Discussion in 'Syria, Mali, Libya, Middle East & North Africa' started by KGB_resident, Jun 19, 2011.
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Libya says NATO airstrike kills 9 civilians - Yahoo! News
You know what the funny thing is about this, the people nato is arming, have probably killed Nato soldiers in the past, and now Nato is using their exact tactic, the tactics of Alqaeda.
AQ make their own ordnance. They want to kill everyone, on an equal opportunity basis, and buy their way into Paradise with other people's blood-The higher the bodycount the better. More blood= more holiness. Strange economics. As Stalin said-"one death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic." They haven't noticed that slaughter is inflationary. The more you do, the less it's worth. Compare the press coverage dedicated to each NATO casualty today compared to the coverage in the Great War. In that time, hundreds would die in a day, and it would be classed as a 'Quiet day at the Front'.
No one seems to have bothered to ask exactly what AQ's long-term plans are after they 'win'. OK, establish global Emirate. Convert everyone to Islam, from the Eskimos to the Kalahari bushmen. Now what? Just sit around and wait for the Hidden Mahdi to step up?
We buy our kit with taxpayers money. We're held "accountable" for every round issued, bomb fired, and civilian slapped. We don't want to kill anyone unnecessarily. It creates paperwork, lawyers and accountants.
Hence-AQ are 'Terrorists'. They just offer terror. NATO is 'Legally Accountable'. We offer lawyers and accountants.
Take your pick as to which is more frightening. People who want to kill the maximum number for God with enthusiasm, or people who want to kill the least number, with cold economic calculation. In some ways, AQ are at least more human. They value infidel blood if only to shed it in Allah's name. We don't value them as people. They are merely entries in a ledger to be removed.
If AQ are enthusiastic Crusaders, NATO are pest controllers. It's a war between rodents and Rentokil. Rentokil can clear the property, and maintain public hygiene. But they'll never get rid of all the rats, just the most obvious infestations.
Al Qaeada are whizzing round above Afghanistan in Typhoons and Rafales and using cruise missile armed subs?
No wonder it's taking so long to mallet them.
Why isn't Italy thanking NATO for keeping 9 Libyans from immigrating? Ungrateful bastards.
...wait, this isn't the NAAFI bar...
Fresh Libya civilian deaths pile pressure on NATO - Yahoo! News
NATO apparently gives trupms to the Gaddafi hands. Now military front is not so important as propaganda one.
That's a very well crafted DIY AKS-74u Osama has here.
Made it from used matchsticks so he did. No wonder he looks so smug.
Not sure if you are accurately representing current AQ policy. Since the glorious Jihad against the Shi'a marketplaces of Iraq imploded and rather discredited the franchise amongst the Camel Jockeys the shine seems to have gone off mass casualty attacks. Setting their arses on fire is the new normal.
No, No, No. It's the hordes of Somalians that give the eyeties the willies.
Not really, if you listen to a number of reports. The bomb fell on a pro rebel area, and the locals (off camera), said it was a friendly fire incident, that they accept will happen.
As far as I can see, almost every AQ operation that has involved major casualties have been IEDS, except (of course) the use of US airliners as improvised Cruise missiles. Small arms? Cheap as chips, and probably made in Pakistan, in a garage (MoT and AK47's While-U-Wait)
I'd also say that AQ may have fragmented and evolved, and SOME of the franchises do seem to be moving into a more Public Relations sensitive model, but the rest are the same sectarian Neanderthals they ever were.
And I'd be willing to bet that Osama's hard drives were full of jihadist wet-dream fantasies about CBRN attacks on the USA. BBC News - Osama Bin Laden diary 'planned attacks' - US officials
"Bin Laden envisaged attacks being staged on significant dates, such as America's 4 July Independence Day and the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 11 September 2001.
He wrote that other American cities such as Los Angeles should be considered for targeting, not just New York.
In his writings, US officials say that Bin Laden wondered how many American deaths it would take to lead Washington to reconsider its policies on the Middle East.
The al-Qaeda leader is said to have concluded that only a body count of thousands, like that of the 9/11 attacks, would be enough."
