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23 August 2014


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"It depends on which version of Islamic law one looks at"

You and the colonel are most probably correct.

BTW brigadier, how many do you think would choose the appeal of the IS over the Grand Mufti of Al Azhar and other traditional religious authorities. I'm not really asking for a number or a percentage. That may be impossible. I'm sort of asking about a feel.


He's still a Pan Arabist.



I should add that like all generalizations my remarks abut military intelligence NCOs recruited into the CIA DO 30 odd years ago are only generalizations. There were and are many fine, well educated people in both the DO and military intelligence at all ranks but among the group I mentioned the people with the sharpest elbows and the emptiest heads seemed to rise to the top. pl


A very helpful comment for understanding what happened. I had read manyy--likely silly?--theories at places like FAIR.org (journalistic criticism) that postulated the CIA had trained people they shouldn't have but lack of oversight makes more sense.

This phenomenon regarding our drone campaigns makes me wonder what we are really doing on the ground, and what effects we are causing (besides the death and destruction). Are we simply hardening and toughening up others?

Babak makkinejad


Even Washington Post asks if Putin was right:


Babak makkinejad

He has not addressed the salient fact that there is nothing that ISIS is doing that cannot be justified from within Islamic Tradition. Every single one of their actions could find precedent in Islamic Histroy - from gazawat on wards.



Before 9/11 and the AUMF CIA ruled the roost in Clandestine HUMINT and covert action. A de facto state of war after the AUMF changed all that in any place covered by the AUMF. "Lack of oversight?" Before 9/11 CIA was running on sketchy instructions from the NSC and State policy concerns. whenever you hear CIA shills like Ignatius pushing for revocation of the AUMF you should be able to figure out why. pl



It does not matter if more Sunnis favor the opinions of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar. They are not going to hold an election. pl

FB Ali

Islamic law is based on Traditions (actions and sayings of the Prophet and his successors, as reported and transmitted verbally during the early centuries of Islam) and later commentaries on them by jurists. These Traditions are largely inauthentic, and can be used to support a great variety of interpretations of the law.

The IS appeals to Muslims, especially young ones, who are troubled by the disarray in Muslim societies and countries, the corruption of their ruling classes, and their domination by the West.

The Al Azhar Mufti and his kind, and their fatwas, are used by Muslim regimes and their propagandists, and provide some justification to an older, conservative, 'quietist' demographic for their attitudes.

I should clarify that these remarks pertain to Sunnis only, but they comprise the great majority of Muslims.


"whenever you hear CIA shills like Ignatius pushing for revocation of the AUMF you should be able to figure out why."

I see. That is interesting. Given my Indian-American background I am always turned around on anything to do with our 80's policies in Afghanistan because I heard and read so many contradictory things. And the Pakistani-American people I knew growing up were very laid back and we all socialized with one another. Even dated. People always think we hate each other, but more often than not, there is a fair amount of socializing, especially among physicians. And too, the support of overseas diaspora for the Punjab insurgency during that time, which reflected the passions of certain groups that did not always represent what went on in India. So, I have always been suspicious of the stories told by diaspora living in the West about so-called freedom fighters abroad. As a kid, I thought it was weird to live safely in the West and call for war overseas, and not everyone wanted Khalistan.


Also, Bearden is always adamant that he knew where the funds were going, or so some interviews say. And I always wondered how anyone can trace any funds in certain environments. I know the world is a hard place and our actions can't be perfect but so many of the stories sound strange. But I was a teen in the 80s and if I thought at all about it, I believed the fantasy version of events told to Americans. I embarrassingly bought the Iraq fiction and perhaps now go too far in the other direction. I have a hard time trusting anyone in the American Foreign Policy establishment.

I see many badly injured vets when in the hospital. And I helped to do this believing the fantasies pushed.



I fully see that IS is an out of control group that, if allowed to continue, will roll through the ME with a ferocity not seen since the Crusades causing world havoc unprecedented in our times if left unchecked. A creation of Wahhabism by the House of Saudi and Qatar they must be shaking within their camel dung as they took part in IS beginnings and can no longer control this entity and know they coming those spoils.

