Terrorism

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The ‘War On Terror’ Scam Continues

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/08/2021 - 11:25am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/a33a4c350bf482686a6402f8590dec97/href

ISIS has reportedly claimed credit for an explosion near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. As of this writing there are around 90 dead including 13 US military personnel, though to read western mainstream media reports you’d think only US troops died and not scores of Afghans as well.

This was the deadliest attack in a decade on US troops in Afghanistan, which is odd to think about considering how many people the US military has killed during that time; just between January and July of this year the war killed 1,659 civilians. The way the US war machine has shifted to relying more on highly profitable missiles and bombs and unmanned aircraft to avoid the bad PR of flag-draped bodies flying home on jets is making the murder of foreigners a safer profession than working at a convenience store.

Because US military casualties of this size have become more rare despite their being spread throughout the world in nations whose people don’t want them there, news of those 13 deaths is being met with shock and astonishment instead of being regarded as a very normal part of foreign military occupations. People are acting like these were mall cops in Ohio and not military forces overseeing the tail end of a 20-year war overseas, and pundits and politicians are demanding more bombs and more military interventionism in response to people on the other side of the world attacking them in their own country.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement calling on the US to “redouble our global efforts” in the war on terror in response to the attack, seizing the opportunity to promote more “we fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” nonsense.

“Terrible things happen when terrorists are allowed to operate freely. This murderous attack offers the clearest possible reminder that terrorists will not stop fighting the United States just because our politicians grow tired of fighting them,” McConnell said. “I remain concerned that terrorists worldwide will be emboldened by our retreat, by this attack, and by the establishment of a radical Islamic terror state in Afghanistan. We need to redouble our global efforts to confront these barbarian enemies who want to kill Americans and attack our homeland.”

Yep, yeah, that makes sense Mitch. My neighbor attacked me when she caught me in her house at night going through her valuables. This proves she’s always wanted to attack me in my home. I need to go fight her over there so I don’t have to fight her here.

What the US actually needs to do is get the absolute fuck out of the entire region and stop creating more and more violent extremists with insane acts of mass military violence for power and profit. The very last institution on earth who should be trying to do something about ISIS is the institution whose actions created ISIS in the first place.

But of course acting in accordance with that self-evident fact is too much to ask of the US government, and Biden has announced that he has ordered his commanders “to develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K assets, leadership and facilities.”

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So the US war machine will continue to rain down highly profitable explosives upon Afghanistan for as long as it likes, using this attack as justification for more military operations instead of taking it as yet another sign that what it has been doing is not working and keeps making things worse.

Step 1: Destroy nations, kill millions and displace tens of millions in military interventions for power and profit.

Step 2: Wait for some of those people to hate you and want to fight back.

Step 3: Use their desire to fight back as justification to repeat Step 1.

The “war on terror” is the greatest scam ever invented.

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Revealed: The American Money Entwined with Israel’s Jewish Terrorist Groups

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 29/05/2021 - 9:35am in

JERUSALEM — As Israel rained rockets down on Gaza in mid-May, inside 1948-occupied Palestine (Historic Palestine and modern-day Israel), another kind of Israeli terror emerged. Jewish supremacists stormed cities with high Palestinian populations chanting “Death to Arabs!,” attacking scores of Palestinians and vandalizing their properties.

The mob violence killed two Palestinian citizens of Israel, according to the Mossawa Center: the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel. And despite calls for calm, the attacks are ongoing. On Thursday, a Jewish mob dragged a Bedouin driver out of his car and beat him with glass bottles in northern Historic Palestine. Earlier, footage posted on social media showed Arab gas station workers lying on the ground after being surrounded and beaten by a Jewish mob in the town of Binyamina:

The American Jewish community condemned the wave of anti-Palestinian violence, under the assumption these attacks stem from the fringes of Jewish society. In reality, however, these Jewish supremacists receive financial support from a network of charities in the United States.

 

Jewish extremists organizing online

As the Israeli government orchestrated a bombing campaign on Gaza, right-wing Israeli activists were coordinating their own war-like operations online.

