Beating prisoners of Roumieh won’t help the fight against extremists.

Videos, taken inside the infamous prison of Roumieh, in Lebanon, emerged online. The videos show guards beating prisoners laying on the ground, with a large green stick. The prisoners were shirtless, half-naked, and had their hands tied-up. The abuses may date from April and could be answers or punishment to the riots that month, when prisoners briefly held 20 guards as hostages. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3lFRYe88iY&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PyF9TCbBwo&feature=youtu.be

Nuhad Machnuk, Lebanon’s interior minister, announced that the guards who abused the prisoners were arrested.

Omar al Atrash is allegedly one of the prisoners beaten, he is a well-known Islamist cleric and was the Imam of a mosque in Central Bekaa. “He was charged of smuggling suicide bombers and car bombs between Lebanon and Syria through Arsal border crossings.” NOW Lebanon reported in 2014.  Does he and the other prisoners “deserve” the treatment from the guards? Absolutely not, never.

Beating a prisoner is useless. 

Beating a prisoner, abusing him, torturing him have never lowered the number of religious extremists over the years. Beating them won’t save lives. It is notorious that the Roumieh prison had an “operation room” for the extremists and helped them in their terrorist network, but after the police raid and the destruction of the room and the confiscation of phones, I believe that the connection with the external world is today minimal. The state, with force, took back the control of all the prison. Whether this video happened yesterday or before the full control of the prison by the state doesn’t make any difference to the online repercussion of the videos.

Beating prisoners helps radicalisation and terrorism. 

Opportunist extremists will use the video for propaganda purposes. While this abuse and beating may be isolated, the video will be used by some agitators to show that Sunni clerics are abused and that Sunni in general in Lebanon, are abused and oppressed against, no need to say that this is absurd. Some are calling the guards Shias and even Hezbollah members. The video is already a tool in the hands of extremists or agitators, and will help them recruit. Beating a prisoner isn’t “productive”, quite the contrary, their numbers will grow.

https://twitter.com/moonnor27/status/612670583659048960

There’s absolutely no proof that these guards are Hezbollah members or even sympathisers of Hezbollah. Saying this is only helping the propaganda and therefore the recruitment.

Beating prisoners could lead to unrest.

Some are already calling for protests in Tripoli and other towns. The town has sadly known numerous fightings between Alawites of Jabal Mohsen, Assad supporters, and Sunnis of Bab al Tabbane, a mini proxy war from Syria. The city has also witnessed battles between extremists and the Lebanese army. This video won’t help at all the security of this country.

https://twitter.com/Inghimasi18/status/612696655020883968

Beating and abusing a prisoner doesn’t make the guards better than them. 

IS, Nusra front, the two leading Islamist groups of Syria, are well known for inhuman acts: IS beheads their prisoners, enslaves woman, pushes homosexuals to their deaths, and it infamously burned a man alive. Nusra Front, though often presented as less violent, are not human rights advocates either, they’re the offshoot of al Qaeda, the same group responsible for 9/11. Omar al Atrash may be directly responsible for the deaths of innocent during multiple bombings in the southern suburb of Beirut. Beating him won’t make the innocent come back from their tombs. It’s useless and sadistic at best.

Isn’t beating them, on the ground, defenceless, resemble the doings of IS?

Finally, Lebanon’s government decides to actively fight religious extremists of Arsal.

The state tries to neutralise the army of Lebanon and is intelligent in doing so, but it should try to neutralise it by action, not inaction, the action of attacking the extremists with the backing of all political factions and all religious authorities.

The Hezbollah position of fighting against extremists of Arsal is politically dangerous because it gives the picture of a Shia-Sunni fight and this picture is explainable though not justifiable. It also gives the image of supporting Assad, and it is true, Hezbollah is directly Assad through this battle, but it is also, and most importantly, defending Lebanon of the Nusra front and the Islamic state policy of expansionism. IS and the Nusra front are expansionists and they will try to attack all country to expand the so-called caliphates, and they don’t care whether they have local support among Muslims.

Had the army decided to take matters more directly into its hands, that is, relentlessly fighting for Arsal as soon as the terrorists fell back with hostages last year, Hezbollah would have not taken the battle into their own hands.

The army has already given martyrs to the Lebanese people and territories, often with surprise attacks by the extremists. The government finally decided to have a proactive stance in the battle. Gebran Bassil, the Lebanese foreign minister, has criticised the vagueness of the cabinet statement. “What is needed is a decision rather than a statement. We support tasking the Army [with clearing Arsal’s outskirts of jihadis] as stipulated in the statement, but we oppose the vagueness of it, and we are waiting for results,”. “A statement said the government tasked the Army with doing whatever is necessary to drive out jihadis entrenched in the mountain terrain along the outer edge of Arsal” [Daily Star]

Let us then wait for the results. I’m not speaking about “containing” them, nor counter-attacking them, but attacking them, and driving Nusra front and the Islamic state out of the Lebanese territories. The longer these groups stay, the greater their forces will be to attack Lebanon Bekaa province.

What Assad Supporters need to know.

It is always useful to take a step back, look at some (not so old) history and place yourself within the given new context.

