When two tribes go to war…


by Leon
27th July, 2006 at 3:21 pm    

I was wondering why we hadn’t heard anything from the loony bunch from the caves. Almost on cue comes another al-Qaida message:

“Osama bin Laden’s deputy issued a worldwide call today for Muslims to rise up in holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza, until Islam reigns from “Spain to Iraq”.

In a video tape broadcast by al-Jazeera, the Egyptian terror leader said: “How can we remain silent while watching bombs raining on our people? Oh Muslims everywhere, I call on you to fight and become martyrs in the war against the Zionists and the Crusaders. ”

He said that the weapons being used by the Israelis were from the “crusader coalition” and added that “every participant will pay the price”.

Zawahiri, wearing a grey robe and white turban, and speaking in front of a picture of the World Trade Centre on fire, said al-Qaida now saw “all the world as a battlefield open in front of us”.
He said: “The war with Israel does not depend on ceasefires …. It is a jihad for God’s sake and will last until [our] religion prevails … from Spain to Iraq … We will attack everywhere.” [The Guardian]

Sound familiar? It should do, it’s the mirror image of another loony (although this one doesn’t reside in a cave somewhere along the Afghan/Pakistan border):

“The civilized world stands balanced between victory and defeat.

The long road to victory begins with the free world helping the Lebanese democracy defeat Hezbollah, expelling the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and removing all of the 10,000 plus missiles aimed at Israel from Lebanon. Then we must create the circumstance where the Lebanese can control their own territory and thus end the mortal threat to Israel.

The nature of the threat – with Iran at the epicentre – is at its core ideological. The ideological wing of Islam that is irreconcilable to modern civilization. And while not operationally connected, the events of just the last seven weeks throughout the world share the common strategic goal of defeating the West and its values. It could be accurately described as a third world war.” [Newt Gingrich]

So, there we have it, its World War 3 folks and only fundamentalist nutjobs need apply. The rest of us will play the role of victims as two sets of lunatics attempt to re-configure this growing conflict into a global narrative of war. Maybe they’ve watched Star Wars too many times and it’s gone to their heads? Perhaps the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares was less a history lesson than a portent of things to come?

Either way, this latest message from AQ serves nicely to distract from the growing anger at Israel’s aggressive ‘defence’ of its ever shifting borders, the rising body counts on both sides and the actions of Iran (and probably Syria) in support of Hezbollah.

There are no easy solution in this situation but there’s no chance of one when extremists like the above wish to divide us all into ‘Us vs Them’.

Update: Informed Comment views this as an “historic about face” by AQ.


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  1. Vikrant — on 27th July, 2006 at 3:28 pm  

    Maybe they’ve watched Star Wars too many times and it’s gone to their heads?

    or rather they’ve read too much of Khalifat and “glorious” Islamic history.

  2. Vikrant — on 27th July, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

    BTW shouldnt we all be concentrating on how to ensure that humanity suvives beyond 21st century with the Petrol crash looming dangerously close…. It seems that we are too held up with trivial things to notice it. With no petrol after a 100 years, it wont matter whether Israel exists or not or whether we have an Islamic Caliphate or not…

  3. sonia — on 27th July, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

    yes of course no suprise there. use any conflict to gain power – ooh sounds like bush and bin laden ( and other authoritarian self-appointed dictatorial ‘leaders’ ) constantly do.

  4. Vikrant — on 27th July, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

    bush and bin laden ( and other authoritarian self-appointed dictatorial ‘leaders’ )

    Me thot bush has 51% Americans behind him… Between Bush and OBL there are umpteen leaders you name… why bush??

  5. Kismet Hardy — on 27th July, 2006 at 3:50 pm  

    I’m glad you called it world war III Leon. I’ve been sitting there wondering how many more countries have to get fucked up before someone officially tagged it thus. But hey, Germany must be happy. For once it’s not them at the centre of it. Step forward America.

    I like the two tribes tag too. Frankie goes to Hollywood, got shot at customs for having a beard

  6. Bert Preast — on 27th July, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

    Great, Al Qaeda step into the mix. Just what Lebanon needs, really.

