De Como é financiado o terrorismo do EI. a 12 de Novembro de 2015 às 17:34
ISIS: how the terror group made its billions

"Estado Islámico": como a organização terrorista se financia/ faz os seus milhões (através da venda de petróleo capturado, ... ) com o colaboração de bancos e empresas transnacionais...

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De A história do 'Estado Islâmico'. a 16 de Novembro de 2015 às 12:43
The History of the Islamic State

by Walead Farwana, 24/8/2014

On August 7th, President Obama authorized airstrikes on Iraq in nominal support of a besieged population of about 10,000 Yezidis, a Kurdish ethnic minority, who were placed under siege by the Sunni Jihadist Islamic State, henceforth to be referred to as (ISIS). In mainstream media, the intervention has been criticized as backtracking on what is already a quagmire precipitated by the 2003 American invasion under Bush II, and an occupation inherited and supervised by Obama from 2008-11. Another argument is that Obama is showing his support for the autonomous region of Kurdistan, a US ally whose leaders provided pivotal assistance to the United States during the 2003-2011 Iraq War.

The document that follows offers a brief history of the Islamic State entity and the method by which US policies under both Bush and Obama facilitated its growth, primarily through the opening of power vacuums created via ill-advised and ruinous imperialist policies. The underlying irony of this story is that George W. Bush fabricated a premise for invading Iraq under the assumption that Saddam Hussein was harboring al Qaeda operatives, and what has resulted from the events set in motion by the US invasion is the fall of a significant portion of Iraq to an organization even worse than al Qaeda, and the establishment of a jihadist haven the likes of which bin Laden could have only dreamed.

This is a long document and filled with a great deal of information about a topic greatly affecting the lives of millions of innocents across the world. I hope that it finds you well. A few notes on clarification of terms before I begin…

ISIS has gone through several transformations. I will detail each stage, as well as the US’s role within each of them. They are as follows:
1. Jama’at al Tawhid w’al Jihad (JTJ)
2. Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)
3. The Islamic State in Iraq (ISI)
4. The Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS)
5. The Islamic State (IS)

Note: I am referring to the current incarnation of the Islamic State as ISIS because it is the abbreviation most familiar to the Western audience and because it is extremely annoying to use the IS abbreviation, particularly when typing the phrase "IS is…"

Jama’at al Tawhid w’al Jihad

The original incarnation of ISIS was founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, America’s "boogeyman" in Iraq between the years of 2003-6. The information I obtained and present to you here on JTJ and Zarqawi is derived from Loretta Napoleoni’s 2005 book, Insurgent Iraq, which is the best English-language resource on his life and early organizational activities. JTJ was, at first, distinct from al-Qaeda in operations, but identical in ideology. It was one of the myriad jihadist groups that incubated in Afghanistan during the 90s up until the US began dropping bombs there in 2001. Zarqawi and his militia left Afghanistan to take refuge with (ironically) the Kurdish branch of al-Qaeda, who were based in the northern mountain ranges of Iraq. It is worth mentioning that this migration by Zarqawi from Afghanistan to Iraq was one of the key pretexts that the White House under Bush II gave for invading the country in the first place. Saddam had nothing to do with facilitating Zarqawi’s arrival, however, as he was enemies with the Kurds and especially antagonistic toward foreign jihadists.

I will spend what may seem like an inordinate amount of time talking about Zarqawi, but it is necessary because he is the physical and spiritual progenitor of ISIS. If we follow the “great man” theory of history, I would say that there would be no ISIS today without Zarqawi and his “vision.” He embodied a mission so extreme and performed acts of violence so horrific, that he essentially tore through the fabric of the existing state paradigms of the region. The vacuum he left in his wake would be filled, successfully it would seem, by his successors.

Zarqawi and his JTJ did not participate in battles against US forces until August of 2003. By that time, they had had the opportunity allow the occupying forces to settle in and had scouted their positions and tactics. JTJ selected terrorism as its strategy for dominating Iraq, and its inaugural bombing campaign was directed at both US forces as well as Shiite..

De Terroristas SA, ocidente e islão. a 16 de Novembro de 2015 às 12:48
The History of the Islamic State
...JTJ selected terrorism as its strategy for dominating Iraq, and its inaugural bombing campaign was directed at both US forces as well as Shiite civilians. It was the attacks on the Shiites which immediately perturbed the jihadist leadership in Afghanistan, including bin Laden who, at first, demanded Zarqawi cease killing Muslims. While most jihadists were all for attacking US forces, attacking Shiites was viewed as too extreme and counterproductive. In the eyes of the al Qaeda bosses of the time, Shiites were still Muslims, even if they were not Sunnis, and the goal of bin Laden in particular was to unite all of the Muslims against the United States in order to expel them from Iraq.

