Of Masters and Their Slaves

"It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master." ―Ayn Rand

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hezbollah and the M113 APCs: A Long History!

Hezbollah Watch
Hezbollah Watch
By Hezbollah Watch

Ever since Hezbollah revealed its formation of M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs) in Qusayr, Syria, there has been plenty of speculation as to their source.

Hezbollah showed off its M113 APCs during a military parade that took place on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Where did Hezbollah obtain the aging, American-made APCs?!

Did the U.S.-backed Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) willingly give them to Hezbollah?!

Iranian M113 APC
An Iranian M113 APC
Did Iran provide them to its Lebanese client?! Iran obtained M113 APCs from the United States during the late Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi's rule of the country.

Did the defunct South Lebanon Army (SLA; a.k.a. Lahd's Army) leave them behind in the aftermath of the Israeli withdrawal in 2000?! The SLA received a substantial number of M113s from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Actually, Hezbollah's experience with the M113 goes back to the early days of the Lebanon-based Khomeinist organization.

Throughout 1980s, during the Lebanese Civil War, Hezbollah clashed repeatedly with the then-Christian-dominated Lebanese Army as well as the Lebanese Forces (LF) Christian militia, both of which heavily relied on the M113 APCs.

Lebanese Forces militia M113 armor
Lebanese Forces militia M113 armor

The Lebanese Army always obtained its M113s from the United States. But some of the LF's M113s originated from the LAF while others were received from Israel.

Hezbollah may have seized some of its M113s from the LAF and/or the LF. Or even from the Amal Movement, which in turn had captured them from the IDF, the LF and the LAF!

However, Hezbollah most certainly did capture M113s from the SLA during the 1980s. This claim is supported by footage recorded and published by Hezbollah.

WATCH Hezbollah capture a M113 APC from
the Israeli-backed SLA in South Lebanon

In the above embedded video, made circa 1989, first-generation Hezbollah commandos are seen storming an IDF-supported SLA-occupied old fort located on a hilltop in central South Lebanon (in the vicinity of Jibchit). The attackers successfully enter the outpost, killing seven defenders.

The Hezbollah militants not only destroyed an Israeli-provided tank, but also captured a M113 APC!

Bingo! This is how Hezbollah obtained M113s. The American-made APCs are war booty.

Amal Movement fighters capture a M113 APC from the IDF,
circa June 1982, during confrontations in Khalde

Indeed, the familiarity of Hezbollah with the M113 is self-evident in the footage. While under fire by an circling Israeli helicopter, the attackers had no problem with starting the captured APC and leaving in it.

Also, notice in the video that the Hezbollah fighters were invoking "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greater) and calling upon the hidden Twelfth Imam, Al-Mahdi, to reach them: "Ya Mahdi, adrikni!"

Hezbollah places a Ya Husayn banner on a  Sunni mosque in Qusayr, Syria
Hezbollah places a Ya Husayn banner on a
Sunni mosque in Qusayr, Syria!
Contrast this with Hezbollah's war cry in Syria: "Ya Husayn!"

Hezbollah is certainly fighting the Syrian war with intra-Muslim sectarian slogans as a major theme. Indeed, those confronting Hezbollah are Sunni Muslims and Wahhabis. Demonizing them requires connecting them to the murder of the Third Infallible Imam.

On the other hand, the Shiite-Muslims do not blame the Jews nor the Christians for the killing of Al-Imam Al-Husayn. Thus, it makes no sense to invoke "Ya Husayn" upon the IDF or the SLA. Hence, "Ya Mahdi!," the End-times savior who will reappear and bring all nations to Islam in the aftermath of war that consumes two-thirds of humanity (i.e., what we think of as a nuclear-fought World War Three), is the appropriate choice!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Defying Hezbollah: Transcending the Lebanese Sectarian Identity

In a recent trip to Lebanon, Iranian-American journalist Sohrab Ahmari (Twitter: @SohrabAhmari) looks at Hezbollah terrorism in the eye and shares his findings in the Wall Street Journal. In an article entitled "Steering Children From Iran’s Deadly Grasp," Ahmari introduces the malignant Khomeinist entity that has bedeviled Lebanon:
"I traveled last week to Lebanon. Iran planted its first beachhead here in 1982, when it created Hezbollah. From its base in […] Lebanon, the 'Party of God' has launched some of the deadliest terror attacks against the West, including the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that killed 241 U.S. servicemen. Today, Hezbollah is a state within a state in Lebanon, and its fighters are the tip of Iran's spear in Syria."
During the trip, Ahmari meets with Lebanese politicians, including Dr. Samir Geagea, (Twitter: DrSamirGeagea) the head of the Lebanese Forces Party, and Ahmad al-Assaad, (Twitter: AhmadElAssaad) "the 52-year-old leader of Lebanese Option, the country’s only Shiite party openly opposed to Hezbollah," in the words of Ahmari.