  7. Leon — on 27th July, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

    Kismet, I’m not convinced it is WW3 tbh hence my reasoning for questioning those that are now attempting to conflate various global conflicts in that manner…

    And LOL! Well done for spotting the music reference.;) Seeing as that cat jumped out of the bag more on that tune and it subject matter here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Tribes

  8. Roger — on 27th July, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

    Given OBL and friends’ opinion of shias it’s rather surprising actually.

  9. Arif — on 27th July, 2006 at 4:31 pm  

    Roger, I agree.

    Al Qaeda in Iraq – reported to be connected to Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, seeking to create a civil war with Shias.

    Saudi Arabia and Egypt blaming Hizbulla and reported by the media to be doing so in fear of a resurgent Shia arc from Lebanon to Iran.

    But Zawahiri now reported to be calling on Sunnis to come to the aid of Hizbullah … but hold on … he said for Islam to prevail from Spain to Iraq. What country is the next one east of Iraq…. It is Iran. Not a Muslim country then?

    I think their sectarian hatred continues to burn along with their hatred of oppressors and people going innocently to work.

  10. Leon — on 27th July, 2006 at 4:33 pm  

    I think they just see an opportunity the way Newt The Warmongering Maniac does…

  11. Bert Preast — on 27th July, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

    Bear in mind that WW2 kicked off with the phoney war. Though Poles etc. might disagree, of course.

  12. Zak — on 27th July, 2006 at 10:51 pm  

    Great choice pax americana versus a unrealistic and twisted Pan Islamic empire?

  13. Don — on 27th July, 2006 at 10:59 pm  

    Zak,

    Yeah, where are our reptilian overlords when you need them?

  14. Zak — on 28th July, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

    lol Is that a V reference Don?

  15. Don — on 28th July, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

    I’ve said too much already.

  16. Leon — on 28th July, 2006 at 2:04 pm  

    Oh dear, we’re all showing our age (or our sci fi fandom?)!

  17. sonia — on 28th July, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

    leon – no #10 – spot on. they’ve been waiting for precisely this sort of thing to happen so they can call for a global war. a very good excuse for them. im sure they’re frothing at the mouth in the same way Dubya was post 9-11

  18. sonia — on 28th July, 2006 at 2:15 pm  

    after all, we know they feed off war and discontent and know they can use it to radicalize more people. and isn’t that what they want?

  19. Leon — on 28th July, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    @ Sonia, Well yeah and further to this they must be thinking it’ll be great because the cold war lasted 50 odd years. I expect they think they’ll get the same mileage out of this.

    Pity they haven’t factored in a possible ‘humans destroying themselves completely this time round’ into their thinking (although if their religious zeal is to be beleived that might be what they want)…

  20. sonia — on 28th July, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

    yeah you;re right Leon. given that everyone was supposed to be so worried that Iran has nuclear – where does that take us?

  21. Katy Newton — on 28th July, 2006 at 7:34 pm  

    Leon, did CIF unban you yet?

  22. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th July, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

    Leon, listen this …

    “Our Religious Affairs Correspondent Robert Pigott reports that many Christian Republicans see support for the Jewish people as central to an approaching armageddon at the End of Time, necessary to the second coming of Jesus.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/ram/today3_20060722jesus.ram

    Ooo … I really dislike these ultra conservative religious types can’t we collect them all up and ship them somewhere else so the rest of us can still get on?

    Hang on … didn’t we (the UK) ship them off the to States and the criminals to OZ?

    Who would have thought that doing this would result in the production and the world domination of Kylie’s bum?

    TFI

  23. saurav — on 28th July, 2006 at 11:36 pm  

    Here is how how it works:

    Nasrallah establishes himself and Hezbollah as leaders in the Arab world (and among people) for a) being able to defear Israel militarily in 1990 b) being able to stand up to Israel militarily now without being destroyed (one could argue he has already almost won) and even wreaking damage within Israel c) building alliances between Sunni and Shi’a groups alike.

    As a result, Al Qaeda faces a threat to its street cred and has to step in, make a statement about how really, truly, they are important.

    It’s not like just because sectarian splits are important, they’re the only thing that matter. There is, after all, politics, competition for power, etc., among these groups.

