Blowback: How Israel Helped Create Hamas

Did you also know that Hamas — which is an Arabic acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement” — would probably not exist today were it not for the Jewish state? That the Israelis helped turn a bunch of fringe Palestinian Islamists in the late 1970s into one of the world’s most notorious militant groups? That Hamas is blowback? Former Israeli official Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Segev, who was the Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980s, told a New York Times reporter that he had helped finance the Palestinian Islamist movement as a “counterweight” to the secularists and leftists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Fatah party, led by Yasser Arafat. Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for more than two decades, told the Wall Street Journal in 2009 that Hamas is “Israel’s creation.” Hamas was the result of this, as Mehdi Hasan explains. First, the Israelis helped build up a militant strain of Palestinian political Islam, in the form of Hamas and its Muslim Brotherhood precursors; then, the Israelis switched tack and tried to bomb, besiege, and blockade it out of existence.

What would the mob of 1/6/2021 in Washington DC have to have done in order for the coup attempt to be successful? Or was there never a chance?

The Gloria Coup and Terror Attack of 2021

First, it was a coup attempt and a terrorist attack. Think of the elements. The crowd was armed. The crowd was wearing clothing that said Civil War. The crowd intended to take over a center of government to prevent its lawful operations. Pipe bombs were found. A vehicle full of molotov cocktails were found. People with devices to tie up and detain people were observed. A coup leader was communicating with people subject to the coup and making demands. Violence was undertaken that injured 20 defenders and killed one. Four coup members died, one by gunfire. the coup members were organized to the extent that the leader of the insurrection gave them instructions and scheduled a time and place.

I will say this in my disdain. If you intend to start your argument saying it is not a coup then you are required to disprove each of these events – I will not play endless wack-a-mole with traitorous cowardly Quislings the weekend after the coup was attempted. Bring your A game or not game.

As for it being successful, lets consider what its goals were and how it was organized.

Meet Donald Trump, the Quisling King and leader of the coup. On 6 January he arranges for a “Save America” rally at the White House elipse, knowing that the Congress with Mike Pence would be meeting down the street and that this itself would be provocative. Oddly enough he had taken several actions prior to this. He had refused requests by Capital Police to call on support by the DC police or Guard. He had widely advertised his speech calling on people across the country to come, and had known about and lauded merchandise being sold which called for civil war on the day – many in the crowd would wear shirts saying this. He had also done two more things – arranged for a tent with heating and multiple television sets to watch “the action” after his speech, and arranged for increased security of the White House.

He then, along with several other speakers, give the crowds instruction to take after the congress.

By 1230 the armed crowd is in front of the congress where an understaffed defense force is faced with violent chanting. Trump continues his speech until 1.30 then advises his people in the crowd to move forward, as do the other speakers. Like before the speech, Trump then returns to watching the mayhem in the tent, and then moves to the west wing where staffers report he is elated, talking about the next four years, and planning how he will bully the endangered congress people into submission.

At 1.30 pipe bombs are set up by Trump supporters at the DNC and RNC. It should be noted that many of the groups present have connections with Hezbollah and Hamas, and have been apprehending receiving money from these terror groups.

At 2.15 the capital is breached by terrorists who begin to chase capital police, restricted by orders not to shoot, through the halls. With reinforcements refused by Trump, he continues to call congress people and bully them as they take cover and as the secret service removes Mike Pence from the grounds – as the crowd has taken up shouting for his death in response to a 2.24 Trump tweet.

By 2.30 armed protesters are surrounding twenty-five capitals and violence is becoming wide spread. Trump continues to laugh as he sees this transpire and comments to staff that they will soon be talking to the protesters.

-It seems Trump felt that the protesters would capture Pence and other congress people and that he would then negotiate with one foot in their camp and one foot in the Federal camp to bring a “peaceful end” to the standoff and hostage taking. The negotiation he felt would include his being declared president for four more years. THIS IS THE REASON FOR THE TERRORIST ATTACK.