Ahmad al-Assaad, leader of Lebanese Option Party
Ahmad al-Assaad, leader of Lebanese Option Party

Al-Assaad makes it clear to Ahmari that "Hezbollah controls Lebanon."

And, "it controls Lebanon through the Shiite community," al-Assaad explains.

But, al-Assaad also discusses his solutions to Hezbollah's chronic hold on the nation. "Mr. Assaad’s theory of change is simple but powerful" writes Ahmari.

"You want to weaken Hezbollah? You have to shake its base. This is why we invest so much in the next generation," al-Assaad tells Ahmari.

Al-Assaad's recipe includes changing the way children -- "the next generation" -- perceive their identity. In the deeply sectarian Lebanon, people quite often see themselves as members of specific sects first, and as Lebanese citizens on a secondary level. Al-Assaad is focused on altering this perception among members of the next generation through attendance of a recreational camp.

Journalist Sohrab Ahmari
Journalist Sohrab Ahmari
The camp, Saving the Next Generation (SNG) (Twitter: SavingNextGen), "imparts the basic lessons of civic loyalty and decent politics," Ahmari writes.

Ideally, al-Assaad wants attendees of his programs to identify as citizens of their country, as Lebanese. An improvement is to identify by religion rather than by sect.

Ahmari met some of the children at the camp. He notes that none identify by sect, yet, he writes, "The most the children volunteer is: 'I am a Lebanese Muslim,' or 'I am a Lebanese Christian.'"

That's the inherent nature of the Levant -- a mosaic of ethno-sectarian groups. Indeed, to give a higher view of one's self and transcend sectarianism into intersection or meet areas is a recipe for greater stability.

Unfortunately, the forces at work in the Middle East and the geopolitical conditions in the area are far greater than the efforts of SNG. The effect of the SNG programs will be limited at best. Nevertheless, these are good efforts.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Enigma of Middle Eastern Terrorism

In an opinion article entitled "Khalid Al-Fawwaz and the Problem of Terrorism," Saudi Arabian journalist and counterterrorism analyst Mshari Al-Zaydi strikes the heart of the matter and identifies the internal essence of the terrorism crisis plaguing the Middle East and, by extension, the rest of the world. Al-Zaydi writes:

Saudi Arabian journalist Mshari al-Zaydi
Saudi Arabian journalist Mshari al-Zaydi
"The two versions of terrorism committed in the name of Islam -- that is, the Shiite and Sunni varieties -- feed into each other. Confronting them, in equal measures, represents a major task facing Arab politicians and an end indispensable to their work in general.
Iranian Pasdaran terrorists in speedboats in the GulfDaesh terrorists
In order to remove ISIS’s raison d’être, Iran’s Khomeinist regime should be eliminated. On the other hand, in order for Khomeinist propaganda to be broken, ISIS must be destroyed."

Al-Zaydi does not address the external factors that feed the region's terrorism predicament, but seems to imply that Daesh (a.k.a., ISIL; ISIS; Islamic State) must be annihilated prior to defeating and subduing the Khomeinists. This is questionable, as support for Daesh runs deep among frustrated Sunnis.

On the other hand, many disenchanted and frustrated Iranians are awaiting the collapse of the Khomeinist mullahs' oppressive regime.

Time will tell who will go first: Daesh or the Khomeinists!

But, one thing is for sure: Both will go!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Islamic Republic and the Islamic State: A Convergence of Illicit Goals

After weeks of repeated anti-Saudi rhetoric by top Iranian regime officials as well as the chief of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, and in light of the latest speech of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh (a.k.a. ISIL; ISIS; Islamic State), Dr. Mohammed al-Sulami (Twitter: @iranianaffairs) examines the narratives of both parties -- the Islamic Republic and the Islamic State -- and detects obvious similarities.

