New Age Islam
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Current Affairs ( 8 Sept 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

How to fight Daesh: New Age Islam’s Selection from World Press, 9 September 2015


New Age Islam Edit Bureau

9 september 2015

How To Fight Daesh

By Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi

Martyrs Show Gulf’s Iron Will

By Joseph S. Nye

An Alliance Of Western Leaders, Muslim Nations And Vladimir Putin Is The Only Way To Defeat ISIS

By Evgeny Lebedev

Everything Is Getting Worse And Worse In Turkey

By Mustafa Akyol



Martyrs show Gulf’s iron will

By Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi


9 September 2015

The United Arab Emirates has always given a helping hand to those Arabs in need and favored peace over war. However, it is now suffering because of the short memories, lack of loyalty and ingratitude of those who should have reciprocated this goodwill.

The late leader of the emirates, Sheikh Zayed, may he rest in peace, was the driving force behind several initiatives to support and unite Arab nations across the region, most particularly his fellow brothers and sisters in Yemen.

It was in this spirit that the United Arab Emirates joined the alliance formed earlier this year to protect the Yemenis against Iran’s imperialist ambitions. One sect in that country has sought to undermine the majority’s strong Arab identity and sentiments, with a total disregard for international law and negotiated agreements.

Saudi Arabia, under the firm leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, launched Operation Decisive Storm, in a rare alliance of Arab and international forces that included the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states.

This show of unity sent a message to current and future generations that the countries in the Gulf region are determined to protect and safeguard their mutual interests against outside aggressors.

For those who may not remember, the Gulf states had previously partnered with international forces to liberate Kuwait. This was a historic and unforgettable event that demonstrated the authenticity of the blood ties between the Gulf nations led by their great leaders.

The people of the United Arab Emirates have now been dealt a heavy blow with the tragic loss of 45 of their sons in Yemen. But even in this dark time they have proven their resilience and toughness, along with their heroic and brave army. Many thousands have gone out to hospitals to donate blood for their soldiers on the frontlines.

The martyrs will remain a source of pride in the hearts of people across the region. They have lost this life but will live forever in heaven. True heroes change the course of history, and so will these young men, having made the ultimate sacrifice so that others can live in peace, honor and dignity.

It should not be forgotten that 10 Saudis and five Bahrainis were also martyred in one day recently. They lost their lives protecting the people here against those predators with expansionist designs in the region, and in support of their brethren in Yemen.

These sacrifices send a clear message that the people of the Gulf are not soft and live lives of luxury making them averse to taking up arms in self-protection. Many who were under this illusion have been forced to reassess their entire mode of thinking.

The martyrdom of these soldiers, rather than undermine morale, have instead strengthened the belief of their parents, families and friends in God and the stance taken by their leaders.

The world respects the powerful. The Gulf has shown that it will not be dictated to by those powerful nations seeking traction in the region. It has taken the initiative and gained respect across the globe. We will not forget our martyrs. Each of them will remain engraved in our collective memory, and is a reminder that in every crisis there is an opportunity. The one we have just grasped, demonstrating our iron will and unity, will ensure we have a safe and secure future.


How to fight Daesh

By Joseph S. Nye

9 September 2015

The terrorist organization, Daesh, has captured the world’s attention with gruesome videos of beheadings, wanton destruction of antiquities and skilled use of social media. It has also captured a large part of eastern Syria and western Iraq, proclaimed a caliphate based in Raqqa, Syria and attracted foreign militants from around the world.

US President Barack Obama says that Daesh must be degraded and ultimately defeated. He has appointed Gen. John Allen to lead a coalition of some 60 countries in the task, relying on air strikes, special forces and training missions. Some critics want him to send more American troops; others say that the United States should settle for a doctrine of containment.

In the current US presidential campaign, some candidates are calling for “boots on the ground.” They are right: Boots are needed. But the soldiers who wear them should be Sunni Arabs and Turks, not Americans. And that says a lot about the nature of the triple threat that the US and its allies now face.

Daesh is three things: A transnational terrorist group, a proto-state, and a political ideology with religious roots. It grew out of Al-Qaeda after the misguided US-led invasion of Iraq; and, like Al-Qaeda, it appeals to extremist elements. But it has gone further, by establishing a caliphate and is now a rival to Al-Qaeda. Its possession of territory creates the legitimacy and capacity for offensive jihad, which it wages not only against infidels but also other Muslims.