    A more interesting question than why Al Qaeda spoke is why Zawahiri was the spokesperson: Given Zawahiri’s press friendliness lately, what are the odds that Bin Laden is dead? 2:1?

  24. Leon — on 28th July, 2006 at 11:57 pm  

    @ Katy, no idea, I just re-registered under a different name and carried on posting…

    @ TheFriendlyInfidel, yeah been following stuff like that for some time now (I was raised to believe in all that so I guess it kinda fuels part of my fascination with the Neo Con fundies)…

    @ saurav, very good point and fairly close to some of my thinking on this. Especially about politics being a competition for power…

  25. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 29th July, 2006 at 1:21 am  

    The Friendly Infidel,

    You know that isnt mainstream. Many Americans support Isreal for a whole host of reasons. Some odious, some completely reasonable. Just like some people support Palestinian, Arab, or Muslims. Some odious, and some completely reasonable. However I cant see how a non Arab, non Muslim could support Palestinian, Arab or Muslims. It doenst make sense and is a bit suspicious. I accept support for Isreal for being a democracy but not for being some special entity that demands more attention than others. To be fair I accept support for the Palestinians for being Muslims by Muslims and no one else. That comes with its conditions though. The current objective of Palestinians as I see it isnt Islamic so they dont qualify for Muslim support.

    I dont support them. The moment they change their tune…

  26. Sunny — on 29th July, 2006 at 4:36 am  

    However I cant see how a non Arab, non Muslim could support Palestinian, Arab or Muslims.

    Bikhair – it may not be obvious, but some of us believe in the idea of humanity and standing up for people when they are being victimised. To me their religion or ethnicity is irrelevant. So in some cases they may be Muslim.

  27. Ibraheem — on 29th July, 2006 at 12:50 pm  

    There is a very big “project” to try to create divisions in Islam so as to get to the bottom of Islam..This will NEVER succeed.

    Islam is in the whole world..Japan-Alaska, Norway to South Africa..civilizations doesn’t mean to go semi-naked ..

    do u think?

  28. El Cid — on 29th July, 2006 at 12:54 pm  

    However I cant see how a non Arab, non Muslim could support Palestinian, Arab or Muslims. It doenst make sense and is a bit suspicious.
    This is a weird thing to say, and a little disturbing

  29. Refresh — on 29th July, 2006 at 1:41 pm  

    So wierd in fact that I wonder if it is Bikhair saying it.

  30. Cisoux — on 29th July, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

    My friends and I were discussing last night how it is inevitable that the next Jihad attack from British Muslims will be against a Jewish target. Either a synagogue or a prominent Jewish figure in public life. I have a feeling that’s exactly what will happen.

  31. sonia — on 29th July, 2006 at 4:07 pm  

    doom and gloom

  32. Cisoux — on 29th July, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

    I can already predict the reactions to such an attack from the usual suspects – those in denial, the far left, and the weasels of the identity politicians. I can feel it in the air.

  33. Roger — on 29th July, 2006 at 5:04 pm  

    “There is a very big “project” to try to create divisions in Islam so as to get to the bottom of Islam..This will NEVER succeed.”
    Actually, it happened without anyone- except muslims trying to achieve unity- trying.

    It isn’t a matter of “supporting” anyone actually. It’s a matter of thinking it’s better if we don’t harm other people if we can avoid it. There is no justice; only different amounts of injustice.

  34. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 29th July, 2006 at 8:02 pm  

    Refresh & Cid,

    There are very few things that will benefit Muslims. I believe those who support the Palestinians dont have those things in mind.

  35. soru — on 29th July, 2006 at 8:36 pm  

    Cisoux: Not British, but otherwise scarily accurate prediction:

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N29424537.htm

    SEATTLE, July 29 (Reuters) – Police stepped up security at Seattle synagogues and mosques on Saturday, a day after a Muslim man who said he was angry at Israel shot dead one woman and wounded five others at a Jewish center.

  36. Sunny — on 30th July, 2006 at 1:57 am  

    I believe those who support the Palestinians dont have those things in mind.

    If she is referring to people such as Lenin, Galloway etc, then I’m willing to agree on that. I don’t believe they do it for humanity, but do it rather because it suits their own agenda. But then people always jump on a bandwagon that suits their agenda. Such is life and politics.