I certainly would like to hear more on who this Elliot Shimon is and if there is any validity to those stories. What is the view of Russia and China on this, as will they participate or leave us to screw this up. What is the long term outcome and pitfalls in this venture.

I/We need education on this issue as the world press has a bias slant that only you can clear up.



"Bearden is always adamant that he knew where the funds were going," One of the more impressive BSers and backstabbers of all that crew. Anderson was his DC based boss during the Afghan War. Phil Geraldi also went to CIA from the US Army, but he is one of the most impressive intelligence guys I ever met. He says that what the DO is really good at is intrigue against other intelligence agencies in DC. [;



I'm just shocked. Not. I haven't forgotten that Gaddafi was one of the first targets of al-Qaeda who have now become ISIS (Israel Secretly Infiltrated Serfs)



This from PNAC...

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (commonly known as the "Clean Break" report) is a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel. The report explained a new approach to solving Israel's security problems in the Middle East with an emphasis on "Western values". It has since been criticized for advocating an aggressive new policy including the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and the containment of Syria by engaging in proxy warfare and highlighting their possession of "weapons of mass destruction".

All of the following is happening since 9-11

Ian Buruma wrote in August 2003 in the New York Times that:

Douglas Feith and Richard Perle advised Netanyahu, who was prime minister in 1996, to make "a clean break" from the Oslo accords with the Palestinians. They also argued that Israeli security would be served best by regime change in surrounding countries. Despite the current mess in Iraq, this is still a commonplace in Washington. In Paul Wolfowitz's words, "The road to peace in the Middle East goes through Baghdad." It has indeed become an article of faith (literally in some cases) in Washington that American and Israeli interests are identical, but this was not always so, and "Jewish interests" are not the main reason for it now.

Buruma continues:

What we see, then, is not a Jewish conspiracy, but a peculiar alliance of evangelical Christians, foreign-policy hard-liners, lobbyists for the Israeli government and neoconservatives, a number of whom happen to be Jewish. But the Jews among them—Perle, Wolfowitz, William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, et al.—are more likely to speak about freedom and democracy than about Halakha (Jewish law). What unites this alliance of convenience is a shared vision of American destiny and the conviction that American force and a tough Israeli line on the Arabs are the best ways to make the United States strong, Israel safe and the world a better place.

George Packer, in his 2005 non-fiction analysis of the Iraq war The Assassins' Gate, explicates the Clean Break report "through the lens of Wurmser's subsequent AEI-published volume, which argued (in 1999) that America's taking out Saddam would solve Israel’s strategic problems and leave the Palestinians essentially helpless."

In 2006 commentator Karen Kwiatkowski pointed to the similarities between the proposed actions in the Clean Break document and the subsequent 2003 invasion of Iraq.



I'd like to know more too but since was the MSM won't discuss who is he or even how the IDF trains our police, I'll believe what I stated before. He's been tasked to do exactly what ISIS is doing. Chaos!


Col. Lang,

I usually read Geraldi's his articles on Antiwar.com. This is from The American Conservative


The Twisted Genius


I had only one experience with Bearden. I ran the Army's Russia collection team in Germany when he was in Bonn. One day we were told Bonn was in high dudgeon about our methodologies. We were summoned to appear before him to explain why we were running some of our operations. Since we always used non-official cover, I was extremely uneasy about going to the Embassy, but he had to go anyways. We explained our operations to several of Bearden's underlings. Their contempt for us was palpable. Luckily, they left us and our operations alone that time. After the meeting, we joked among ourselves that the CIA guys seems more like automatons than humans.

I had a similar experience years later when I was in DIA. I had a running battle with the DO's Central Eurasia Division about starting a new operation. They insisted we didn't have the expertise to do what we proposed. Finally we had the big meeting at their headquarters. A friend of mine who was doing an exchange tour with the DO pulled me aside and told me I should begin by apologizing for calling them disingenuous in an earlier cable I wrote. It appears they were in quite the snit that i would use that kind of language. I told my friend, who was obviously co-opted by the DO, that they were lucky that was all I called them. It was a long, contentious meeting but they approved the operation after I proved I knew at least as much as their technology advisor.