According to HaBloc, an Israeli nonprofit organization monitoring anti-democratic activity, tens of new groups have been created in the last two weeks on WhatsApp and Telegram. The number of participants in each group ranged from the tens, hundreds, and even thousands. About 22,00 people in total were active in these groups.

HaBloc’s observation of these ultra-right-wing groups reveals how they used social media to organize attacks in advance offline. The groups exchanged information, sold weapons like knives, bats, and pepper spray, used inflammatory rhetoric such as calling for revenge against Palestinian citizens of Israel and documented themselves rioting in the streets.

“This is far more than what’s happening on a daily basis within the far right in Israel,” Ran Cohen, co-founder of HaBloc, said of the extremist activity.

News media reported that the main groups behind the recent rampage were Lehava, a Jewish supremacist organization opposing assimilation and coexistence, and La Familia, a far-right group supporting the Israeli Premier League football club Beitar Jerusalem.

The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel, has been monitoring Lehava’s activity for more than a decade.

“Lehava is an organization that claims to work against assimilation, but basically wants to create a Jewish-only space in Jerusalem and in Israel in general,” Rabbi Noa Sattath, IRAC’s director, told MintPress News. “In this last wave of violence, they were certainly instigators in several of the cases.”

Lehava

Lehava leader Ben-Zion Gopstein arrives in court after being charged with incitement and terrorism in 2014. Mahmoud Illean | AP

IRAC demanded Lehava be labeled a terrorist organization in a letter sent this week to Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, and Head of the Shabak (General Security Service) Nadav Argaman.

Researchers within HaBloc, cautioned, though, attaching the violence to specific organizations.

“The role of Lehava in what happened is not direct,” HaBloc said. “It’s not like there was a central command and they’re sending people into the streets. It was really something that sort of spread out in a more organic way.”

“But the infrastructure and the ideology of Lehava is present and it contributes to what happened in the past few weeks,” HaBloc added.

 

The American charities bankrolling Lehava

Ben-Zion Gopstein is the leader of Lehava (or “flame” in Hebrew) and founded the organization in 2005. He is a notorious right-wing activist and disciple of Rabbi Meir Kahane, an American-Israeli extremist who founded the Kach Party, a political movement espousing racist beliefs.

After a brief stint in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in the 1980s, the Kach Party was banned from Israeli politics and deemed a terrorist organization by both Israel and the U.S.

Kahane called for the expulsion of Palestinians and Arabs from the Holy Land and advocated for the outlawing of marriage between Jews and non-Jews.

Four years after Kahane’s assassination in 1990, Baruch Goldstein, an ardent Kahane follower, opened fired at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron—killing 29 worshippers.

Kahane and Goldstein have become revered within the Israeli settler movement. Settlers have shared Kahane’s teachings on social media and have prayed at his grave.

Lehava is considered the successor to Kach, and Kahane’s racist ideology, Kahanism, runs deep within Lehava circles.

In addition to following right-wing interactions online, HaBloc’s research has also found a complex web of nonprofits in Israel and the U.S. connected to Lehava.

Lehava is not a registered charity in Israel so it can’t accept donations. Instead, money is funneled to Lehava through the Israeli nonprofit, the Foundation for the Salvation of the People of Israel, or Hakeren Lehazalat Am Israel in Hebrew. Israeli fund, Chemla or “mercy” in Hebrew has also been linked to Lehava until about 2014, according to HaBloc.

The Foundation for the Salvation of the People of Israel did not respond to requests for comment via email. The email address may be Gopstein’s as “benzion” is part of it. When contacted at the telephone number associated with the organization’s GuideStar (a nonprofit database) profile, the person said this was not the foundation and hung up. Contact information for Chemla is not publically available.

Two tax-exempt charities in the U.S. fund Kahanist activity in Israel: Charity of Light and the American Friends of Yeshivat HaRa’ayon HaYehudi.