Bin Laden, however, was not on the ground to understand the situation from the lens of Zarqawi. Through Zarqawi’s looking glass, tainted as it was, the Shiites were collaborators with the US occupation and thus enemies of the Sunnis. The key thing to focus on here is that the US deliberately adopted a sectarian-based strategy to divide and conquer Iraq from the outset of its invasion. They intentionally took sides on a sectarian basis, exploiting a key division in society which ended up backfiring in their face as I will expound upon later.

Pre-invasion, the US had negotiated with a number of Iraqi dissidents, but the majority of the Iraqis who helped the United States plan the invasion were Shiites and Kurds. Thus, these became the favored groups and, notably, the US did not station its forces in the Shiite south of Iraq, instead leaving the responsibility up to the British whose mission was more symbolic than operations-oriented.

Meanwhile, Zarqawi migrated from Kurdistan and found refuge amongst the Iraqi Sunni tribes in West and Central Iraq.

Iraqi Tribal System

It is necessary to talk about this system because it is a key part of the conflict and often overlooked. Norman Cigar, a researcher and professor at the Marine Corps University, wrote a highly detailed and informative book on the tribal dynamics between Salafist organizations and the Iraqi tribes. I obtained much of my information on the politics of these tribes from him. The tribal system is exactly as it sounds: it is an ancient institution which distributes power and control on a hereditary basis. Within each tribe, there is a subset of clans, then individual families, and so on. The largest tribal confederations in Iraq number in the hundreds of thousands and the largest tribe, the Dulaim, is three million strong. These people essentially enforce their own laws, and the failure to end or marginalize the tribal system by local state actors is a large reason why the Middle East remains so backward and violent. They essentially act as a state-within-a-state and have proved to be wonderful proxies for meddling foreign powers, including the British during the colonial era.

Cigar notes that the Sunni tribes also came into prominence in Iraq after the Iran-Iraq war and First Gulf War in 1991. Saddam was badly weakened internally by these conflicts and thus fell back on the tribes to bail him out politically as Shiites and Kurds began rebellions against his rule. Tribal leaders assumed high ranks in the Iraqi Army, thus entrenching their power. The tribes became Iraq’s powerbrokers and naturally saw the US invasion and Saddam’s subsequent demise as a direct threat to their newfound dominance.

However the tribal system has its weaknesses. Because tribes are so enormous, and because power is concentrated at the very top of the hierarchy in accord with an irrational tradition where heredity implies merit, the tribes give rise to large swathes of disaffected men. Essentially, the tribal system can be modeled with a pyramid structure where the men at the bottom lose out on privileges, i.e. jobs, monetary handouts, and wives. Furthermore, because Islam permits polygamy with up to four wives, men at the bottom of this pyramid often miss out on mating opportunities. Tribes tend to be highly fundamentalist in their interpretation of Islam largely because fundamentalist Islam is a system which offers considerable advantages to tribal alpha males, such as the aforementioned polygamy. The creator of Islam, Muhammad, was a tribal warlord himself.

De $$$ €€€ tribos, armas e terroristas... a 16 de Novembro de 2015 às 12:53
The History of the Islamic State
Sectarian violence in Iraq during the US occupation

Zarqawi’s stated aim was to precipitate a sectarian civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. His goal was to undermine Iraqi nationalism for reasons I will explain later. Most Sunnis were not on board with this plan, particularly the jihadist leadership in Afghanistan and the majority of Sunnis in Iraq. The tribal warlords who held sway in the Sunni regions of Iraq (located in the central, west, and northern parts of the country) had everything to lose from a protracted war against the Shiites who were ~66% of the population. Their plan was instead to establish a confederacy within the borders of Iraq so that they could practice a degree of autonomy. The warlords viewed Zarqawi as a foreign troublemaker and harped on the fact that he had come from Afghanistan to wage war against a "foreign power" when he himself was a foreigner to Iraq meddling in Iraqi affairs.

According to Napoleoni, Zarqawi was well aware of his perception as a foreigner, but did not accept it as valid criticism. He did not consider the Sykes-Picot arrangement as valid, and sought to redraw the region’s boundaries on sectarian lines instead. In his view, he was not an outsider, but a Muslim in the lands of Islam. Zarqawi opposed Iraqi nationalism because Iraqi nationalism was a dire threat to his life, his mission, and his organization. If the Sunnis rallied around a nationalistic banner, his pan-Islamic organization’s ideology would become viewed as a threat to be excised by not just Shiites, but also his Sunni brethren. Through his terrorism in the name of Sunni Islam, he attempted to poison the well of Sunni-Shiite relations so extensively that a unified state would become impossible. With the power vacuum left by Saddam’s fall, it appeared Zarqawi had plenty of space to maneuver and craft such a venomous milieu.

