Saturday, 7 February 2015

Newsnight-06/02/2015Nicholas Burns fills in some of the gaps left by Cockburn and Frum last night. But still it is a former US administration official we hear from, reinforcing the perception that Syria is all about what the US does, not about the killing Assad and his allies are carrying out. If the rebels were really Western backed, we would see representatives of the Syrian rebels of the news putting their case, rather than the victims of this war remaining invisible.
"I think that everything ISIS has done, against Japan, against Jordan, against the United States, against the Arab countries; has deepened the anger and revulsion of people round the world.
I think Bashar al-Assad is part of the problem. He is guilty of massive human rights violations against the Sunni population in Syria. He's the one who destroyed Aleppo. He's the one who allowed the climate to be created where Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS could be born, could grow, and could succeed unfortunately. I don't think Assad's the answer.
Most importantly, greater Western/NATO support to the moderate Syrian militia, who can fight ISIS on the ground inside Syria. That's the first step."

"I am in solidarity with the Syrian people. I reject the brutality and killing that the Syrian authorities are committing against the Syrian people, because silence is participation in this crime. I declare my participation in the Syrian sit-in on YouTube."
When the Leftists who have abandoned Syria talk about ISIS, they never mention what took the hostages ISIS have killed to Syria, because they all went to show support for the revolution against Bashar al-Assad, and were kidnapped by ISIS, which has no interest in that revolution, thus blowing away the narrative that the Syrian rebels and ISIS are the same.

On Democracy Now today: Amy sends another Valentine to Bashar
'So why do I say this is pro-Assad propaganda? Because according to a more detailed report from EAWorldView, yesterday was one of Assad's bloodiest. 130 people were killed by the Assad regime while 6 may have been were killed by the rebel rockets Amy chose to highlight. This is typical of Democracy Now's shameful reporting on Syria and why I say "even-handed" Amy's reports on Syria are Valentines to Bashar. As Desmond Tutu famously said "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." '

An injured Syrian girl is treated at a makeshift clinic following air strikes by regime forces in the rebel-held area of Douma, north east of the capital Damascus, on February 5, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / ABD DOUMANY)

My people, under the bombs

"The bombing doesn’t stop until sunset. The government jets target everything. Apartment blocks, mosques, schools, even a hospital. The assault is in reprisal for a major rebel attack that left 10 dead in the capital the day before. As I have taken to doing in such cases, I head down to the makeshift clinic, where I witness the most awful scenes you could imagine."

iraq hezbollah
The most important thing in the Middle East that no one is talking about'The most alarming thing about Iran's management and framing of the Syria conflict is that it's actually worked. As Smyth writes, the "battlefield successes" of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra "have effectively caused the Iranian and Assad messaging strategy to appear more like a self-fulfilling prophecy than an advanced operation to alter narratives about the rebels." 
And the secular rebels who Iran and its allies smeared as "takfiris" are barely holding onto what little territory they still control. The war is being fought along Iran's preferred sectarian fault-line, with Sunni extremists fighting a network of Shi'ite religious warriors largely organized from Tehran.
The US has even "de-conflicted" with the Syrian and Iranian air forces in Iraq and Syria. That isn't tantamount to an endorsement of the Iranian narrative of the war, but it is a sign of how US policy has conformed to the conditions that Iran and Assad have imposed on the conflict.'

