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L'Ordre

L'Ordre

Putin the peacemaker?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Mon siège est fait.

My siege is finished.

René-Aubert Vertot


The vilification of Vladimir Putin in the media makes us blind to the good he does.

Unlike the US, which supports failed rebel groups in Syria who are killing one another, the Russian government wants a peaceful resolution of the Syrian Conflict. The hysterically anti-Russian media avoids mentioning this and instead focuses all mention of Russia on anti-Russian sanctions and Russia’s stake in the Ukrainian Civil War. A war that, unlike the US who support only weak and failed actors when interfering in conflicts around the world, Russia has the advantage in.

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Due to the failure to remove Bashar al-Assad’s government from power in Syria, the US has switched its objective to trying to divide Syria up into governed and ungoverned spaces that will simply deny Assad power over at least some of his country. Whether thousands of people are beheaded by extremists in those territories does not bother the US government, which is still driven by its grudge against Assad and its desire to feel a sense of redemption for wasted billions of dollars on “rebel” groups by at least reducing Assad’s power a little.

The Russians want no division of Syria and have even more reasons to thwart whatever the Americans want, especially now that the US is in an unofficially declared “new Cold War” with Russia with the anti-Russia sanctions. The Russian government’s desire for a political resolution of the Syrian crisis, rather than America’s non-solution of dividing the country among terrorist groups and separatist enclaves at war with themselves and surrounding countries, is driven by Russia’s genuine interest in preventing the spread of terrorism to Eurasia. We are blinded to the good work done by the Russian government to end the crisis in Syria, without it even being covered in our media, because the goose-stepping alliance of television channels and governments wants only to portray Putin as a villain.

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Russia helped to dismantle Assad’s chemical weapons, and was a key partner in the nuclear deal with Iran. Deeds that embarrassed the vindictive US government, which wanted to instead bomb Assad (based on scant evidence as it was with Libya and Iraq before), and was one of the core reasons for Obama’s fallout with Putin.

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From an analysis authored by Mike Whitney:

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Russian President Vladimir Putin takes the threat of terrorism very seriously, which is why he has been working around-the-clock to engage leaders from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Kurds and Syrian opposition groups in negotiations to put an end to the fighting and reestablish security in Syria.  It’s worth noting that there’s been an effective blackout of these crucial negotiations in the western media, mainly because they make Putin look like a peacemaker who is respected among other world leaders and who is making every effort to stop the spread of terrorism. Obviously, that doesn’t jibe with the media’s portrayal of Putin as the new Hitler, so they’ve simply omitted the meetings from their coverage.

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People who think Russia is a threat to international security should remember that the sole common denominator in all conflict zones that threaten international security is the involvement of the US government and its crusade for “regime change” against all backward regimes except its own. The world need not be reminded that America is led by a corrupt mafia-state that kills its own people and spies on even more, including its own so-called allies. It is the US government, in its asinine belief that it is “exceptional” and deserves ultimately to rule the world, that labors to justify war and condemn all other powers but its own. The US would have you believe that other regimes deserve to be overthrown, when in fact the only regime crying out to be overthrown today is the American police state.

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The US should stop imitating the war criminal and sore loser McCain, cheering for war and blaming its victims for its atrocities, before the chickenshits come home to roost in the White House.


By Harry J. Bentham

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Do moderate Islamic politics have a future in Europe?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

J’ai un but, une tâche, disons le mot, une passion. Le métier d’écrire en est une violente et presque indestructible.

I have an object, a task, let me say the word, a passion. The profession of writing is a violent and almost indestructible one.

George Sand


When I wrote my dissertation on “Islamist terrorism” for my degree, the central thesis of that piece was that the democratic deficit and sense of political isolation that affects Muslims in European countries contributes to outbursts of what we call “homegrown extremism” among the Islamic youth in Europe.

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Logo of the Justice and Development Party of Libya

The overwhelming, conspicuous number of European fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State (IS, ISIL or ISIS) today plagues many people’s minds and reinforces the need to reconsider the key national security question I once chose to base my university thesis on. How could these youthful men and women turn away from Western democracy to support a barbaric terrorist group? To many, the only solution is to call them traitors, withdraw their citizenship, and call for their deaths in Coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. An approach that I can only call ham-fisted and futile.