Ironically, Iraqi nationalism was also a strong danger to the United States. Chapter 10 in Insurgent Iraq describes a botched campaign of prewar bribery, one where the US had managed to stoke resentment even within their supposed Shiite allies. The funds it distributed to the Shiite political warlords who helped pave the way for its invasion were (predictably) corrupt and hoarding money intended for the Iraqi public amongst themselves and their cronies. Furthermore, Washington’s Shiite agents were mostly composed of individuals who had been expelled from Iraq by Saddam during the 80s and 90s. Many of them had not set foot in Iraq for years. These new US-sponsored political leaders were alien to the local Iraqis, notably the powerful clerics of the Sadr family. Moqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite cleric backed by his Mahdi Army militia, claimed to represent the interests of his sect’s poor and downtrodden in Iraq. Sadr was essentially the warlord of Baghdad’s Shiite slums and his men battled US forces throughout Baghdad in response to the occupation. Sadr openly shunned the upper class Shiites collaborating with US occupation forces, choosing instead to ally himself with Iran in exchange for funds and training for his militiamen. This development was important because it provided a political and military entry point for Iran into the Iraq War.

Effectively, the US had thus created enemies with both the Sunnis and the Shiite lower class. The nightmare scenario for the United States was that Sadr’s Mahdi Army would sign an agreement with the Sunni insurgent groups in West Iraq, thereby forming a unified national front against the US occupation and critically endangering any claim they might have made on forming a government in the name of national unity. The US thus had to undermine Iraqi nationalism from coming into being under the pretext of armed opposition to the US occupation. They instead sought to funnel nationalism, via a system of bribery and military force, into a US-dominated order held aloft by a charade of democratic elections.

Of course, this bribery was not effective in actually building a coherent Iraqi nation. Factions would participate in elections only to keep the American money flowing and, as we will see, when the US left, Iraq broke down along militant sectarian lines again.
The farce of Iraqi “democracy” was a PR stunt to conv...

De Islamic state ISIS, warlords, alQaeda... a 16 de Novembro de 2015 às 13:00
The history of the Islamic State
... ... ...
... The farce of Iraqi “democracy” was a PR stunt to convince Americans that Bush and the neocons had not swindled America out of billions for a war that had failed on its original promises and was producing countless casualties on both sides.

According to Norman Cigar, the US believed it would be able to ignore the Sunnis at the outset of the Iraqi rebuilding effort, and thus focused its bribery efforts on the Shiites and Kurds, funneling money to cooperative “politicians” and granting them power within a US-designed state. The Sunnis responded to the American strategy with a sustained revolt against the US occupation between 2003-8, coming to a head in two battles for Fallujah in 2004. Chapter 11 of Insurgent Iraq describes how it was during the second battle of Fallujah that JTJ made a name for itself as one of the vanguard groups of the Iraqi resistance. The US stated their goal in Fallujah was the dismantlement the “Zarqawi network” purported to be based there. Despite massive destruction and devastation inflicted on Fallujah from an American encirclement and siege, they failed to do so, probably because Zarqawi wasn’t even in Fallujah to begin with. Following America’s failure to dismantle JTJ with such an enormous show of force, Zarqawi became a superstar among jihadists worldwide.

Islam and tribalism

Political Islam has always sought to undermine the power of the tribes. Muhammad himself was a low-ranking member of the Quraysh tribe and his story, if we are to look at it rationally, is essentially about how he used a divine pretext to overthrow the tribal leaders of his own family and assume the dominant position.

The ideology of ISIS and al-Qaeda is referred to as "Salafism," and it is a movement stressing a return to the literal and metaphysical foundations of Islam. It even entails mimicking the lifestyle of Muhammad and his followers in 7th century Arabia. This is considered an insane proposition to many Muslims (and non-Muslims), but this brand of piety does find a very large following in tribal regions across the Muslim world. One reason for this is that many of the lower caste tribal youth resonate very strongly with the story of Muhammad and seek to recreate his story. Tribal systems, even those outside of the Arab world in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kurdistan, are breeding grounds for this type of religious fanaticism. The Salafists seek to replace the irrational authority of the tribal warlords with the irrational authority of religious scholars and Mujahidin.

