Global Insurgency

Syria is supposed to have taken nuclear material or weapons from North Korea (or Iran), Israel tracked it and destroyed it in the airstrike last week.

Maybe. But it’s looking more and more like it.

Ayman al-Zawahiri appears to be taking over Al-Qaeda. He’s always been the primary strategist for AQ.

The US and the Arab States are trying to contain Iran through conventional means while Iran is trying to break that containment through 4 Gen Warfare. Iran has been waging a Proxy War against the US in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran sponsors Hezbollah and Hamas to fight and tie down Israel.

This is like a micro-version of the Cold War

Strategy Page. After taking a pounding this year, the Taliban are discussing negotiations with the Afghan Government.

The Afghan Pashtun Tribes turned against the Taliban over the past few years. The Pashtuns have one of their own – President Karzai – in charge of the country, so there is no nationalist drive to help the Taliban. The Taliban have weakened their own popularity through suicide bombings, intimidation tactics, attacking food convoys and dishonorable kidnappings. Kidnapping very popular deminers and women only hurt the Taliban even more.

The Taliban coalition in Afghanistan is breaking down. Over the long run, the drug lords will become regional warlords, but that’s a different problem.

Italy’s far left radicals are reforming a New Red Brigade and are “flirting” with Al-Qaeda and other Islamist radicals, Lorenzo Vidino reports. The original Red Brigades was a communist terrorist organization in the 1980s.

“September 11, 2001,” said the 44-year-old militant, “must open the field to the revolutionary vanguards and not only in Italy. The upcoming war against Iraq constitutes an attempt to remove the main obstacle to the hegemony of the Zionist entity, the stronghold of imperialism in the region, disarming and annihilating the Palestinian resistance, which is the reference of all Arab and Islamic masses who have been expropriated and humiliated by imperialism and who constitute the natural ally of the urban proletarian class in European countries”

The New Red Brigades have been growing closer to the Islamist radicals since 2003. So the convergence of radicals continues.

This is disconcerting. North Korea (and possibly Iran) may have worked with Syria to start a nuclear program. Israel is apparently releasing intelligence to the US to expose this secret project.

So is that what the Israelis were shooting at last week? If so, keep shooting guys. Thanks!

Strategy Page describes Al-Qaeda declining fortunes. AQ is making the same mistake as the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algeria. In 1991, the Islamist political party was about to win the general elections. The military government cancelled the elections, so the Islamists rebelled. They initially had popular support – they represented reform, less corruption, and promised better government services.

Then the GIA started to actually fight. As the decade-long civil war dragged on, the GIA waged an ever more brutal campaign. Extremist interpretations of Islam, ultra-strict religious laws, terror attacks and mass murder of civilians turned the population against the Islamists. The Algerian government won the war in 2002 after 200,000 were killed. Today, a handful of Islamist radicals continue to terrorize Algeria under the name of al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda seems hell-bent on repeated the GIA’s “stragery.”
They took what should have been a mass movement and made it a hyper-violent fringe. AQ’s greatest success in winning converts, luckily for us, has been here in the US and Europe.

Former Spook offers an analysis as details continue to emerge. The raid was more complicated than first reported, but no one knows what exactly the target was. They may have intercepted an Iranian shipment of arms to Hezbollah.They may have tested the Syrian “air defense”. There are now rumors that the Israelis just hit Syrian nuclear installations. Syria has nuclear installations? Seemingly they’re cooperating with the Iranians. Fantastic, if true.

This will only get stranger.

I believe the gravest mistake in Iraq was to ignite a Jacobin revolution in the name of democracy. At worst, it sparks a violent terror to rapidly restructure society, and at best it leaves behind an unstable Illiberal Democracy.


The village of Tetuan produced over 30 suicide bombers who struck in Spain, Morocco and Iraq. Douglas Farah describes this village as part of the “criminal-terrorist nexus.”

The Tetuan has a large drug trade. Terrorists can piggyback onto the smuggling routes to reach their targets and the crime finances these operations. The suicide bombers here were really drug smugglers, not religious fundamentalists.

Islamists lost in the Moroccan Elections. Al-Qaeda is losing ground in Egypt and many other places in the Middle East.

This comes in addition to the Pew’s Global Poll finding Muslim support for suicide bombings and for Osama bin Laden have dropped very significantly.