Years later I was politely asked to explain to the DO how to run that kind of operation. Things changed a lot with the advent of the DNI, I did sense that the DO wanted to go back to the way things were.



They desperately want to either engineer the elimination of the DNI or take over the position by having someone like Brennan get the job.


Killing women and children and then burying them in mass graves. Some of the victims were reportedly still alive when that happened.

What is the 'Islamic Historical Precedent' for that?


"...a peculiar alliance of evangelical Christians...vision of American destiny..."

I understand from readings over the last 15 or so years that a main belief (vision) driving these folks is that before Jesus Christ will return, the Jewish people (Israel) must convert to Christianity. Seems to me (probably being too logical) that this shows a lack of trust in their belief system that God has his own timetable.

People are strange can explain it I suppose.



I still want to know who Baghdadi really is.

This article is also very good.


Babak Makkinejad

The Ottomans, and Tamerlane massacred entire cities in the name of Islam. The entire expansionist ethos of the Ottomans was fight for expansion of Islam.

You may claim that is not a practice endorsed by Shria - I would not know one way or another. Whose Sharia? And when?

On the other hand, the reported selling of Yazidi women into slavery - however untruthful it might be - has precedent from early Muslim history.

I would like to hear the explanation from Sunni Doctors of Religion as to why ISIS is wrong in killing Yazidi men who refuse to convert to Islam and selling the women and children into slavery.

(I doubt you will ever hear anything from them in this regard - its a Ruling of Islam and thus sacrosanct.



Your theory is that Baghdadi is an American or Israeli asset and that ISIS is the product of a dastardly plot to do? What exactly? well, that would be cinematically convenient and a lot easier to understand than the way I explain the thing. pl


From one of the best books on this subject:


Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

Interestingly, and contrary to the literature promoted by the
Islamic movements in the twentieth century, whose target audience was the educated urban youths of the Muslim society, Al-Qaeda's target audience was not the commoner but the cadre of society that already practiced Islam. Al-Qaeda worked to convince these Islamists of the heresy of contemporary beliefs and systems and the prevalent foreign policies in the Muslim world, and incite them
to revolt against their rulers. At the same time, this new literature did not aim to promote basic monotheist values in tune with the ritualistic perspectives of Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab, the Muslim scholar from Arabian Peninsula and ideologue of the House of Saud who helped found the Saudi dynasty. Instead, the new literature developed, combined the ideas of Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab with the thoughts of Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328), a Muslim academic, reformist, and the leader of resistance against the Tartar invasion, in a broader political context.

A natural characteristic of the Islamic resistance is that its strategyand struggle have always been interlinked with ideological writings.During the Ottoman decline, Muslim intellectuals like Muhammad Abdahu of Egypt, Syed Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, and Dr Muhammad lqbal from India, worked for the promotion of pan-Islamism which gave birth to new Islamic movements. The literature they produced
indirectly turned the cycles of the events after 50 years of struggle to shape the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Afghan Jihad, and the Mecca uprising....

...The Mecca uprising in 1979 was also a major turning point in the analysis of Muslim societies by various Muslim reformers in various areas. In the 1,400 years of the Muslim history there were several occasions when Muslim reformers challenged Muslim establishments on the ideologies that prevailed in their domains. However after events starting with the 1979 uprising, continuing to 9/11 and onwards, a unique line was followed and a unique analysis of the
situation was made. lt was assumed that all the Muslim countries in the world were allied with the West and their societies were operating on non-Islamic beliefs, and they were urged to change their positions. Those who refused to do so were declared heretics and war was declared on them. This was most extreme line ever taken in 1,400 years, ever since the Islamic faith had been defined
from the perspective of contemporary events and issues. And, with that, the majority of the Muslims living in the new world order were effectively declared heretics. However, the basics of this thinking were not alien. lt actually reflected an evolving view of new analysis in the minds of Muslim scholars drawn from a long run of reformİst
movements since the advent of Islam.

norris o'brien

Islam was spread through trade and commerce.

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