War against ISIS – the role of Saudi Arabia

At the last G20 Summit, Vladimir Putin declares a s follows: “I provided examples related to our data on the financing of Islamic State units by natural persons in various countries. The financing comes from 40 countries, as we established, including some G20 members.” At the same table there were seated the envoys from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Both countries have a difficult track record when it comes about terrorism, not to mention a number of high-profile representatives with direct ties with known terrorist and/or terrorist organizations. I was looking at a video about ISIS yesterday on YT and all of a sudden I remembered where I had seen similar black flags in the past. And the connection with the house of Saud became graphically clear.

Wahabi-ikhwan

See this people? They were bedouin raiders, the flags are from the Ikhwan organization.  What’s that? A creation of early days Wahhabi Ulama, back in 1913 (see here on Wikipedia) in order to convert potentially dangerous bedouin tribes into allies and muslims.

The parallel is quite tempting. Ikhwan militia was a real force back then, helping a lot the cause of the House Of Saud in its struggle to get control in the country that we now call Saudi Arabia. At the same time they were somewhat indisciplinate and scores of them became difficult to control, forcing the Saud ruler to crush’em in 1929.

The Ikhwan members were quite rigid in the application of the Wahhabi policies, including forced conversion of Shia muslims and enforce more control in the pilgrimage to the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. Since they want to be feared from their enemies, they applied a lot of gory practises like execution of male prisoners by cutting their throats. They opposed modernity like the introduction of gas, cars and telegraph – everything non-arab and not Wahhabi-like wasn’t welcome.

Nowadays, seeing similar flags in the Middle East and in other countries and listening to similar messages from ISIS makes me wonder. The House of Saud is actively looking for getting more and more influence all over the Persian Gulf area and the whole of the North Africa. The same for Middle East and the other islamic countries. That happened in decades of financing Wahhabi imam and radical movements all over, without even a single word of disapproval from the USA.

Back in the days Ikhwan turned against its creators and it took a while to get it under control (metaphor for “destroyed”) with the help of foreigners (mostly military advisors and personnel from UK). What will happen this time? Are the House of Saud rulers ready to discontinue their support for their black-clad allies?

Italian warbirds in China

English: Claire Chennault in his office at Kun...

English: Claire Chennault in his office at Kunming, China, about May 1942 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everybody knows about the Flying Tigers, the American air fighters group in China in WWII. Aside from the movies and all the narrative stuff, that was about a group of American personnel that acted in China, fighting side by side with Chinese against the forces of the Japanese Empire. They learned a lot from the experience made in Spain, where they fought against Italian and German pilots in the civil war that precedeed WWII.

But the Chinese were actively looking for warplanes in the ’30s, knowing for sure that war against Japan will come. So they looked for any option available, including purchasing Italian warplanes. So there was a time when the Kingdom of Italy supplied with machines and personnel and only the political decision to favor the Japanese side. In my country, referring to that years, there was somewhat a technological clash between those who favored a more traditional kind of airplane, biplanes, and those who were looking forward to the monoplane models inspired by American manifacturers.

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The Wheels of Rage and Hate (no, it’s not a fantasy novel)

War, rage, pain

War, rage, pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the hunt for the terrorists in France is over. The bad guys got a number of bullets each and the most part of their hostages survived the experience. Thanks to the French special forces and to the huge number of policemen and military personnel involved. But it’s not over. By any means, it will be never over. Not in France, nor in any other country. It’s time to tell the truth, to think about the subject “terrorism” with a broader focus and the will to solve some problem here and there.

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The future lies in Greece

GREECE

This will be the last post of this year and my choice is to dedicate it to the Greeks. Yes, to the people of a country that has been almost destroyed in the last years for economic reasons, for the people who has seen everything change for the worst and left behind to pay errors committed in many places out its boundaries. It’s a tiny nation, with less than eleven millions people who found themselves deep down a national debt like never before.

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What will happen in Cuba?

cuba

So it’s over. The longest embargo in the U.S. history and, quite probably, the most useless series of economical measures ever applied to a single country has finally come to an end. It took the combined efforts of a Pope, an American President like Barack Obama and an old communist warhorse to reach this moment. It’s maybe the last strain of the Cold War and the end of a struggle started back in 1959, when Cuba overthrow the Batista regime for a new government.

It will useful to know what really thinks the last leader of that era, Fidel Castro, about this moment. Or to know exactly how about were that secret talks in Canada and in Vatican, done in the last year or so.  What are the terms of this diplomatic treaty? What could be the future of Cuba? If this was a book by a spy-master, somebody like John le Carrè or Frederick Forsyth, you may see the shadows of three generations of spooks, along with dark crime lords and the tragic silhouette of the refugees.

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The truth as we like it

israel-palestine_map

Please consider for a moment this infographic. As you may see, that comes from a news network, in order to show us how the Palestinian territories has been shrinked thru the decades. The message delivered is quite clear, isn’t it? It’s easy to see how the Arab population of that area has been overcomed by the Israelis in a matter of a century. What do I ask you today is: is this the truth?

Because I have another map to show you. Same area, almost the same date. It’s a representation of the Middle East in 1922, when all this area was under European control after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in WWI. Ready?

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