Charity of Light funnels money to Chasdei Meir (which translates roughly into “charity which shines” in Hebrew). Chasdei Meir was named after Kahane, according to the fund’s website. As evidenced on Charity of Light’s tax returns, Chasdei Meir is related to the Chemla Fund. Charity of Light donated $72,000 to Chasdei Meir/Chemla Fund in 2018, according to its most recent tax filing.

Jewish terrorism

Armed members of Chasdei Meir are shown wearing jumpsuits emblazoned with portarts of Meir Kahane

The American Friends of Yeshivat HaRa’ayon HaYehudi directly supports Yeshivat HaRa’ayon HaYehudi or the Jewish Idea Yeshiva, a Jewish education institution founded by Kahane.

“This is sort of the place for indoctrination of Kahanist ideology,” HaBloc said. “It’s where Benzi Gopstein studied and other prominent Kahanist figures.”

The charity gave $154,000 to Yeshivat HaRa’ayon HaYehudi in 2018, according to the most recent tax report. The yeshiva is even classified as a terrorist organization by the United States. The yeshiva’s dean, Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer, is also part of Chasdei Meir. The yeshiva did not return a request for comment.

The nonprofits’ tax filings list Levi Chazan as the director of Charity of Light and American Friends of Yeshivat HaRa’ayon HaYehudi, and Steven Goldrich is listed as a director of Charity of Light and treasurer of American Friends of Yeshivat HaRa’ayon HaYehudi. Chazan was convicted in a 1984 bus shooting in the Occupied West Bank, which wounded seven Palestinians. Both did not respond to requests for comment.

HaBloc explained this entanglement of Israeli and American organizations is not directly supporting Lehava with monetary contributions, but rather aiding the network around it.

“The relationship between [Lehava] and groups that are funded with American money are two separate issues,” HaBloc’s Cohen said. “There are connections, of course, but we cannot say that these groups that were active in the last two weeks were funded with American dollars.”

 

Other financial players

The aforementioned charities are largely linked to Kahanism and Lehava, but other American foundations have also been tied to Israeli extremism.

The Traditional Fund gave $51,000 to American Friends of Yeshivat HaRa’ayon and $11,500 to American Friends of Chasdei Meir in 2018. The American Friends of Chasdei Meir is not listed in any available nonprofit database, however, Chasdei Meir’s website does name the American Friends of Chasdei Meir as its contact. The Traditional Fund did not respond to press inquiries.

According to T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, the Central Fund of Israel (CFI) funds Chemla and Yeshivat HaRa’ayon HaYehudi. The organization filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2018 to revoke CFI and the American Friends of Yeshivat HaRa’ayon’s charitable status on the grounds these groups are funding terrorism.

IRS charity law states that terrorist activities are considered substantial means for disqualifying an organization’s tax-exempt status. This is in accordance with engaging in illegal acts contrary to standard U.S. policy.

A litany of private foundations supports the CFI. Most notably, the foundations belonging to the late American billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Irving Moskowitz. The Moskowitz family foundations have contributed more than $8 million to CFI since 2018 and Adelson’s foundation gave $50,000 to CFI in 2018.

Jay Marcus of CFl said in a statement to MintPress News that, “The Central Fund of Israel absolutely rejects violence and does not support any organizations that promote violence. Furthermore, if an organization that we once supported ever started promoting violence, CFI would not support them in the future.”

Marcus claims that he hasn’t heard of Lehava, adding, “having had rockets indiscriminately showered down on my head, I would certainly disagree with your myth about which ‘groups start violence.’”

The Falic family, owners of the major retail chain Duty Free Americas, has supported The Fund for Saving the People of Israel in the past, providing a total of $60,000 to the association from 2007-2017. The money is wired through the Falic’s Israel-based foundation, the Segal Fund. The Falics could not be reached for comment.

 

Kahanism’s surge in Israel

Kahane’s Kach Party was banned from entering Israeli politics in 1988. But thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kahanists are now infiltrating the halls of the Knesset (Israeli parliament).