Friday, 6 February 2015

Patrick Cockburn was talking rubbish on Newsnight* last night.
"The Islamic State is very powerful, it stretches from the border of Iran almost to the Mediterranean."[15m38s] "They are conscripting there, so this means their armies are getting stronger and stronger. They are conscripting from every family, so they will be able to put very large armies into the field."[15m50s]
Raising a conscript army from a population you are terrorising does not make you strong. Do you think those frightened young men would be worth anything in a real fight?
"The main opposition to the Islamic State in Syria is the Syrian Army and Assad. No Syrian Army, no Assad, then ISIS, the Islamic State, have a good chance of taking over the whole of Syria. So there's no-one else."[16m15s]
We see openly what was once concealed, Cockburn thinks we should support Assad. When it's been suggested that Cockburn was an Assad apologist for the last two years, the answer has come back, no, that's just like the claim that those who opposed the Iraq war were supporters of Saddam Hussein. No, it isn't, because opposing a war for régime change is not the same as backing a dictator against a revolution, as Cockburn is doing. No mention of the rebel forces that have actually been fighting against ISIS while Assad has been doing deals with him. No mention of how those being barrel bombed, how the tens of thousands being tortured to death in Assad's prisons are supposed to reach an accommodation with him. "The Islamic State, which is slaughtering tens of thousands of people," I think you're talking about Assad mate.
The answer to this is not an American invasion, but to give the actual rebels the weapons necessary to take on Assad and ISIS. A job that would have been much simpler in 2012, when there was no ISIS. But still, the approach of doing nothing doesn't mean that America is protected from instability in the Middle East, but that if the constructive solutions are spurned, then the more destructive solutions are the only ones on the table. And so Newsnight get to oppose Patrick Cockburn David Frum, the man who invented the term axis of evil to describe the enemies of America's neoconservatives. He doesn't argue to help the Syrian rebels, but to stay out of the fight against ISIS because that would strengthen Iran and Assad, and Iran is the main enemy in the Middle East. If the alternatives for Syrians are to be abandoned to Assad or treated as a pawn against the Iranians, it is no sort of a choice at all, though many will see the Frum position as slightly preferable, given that Iran has taken over large parts of Syria and assisted with Assad's genocide. But to argue against deals with Assad does not have to be to support the neo-conservatives, there is a better way.
Also there is apparent news that Nancy Soderberg supports doing a deal with Assad**, and the former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia exploding the myth that the Saudis are running ISIS.***
**Kirsty Wark: "We spoke earlier to Nancy Soderberg earlier, who said, actually what you have to do is bite the bullet, you have to engage with Assad, Assad is the way we will deal with IS in Syria."[14m38s]
***Sir John Jenkins, "I think the claim that Saudi has been responsible for the rise of Daesh, personally, is absolutely nonsense." [11m25s]

War with Isis: If Saudis aren't fuelling the militant inferno, who is?
Bashar al-Assad was buying all their oil, but Robert Fisk supports Assad, so he's just going to ignore that, in favour of the testimony of the spooks that got Iraq wrong because they couldn't tell one Muslim from another, and the "I was the 20th hijacker, until I got high" bloke from al-Qaida.
Like many vile dictatorships, Saudi Arabia has much more use for democracy as a tool to undermine its enemies than it is at employing it at home.
"When the international community finally decided to launch an international coalition against terrorism, Saudi Arabia once more emphasized that defeating ISIS must be linked to strengthening the forces of moderation, represented by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as well as other moderate rebel factions."

Angelina Jolie and the Left

 'Given that so many people around the world admired Angelina Jolie for this work, maybe the Left should consider how those people are likely to view the despicable track record of the Left as the world has watched more than 200 thousand people be murdered and millions made refugees by their own government.

 "I told them that since I’ve arrived here, all I’ve seen on CNN or NBC was news about the Malaysian airplane over and over. With all due respect for it, I think there are much more important things going on in the world – like Assad’s using chemical weapons dozens of times in limited doses during the past few weeks, barrel bombs destroying what’s left of Aleppo and Syria, or how about how Bashar fulfilled his promise that he made in the middle of 2011 and turned Syria into a new Afghanistan, or how Hizballah and Al-Qaeda are getting more experienced and stronger, while both of them are fighting side by side against the free Syrian army, above and below the radar."

 - Syrian refugee mhamou on State Department interview 14 April 2014'

Thursday, 5 February 2015

'Musician of the Syrian Revolution' Debuts at Carnegie Hall
"Jandali remains focused on using his music to raise awareness and, he hopes, help bring down the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“You know, the question is why a Syrian symphony at this time, where people are in need of medicine, food, shelter,” he said. “And I’m envisioning someone a hundred years from today, looking back, saying, 'What did the Syrian people do during their revolution? Ah, here’s a Syrian symphony!' Similar to what Shostakovich did, for example, in his Leningrad Symphony. So what I’m trying to do is preserve and present my culture that is being destroyed today.” "

Syrian government forces killing hundreds of civilians in air strikes as world watches Isis

A Syrian man carries a girl on a street covered with dust following a air strike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo

