‘Arab World Is Dead, Iran Will Lead Islam’ – World – Haaretz

“The massive migration is not only a result of violence and the rise of the extremists. A large percentage of the refugees leave due to the failed economy of the regimes where they live. We can’t ignore that aspect of the migration. More than ever, international organizations and the developed countries must pressure these benighted regimes to adopt a different policy. The West must stop supporting corrupt regimes.
“The Syrians and Libyans who are leaving their countries are not migrants. They are refugees who are trying to flee death, to find peace and quiet and to rebuild themselves. Usually they aspire to return to their own countries, and most of all we have to think about their children. If their stay in the West lasts too long they won’t acclimate either there or upon their return to their country.
“Every day television shows the waves of refugees arriving in Europe. For the most part, these are young people, or those in midlife who are healthy and strong. This sight arouses an ethical question: Who will fight to liberate their countries?”
After the January attacks in Paris, do you think Europe is responding weakly to the radical Islamic threat on its territory?
“Europe is in a catch-22. The problem of Islamic extremism has given rise to total paralysis. The fear of being considered an Islamophobe or a racist prevents any step or any practical and effective action.
“As a result, there is a lot of anti-terrorist discourse in order to convey the impression that the government is responding to the threat. The problem is that the Muslims themselves are paralyzed in the face of the extremists who are getting stronger before their eyes and are attracting the children to their ranks.”

via 'Arab World Is Dead, Iran Will Lead Islam' – World – Haaretz.

How to Help Yazidi Girls and Women | Ricochet

So there are three things I’d recommend. First, if you’re donating money, donate it to Yazda. I’ve heard nothing but praise for them. It makes perfect sense to me that Yazidis themselves would know their situation best, know the region best, and be most motivated to ensure every penny you donate is used in the most effective way.

Second, for reasons I won’t detail, sign this petition, share it on social media, and encourage everyone you know to sign i

via How to Help Yazidi Girls and Women | Ricochet.

Our Radical Islamic BFF, Saudi Arabia – The New York Times

But if you think Iran is the only source of trouble in the Middle East, you must have slept through 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Nothing has been more corrosive to the stability and modernization of the Arab world, and the Muslim world at large, than the billions and billions of dollars the Saudis have invested since the 1970s into wiping out the pluralism of Islam — the Sufi, moderate Sunni and Shiite versions — and imposing in its place the puritanical, anti-modern, anti-women, anti-Western, anti-pluralistic Wahhabi Salafist brand of Islam promoted by the Saudi religious establishment.

It is not an accident that several thousand Saudis have joined the Islamic State or that Arab Gulf charities have sent ISIS donations. It is because all these Sunni jihadist groups — ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Nusra Front — are the ideological offspring of the Wahhabism injected by Saudi Arabia into mosques and madrasas from Morocco to Pakistan to Indonesia.

And we, America, have never called them on that —

via Our Radical Islamic BFF, Saudi Arabia – The New York Times.

ISIS Wages Cultural Genocide in Palmyra | World Affairs Journal

The West is not going to ride to the rescue. Neither will anyone else. (Well, maybe the Kurds will. They’re among the very best people in the Middle East. For so many reasons.)

But the impulse is there, isn’t it? At least a little bit? Who can witness this sort of thing and just shrug it off? Human life is more important than buildings, of course, but the Temple of Bel is not “just a building.” It isn’t a gas station. It isn’t a Wal-mart. It belongs to the heritage of mankind. Even Bashar al-Assad’s gangster regime is genuinely shocked and appalled. 

In March of 2001, the Taliban destroyed the ancient Buddha statues at Bamiyan. They used dynamite. They used anti-aircraft guns. It took them weeks of dedicated effort, but they finally got the job done.

They destroyed those statues for one reason only: they were not Islamic.

One of my best friends was so aghast he told me that the United States should invade Afghanistan. I said he was nuts. We’re not going to invade a country on the other side of the planet because some primitive yahoos blew up some statues. And I was right. We did not invade of Afghanistan because some primitive yahoos blew up some statutes.

But I’ll never forget what he said next.

People who commit cultural genocide will mass-murder humans. War is inevitable.

via ISIS Wages Cultural Genocide in Palmyra | World Affairs Journal.

Financial Fridays: The WTF! On This Stock Market ‘Crash’ — Medium

China growth is slowing. So the Wall Street Journal, which I used to write for, is saying “Chinese economy reeling”.

Oh my god. Please please please. Stop that.

China is GROWING. It used to grow 10% per year because it was communism and 2 billion people were farmers.

Now it’s “going down” to 7%.

Horrors! The world is over.

But what if it continues?

Who cares!?

Guess how much we “sell” to China per year. I put “sell” in quotes because newspapers make it sound fancy and say we “export”.

via Financial Fridays: The WTF! On This Stock Market ‘Crash’ — Medium.

Lebanon: Security forces using excessive force against protestors

At least 343 people were treated for injuries and 59 more were hospitalized, according to the Red Cross, after protests on 22 and 23 August organized by the local “You Stink” civil society movement.

“Lebanese security officials responded to overwhelmingly peaceful protesters in downtown Beirut by shooting into the air with live rounds, firing rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and water cannons, and in some cases hurling stones and beating protesters with batons and rifles,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.

“Everyone in Lebanon has the right to peaceful assembly. Lebanese officials must uphold this right and send a clear message to security personnel that such attacks against peaceful protesters will not be tolerated. They must ensure prompt, independent investigations are conducted and that police and soldiers suspected of arbitrary or abusive force are brought to justice. The security forces must also refrain from using unnecessary or excessive force against peaceful demonstrators at today’s protest.”

via Lebanon: Security forces using excessive force against protestors must be held to account | Amnesty International.

Civilians From 22 Countries Have Joined The Fight Against ISIS

We now know a fair amount about ISIS’s elaborate recruiting network and the militant group’s success courting an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 fighters from around the world to join its brutal campaign in Syria and Iraq.

But what about size and geographical makeup of the foreigners flocking to the Middle East to fight against ISIS? A new report finally sheds some light on the scope of that effort. At least 108 Americans have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight against ISIS, the report says. It’s not just the U.S.—private citizens from at least 21 other countries have also joined rebel groups that are waging war against ISIS. Those include US-allies like the UK, Australia, and South Korea, as well as sometime-rivals like Iran and Russia. They are typically joining Kurdish forces or Christian militias.

The report, The Other Foreign Fighters, written by the investigative media outlet Bellingcat, found that Americans fight against ISIS for a variety of reasons, including a desire for adventure, a sense of moral outrage, and their religious beliefs, which are overwhelmingly Christian. (Ironically, ISIS recruits often cite religion and adventure as reasons for wanting to join the Islamic State.) Many are male U.S. military veterans, between the ages of 20 and 29.

via Civilians From These 22 Countries Have Joined The Fight Against ISIS – Vocativ.