In the lead-up to Israel’s March election, Netanyahu pushed for a right-wing alliance with Itamar Ben-Gvir, a Kahanist, a defense lawyer for price tag campaigners, and leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party. Otzma Yehudit partnered with the anti-LGBTQ Noam Party and the National Union-Tkuma faction to form the Religious Zionism bloc in the last election. The coalition allowed the electoral list to secure six seats in the Knesset and for a Kahanist to gain political power. Rabbi Sattath pins the blame squarely on Netanyahu for Jewish supremacists’ rise in government.

Jewish terrorism

A Jewish settler wears a T-shirt with the image of Meir Kahane near the city of Ramallah. Bernat Armangue | AP

“Because the prime minister was in such a dire situation and was desperate for every vote, he gave [Otzma Yehudit] the legitimacy,” Rabbi Sattath said. “What we’re seeing here in Israel and around the world is that one of the symptoms of democracies in decline is when the extreme right takes over the center right. The fact that the prime minister and some of the right-wing parties gave the Jewish Power Party legitimacy has then increased their power. And that’s what enabled them to use these methods they’ve used for over a decade on a large scale in the last wave of violence.”

Upon reflecting back to Kahane’s short time in the Knesset, Rabbi Sattath said he faced opposition from every politician and was immediately ostracized.

“When he got into the Knesset, he got the bare minimum [of votes] to get one seat. But what happened in the eighties was he was boycotted by every other Knesset member. Nobody would sit in the plenum when he was speaking,” Rabbi Sattath said. “Everybody from the left and the right understood that these ideas were dangerous and extreme and had to be restrained.”

Today, the political climate in Israeli politics is different.

“What we’re seeing now is that the restraint is completely over,” Rabbi Sattath continued. “And we’re hoping that by shedding light on the past weeks’ violence, we can return to the understanding that there needs to be a red line, that these violent militias and racist, Jewish supremacists have to be stopped.”

Feature photo | An Israeli man stands in front of a burning car during mob violence against Israeli Arabs in the city of Lod, May 11, 2021. Heidi Levine | AP

Jessica Buxbaum is a Jerusalem-based journalist for MintPress News covering Palestine, Israel, and Syria. Her work has been featured in Middle East Eye, The New Arab and Gulf News.

The post Revealed: The American Money Entwined with Israel’s Jewish Terrorist Groups appeared first on MintPress News.

In 2018 the US Was at War With Uyghur Terrorists. Now It Claims They Don’t Even Exist

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 01/05/2021 - 11:53pm in

WASHINGTON — In the dying months of his administration, President Donald Trump removed from the United States terrorist list a little-known paramilitary organization called ETIM, an acronym that stands for either the East Turkestan Independence Movement or the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, depending on whom one asks. The group is also sometimes known as the [East] Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP or ETIP).

Explaining the decision, the State Department said that “ETIM was removed from the list because, for more than a decade, there has been no credible evidence that ETIM continues to exist.” The move was hailed by a wide range of Uyghur groups in the United States, who saw it as a step towards blocking China’s actions against Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province.

Yet the decision will have confused anyone with a long memory or who closely followed the War on Terror. Only two years previously, the U.S. was actively at war with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, with Trump himself ordering an escalation of a bombing campaign against them.

In 2018, Major General James Hecker, the commander of NATO Air Command-Afghanistan, gave a press conference in which he noted that not only was ETIM real but they were working hand in hand with the Taliban and boasted that his forces were destroying their training bases, thereby reducing their terrorist activities both in the Afghanistan/Pakistan/China border region and inside China itself.

“Anybody that is an enemy of Afghanistan, we’re going to target them,” Brigadier General Lance Bunch told the The Washington Post, also announcing that “[w]e’ve got new authorities now that allow us to be able to . . . target the Taliban and the ETIM where they previously thought they were safe.”

Why then was the government suddenly insisting that ETIM/TIP did not exist? And who is this shadowy organization?

 

Who are the ETIM/TIP?

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement is a jihadist group led since 2003 by Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, a Xinjiang-born Uyghur. Its goal is to set up a Muslim-only ethnostate (East Turkestan) in Xinjiang. A dry and mountainous region at the western edge of China, Xinjiang is about the size of Alaska and is home to around 25 million people.