US News and World Report recalls Al-Qaeda’s stated objectives:

Six years ago, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda weren’t just attempting to bring down the twin towers of the World Trade Center. They were trying to smash the American economy as well. Here is what bin Laden himself said about his goals and motivations back in December 2001: “If their economy is destroyed, they will be busy with their own affairs rather than enslaving the weak peoples. It is very important to concentrate on hitting the U.S. economy through all possible means.” And here is what al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri said in September 2002: “We will also aim to continue, by the permission of Allah, the destruction of the American economy.”

I’ll say it again, they have the right idea but are using the wrong methods. It’s possible. We have yet to face our generation’s Genghis Khan.

I’m going to post bin Laden’s 1998 declaration of war against the USA with minimal comment.

The rhetoric has changed by 2007, yet there are consistent themes. Osama truly hates American capitalism and its cultural influence on Muslims. Iraq has been a prominent feature of his declarations for a decade now.

Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders

The Taliban use propaganda tactics in Afghanistan. One tactic the use is to send small teams to attack remote police outposts. Sometimes they send in suicide bombers or lay a handful of IEDs too. They cannot attack major towns, much less entire provinces. The Taliban get massacred if they confront the much more powerful Afghan Army and NATO armies. The Taliban is suffering heavier losses than ever before, the Spring Offensive was a bust and the tribes are turning against the Taliban.

So recently the NYT wrote a doom and gloom article. You see, the Taliban sent a small team to attack a remote police outpost. This makes the New York Times “journalists” scream and shriek like little girls.

Big Lizards dissects this curious piece of journalist malpractice.

Tribes, Tribes, Tribes. Remember that. Tribes.

This is still a tribal world. Tribes are the center of gravity in every Islamist Insurgency in the world. The Islamists may be Middle Class Radicals, but they can only fight wars where the tribes support them. Where there is no tribal support, the Islamists resort to militarily useless terrorist attacks.

If we turn the tribes against the Islamists, they lose the war. This is the case in Iraq, in Waziristan, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, and the other 25 someodd fronts at any point in time. In places like Pakistan, the government has to turn the tribes against the Taliban. Random US Airstrikes against “al-Qaeda” will flip the tribes into the Taliban camp and make things much worse.

Our focal point of effort and attention must be on the tribes at all times. All other action occurs at the margins and is less relevant. Don’t get distracted.

Bin Laden’s goofy anti-globalization screed may have been written or influenced by American loser Adam Gadahn.

A former senior US intelligence official said: “It has Adam Gadahn written all over it.” Mike Baker, a former CIA covert operations officer, said the tape left bin Laden with “the title of biggest gas bag in the terrorist world”.


Extremists are uniting in an anti-globalization movement. Marxism is discredited, so the radical left is a movement without an ideology. They still oppose globalization, materialism, and the perceived injustices within these systems. Some radicals, as individuals or as groups, are joining or allying with the contemporary revolutionary movement – the Salafist or Islamist movements.

This is a growing problem. Ultra Right-wing nationalists, Left-wing radicals, and Islamists are forming an ad-hoc alliance against their common enemies. At the state level, Venezuela, Syria and Iran have formed an alliance. At the popular level, the ideology of al-Qaeda is changing to adopt the slogans and interests of the International Left. Many of the most dangerous Jihadis are converts – typically former Leftists or criminals – rather than born Muslims.

The anti-globalist radical movements are slowly morphing and combining into a unified force.

Jeffrey Breinholt gives a primer on the Muslim Brotherhood

Here’s bin Laden’s latest message (pdf). It’s mostly about Iraq, criticizing the Democrats for failing to withdraw, and miscelleneous crap.

What’s interesting is how Al-Qaeda is adapting its message for a world audience. Originally, they appealed only to hardline radical Muslims. Their message had little outreach beyond Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Today, they adopted many of the rhetorical themes of the International Left, even though it is obvious that they are transparently manipulating the Left. This message continues the theme by mentioning completely random Left-wing messages about global warming, neoconservatives, Vietnam, Noam Chomsky, Bush lied People died, greedy corporations etc. bin Laden must watch a lot of Western TV.

As Greg Gutfield says, “It was at this point, I thought I was listening to Keith Olbermann”. That’s the point. Well, excepting the point about overthrowing democracy.

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