It depends on whether you think OBL was still a significant policy leader in AQ, or a mumbling old has-been kept on ice in Pakistani military custody until they needed to hand him over to the US for a big favour.
If you look at the AQ training program it is a pretty comprehensive tour of convenional infantry weaponry including mortars and HMGs. They do cover making TATP and fertilizer bombs but most of the IED stuff their affiliates have used is only improvised in the sense that artillery shells are being recycled. The millitary HE PETN tends to feature even in their arse flaming attacks.
Historically nearly all Takfiri targets are within the Umma not Western. 9-11 remains an aberration, the hundred thousand or so they butchered in Algerian civil war and Iraq are more business as usual. OBL's fantasying from his confinement is best ignored, it's is spin that he was unable to deliver on.
The more level headed Dr Z clearly thinks mass casualty actions in the Umma are counterproductive but however clearly endorses the current under reported carnage in urban Pakistan by the likes of the TTP. Not being as Westernized as OBL and having been a guest in Cairo's inventive torture chambers his focus is likely to be elsewhere.
We're wandering around the topic a bit. AK misdirected it by asserting that NATO was "using their exact tactic, the tactics of Alqaeda". I contradicted, on the grounds that NATO spends a lot of time and effort training its people NOT to commit mass atrocity, whereas that's AQ's main tactic.
I'm sure you are right that AQ will train it's members to use most commonly available firearms, and heavier stuff if they can obtain it. To date, however, the tactical manner in which they have DEPLOYED these weapons against the West have been primarily aimed at achieving mass civilian casualties, usually by aiming IEDs at large centres of population or (preferably) mass transport systems like airliners, tube trains and so on. That's their strategy, so far as it goes. Crude Mk1 terrorism, straight out of the Marxist Leninist cookbook. -Kill or terrorise enough of the decadent Western middle classes, and they 'll give in to your demands for the sake of a quet life. Then you take another bite.
The fact is that AQ's ill-disciplined foot soldiers instead often indulge their sectarian bigotry on the nearest available soft target, which in a mixed nation like Pakistan or Iraq usually means the local Shia.
Recent press on OBL's captured data suggest that he was beginning to think that AQ had gone down a wrong pathway, losing it's focus on its religious mission, and overindulged in mass sectarian killing.
Osama bin Laden raid: top 10 discoveries - Telegraph
Actually, I think he was reading it backwards. His old AQ has evolved under combat conditions. It's moral or religious basis has rotted away. It is now more capable, but only to a form in which it can best deliver pointless civilian casualties. It is considerably less effective on the battlefield than it used to be. Now, it's just a haven for Mad Max style nihilist survivalists and over enthusiastic wannabes, who are often new converts to Islam and think that they have a point to prove to their new co-religionists. Indeed, it appears to have so lost track of what it wanted to be that its various franchises now have more of a steer on its policy than its so called leadership.
It's been said before that the 'Arab Spring' is a serious blow to AQ. Whether there are devout Muslims, perhaps Muslim Brotherhood, or ex-jihadists from Iraq or Afghanistan, amongst them, the fact remains that the mass civil demonstrations weren't callling for more Islam. They want (The Horror!) decent democratic government, work, and less State oppression. That doesn't sound like Taliban era Afghanistan or the theocratic loons in Tehran to me. Basically, AQ can muster a few thousand fanatics. With their best efforts, they've never come close to toppling an Arab Government. Some teenagers on the Internet saying democracy was a good idea brought down several in three months.
There is very little new in that Telegraph article. The micro-managing is interesting. This is probably the most significant confirmation.
It was reported a couple of years ago that funding from the Gulf Kingships was reported to be pouring into Mullah Omar's war chest, leaving little space for AQ, a brand badly tarnished by the bloody Iraqi campaign against Shi'a marketplaces, the level of Arab on Arab carnage on Al Jaz disgusted even the Saudis. A replay of the Algerian civil war of the 90s and similarly an own goal for the Takfiri cause.