“This land is for Muslims alone,” Haq explains in an al-Qaeda PR film; “the mere presence of the disbelievers on this land should be a sufficient reason for Muslims to set out for jihad.” ETIM is still considered a terrorist organization by the United Nations, European Union, United Kingdom, and Russia, among others.

Unsurprisingly, the Chinese government also classifies it as such. When asked for comment, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told MintPress that “ETIM has long been engaging in terrorist and violent activities, causing heavy casualties and property losses, and posing serious threats to security and stability in China, the region and beyond.” Wenbin also criticized the U.S. “flip flop” on ETIM, something that, in his words, “once again exposes the current U.S. administration’s double standard on counter-terrorism and its repulsive practice of condoning terrorist groups as it sees fit.” MintPress also reached out to a range of Uyghur organizations for comment, but all declined to do so.

Some of the most high-profile of these attacks inside China, cited by Wenbin, were ETIM’s attempts to sabotage the 2008 Beijing Olympics by carrying out bomb attacks on host cities. Just before the games, ETIM released a video featuring a burning Olympic flag and warning all Muslims to stay away from the venues. There has also been a string of deadly attacks attributed to ETIM in which terrorists drive vehicles into crowds of pedestrians then proceed to carry out stabbing rampages.

Tweets ETIM

Tweets from a pro-ETIM account show the myriad enemies of the terror group, including American soldiers

In 2009, tensions between Uyghurs and ethnic Han Chinese spilled over into deadly riots in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, where nearly 200 people, mostly Han, were killed. As a result of the unrest, Beijing ordered a massive increase in surveillance and security across the region, flooding the province with cameras, armed police, and spies. To this day, it retains an extremely high-security presence.

Of course, the large majority of those killed by ETIM around the world have been non-Salafist Muslims, and considering ETIM to be representatives of the Uyghur population as a whole would be extremely misleading. In fact, the Uyghurs of Xinjiang have been caught in the crossfire between the ETIM and the Chinese government. To this day, the Afghan government also considers the group to be a serious threat to peace and security in Afghanistan.

 

Al-Qaeda, Taliban ties, Chinese target

ETIM units have trained and fought in what seems like virtually every single conflict involving Muslims over the past 20 years, but always with an eye to bringing their skills back home. A 2017 Associated Press exclusive titled “Uyghurs fighting in Syria take aim at China” found that at least 5,000 Xinjiang Uyghurs had traveled to Syria to train and fight alongside both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. “We didn’t care how the fighting went or who Assad was,” one ETIM fighter told the AP; “We just wanted to learn how to use the weapons and then go back to China.” For many, Beijing’s crackdown on civil liberties in the wake of the Urumqi riots was the catalyst. “We’ll avenge our relatives being tortured in Chinese jail,” another fighter told the AP. A 2015 New York Times report also notes that one Chinese Muslim had been trained in Libya before going to Syria to fight against government forces.

The United Nations states that ETIM “has maintained close ties with the Taliban, Al-Qaida and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.” Indeed, since 2005, ETIM leader Haq has been a member of al-Qaeda’s council of elders, a group of about two dozen individuals who control the organization’s direction. The UN notes that the ETIM’s major source of funding was Osama Bin Laden himself, who directly employed and paid Haq.

“The organization is clearly a part of al-Qaeda’s network — there is no real question about this fact. Al-Qaeda doesn’t hide its sponsorship of the TIP [ETIM]. And the TIP [ETIM] doesn’t hide its allegiance to al-Qaeda,” wrote Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, a hawkish think tank located in Washington. “But the Chinese Communist Party’s detestable policies in Xinjiang have led some democracy and human rights activists to downplay or dismiss the TIP’s overt jihadism,” he added.

In 2002, U.S. forces captured and detained 22 Uyghur militants at an ETIM camp in Afghanistan. They were sent to Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba and were accused of traveling from China to join the ETIM jihad, something many admitted to. However, all insisted that they were uninterested in harming the United States and instead saw China as their major enemy. Considering them no direct threat to itself, the United States began releasing them to third countries and by 2013 all had been freed.