  37. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 30th July, 2006 at 3:13 am  

    Sunny I 100% agree with you. I listened to Galloways radio show that “debated” Palestine. The way he handled the callers spoke volumes. One chap phoned up and said that his was Muslim, Galloway approved, then this chap stated that the only way for peace was to try and suck the hatred out of BOTH sides of the argument, for this he got cut off. Other callers he either abused or glorified depending on where they dumped the blame. He is a vicious little self serving man, I find it amazing that people put him on a pedistal.

    TFI

  38. El Cid — on 30th July, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

    Unfortunately, Sunny, she isn’t being that specific.
    As we both know, there are millions of non-moslems out there who sympathise with the Palestinian cause and are not the Galloway-type (or indeed like U.S. Republicans supporting the mujahadeen against the Soviets).
    She is implying that non-moslems shouldn’t look for things that they have in common with moslems because, actually, they have nothing in common. From this perspective, any alliance — or reaching out — between diff groups is purely tactical mand short-term. And yet for most (a lot) of us it isn’t.
    Our starting position is that most moslems, if left to their own devices, are not intolerant Islamofacists who see religion and politics as inseparable and wish to create a grand caliphate free of the kaffir and his dog-like ways, but are rather much like everyone else, albeit with a different cultural outlook, that is only partly fed by their (or parents’) religion.
    Did you say once that Bikhair and Old Dickhead were two sides of the same coin?

  39. Refresh — on 30th July, 2006 at 9:37 pm  

    Something worth looking at:

    Is Lebanon the Great Unravelling?
    by William Bowles • Friday, 28 July, 2006

    http://www.williambowles.info/

  40. Sunny — on 30th July, 2006 at 10:20 pm  

    TFI, agreed.

    El Cid, you may have a point. Indeed she is mad most of the time. I’d be interested in seeing what Bikhair has to say, whether she agrees with my assumptions or yours.

  41. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 31st July, 2006 at 4:55 am  

    El Cid & Sunny,

    You guys are basically saying the same thing. I agree with you both. I disagree with Sunny saying that I am mad most of the time. Though coming from him it sounds flattering.

  42. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 31st July, 2006 at 12:49 pm  

    Bikhair, they are saying completely different things when they interprited your statements.

    Perphaps you could in your own words explain what you meant when you wrote:

    “However I cant see how a non Arab, non Muslim could support Palestinian, Arab or Muslims.”

    TFI

  43. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 31st July, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

    In addition to this, do you think that a non-African non-black could support the people in Zimbabwe?

    TFI

  44. sonia — on 31st July, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

    well jumping in, i suppose one can hardly blame Bikh for thinking what she does. ( if that’s what she does think) after all, generally it is rather unfortunate but seems to be all over the place that a lot of people seem to be to be capable ( or only interested in ) of only identifying with what they consider their ‘group’s suffering.

  45. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 31st July, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

    Sonia, you are right, it is a real thing about humans that we do this. However some people like to think that we are all the same under the skin and the suffering of humans is universal.

    Personally I don’t find that that hard to believe, many people try to see the best in others inspite of what they might say or do.

    TFI

  46. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 31st July, 2006 at 6:04 pm  

    TheFriendly,

    Sometimes I assume people know where I am coming from. I am a Muslim first and foremost. Even before I am my mothers child, I am a Muslim. So, for people to support Palestinians who are overwhelmingly Muslim, it is important that they support them in what is best as Muslims because that Muslim thing that they have going on is most important. Their state, their land, their homes, their this and their that should not be made a priority ahead of their religious cultivation and practice.

    In that regard only other Muslims can properly and justifiably support other Muslims. Now if you arent of the opinion that thier religion is important than I dont believe you have what is best for them at heart. There is a very curious ayat in the Quran that states that mankind has been given life so that we may worship our creator.

    It is hard for people with no fidelity, such as your name implies, to understand this concept which is why I believe that if you would like to distinguish yourself from Muslims it would be more appropriate to refer to yourself as a disbeliever. Infedility doesnt quite capture your state of being.