Some Pakistani talibans seems to be making a similar mistake in its random slaughter fests. Takfiri seem ideological prone to misdirected carnage.
It's interesting to look at the Iraq situation now, the AQ affiliate is still presumed to be active and behind some of the violence, there are reports they are on the rise again as frustration with Iraqi's flagrantly cleptocratic political elite mounts. Mass casualty bombings still occur but the current mischief is generally much more targeted and effective. Assassinations by silenced pistol or sticky bomb have proliferated, aimed at government officials not dismembering hundreds random shoppers to no useful affect. The latter was much easier business to engineer (though highly insecure) than the precision killing of Iraq's heavily protected rulers.
Like Nazis Takfiri tend to be talked about almost in terms of demonology, not all buy the bonkers cause of the Caliphate, most are family men with local attachments and people do simply change causes. It's simple pragmatism for the differently able soldiers of Benghazi to leverage local talent hardened in Helmand and al Anbar. It's less strange than Nazi officers being recruited by the CIA or Uncle Ho using former enemy Japanese officers as trainers, it's also not surprising that Benghazi has been discrete about it.
All very true. I think we're in danger, though, of viewing beards and ballot boxes as being incompatible. The fighters in Misrata were openly quite pious- at least Allah-u-Akbar punctuated every conversation frequently- and saw themselves as fighting a jihad. However, they also wanted the freedom to wear Man U shirts, listen to hip hop, vote and drive customised cars. The two aren't incompatible; and I think the worst thing we can do is get in a tizz about Islamists hiding around the corner to pop out at an unspecified future date.
Left to their own devices, Libyans are quite irreligious, dark mutterings about al-Darnah aside. The Italians tried to prop up their rule by building mosques, which the Libyans found ludicrous; Q talked the Islamic talk for decades, which would put anyone off. Really (esp. in Cyrenaica), they're Muslims in that they believe in Allah and thus consider themselves slightly more evolved than the rest of humanity, but their Islam is deeply mixed up with tribal honour, and like AFG, tribe beats God hands down. They all go to Alex or Cairo as often as they can to drink Scotch and **** Egyptian girls ("they have no honour; they're not real Arabs, their brothers are soft"). Historically, Islam was book-learning, a distraction from the fun stuff of blatting off rounds, bongo-fuelled war dances and raiding the neighbours. Little has changed.
Iran's bigging up the current tide of Arab Revolution (apart from Syria, ahem) as an Islamic Awakening. It isn't. They want to be like us, but still be Muslims. They're proud of being Muslims, and of being Arabs, and have every right to be. We should let them get on with it, and I think in Libya we're doing the right thing giving them a helping hand. But we should clear the **** away from trying to nudge their revolution in or away from any particular direction. They (at least, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Nahda) see Turkey as a model, and it isn't such a bad one (the AKP, rather than the coup-prone Ataturkist general staff version).
Islam and democracy aren't antithetical ideas. Afghan Kandak must know that Pashtun systems of government are more purely, volatilely democratic than Western parliamentary democracy. We have a unique chance here to un**** up our relationship with our estranged Arab cousins. For decades we've blamed them for suffering under dictators we've imposed.
And Afghan Kandak: I can assure you that the rebels in Benghazi and Misrata- good Muslims all- are pretty sanguine about collateral damage. Their gripe is that we aren't bombing Tripoli and Brega enough, and are too cautious about civvy deaths. I asked the rebel spokesmen in Benghazi about the supposed imams allegedly slotted in a strike on Brega a month or two ago, and whether this would inflame Muslim opinion. His response: "**** them. Just get this over with."
Edited to add: the only out-and-out Islamists I met my whole time there (apart from a chubby, threatening cuntbox on the road to Tubruq who thought I was simultaneously American, Jewish and Shi'i) were a group of bearded, short-trousered Salafis in Misrata who'd just captured the hospital after taking heavy casualties. They all spoke impeccable French and refused to be interviewed on film (and were teaching the others [mostly Misratan medical students] how to battlefield prep their gats). I'm sure our resident Algeria specialist Alib might be able to expand...
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