Uighur Syria

A Uyghur fighter in Syria affiliated with ETIM is shown in an al-Qaeda propaganda video

The training camp was located in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan and run by Haq himself. U.S. intelligence actually concluded that many of the trainees acted as a “blocking force” for Bin Laden in 2001, when American forces came very close to capturing him. This allowed him to evade the U.S. for a further ten years. The U.S. carried out an assassination attempt on Haq in 2010, with media reporting that he had been killed by an unmanned drone. However, he was merely seriously injured and escaped with his life.

The State Department designated the ETIM as a terrorist group, adding them to its list in September 2002. At that point, the Bush administration had declared a war on terror, was battling the Taliban in Afghanistan and was about to invade Iraq. Furthermore, relations with China were good at the time and the Bush administration wished to secure Chinese co-operation or at least dampen Chinese resistance to its campaigns.

“Designating ETIM/TIP as a terrorist organization does seem appropriate,” Daniel Dumbrill — a Canadian YouTuber currently in Xinjiang, and an outspoken critic of U.S. policy towards China — told MintPress, adding:

I don’t believe they suddenly and abruptly cease to exist and I don’t believe the U.S. government believes this either. Even if they did, the Tamil Tigers have been inactive for over 10 years since their defeat, but they remain on the U.S. government list of terrorist organizations. Therefore, it doesn’t seem like clearing off inactive terror groups has ever been a matter of priority. There is of course, I believe, an ulterior motive to [their removal from the terrorist list].”

 

A fight for global supremacy

Today, however, relations with China have definitely soured. The country’s rapid economic rise has alarmed and preoccupied many planners in the West, who now see China as America’s “unparalleled priority” for the 21st century. President Trump placed sanctions on the country and attempted to block the growth of Chinese tech companies like Huawei, TikTok, and Xiaomi. Along with the trade war has come a war of words, with top brass in Washington suggesting that the new Cold War with Beijing will be less about tanks and missiles and more “kicking each other under the table.” Others have advised that the U.S. should wage a widespread culture war, including commissioning what they call “Taiwanese Tom Clancy novels” meant to demonize and demoralize China.

The prospect of a hot war cannot be overlooked, however. And U.S. actions are making the threat all the more likely. In 2013, the Obama administration announced a “Pivot to Asia,” meaning a draw-down from the Middle East and an escalation of tensions in the Pacific. Today, over 400 American military bases encircle China. American ships and aircraft continue to probe the Chinese coastline, testing their defenses. In July, U.S.S. Rafael Peralta sailed within 41 nautical miles of the coastal megacity of Shanghai. Earlier this year, the head of Strategic Command stated that there was a “very real possibility” of war against Beijing in the near future.

 

Uyghur repression

It is in this context that the United States has begun to denounce China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority. Xinjiang has been under serious security measures for more than a decade, and the internment of Uyghurs has been going on since at least 2014. Yet the U.S. was largely silent about their treatment until recently. Today, the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED) accuses China of imprisoning between one and three million Uyghur Muslims, describing it as a genocide. The NED has given nearly $9 million to Uyghur groups and has condemned what it sees as a “deafening silence in the Muslim world” about their plight.

Amnesty International has largely agreed, labeling what China calls re-education facilities, meant to deradicalize the population, as “detention camps for torture and brainwashing of anyone suspected of disloyalty.” Uyghurs have alleged that they have been forcibly sterilized, that their places of worship have been demolished, and that they were made to eat pork and separated from their families while interned.

Others have rejected this interpretation. Economist Jeffrey Sachs, head of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, recently wrote:

There are credible charges of human rights abuses against Uyghurs, but those do not per se constitute genocide. And we must understand the context of the Chinese crackdown in Xinjiang, which had essentially the same motivation as America’s foray into the Middle East and Central Asia after the September 2001 attacks: to stop the terrorism of militant Islamic groups.”