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To me, the evidence only suggests that there is a constant stream of alienated Muslim youth that feels drawn to the extremists’ promise of an Islamic polity – a promise that fills a deep spiritual vacuum these people must have felt. What they wanted is not an altogether illegitimate idea. Unlike Christianity, which preaches salvation only through faith, Islam is inexorably linked to political activism and sees such activism as a necessary part of a righteous lifestyle. It also carries with it its own idea of law and governance. In this sense, Islam can be acknowledged as a political ideology in its own right without adding “ism” to the end of it (the vast number of Muslims in Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere will explain that Islam is indeed their political ideology as well as their religious persuasion). Islamism may be a misnomer altogether, because Islam has consistently been a model of state throughout history even before the advent of this new term. This same fact also serves as evidence to many that Islam is inextricably linked to “terrorists”, given that all ideologies have their militant fringe and Islam cannot be an exception.

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The militant fringe grows when there is a democratic deficit and the sense of isolation felt by many young Muslims in a society from a political process from a state that discriminates against them and scapegoats them as enemies will make them easy prey for jihadist recruiters. The jihadists know their recruitment base feels alienated and isolated, and they know just how to tap into this sentiment and exploit it to brainwash troubled and often oppressed people.

Moderate Islamic parties in Europe as an alternative to ISIL?

If we don’t want Western Muslims to be forced to choose between a ham-fisted, aggressive state dominated by Christians and Jews on a so-called “war on terror” on the one hand, and a violent Takfiri group on the other, there must be a third alternative. It would look something like the party currently ruling Turkey, which is already accepted as a Western power despite its overwhelming Muslim population and the dominance of Islamic culture and sensibilities in Turkey.

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Formation of social conservative Islamic parties has been consistent with the advance of democracy in some specific cases in the Middle East (and Europe if we include Turkey), overcoming decades of authoritarian rule – even if the parties in question have their own authoritarian streak as we see in Erdogan’s Turkey. In Iran, the Shah was overthrown and his regime replaced by an Islamic one that eventually won widespread popular approval according to polls and referendums held in the country. The Muslim Brotherhood had its faults, but it was legitimately elected by the Egyptian people, and it did not consist of terrorists who wanted to attack the West. The Ennadha Movement was likewise one of the main democratic choices of the Tunisian people and served perfectly fine in government. The already mentioned AKP (Justice and Development Party) in Turkey has a similar socially conservative position and is considered Islamist by some. It makes no secret of recognizing and supporting moderate Islamic parties including the Muslim Brotherhood around the world and its counterpart in Libya – also called the Justice and Development Party – which is openly Islamist. On the whole, the so-called Arab Spring was a series of moderate Islamic uprisings in the Middle East, although now the fighting has become less about democracy and more about replacing Bashar al-Assad with irredeemable bandits such as ISIL in Syria and Iraq – an event that would plague the lives of millions and end the lives of even more.

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Separation of church and state?

The tendency to create religion-based political parties may be considered unconstitutional in the US but it is not in the EU. Here, it is perfectly legal and constitutionally acceptable to create Christian or Islamic democratic parties without being banned. This includes in the UK, where we still have an “established” religion being Anglicanism in England and a “national” religion of Scotland being the Church of Scotland. In Germany, Christian democrat ideology is immensely popular, possibly due to it being the ideology of the July 20 plotters who are seen by Germans as the main role models for patriotic German loyalty without the associations of Nazism.

In the UK it is considered somewhat taboo to create a political party with overtly religious goals, although the Conservative Party leadership has expressly described Britain as being a “Christian” nation: a claim that is false according to official statistics. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the UK. If the existing trend continues in the coming decades, the Church of England and the Church of Scotland will eventually be irrelevant and stripped of their status – as may His (or Her) Majesty. Something that few would protest if indeed Islam continued on its course to become the dominant religion in Great Britain.

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As the population of Europe becomes more attuned to Islamic values due to migration and Islam gets more popular among the youth – something that is undeniable already – the support base for the creation of an Islamic party in the UK is viable already and any launch of such a party (with enough funds from wealthy Turkish, Iranian or Arab donors) would be a success. Because most of the youth of Britain is already Muslim, it is not an exaggeration to predict that the elected Parliament in the UK and other EU countries will overwhelmingly be Muslim within a single generation. A well-organized Islamic democrat party could secure possibly a massive 3%-4% percent (over half a million) of the vote in an election in the UK already if the party existed today, but if the Muslim population continues to rise, within a generation securing 20%-30% in an election could mean the democratic rule of an Islamic party in the UK (which doesn’t require an electoral majority to form a majority government). The person who will be Britain’s Prime Minister in the 2050s is probably a Muslim child alive today.