It all started to go wrong. The capital police found at 2.30 the vehicle(s) interned to supply the terrorists – vehicles with guns, food, explosives, ammunition, water, and everything needed for a siege with hostages. At the same time the crowds struck the last cofferdam before the Capital would be overwhelmed. This was defended with gunfire when the first terrorist crossed it – she was killed, and then held long enough to evacuate the congress.

It was around this time that Trump moved from the West Wing to the bunker and back as his aids urged him to adopt another plan quickly. With no hostages the original plan would not work – who would he negotiate with and on behalf of whom? The rest is history.

So I present to you the plan – capture the congress then ride to the rescue by negotiating with a crowd he himself had let off its leash, could only have worked

  • if McConnell and Pence had folded and if
  • the Capital Police had been unable to evacuate the congress.
  • The military was useless.
  • There was no backup to save congress.

Even now cowardly followers of Trump yell into the ether that it was a walk in the park – a perfect conversation.

Make no mistake Quislings – it was a coup and a terrorist attack and loyal patriotic Americans are not letting you forget it anytime soon.


Iran Could Still Strike Back at the U.S.

The Islamic Republic is too weak to wage a conventional war on the U.S. — but that doesn’t mean it poses no threat.

How might Iran respond to the death of Qasem Soleimani? Ever since the Trump administration’s January 3 killing of Soleimani, the Islamic Republic’s top military commander, that question has been on the mind of policymakers in Washington and the American public at large.

Iran’s January 8 rocket attack on U.S. military bases in Iraq clearly constituted part of its response, but Iranian leaders quickly made clear that more retaliation is forthcoming. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself has said that, while the rocket attack was a “slap” at the United States, it was “not enough,” and the Islamic Republic will continue its opposition to the United States with the ultimate goal of driving America out of the Middle East altogether.

Doing so, however, is likely to prove difficult for Iran. As a recent analysis by CNBC notes, sanctions leveled by the Trump administration over the past two years have inflicted extensive damage on the Iranian economy. The country’s GDP shrunk by nearly 10 percent last year, and its exports of crude oil declined from a peak of 2.5 million barrels per day to less than 500,000 daily.

Domestic conditions, meanwhile, are deteriorating. Inflation is on the rise within the Islamic Republic and is now pegged at over 30 percent. So, too, is joblessness; nearly a fifth of the country’s workforce is currently estimated to be unemployed. Meanwhile, governmental expenditures have surged as Iran’s ayatollahs struggle to keep a lid on an increasingly impoverished, and discontented, population.

All of this, according to CNBC’s analysis, profoundly limits Iran’s ability “to fund a war” against the United States. But that doesn’t mean the threat from Iran is nonexistent. Iran still has the ability to “ramp up its aggression against the U.S.” through the use of its network of proxy forces in the region.

That network is extensive — and lethal. It comprises not only Iran’s traditional terrorist proxies, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and the Palestinian Hamas movement, but also assorted Shiite militias in Iraq (the so-called “Hashd al-Shaabi”) and even Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Recently, it has also made use of theShi’a Liberation Army” (SLA), a group of as many as 200,000 Shiite fighters — drawn from Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and elsewhere — that has been trained and equipped by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and deployed to foreign theaters such as Syria.

Notably, these forces appear to have been thrown into chaos, at least temporarily, by the killing of Soleimani. Reports from the region suggest that Iraqi militias are “in a state of disarray” after the death of the Iranian general, and aren’t currently ready to strike U.S. or allied targets. Over time, however, we can expect Tehran to regain control and direction of its troops and weaponize them anew against the United States and regional U.S. allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. That is doubtless the top priority of Soleimani’s successor as head of the Quds Force, Esmail Ghaani, who has already commenced outreach to Iranian proxies in an effort to reinforce Tehran’s support for “resistance” activities.

Tehran likewise has another potent tool by which to target the United States: cyber warfare. Over the past decade, the Iranian regime has made enormous investments in its cyber-war capabilities and carried out a series of demonstration attacks on targets such as Saudi Arabia’s state oil company and various U.S. financial institutions to showcase its newfound technological prowess. In the wake of President Trump’s pullout from President Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal, Iran reshaped its cyber-activism against the United States, focusing less on offensive attacks and more on gathering information about potential policy from the notoriously opaque new administration in Washington.