Daesh is extremely adept at using twenty-first-century media. Its videos and social-media channels are effective tools for attracting a minority of Muslims — primarily young people from Europe, America, Africa and Asia — who are struggling with their identity. Disgruntled, many are drawn to “Sheikh Google,” where Daesh recruiters wait to prey upon them. By some estimates, there are more than 25,000 foreign fighters serving in Daesh today. Those who are killed are quickly replaced.

The tripartite nature of Daesh creates a policy dilemma. On the one hand, it is important to use hard military power to deprive the caliphate of the territory that provides it both sanctuary and legitimacy. But if the American military footprint is too heavy, the terrorist organization’s soft power will be strengthened, thus aiding its global recruiting efforts.

That is why the boots on the ground must be Sunni. The presence of foreign or Shiite troops reinforces Daesh’s claim of being surrounded and challenged by infidels. So far, thanks largely to effective Kurdish forces, who are overwhelmingly Sunni, Daesh has lost some 30 percent of the territory it held a year ago. But deploying additional Sunni infantry requires training, support, and time, as well as pressure on Iraq’s Shiite-dominated central government to temper its sectarian approach.

After the debacle in Libya, Obama is reluctant to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, only to see Daesh take control of more territory, accompanied by genocidal atrocities against Syria’s many non-Sunnis. But Assad is one of Daesh’s most effective recruiting tools. Many foreign militants respond to the prospect of helping to overthrow a tyrannical Alawite ruler.

The US diplomatic task is to persuade Assad’s supporters, Russia and Iran, to remove him without dismantling the remains of the Syrian state structure. A no-fly zone and a safe zone in northern Syria for the millions of displaced people could reinforce American diplomacy. And providing massive humanitarian assistance to the refugees (at which the American military is very effective) would increase US soft power enormously.

As it stands, the funding and coordination of America’s soft-power strategy is inadequate. But we know that hard power is not enough, particularly to contest the cyber territory that Daesh occupies — for example, by developing a capacity to take down botnets and counter hostile social-media accounts.

Even if the US and its allies defeat Daesh over the coming decade, we should be prepared for a similar Sunni extremist group to rise from the ashes. Revolutions of the type the Middle East is experiencing take a long time to resolve.

Looking ahead in a region where the US has interests, American policymakers will need to follow a flexible strategy of “containment plus nudging.” However, US foreign policy toward the Middle East will have to develop a higher level of sophistication than the current debate reveals.

©Project Syndicate


An Alliance Of Western Leaders, Muslim Nations And Vladimir Putin Is The Only Way To Defeat ISIS

By Evgeny Lebedev

 9 September 2015

It took a picture. The image of little Aylan Kurdi dead on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey, appears at last to have woken the world from its slumber in relation to the horror of modern Syria. Iconic photography has changed the course of history before, most notably during the Vietnam War. Some good may yet emerge from the tragically brief life of a drowned three year-old, if it prompts not only a generous response to the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in Europe since the Second World War, but also – and in my view just as vital – a strong, ruthless international mission to deal with this problem at source. And that means defeating the savagery of so-called Islamic State.

Even young Kurdi's name, containing as it does the name of a long persecuted minority, gives a clue as to the sectarian nature of this crisis. Today, right in front of our eyes, whole civilisations are being expunged, and we cannot save them if we deceive ourselves about the nature and identity of the enemy.

I believe that a militant, radical, mutated form of Islam is the greatest threat to humanity the world has faced in the 21st century. It unites Central Africa with Eastern Asia, and has sympathisers and affiliates from Lahore to - shocking to me - Dewsbury in Yorkshire. But its locus is in the Middle East, and specifically the lawless terrain between what is left of Syria and Iraq. It is true that some of the refugees heading our way - your way - are fleeing Eritrea and Afghanistan. But all the evidence is clear: the majority are Syrian.

I have spent some time in the Middle East, where any attentive visitor can immediately see the traces of truly great civilisations. I fear a generation growing up unaware that ancient Baghdad was home to the world's greatest scholars; that the lands of Persia and Mesopotamia were home to artistic flourishing; that people of different faiths lived and loved happily from Cairo to Constantinople. And at the heart of it all was the majesty and beauty of Syria.

No more. It is hard to overstate the sheer scale of what has been wrought in Syria today. Some 200,000 have perished since the start of the civil war. An astonishing six million of Syria's 22 million people are now refugees, fleeing war and going to unimaginable lengths to find sanctuary. Whole cities, with their own institutions and public services, have sprung up in the makeshift camps. Some neighbouring Arab nations are overwhelmed. Unfortunately they tend to be poorer nations like Lebanon, rather than the richer Gulf states. Saudi Arabia has accepted no refugees, unforgivably.