 At least the Independent is mentioning Assad's war on Syria, but Britain was never going to go to war in 2013,
"Bombings and chemical attacks like the ones that almost led Britain to war in 2013,"

 Assad is fighting ISIS as little as possible, and the groups actually fighting him are not separate from the anti-government sentiment,
"President Assad’s forces are fighting a civil war on several fronts – against Isis, other Islamist militias, secular rebel groups and to quash the anti-government sentiment that started in the 2011 Arab Spring,"

 Assad's attacks aren't against the majority of foreign fighters fighting on his side of the conflict,
"At least 100 fighters, the presumed target of the regime's attacks, were killed in the same strikes, including rebels, Islamists and foreign militants on both sides of the conflict,"

 Nobody but Assad is using barrel bombs,
"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is calling on the Security Council to issue another resolution condemning al-Assad’s regime for its “indiscriminate bombing” and to order all parties in Syria to stop using barrels bombs,"

 ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra are not the same thing, the latter fights Assad,
“The extremist group Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, were responsible for systematic and widespread violations including targeting civilians, kidnappings, and executions.” "
Embedded image permalink
According to local activist regime security forces executed 60 detainees in Najha in rural Damascus yesterday. #Syria
Some days they do this. The catastrophe in Syria isn't about what America does, it's about what Assad is doing. It isn't right that the Jordanians killed a couple of prisoners in revenge for their pilot, but it isn't like they're doing it all the time. As all the Western correspondents failed to predict, Jordanian people have turned against ISIS now they know their pilot has been murdered. ISIS aren't criminal masterminds who would spirit away any weapons given to the Free Syrian Army to fight them and Assad.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Qatari Foreign Minister: Assad is Root Cause Syria’s Problem

Qatari Foreign Minister: Assad is Root Cause Syria’s Problem
'Attiyah stresses that people of the region do not sympathize with ISIS or its extremist views, but they are trying to remind everyone of the root cause of the problem, namely the Assad regime’s brutal policies. “The killing of over 300,000 people and the indiscriminate barrel bombing of women, children and the elderly underscores the brutality of this regime." '

Screen shot 2015-01-24 at 9.03.59 PM

ISIS kills gays: A history of violence
Mark Boothroyd posted this yesterday. Apart from the revealing photos, the article argues that we shouldn't view ISIS as being against gays but against what it sees as deviant behaviour.
I'm doubtful about this. Firstly, it seems like the recontextualisation that some of the more academic writers on the left engage in to present an issue as what they want to talk about, and to attack others for simplification. The only point at which I thought this had any justification was when the gay writer mentioned blamed radical Islam for ISIS' attitude to gays. But I think Scott Long makes a similar mistake in elevating ISIS' understanding of Islam as the basis for their actions. It is politics, rather than religion, that seems to me the primary explanation of those jihadists who have taken up arms against the West and Arab rulers. ISIS consists of those who haven't gone to Syria to fight injustice, but to set up a caliphate on the rubble. Thus it fits with a cartoonish version of Islam, as it represents submission to those with no intention of fighting injustice of any kind. Thus the women taken as sex-slaves, and the other elements of a pre-modern nightmare. I think this points to ISIS as a temporary phenomenon, only in existence because of the deliberate weakening of the Syrian people, unable to survive as a real state over an extended period. And it matters little to those thrown off buildings if it is because they are gay, or because they engage in homosexual activity.


Muath al-Kasaesbeh video: Genghis Khan-style cruelty of Isis shows Jordan and Japan what the militants think of them
Robert Fisk had always decided that Assad was a moderate and his enemies were more horrible. A liar who was claiming only on Thursday, "Soon, no doubt, we can expect Isis to have that other necessary accoutrement of modern statehood: an airline. Then it only has to wait for the West to identify the ‘moderates’ in the Islamic State - and I suppose we’ll all be able to go and chat to Caliph al-Baghdadi himself." This apologist for Assad is a reporter no more.
"There will be ruthless leaders aplenty – Bashar al-Assad of Syria comes to mind, now that we have decided that his enemies are even more horrible than him – who will benefit from the cruelty of the last few hours.
Our intolerance of the autocrats of the Middle East – of the al-Sissis and al-Assads, of the Hashemite monarchy, of the quivering princes of the Gulf, even of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei – is already mutating in the face of the Caliphate. All must surely become our ‘moderates’ again, those who wish to ‘unite against terror’ now that we gaze upon the fires of hell in Raqaa and Mosul. "