JTJ metamorphoses into Al Qaeda in Iraq

After the second battle of Fallujah, Zarqawi’s propaganda apparatus purported him as one of the heroes of the fight against the Americans. As the legend went, he was one of the few who had stood his ground against suicidal odds and clambered out of the rubble to fight another day. Zarqawi still had problems with legitimacy and funding in Iraq. The issue of legitimacy arose from the persistent nationalist angle perpetuated by Sunni Iraqis, as well as his lack of religious authority. According to Cigar, to cope with the first problem, he had to start recruiting Sunnis from within Iraq in order to give the organization a more "national" flavor. He got these recruits from the lower strata of the Iraqi tribal system. Essentially, he offered these individuals, who had no hope of social mobility in their own system due to birth order, an opportunity to have a stake in a new, Islamic "tribe."

Loretta Napoleoni described Zarqawi as functionally illiterate, and militant Islamists derive much of their social support from the fact that their leaders are titular experts in Islamic doctrine in a region where theology is considered the supreme form of thought. Zarqawi’s Sunni rivals were able to encourage Islamic scholars in Iraq to label his mission of establishing a caliphate and an Islamic State theologically impure, and so he was losing the ability to find recruits and find sanctuary amongst the members of his sect. He had to find religious authorities to sanction his mission, and he found that lifeline with a couple of old associates: Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri: the heads of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, religious scholars, and experts ...

De The history of the Islamic State... a 16 de Novembro de 2015 às 14:26
The history of the Islamic State
... ... ...
...Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri: the heads of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, religious scholars, and experts in jihadist financing.

The alliance between Zarqawi and bin Laden was mutually beneficial. Osama bin Laden wanted a stake in the Iraqi violence, as the war in Afghanistan was going poorly for him. He offered to make Zarqawi an "emir" of al Qaeda, essentially making him a sponsored warlord of Iraq and giving him access to all of Qaeda’s financial and political connections in the Arab Gulf. Bin Laden also issued religious edicts sanctifying Zarqawi’s mission, thus granting him, at the very least, a temporary theological shield with which to ward off the lacerating words of his critics.

Ironically, the US’s harping on Zarqawi as a boogeyman made him more popular. It was free publicity for him. One of the reasons why bin Laden selected Zarqawi as his emir was because he was by far the most well-known jihadist, and such an alliance would bring great prestige to al Qaeda. However, this also implicitly meant that bin Laden signed onto Zarqawi’s sectarian war. This development is ironic given that JTJ was only one of many jihadist factions, but the US, in its desperation to fabricate a strawman it could point to as “proof” that American forces had a coherent enemy in Iraq, ended up bringing to life the fictional Frankenstein they’d been obsessively parading before the eyes of the world. It is a sad fact that much of the current Iraqi tragedy came about because of Bush’s cynicism and narcissism in trying to sell across propaganda points to the American public.

In 2005, JTJ changed its name to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and continued its bombing attacks. By 2006, Zarqawi got what he finally looking for: a civil war in Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites. Hostilities erupted after his operatives blew up the Askari shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. These massive sectarian hostilities were the de facto end of Iraq within its Sykes-Picot borders.

However, in addition to the Shiites, Zarqawi had also managed to precipitate a war against the Sunni tribal warlords in Iraq who began to see him as a serious threat to their rule now that he was recruiting their lower caste to fight against them. This AQI-Tribal war heated up significantly in 2005 when Zarqawi bombed hotels in Jordan and Egypt, which were housing Iraqi tribal leaders who had found sanctuary there away from the Iraqi violence. This move was his undoing, as Zarqawi had then created enough Iraqi enemies that he had scant few places to find refuge.

AQI had bitten off more than it could chew, now fighting a war against the superpower, Sunni tribal warlords, and the Shiite majority of Iraq.

Zarqawi was finally killed in a US airstrike in July 2006. He was replaced by another operative named Abu Ayyub al Masri who steered AQI in much the same way that Zarqawi had, focusing on "high-profile" bombings of Shiite targets, usually civilians and the holy shrines and mosques sacred to them.

Sahwa Militias and the disintegration of the Iraqi state

In 2005, general elections were held in Iraq, which the Sunnis boycotted. I am jumping around here in the timeline, but I promise this section will end being temporally coherent. All of the information I use on Sahwa militias and other players mentioned in this section can be found in Norman Cigar’s book.

With the Sunni boycott, the United States again had a problem with its PR in that one of the three major sects refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Iraqi state, thus detonating the premise of Iraqi nationalism being the unifying factor behind the new government. Sunnis had no interest in joining an order dominated by Shiites and Kurds. By the US-designed law, the president of Iraq must be a Kurd, and the prime minister will inevitably be Shiite since they are more than 60% of the population of Iraq. Sunnis thus had very little interest in democracy in a place where they were heavily outnumbered. They were the kingmakers under Saddam and were not willing to join the government established by the Americans. For them, no Iraq would be better than an Iraq under American-imposed circumstances and Shiite rule.




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