  47. sonia — on 31st July, 2006 at 6:11 pm  

    TFI – :-) yeah here’s to more of that.

    though given how everyone’s like oh you don’t know shit about this or that if you’re a white middle class male or you’re not x or y or z label is bound to put anyone off trying to empathize in case they get accused of being ‘patronizing’ and presuming to know how they feel. ya know cos you’re not “authentic”.

    i cant be bothered to respond to bikhairs post now. god this site is full of ‘em.

    but – a parting shot!

    “Their state, their land, their homes, their this and their that should not be made a priority ahead of their religious cultivation and practice.”

    oh yeah? well in that case honey they ought not to be fighting for their land. Oh = and someone better inform the palestinian christians about all this.

    night night all

  48. Arif — on 31st July, 2006 at 6:36 pm  

    Bikhair, we are given life to worship the creator. We are broken into different communities so we can compete with one another in good works. All good works are recorded.

    Non-Muslims, or Muslims who take humanitarian preoccupations more seriously than sectarian ones might interpret their responsibilities to God or to each other very broadly. There is nothing suspicious about this, and it does not necessarily make you a lesser Muslim, Christian, humanist or whatever. There may be some sects which see favouritism as important and some which see such favouritism as evil, and some which see favouritism as compatible with some lesser but real concern for others.

    I think the suspicion may be that someone from another religion is not coming from a humanitarian perspective, but is actually from a sect which belives in exclusivist favouritism, and such a sect would then only support another group if and when it provides some benefit to themselves. Such suspicions would be very unfair on someone whose faith tells them to be humane and concerned for all humanity.

  49. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 31st July, 2006 at 6:51 pm  

    Hi Bikhair,

    Thanks for your response. If it makes you feel better I’ve studied enough science to conclude that this universe with its perfectly balanced set of laws in perfect equalmum couldn’t have happen without intent or design.

    That’s not to say that I’m a ID kind of guy, my god is clever enough to make a perfect universe without tinkering with its running. Nor do I believe that he/she/it talks through self described Prophets. I believe that those where people clever enough to sell their concept of god to create new social structures and frameworks.

    I also think that he/she/it doesn’t care about us any more than I care about the batteria hanging around the edges of my kitchen sink. Mine is a non-interventist type of guy/gal/thingie.

    If life has any purpose at all, it is for us to find away to reach outside of this play pen called the universe and say “hello” to designer of the rules of physics and maths, before the great collapse or heat death winks the universe out of existence.

    In this I think that the Greeks had it right, you get closer to understanding the nature of live through an understanding of mathematics.

    Where as you appear to believe that we are going to achieve this goal by throwing stones at each other under their skull cracks and their brains dribble onto the floor.

    My handle is such because I learned that as an “infidel” I’m hated by some, but actually I’m humanist and friendly to all.

    So Bikhair, no matter how you feel, I’m going to be your friend. If that pisses you off, I’ll try and be ever more a friendly while speaking my mind.

    Love, hugs and kisses,

    TheFriendlyInfidel :-)

  50. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 31st July, 2006 at 8:21 pm  

    TheFriendly,

    I understand that you are socialized in the West to be rather narciscistic but you arent the center of my love or hate. You are just one persons whose ideas I happen to reject with no particular vehemence or bias.

    Your feelings for me certainly dont piss me off. Its assumptions like these that do:

    “Where as you appear to believe that we are going to achieve this goal by throwing stones at each other under their skull cracks and their brains dribble onto the floor.”

    As a matter of religous practice I would love to go on Hajj and thrown stones at the jamarat in Mina to signify my rejection of shaitan. For anyone else I would love for them the sweetness of emaan. I know, I am a heretic.

  51. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 1st August, 2006 at 9:02 am  

    I wasn’t talking about the Hajj, silly. I was talking about your support of stoning people to death …

    Have you changed your mind and decided that this can never be justifed?

    If so that’s excellent progress, you’ll be a Muslim AND a Humanist soon.

    TFI

  52. Kismet Hardy — on 1st August, 2006 at 9:32 am  

    going to hajj and bowing to a block of stone is idolatry, just so you know. Even our bed-hopping prophet M considered the Kaba to be nothing more than a pagan shrine erected in honor of pagan deities

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