Syrian opposition groups have accused the Syrian government of detaining tens of thousands of political activists since the beginning of Syria's then-peaceful revolution in 2011. (AFP/File)

Syrian rebels hope for swap deal: Detained Iranian for Assad-held female activists
It should be possible to tell the difference between the actual Syrian rebels, and the incompetent barbarians of ISIS who burn prisoners to death when they don't have a female suicide bomber released on their terms. The Western media narrative has been to present ISIS, Assad and the Russians as strategic masterminds, while the suffering Syrian people are a clueless bunch of farmers and pharmacists who can't have nice things. And their accounts can't be verified, however consistent they've been for the last four years.
' "We are questioning him on how Iranians operate in Syria. Our priority right now is a swap (of him) for our prisoners. We have so many women in government prisons and we want to swap him for (some of) them."
Reuters could not independently verify the account.
The opposition has consistently demanded the release of thousands of women they say have been jailed for involvement in anti-government activism since March 2011, when the war began as peaceful street protests.'

Syria blames Lebanese 'manipulation' for currency slump
Syria blames Lebanese 'manipulation' for currency slump"The Syrian Pound’s weakness will show when it loses all elements of power and stability."

With Global Attention on ISIS, Regime Barrel Bombs Pound Syrian Civilians"It is a terror and an anti-civilian tool. Part of Assad’s strategy is to make life as miserable as possible for the civilians living in opposition-held areas. It’s designed to kill many and terrify the rest so they will flee and gradually depopulate the area, to make it harder for the rebels to hang on."

Syria and the left

Interview with Yassin Al Haj Saleh
Giving this piece further coverage.
"I think this high-politics, Western-centered worldview is better suited for the right and the ultra-right fascists.What prevents them from seeing the victims of Bashar, when they see perfectly well ordinary people in Kobanê? Why wasn’t there the slightest interest in the slaughter of 700 people at the hands of ISIS thugs themselves in Deir Ezzor last August? One is forced to ask: Do victims have different values based on who their murderers are? Why, as the regime is bombing many regions in the country every day, killing dozens of people every day, are the leftists in the West as silent as the rightists?
Of course, these remarks are not meant to deny the existence of a small number of courageous dissident Western leftists who saved the moral and political dignity of the left in the United States and the West at large."

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Inside Syria’s Jails
"Torture was routine. Anyone who has been detained in Mr. Assad’s prisons will know these details. There are about 40 documented techniques, including suspending prisoners by their arms from the ceiling, electric shocks, beatings, cigarette burns and pulling nails. The screams of the tortured were unbearable; I nearly lost my mind in there.
More than 60 men were held in a neighboring cell. Regardless of the charge, the guards called us all terrorists and beat everyone. The number of detainees went down as some died, and up again as more were brought in. Some were forced to sleep next to corpses before the dead were disposed of. Among the living, our exhausted bodies became infested with lice; we got rashes and skin infections.
I was fortunate not to be harmed physically, unlike a doctor held with me who was falsely accused of kidnapping a Syrian Army soldier. They hung her from her hair instead of her wrists, and kept dousing her body with cold water and shocking her with electricity until she lost consciousness for days at a time."

How the Left's shill for Obama's red-line con fueled the rise of ISIS
'Remember the words of that old general that was one of Smiley's People in the John Le Carre novel by the same name, "Enemies I do not fear, Villem. But friends I fear greatly" The truth is air strikes against Assad for using "a whole bunch of chemical weapons" was never in the offing. It was only put out there, together with the 16 bullets, so that Obama could be in the position of pulling the rug out from under at the critical moment. All that was necessary was for Obama to throw the decision to Congress so that the Left could give him cover and, in fact, take credit for, this Sting, [which 95% of the Left counted a great victory they had won!!??] 
Get the Net: Revolutions cannot be defeated by military might but they can be defeated by betrayal and back stabbing.'