Syria itself is dissolving, its map changing by the minute. When protesters took to the streets in 2011, President Assad responded with brutality. He is a dictator who has used chemical weapons on his people. But he is a bulwark against the even greater evil of Isis. Some people argue that you cannot argue that one is more evil than the other. Well, I do; and unless and until we eradicate Isis, stability will not return to the region, borders will remain meaningless, and the refugees will grow in number.

These remorseless vermin are fully intent on raping, slaughtering and bombing their way to victory at all costs. It is striking that they have gone after the treasures of Syria's ancient civilisation: they know that they can only claim victory for their perverted faith if they have eradicated the collective memory of the Syrian people, in which several faiths have lived in harmony and mutual respect. That is why I hesitate to say the phrase “modern Syria”: right now, Isis are succeeding in destroying Syria's heritage and ancestry, and reducing the country to something more like a medieval theocracy than modern state.

The West has done little. Thankfully, the mood appears to be changing. Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon admitted that the UN, and by extension the international community, had failed Syria. After events this May I am weary of believing opinion polls, but I note The Sun reported that 52% of the British public now support some form of military intervention in Syria. Over the weekend, Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, added his name to this roster when he called on David Cameron to “crush” Isis.

By far the most persuasive intervention came from the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Confirming that he has been supporting the Assad regime militarily in its fight against Isis, Putin said: “We really want to create some kind of an international coalition to fight terrorism and extremism.” And then, in words that jumped out at me: “To this end, we [have held] consultations with our American partners - I have personally spoken on the issue with US President Obama.”


Everything Is Getting Worse and Worse In Turkey

By Mustafa Akyol


I have been off from my Hurriyat Daily News column for two weeks. It is not just that I needed some vacation time - I also naively hoped that Turkey could be slightly better when I returned to writing on it. But indeed I was nothing but naive.

The Turkey of today looks like a horror tunnel with no end in sight. We have many grave troubles, just one of which would be enough to deeply trouble any normal country. Moreover, these troubles are all interactive, and are working together to tear apart Turkey’s societal peace and stability.

First, there is the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Since mid-June, when the two-and-a-half-year-old “peace process” between the government and the PKKcrumbled, the PKK has been relentlessly attacking Turkey’s security forces. The death toll has long passed 100. Just in the past four days, 16 soldiers and 14 policemen were killed in PKK ambushes. These are not just statistics. Every one of these “martyrs,” as we call them in Turkey, are young men with families, wives, children, babies. Each one of their story is a tragedy and a scar on the nation.

The PKK is no heroic guerilla army rightfully fighting ISIS, as has lately been romanticized in the Western media. The PKK - or, more precisely, its Syrian offshoot - is more than welcome to fight ISIS. But the group also wants to establish its totalitarian “state” in all southeastern provinces of Turkey, despite all those who reject it, including millions of Kurdish “traitors.” It sees no problem in killing thousands of Turks and sacrificing even more of its own guerillas for this cause.

But I wish the PKK were our only problem. On the other side, there is a growing militancy among the supporters of President Tayyip Erdoğan. Typically, they see every opponent and critic of the president as a “traitor” to the nation, who are in bed with all the nefarious powers out there, from the PKK to “Zionism.”

This militancy was seen in action on Sunday night, when some 200 supporters of Erdoğan staged an angry rally in front the daily Hurriyat building, throwing stones, breaking windows, and trying to break into the building. Among them was Abdürrahim Boynukalın, an AKP MP and the head of the party’s youth organization. He condemned the Doğan Group, the company that owned daily Hurriyat, as “the same thing” as the PKK. He also vowed that “we will kick all of them out after Nov. 1,” referring to the upcoming general elections.

The reason for all this militancy was a mere headline on Hürriyet’s webpage, reading: “Erdoğan spoke on Dağlıca: This is all happening because there are no 400 MPs.” The “400 MPs” was something Erdoğan had demanded - implicitly, for his AKP - during the campaign for the June 7 election. On the night of the attack on the Turkish garrison at Dağlıca, a point near the Iraqi border, Erdoğan had repeated the same argument on TV, saying that “terror would be fought more effectively” if there were 400 MPs of the same party (i.e. the AKP). He did not specifically mention Dağlıca, so it was a mistake to present the news like that. It was, at worst, a comment on what Erdoğan had really been saying.

The worrying thing is that any news or comment that displeases Erdoğan can now become justification for a violent action among pro-Erdoğan militants. The wiser people in the AKP should really curb this ugly trend that is being pumped every day by the pro-Erdoğan media. Otherwise the consequences might be horrible for all of us.