Dumbrill seemed to agree, noting that many Uyghurs in Xinjiang see the extremist jihadists as their primary worry, not government forces, of whom some Uyghurs speak fondly. “The police presence aside, people lead fairly ordinary lives here with the same kinds of hopes and dreams that people anywhere else would have as well,” he told MintPress, criticizing the foreign coverage.

Wenbin was, unsurprisingly, even more dismissive of the charges. “Western politicians and media are frantically spreading lies on Xinjiang,” he said, adding that “the allegation of ‘genocide’ is more than preposterous.”

 

The politics of terror

At the same time as it was delisting the East Turkestan Islamic Movement for apparently not existing, the Trump administration added Cuba to its list of state sponsors of terror. Without a hint of irony, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed to the island’s “malign interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere” as the reason for the designation. A report released last month by the Department of Health and Human Services outlined what such malign influence was: offering doctors and other medical teams to other needy countries during a global pandemic.

Yet the politics of the terror list has always been highly suspect. In an attempt to dampen worldwide support for his cause and shore up the Apartheid government, the Reagan administration placed South African leader Nelson Mandela on the terrorist list in 1988. Mandela was not pulled off it until 2008 — 14 years after he became president.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration also recently removed Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terror, in what was an openly transactional event. Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel and give the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars. As usual, Trump was unable not to say the quiet part out loud: “GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan,” he tweeted.

Ultimately, the drastic change in U.S. policy on the ETIM has nothing to do with the movement itself — which remains the same jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban — but rather to a changing American stance towards China. For years, the U.S. ignored human rights issues in Xinjiang, as China was seen as a useful workshop for American capitalism. But the PRC’s rapid rise has frightened many in Washington; hence the sudden fascination with the plight of the Uyghurs. The designation of the ETIM as a terrorist group was likely seen as getting in the way of longstanding U.S. attempts to provoke unrest in China. With China now in the crosshairs, the group has moved from being an adversary to being a potential asset. It appears that the government decided that insisting they no longer exist was an easier sell than pretending they are no longer a terrorist group.

While the change in status might seem inconsequential, it could be a harbinger of a dangerous future. The East Turkestan Islamic Movement was placed on the list because of the War on Terror. Now it has been taken off because of the coming war on China.

Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.orgThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

The post In 2018 the US Was at War With Uyghur Terrorists. Now It Claims They Don’t Even Exist appeared first on MintPress News.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015 - 5:59pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Wed, 09/12/2015 - 5:59pm in

I have to disagree with Ted Rall here:

The Paris attacks are an attempt to sap political support — a better word might be tolerance, because the anti-ISIS war was never ratified by the people of France — for the French government’s participation in the air war against ISIS.

The attacks also serve secondary purposes as propaganda for recruitment — look, emasculated Muslims everywhere, we are fighting back against the infidel crusaders who have tortured and massacred and humiliated us, in their center of power! — as well as to make Westerners ask this very question: why us? ISIS wants France to draw the conclusion that what they are doing in Syria and Iraq is immoral and/or too costly to continue.

The attacks are all about propaganda, but not in either of the ways Ted suggests. Al Quaeda, and now ISIS, have never given two hoots about the West. New York, London, Madrid, Bali, Paris, are all just means to an end. They may well see these mass killings as just restribution, but that is an incidental matter. ISIS certainly do not want to be seen as victorious, nor do they want the Western atrocities to stop. They want to provoke ever-greater barbarity from the West upon defenseless populations, because it is that which is the ultimate recruitment tool in the part of the world they do care about.

Another question often asked is "where did they come from?" Not, as supposed by racists, from a weak-willed people unusually succeptible to "radicalisation". ISIS came from the same place as the Khmer Rouge; out of the rubble and into the power vaccuum created by Western bombs.

Citizenship Stripping Legislation ‘Flawed’ - Law Council

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 06/08/2015 - 10:13am in

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Terrorism

Aus Race Laws In Spotlight After Paris Attacks

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/01/2015 - 10:55am in

Terror Link Forces Name Change for NFP

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/11/2014 - 10:05am in

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Terrorism