Interview with Yassin Al Haj Saleh: Syria and the Left

Image result for Yassin Al Haj Saleh
"I am afraid that it is too late for the leftists in the West to express any solidarity with the Syrians in their extremely hard struggle. What I always found astonishing in this regard is that mainstream Western leftists know almost nothing about Syria, its society, its regime, its people, its political economy, its contemporary history. Rarely have I found a useful piece of information or a genuinely creative idea in their analyses. My impression about this curious situation is that they simply do not see us; it is not about us at all. Syria is only an additional occasion for their old anti-imperialist tirades, never the living subject of the debate.
 So they do not really need to know about us. For them the country is only a black box about which you do not have to learn its internal structure and dynamics; actually it has no internal structure and dynamics according to their approach, one that is at the same time Western-centered and high-politics centered.
 The problem is that their narrow anti-imperialist worldview only sees Obama, Putin, Holland, Erdoğan, Khamenei, Qatari Emir Hamad, Saudi King Abdullah, Hassan Nasrallah, and Bashar al-Assad. Possibly they see also Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. We, rank-and-file Syrians, refugees, women, students, intellectuals, human rights activists, political prisoners … do not exist.
 I think this high-politics, Western-centered worldview is better suited for the right and the ultra-right fascists. But honestly I’ve failed to discern who is right and who is left in the West from a leftist Syrian point of view. And I tend to think that these are the poisonous effects of the Soviet experience, fascist in its own way. Many Western leftists are the orphans of the late father, the USSR."

Revolution, Reaction, 
and Intervention in Syria

Interview with Joseph Daher

Joseph Daher and his comrades are the best hope of progressive politics surviving the Assad catastrophe, so while I don't agree with all his emphases, I have no hesitation in relaying this in-depth analysis of the revolutionary process in Syria and the region, and wish him and his comrades long and happy lives.
"More and more, we have seen in the past weeks demonstrations with slogans saying, “We need to go back to the spirit and objectives of the revolution,” and various forces of the Free Syrian Army were building on this kind of popular mobilization. On a military basis the democratic components of the Free Syrian Army represent the will of the people, the popular movement. You still have a lot of slogans and songs for the Free Syrian Army, so it’s still a power, but it lacks any kind of unity. There are still a lot of problems. There are still regional differences in the Free Syrian Army. By unity I mean, not a unity in objectives, but rather in military strategy to defeat the regime and the Islamic reactionary forces. They have been fighting on both fronts: against the regime for the past three years, and against Islamic reactionary forces increasingly for more than one year. But nevertheless, they still have a chance because for many people on the ground, for the popular classes, the Free Syrian Army really represents the armed hand of the revolution.
The democratic components of the Free Syrian Army still protect the objectives of the revolution. This is why we can increasingly see people going back to the Free Syrian Army with a discourse that is more democratic, some even acknowledging that they were wrong to collaborate with the Islamic reactionary forces. However in some regions you still have collaboration between Islamic reactionary forces and the Free Syrian Army, depending on the situation. But this is tactical cooperation; they do not share the same political objectives. This is important to clarify."
Image result for Musa, a 25-year-old Kurdish marksman, sits in the rubble of the Syrian town of Kobane on January 30, 2015
U.S. intervention is worsening Syria's conflict and helping ISIS' “We did not get any weapons from the U.S. to fight the regime for the last three years – only now do U.S. weapons arrive for fighting Daesh,” FSA fighter Omar Waleed told The Guardian.
The Free Syrian Army's strength has diminished significantly as the war drags on. In addition to battling other rebel and extremist groups for control and influence over Syrian territory, the FSA has also had to fight for its dwindling reputation, amid mistrust that foreign support has turned its members into foreign agents, compromising their credibility among Syrians.
In September 2014, the remnants of its central command refused to join a coalition with the U.S.-backed al-Hazzem Movement to fight against the Islamic State on the ground, although the group has accepted weapons and training from the U.S. to fight on their own. "If they want to see the FSA on their side, they should give assurances on toppling the Assad regime, and on a plan that includes revolutionary principles." '

The Free Syrian Army: 4,000 or 60,000?
"A Wall Street Journal report said American military support for the Syrian opposition had regressed, and that the U.S. only gave the equivalent of 16 bullets a month per fighter.
Despite the restraints levied against it, the FSA is on the verge of consolidating its control of southern Syria - in Daraa and its surroundings - even though many of the fighters have not received salaries in months.
Salim Idriss, minister of defense in the opposition government, said the opposition had begun to unite factions to establish a united army that will include 60,000 fighters. Idriss further hypothesized that the world will realize that its only option to confront the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is to topple the Syrian regime and support the moderate opposition which represents all Syrian people of different religions, sects and tribes."