But Tehran’s potential to do significant harm to the U.S. in cyberspace remains. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has warned publicly that Iran could carry out a cyberattack against critical U.S. infrastructure in the near future, with potentially significant “disruptive effects.” And so far, neither the Pentagon nor the State Department has articulated much by way of a strategy to deter Iran from carrying out such attacks, or to mitigate the damage they could do. (In the aftermath of Soleimani’s killing, that lack of strategy has become a matter of growing concern on Capitol Hill.)

Perhaps the most compelling reason to expect an asymmetric Iranian response to Soleimani’s killing, however, is that asymmetric warfare plays to Iran’s inherent strengths. Ever since the regime’s grinding eight-year war with neighboring Iraq in the 1980s — a conflict that Iran lost handily — its leaders have exhibited a strong penchant for military asymmetry over direct confrontation. This preference has only been reinforced by persistent Western sanctions, which have eroded the country’s conventional military capabilities and made the acquisition of spare parts and matériel considerably more difficult.

Soleimani was the regime’s principal architect of asymmetric war, and had devoted nearly a quarter-century to building up the Islamic Republic’s asymmetric potency. That is precisely why his targeted killing by the Trump administration represents such a significant blow to the integrity of Iran’s proxy network — and to the prudence of its time-tested asymmetric strategy. Going forward, Tehran may well have to rethink its approach, and could conclude that the potential costs of continuing its campaign of aggression against U.S. forces in the region are now simply too high. If it doesn’t, however, the very capabilities that Soleimani spent his career cultivating will remain the most potent weapons the Islamic Republic has to wield against the United States.

The Gaza Violence: How Extremism Corrupts

As you know, everybody sees the Middle East through his or her own narrative. Conservatives see it through the “front line in the war on terror” narrative and defend Israel’s actions on the Gaza border fence this week. Progressives see it through the “continued colonialist oppression” narrative and condemn those actions.

.. sometime in the 1990s, a mental shift occurred. Extremism grew on the Israeli side, exemplified by the ultranationalist who murdered Rabin, but it exploded on the Palestinian side. Palestinian extremism took on many of the shapes recognizable in extremism everywhere.

.. First, the question shifted from “What to do?” to “Whom to blame?” The debates were less about how to take steps toward a livable future and more about who is responsible for the sins of the past.

.. Second, the dream of total victory became the only acceptable dream.

.. extremists stop trying to win partial victories, insisting that someday they will get everything they want — that someday the other side will magically disappear.

.. Third, extremists over time replace strategic thinking with theatrical thinking. Strategic thinking is about the relation of means to ends: How do we use what we have to get to where we want to go? Theatrical thinking is both more cynical and more messianic: How do we create a martyrdom performance that will show the world how oppressed we are?

.. If you read the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s April 30 speech or much of the commentary published over the past week, it’s clear that some powerful Palestinians now believe that the creation of the state of Israel is the wrong that needs to be addressed, not the expansion and occupation.

.. They rejected incrementalism. After Israel withdrew from its settlements in Gaza, the Palestinians could have declared a new opening, taking advantage of the influx of humanitarian aid. Instead, they elected Hamas, an organization that lists the extermination of the state of Israel as an existential goal. They expended resources that could have improved infrastructure to fund missiles and terrorist tunnels.

.. Yasir Arafat was once a terrorist, but at least he used terror to win practical concessions. The actions today — the knife attacks, the manipulation of protesters to rush the border fence — are of little military or strategic value. They are ventures in suicidal theater.

.. The shift from the politics of Rabin and Shimon Peres to that of Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman is a move from pluralism to ethnocentrism, from relentless engagement to segregation. It’s a shift from tough realism to the magical thinking that Palestinians are somehow going to go away.

.. sometimes Israeli policies seem callously designed to guarantee an extremist response.

.. That’s the problem with extremism: It is a flight from reality. It makes you stupider. Instead of cleverly working to advance your own interest in a changing context, you end up shouting your own moral justifications into a whirlwind.

.. Extremism is naturally contagious. To fight it, whether at home or abroad, you have to answer the angry shout with the respectful offer. It feels unnatural. But it’s the only way.