Dr. Mohammed al-Sulami - د.محمد بن صقر السُلمي
Dr. Mohammed al-Sulami

Dr. al-Sulami shared his remarks on al-Baghdadi's speech via his Twitter account in Arabic. Here we give you the tweets along with their translation:

Dr. al-Sulami: "God be exalted! How did the pronouncements of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of Daesh, on Saudi Arabia concur with the repeated Iranian [regime] statements?"

Dr. al-Sulami: "Iran proclaimed that Saudi Arabia shall be met with defeat in Yemen, and that Operation Decisive Storm is but the first step towards the demise of Saudi [rule]. Al-Baghdadi repeated likewise assertions."

Dr. al-Sulami: "Iran and Hassan Nasrallah [the chief of Hezbollah] said, Why Operation Decisive Storm is not directed towards Israel, and al-Baghdadi said that too in his recorded message, which was recently published."

Dr. al-Sulami: "For additional similarities between the Iranian [regime] and Daeshite narratives, all you have to do is compare the latest speech of al-Baghdadi with the repeated Iranian statements on Saudi Arabia and Operation Decisive Storm."

Dr. al-Sulami: "The chief of Daesh: Operation Decisive Storm came about because the Muslims rallied around the 'Islamic State.' What is the link? Other than that the organization (Daesh) is Iran?" [Meaning created or sponsored or backed by the Iranian regime.]

Dr. al-Sulami: "In his speech, which lasted more than half an hour, the chief of Daesh did not utter the word 'Iran' even once during, but he repeated the name of Saudi Arabia tens of times. Think and understand! [Al-Sulami is addressing the misguided youths infatuated with Daesh.]"

Dr. al-Sulami: "In addition, al-Baghdadi extols and lauds his followers in Iraq, Syria and the Arabian Peninsula. Of course, Iran is not on the list [Note: In other words, al-Baghdadi is not encouraging anti-Iranian regime activism within Iran]. Think O deceived young man! [Al-Sulami is addressing the misguided youths infatuated with Daesh.]"

Dr. al-Sulami: "As a reminder, Daesh has reached a distance of 25 Km from the Iraqi-Iranian border, where the Qasr-e Shirin Crossing is located, and returned to the Iraqi interior. Think about it."

Dr. al-Sulami: "Daesh claims that it is fighting against Iran. And, Iran claims that Qasem Soleimani is fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria. So, how is it that al-Baghdadi ignores the [Iranian] assertion or [fails] to allude to that?"

Indeed, it is very obvious that both the Islamic Republic and the Islamic State are playing a game of deception, unscrupulous cunning, and unrestricted cruelty that makes even Machiavelli feel a bit repulsed. This only undermines Islam at a time when it is facing unprecedented demonization in the West.

Both the Khomeinist regime of Tehran and Daesh are lusting for power at any price. Alas, it is the Islamic Ummah who pays the price for their schemes.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Khamenei, Nasrallah and Assad: The Daesh Before Daesh

On this day 10 years ago, Bassel Fleihan died of horrific burn injuries inflicted upon him by the Iranian and Assad regimes and Hezbollah terroristswhen the conspirators blasted the motorcade of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri with two tons of explosives two months earlier in Beirut.

Bassel Fleihan after blast of Rafic Hariri motorcade

Fleihan, a Christian Lebanese legislator and minister of economy and trade, suffered for two long agonizing months before he succumbed to his burn wounds.

At the time, Daesh was not born yet.

Back then, Jordanian air force pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh, captured and immolated by Daesh terrorists, was an inconspicuous high school teen.

Indeed, Assad and Hezbollah are the Daesh before Daesh.

Daesh, an international terrorist entity currently based in Iraq and Syria, is also known as ISIS, ISIL and Islamic State.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Dahiyeh Syndrome of Hezbollah

The Dahiyeh Syndrome: Psychological phenomenon in which the ideologues, propagandists and proponents of a violent non-state actor (VNSA) -- in this case, Lebanese Arab Hezbollah -- express their racial inferiority to foreign sponsors belonging to one or more different ethnic group(s) -- in this case, the Iranians.
Hezbollah Watch® blogs at The Islamic Counterterrorism Institute and at hezbollahwatch.tumblr.com. Hezbollah Watch® tweets at @hezbollahwatch. Find Hezbollah Watch® on Google+.

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