Monday, 2 February 2015

Removal of Assad first, then eliminating ISIS: U.S Senator Nelson

Removal of Assad first, then eliminating ISIS: U.S Senator Nelson
"The U.S. Senator added that the situation in Syria is very complex because the plan of arming and training the moderate rebels includes only a few hundred fighters, who bear the responsibility of fighting the Islamic state, while they fight the Syrian regime’s army, and the allied Shiite militias all at the same time.
He stressed that the United States should provide qualitative weapons to the moderate opposition forces to be able to change balance of the battle on the ground, and that it should seriously work to remove Bashar al-Assad from power."

1354 people

1354 people were killed in January 201502-02-2015: "SNHR documented the death of 883 civilians by government forces, including 207 children (seven children a day), no less than 54 women, and no less than 64 victims who were tortured to death (three deaths under torture a day).
The percent of children and women victims reached 30%, which is a clear indication of the purposed targeting of civilians by governmental forces."

The Medium & Friends Presents
The Narcicyst & OMAR OFFENDUM aka Hobson Jobson live in London on 8th of Feb 2015 - featuring special guest Negash Ali
Arabian North American Duo Omar Offendum & Narcy (also known as supergroup Hobson Jobson) return to London, this time rocking the stage at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. With the launch of their most recent artist collective The Medium, catch Narcy performing new music off his upcoming solo record Yassin and new visuals from his upcoming film RISE. Offendum will be performing new material in his special blend of Hip-Hop and spoken word. These two are not to be missed! Syria, Iraq, Montreal and Los Angeles all in one.
Joining them will be London's own prodigy; Negash Ali for a special set.
Doors 7pm.
To purchase tickets online (£9), please click on the following link:…/the-narcicyst--omar-off…/157343
Alternatively tickets will be available at the door (£11) on the night, however availability is limited.@

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Dateline London 31/01/2015

 Mina al-Oraibi owns Owen Jones from the off. She doesn't have time at the end to correct everything he says, but takes on many of his simplifications.

 It might be easier for Leftists to understand that Owen Jones and the Daily Mail are the same side of the coin when it comes to blaming the Saudis for Islamic radicalism by looking at an example from the latter.*

 He admits Mina Al-Oraibi's first point, and then tries to claim it was what he was saying anyway. Not true. He's trying to claim that al-Qaida is just Western oriented, she points out that since the Gulf War in 1991 al-Qaida has been just as opposed to the Saudis, he sidesteps this by talking about their Western target list. Next false claim is that ISIS has focused on overthrowing Arab régimes, when they have foregone the struggle of the rest of the Syrian people against Assad to build up their own state in the areas that the actual rebels liberated from Assad. Someone who has gone to fight Assad isn't going to launch terror attacks in the UK, but Owen Jones muddles them all up as "foreign fighters", just as the Daily Mail would. His talk of "many of these" (presumably trying to avoid the use of the word terrorist, which would make him sound as right-wing as he is), obscures all the differences between those fighting Assad and those who don't, those fighting for a secular or a moderate Islamic state are just all labelled as al-Qaida, just as those who fought the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan were.

 A tradition the Americans have been happy to continue in Syria, which is why if Hillary Clinton wasn't happy with Qatar over so-called anti-terrorist co-operation, it was because the latter wanted to support the fight to free Syria from Assad, largely through the secular Free Syrian Army, while the Americans wanted to stop the FSA getting the anti-aircraft weapons they needed to stop Assad's bombing, because they were more scared of Islamic extremists than they desired to stop the genocide. 

 Incidentally, there was a smear campaign** in the American media against Qatar financed by the United Arab Emirates. The throwing in of the property ownership of Qataris in the UK sounds a lot like complaints that Jewish capitalists are doing as down, and is unpleasant, and seem to have little to do with Qatari policy vis-a-vis ISIS. 

