Reflections on the French Revolution.

Key to understanding Morocco's success is that the King is the leading reformer in the country. In other words, when revolution came to Morocco the nation was able to maintain key social institutions. Something students of Burke will recognize as a key point on why the French Revolution failed but the American Revolution was so successful.

Also of note is that the Islam practiced in Morocco is a far cry from the Salaafism that radiates outward from the Saudi peninsula. And that about half of Moroccons aren't Arabs, but Berbers who were never too keen on being ruled by some far off Caliph -- whether of the Arab or Turkish variety.

It also didn't hurt that when the King decided to limit his own power through Constitutional reform, he excluded both the Communists and the Islamists. Smart man.

Go read it all. A lot of fascinating stuff there. I'd say there was some hope in it, but as someone trained in statistics I'm not sure the outlier is the best predictor.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:40 PM | Comments |

July 26, 2013

Al Qaeda on Spree of Political Assassinations in Tunisia

Meanwhile in Tunisia, al Qaeda isn't so happy with the way things are going and have resorted to violence. Al Qaeda .... using violence? Who would've thunk it:

Mohammed Brahmi was shot 14 times in front of his home within sight of his family on Thursday, plunging the country into a political crisis and unleashing demonstrations around the country blaming the government for the assassination.

Interior Minister Loutfi Ben Jeddou told reporters that ballistics tests on the 9mm bullets used in the attack showed it came from the same weapon used to kill opposition leader Chokri Belaid in February. He alleged that the gunman is Boubakr Hakim, a 30-year-old weapons smuggler born in France, who, he said, was known for jihadi sympathies.

And remember, Tunisia is alleged to be a model of Arab Spring "success".

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:51 PM | Comments |