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Rather than throwing a tantrum about this “Islamization”, as right-wing pundits would call it, it is more prudent to prepare for it or actively embrace inevitable change. The British Monarch is required to maintain an archaic oath to uphold the doctrine of the Church of England, although this is only hot air because she does nothing to crack down the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of Scotland.

It does not speak well of the future that we have members of institutions today, including soldiers, who openly bragged that their mission in life was to bomb and kill as many Muslims as possible, while the people of Europe are overwhelmingly turning to Islam. While some doomsayers have warned of a civil war being inevitable because of such trajectories shown in statistics, I prefer to be calmer about the future. Muslims need not turn to extremism to protest an unjust regime that targets them, anymore than secularists or nationalists need to turn to far-right extremist parties. Muslims should focus on the real “jihad” their religion tells them to pursue, which consists of preaching and familiarizing non-adherents with Islamic thought and morality.

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Whatever Europe’s future, we can rest assured that it survived one mass-conversion to a Middle Eastern religion, so there is no reason to think a second would be any sort of doomsday event.


By Harry J. Bentham

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Nuclear deal won’t end the aggression against Iran

posted by Harry J. Bentham

L’homme n’est rien, l’oeuvre – tout

The man is nothing, the work – all

Gustave Flaubert


The nuclear deal reached by Iran with world powers won’t put an end to conspiracies to wage a war of aggression against Iran.

The last US troops leaving Iraq after the country’s occupation ended

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Instead of trying to invalidate the nuclear deal, the chicken-hawks of war in the US will only shift to trying to “prove” that Iran violated the nuclear deal. Lies will be repeated and peddled in order to accomplish this.

If we are going to be wise, the world must remember how the US disregarded international law, bypassed the United Nations, and ignored Iraq’s clearly proven cooperation with the international community to justify the War in Iraq. Obama was correct when he pointed out that the voices criticizing the nuclear deal are the same ones who sanctioned that disastrous war that caused many Americans to lose their lives for no good reason.

While scientists recently wrote to Obama to express praise for the deal, they also pointed out that the deal gives a clear green light for “intervention” in Iran if the country does not abide by the deal. Unfortunately, the US needs little evidence to believe that a country is not meeting its obligations. Its decisions to use military force in Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, and almost in Syria in 2013 were based on extremely poor evidence. In all such cases, the only “evidence” was classified. It later turned out that it didn’t exist at all, but in two cases the war had already been waged before the truth was discovered.

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Rather than justifying wars or actually responding to threats as they appear, US officials are typically more interested in propaganda. They try to manipulate the media and hijack the airwaves, using their authority status to convince everyone that they are right. Fortunately, such tactics are weakening. As Julian Assange has argued, if it is possible to start a war by lying, then it is possible to start peace by telling the truth. The Internet has made this only truer, as bloggers and effective alternative media platforms counter the mainstream media narrative.

If another attempt is made to set the US on an illegal war of aggression, world opinion will not be as easy to deceive. Iran needs to also be aware of the US’s history of supposedly choosing peace, only to later come back like a wolf if it senses its old enemy bleeding and becoming vulnerable to attack. The US may not attack Iran based on the nuclear issue, but it has no shortage of excuses to attack countries.

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By Harry J. Bentham

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American foreign policy fails again: US-trained Syrian rebels dead

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Qui dépense trop n’est jamais riche.

Those who spend too fast never grow rich.

Honoré de Balzac


The US government’s supposed new plan to take over Syria by arming a small group of rebels ended in them all getting killed or going missing. This disaster cost the US 250 million dollars (a quarter billion), resulting in 50 to 60 heavily screened “rebels” who got killed by other rebels before they could even fire a shot at Islamic State (IS, also ISIL) forces or Syrian forces. Judging by the US government’s stubborn refusal to end the idiotic plan and its determination to throw even more money away, these dramatic losses can be expected to continue.

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John Kerry, whose precious “Syrian rebels” only died at an even faster rate and started slaughtering each other more viciously every time the US tried to support them

The US’s plan to go from dumb (as in George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq) to smart (as in supporting “Arab Spring” uprisings and playing factions against one another to topple regimes in the Middle East) will only prove to be even dumber. The people of the Middle East hate the United States, and the United States supporting small factions on the ground in Iraq and Syria will only make those factions more vulnerable to destruction by increasing the amount of contempt people feel towards them. Not only will Bashar al-Assad’s government prioritize destroying these US-trained troops at all times, but al-Qaeda linked groups, ISIL, and even other moderate rebels will also prioritize assassinating them out of distrust and paranoia. There is no way that the US plan to smuggle fighters into Syria can result in anything other than them all becoming a pile of corpses before they can even begin to carry out the mission the US gave them.