 The basic lie is that Gulf funding for ISIS is the problem, falls down when we consider that the autocratic régimes and the jihadis may be religiously similar, but are politically opposed, and so while they may have individual donors, mixing that up with the states' policies is an error. It also falls down because states' internal policies differ from their foreign policy needs, which is why the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have funded the Free Syrain Army when the US has allowed them to, because that would get rid of the source of instability in the region Assad, and the client of their rival Iran, which ISIS is not threatening to do, Thirdly it ignores that Assad's genocide is the primary cause for the rise of ISIS in Syria, followed by the lack of support for the FSA as it has battled to keep those areas free from ISIS. And the funding for Assad hasn't been the West, though the West has been happy to see him crush the country for four years while they do nothing but issue condemnations; it is the Russians who have given him billions of dollars of weaponry, the Iranians that have provided tens of thousands of foreign fighters, without which Assad would be gone, Syria would be free, and there would be no ISIS. Owen Jones is kicking sand in our faces to obscure the real problem, just as the Daily Mail would.

 Owen Jones: "Originally the difference between ISIS and al-Qaida, of course, is that al-Qaida focused on Western targets, while ISIS, their position was..."

 Mina Al-Oraibi: "That's not true. They focused on Pakistan, on Saudi Arabia, on Iraq. Their propaganda was different. They focused in their speeches about the West."

 Owen Jones: "Absolutely. They have an extensive target list across the Western world, and that, of course, wasn't originally the case with ISIS. Actually, rather than with al-Qaida, have these great spectacular attacks, what we will do is keep land, we will retain land, and expand and focus on the Arab régimes. And, of course now, given the foreign fighters, and so on, which are returning in many cases, it has become far more of a domestic problem; but one of the issues which the West simply has not come to terms with is their relationship with various Arab dictatorships, where internally, obviously a huge amount of funding and ideological support for many of these, not just ISIS, but Jabhat al-Nusra..."
Gavin Esler: "The realpolitik means that strongmen leaders are the ones the West supports." 
Owen Jones: "But that doesn't mean allowing the continued supply of funding, and ideological export, I mean take Saudi Arabia , for example, I mean take Qatar, as Hillary Clinton herself pointed out, has the worst record of co-operation with Western counter-terrorism in the whole of the Middle East. Where they've failed, where Kuwait, they have these huge charities, so-called, which are perfectly legal, exporting funds to various extremist groups in Syria and elsewhere. So, the problem is, look at Qatar for example. In Britain, last week, they just got this huge new slice of Canary Wharf, they own the Shard, the own a huge chunk of the London stock exchange, and Sainsbury's, yet internally there are huge problems with Qatar, in terms of links between very prominent and very wealthy individuals within Qatar, and these extremist groups, and the West simply turns a blind eye, because they are obviously very convenient allies in the Middle East."

 Mina Al-Oraibi: "It's a huge tangled web that Dateline doesn't have enough time for. However, I will say this: I think there are too many simplifications made, about what is happening in the region, about who supports who, partly because the alliances keep shifting. What we've seen happening in the region, not only from the revolutions of the last four years or so, but even pre-dating that to the Iraq war, and pre-dating that to Afghanistan. You've had different groups, who are non-state actors, who are actually very convenient to fund and give arms for, to push through a strategic goal, and then those arms, those funds, go to different groups, and you lose the thread. That's what has happened with different groups fighting in the region, and that's why it's so scary. States in the region have lost the monopoly over arms, and that continues to cause huge problems, but ISIS is different. ISIS really does represent a threat to the people, and the governments of these countries. I think it's very indicative, we go back to the coalition and why there was a coalition against ISIS, again their first meeting was in Saudi Arabia. It was Saudi Arabia's way of saying, this clearly is a threat to us, as it is to the West. And we see the attacks that ISIS is carrying out, on citizens and people, of the Middle East, of Arabs, and other ethnicities, much greater , for example, than the threat they pose to the West, and outside of the region. And, at the end of the day, there are domestic issues we have to deal with, there are issues of funding, but whether we look at Kuwait for example, there are people the UN Security Council has named, and Kuwait itself has penalised. I think it's also unfair, if we talk about religious leaders, there have been everybody from [unclear] to Saudi scholars, speaking against ISIS. It doesn't get translated into English, that's often the problem."