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It is such a stupid strategy that one wonders why the US doesn’t just invade Syria with ground forces, as it did in Iraq. It would probably be cheaper and project a more stable, apparently successful form of governance in the region – but at the cost of American boys returning in body bags again rather than those impersonal mountains of billions of dollars wasted. Obama is being schooled by Putin – if we look at Ukraine – not just in how to use military force to capture political power and achieve political victories (e.g. Crimea), but how to support rebels groups effectively too (e.g. Donbass).

The US will brag about its strategies to arm “rebels” around the world but gets outperformed massively by Russia and also Iran if its adversaries resort to the same tactics. The same Congress that approved US training of rebels in Syria will just as easily convene the next week to put sanctions on Russia for supporting rebels in Ukraine.

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Despite the so-called US-trained rebels calling in massive US airstrikes to try to save themselves from the al-Qaeda backed al-Nusra front (which is actually about one tenth the size of ISIL and barely as equipped), they were all either killed or kidnapped by said rebel group in the days that followed their arrival in Syria. What is worse is that the al-Nusra front is fully integrated into the “moderate” Syrian rebel cause and is essentially everywhere, carrying out all the heaviest fighting on behalf of the “moderate” rebels that accounts for almost every inch of the rebel success in the entire war. Already, the US-trained rebels are begging for mercy, asking the US to call off its airstrikes and not provoke these al-Qaeda militants anymore.

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Al-Nusra accused the US-backed rebels of trying to spread American influence and plotting against the other rebel groups. They were right. The other Syrian rebel factions are not as stupid as the American planners assumed. They know that the US-trained rebels are only in Syria to spread American influence, and will immediately hunt and kill them for this simple reason. The American-backed rebels will never get past their own Syrian rebel allies to begin attacking ISIL or Assad’s forces. The rampant paranoia that the CIA and US Military’s openly declared training program will cause among the already fratricidal and paranoid rebels will only cause them to kill each other at an even greater rate, increasing the likelihood that the war will end in defeat for the rebels.

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One wonders how the US government could make such an obvious error. It is hard to believe that they are really this stupid. One possibility is that Barack Obama is aware that the program to support Syrian rebels will fail, but that he is doing it anyway just to satisfy war-hawks like John McCain, who continues to promote senile delusions of toppling the Syrian (and even the Russian) government with American-made guns blazing.  A fantasy that seem more inspired by Rambo movies than real life. Obama could never gather the support for an all-out invasion of Syria, but the people of Syria hate the US so passionately that nothing less than absolute conquest (in the style of ancient Rome or George W. Bush’s America) could make Syria submit to American power.

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Delusions are the only obvious explanation for the total failure of the US intervention in Syria. The United States leadership is so engorged on its shallow propaganda about “freedom” and “democracy” that it forgets that no-one else recognizes or even uses these fallacies and cheap rhetoric other than them. They certainly have no appeal in the Islamic world. The Syrian rebels share nothing with the United States other than their desire to remove Assad. And if the US were open to the possibilities, it would learn that it has more in common with Assad than any of the rebels trying to topple him. For a start, Assad and the Americans are both a little more reliant on brute military force to sustain their authority in the region, rather than broad-based popular support – one of the reasons the US has backed dictators consistently rather than popular movements like the Muslim Brotherhood.

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But past rhetoric can be like a stain. John Kerry is far too busy making up excuses for his own previous lies about the “Assad regime” and repeated calls for Assad to step down in 2013 to realize that he is supporting the greatest villains and enemies of the United States in the region to attain this goal. Kerry is a man supporting Syrian rebels who would no less than slice his lying head off if it were to ever come into their grasp.

Today, the journalists and politicians who called for American bombing raids against the Assad government and the training of terrorists in Syria in 2013 deserve nothing less than to fall into the hands of the butcher “rebels” they professed to support as an alternative to Assad. We can only hope that if John McCain visits Syria again, he chooses to tag along with some of the rebel fighters and joins them in the trenches fighting against not Assad or ISIL, but the other Syrian rebels.

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By Harry J. Bentham

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