Pro-Assad people will never hesitate to blame pro-opposition in Syria to support IS, Al Qaeda and sometimes as far as Zionism. They will point out how evil powers of the world are all plotting to make the Assad regime fall, including Turkey. In fact, the latter is allowing Jihadis to pass by its porous frontiers and getting directly to the front.

But what about the role of Syria in the Iraqi turmoil ? Let’s quote some parts of an article in the Guardian.

Like the Americans, General Kamal was convinced that Syria was destabilizing Iraq, an assessment based on the interrogations of jihadists who had been captured by his troops. Throughout 2009, in a series of interviews, Kamal laid out his evidence, using maps that plotted the routes used by jihadists to cross the border into western Iraq, and confessions that linked their journeys to specific mid-ranking officers in Syrian military intelligence.

General Kamal was the director of intelligence of Iraq’s Interior ministry.

As Isis activity ebbed in Iraq, he had become increasingly obsessed with two meetings that had taken place in Syria early in 2009, which brought together Iraqi jihadists, Syrian officials and Ba’athists from both countries. […]

The attendees included senior Iraqi Ba’athists who had taken refuge in Damascus since their patron Saddam was ousted, Syrian military intelligence officers, and senior figures in what was then known as al-Qaida in Iraq. The Syrians had developed links to the jihadists since the earliest days of the anti-US insurgency and had used them to unsettle the Americans and their plans for Iraq.

Abu Ahmed, a “senior official” within IS adds.

“The mujahideen all came through Syria,” he said. “I worked with many of them. Those in Bucca had flown to Damascus. A very small number had made it from Turkey, or Iran. But most came to Iraq with the help of the Syrians.”

Militant Islamist fighters waving flags, travel in vehicles as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. Stringer/Reuters

To sum it up, the Syrian regime of Al-Assad helped Jihadis install chaos in Iraq. Those Jihadis then used the chaos in Syria and grew much bigger than they intended to.

Before blaming Turkey and their evil plans, (and you have every right to do so), take a second and think about the Syrian contribution to terrorism in the region. Blame both.

Continue reading What Assad Supporters need to know.

A conversation with Ashraf Rifi about the IS flag burning.

Conversation with Rifi :

Lebanese Ctizen : “Alo ? Yes, how are you minister, have you heard about the beheading of the Lebanese Soldier ?”

-Rifi : “Oh ? Meh…let’s negotiate with them”

– “I have also found pictures of kids burning “Daesh-IS” flag in Achrafieh”

-Rifi : “WHATT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME, HOW DARE THEY”

– “Hey it’s just a flag you know”

-R : “NO NO, THERE IS ALLAH WRITTEN ON THE FLAG, WE MUST FIND THEM AND ARREST THEM “!

– “Wow wow chillax bro…I don’t think they have anything against Islam just Da-”

-R : “all I hear is BLABLABLA”

– “Rifi, would you search for Daesh or Civilians if they Burn Hezbollah Flags ?”

*Tone Sounds*

A day Later.

Citizen : “Hey have you heard about the burning of Crosses in North Lebanon ?”

R :” It’s just a cross you know no need to make a polemic about this”…

Citizen : “Oh…Okay…”

 

 

 

Will USA bombardments stop “IS” ? (“Islamic State”)

I consider myself as an anti-interventionist.  I don’t want “boots on the ground” nor intervention. Simply because it led to more chaos, more deaths, more hatred. US, the only so-called superpower in the world, is the master of intervention.

It is very important to say that being against an intervention does not mean being with the government the interventionist want to fall.

Example : Being anti-interventionist in Iraq 2003 does not mean being pro-Saddam. Look at France.

Being anti-interventionist in Syria 2013 does not mean being pro-Assad.

These examples may sound naive, but the number of people I’ve seen blaming everyone to be pro-Assad because they were against an intervention is huge.

Of course I was happy when Saddam fell, but I was not happy when I saw that the bombs were killing mostly civilians. And in fact, the weapons of massive destruction never existed, it was just an excuse to finish Saddam.

Iraq chaos have not created Al Qaeda and terrorism, but it led them in the country for sure and it also led to bloody instability. Saudi Arabia terrorist Wahhabits began to flow into the country, to blow themselves up and join Paradise in their views.

Years later, US left Iraq, but before leaving, they trained and armed the Iraqi army. As soon as USA left Iraq, an Iraqi insurgency began. Some Sunnis of the country were malcontent of the Shi’ite-led government. Again, more violence, more hatred and chaos. Maliki, the Shi’ite prime minister, left his seat after Iran and USA advised him. This move were to appease the insurgency. But in fact, it is too late.

“ISIS” have become a “state” with or without a Shia Prime Minister, and I am certain that the group won’t step down after seeing a Sunni Leader. ISIS have grown, fed itself from the chaos in Syria, and now promise war to the United States and Europe.

US began strikes against IS, not because they fear a massacre from IS, but because they have  interests in Erbil, a city not far from Mosul.  IS have massacred well before the US bombardments, and it will continue their massacre, their ethnic cleansing after the bombs.

If US strikes finish them off, (that is doubtful), what’s the plan after this ? I see no real plan, and please, if you have a link, share it.

With no real plan, IS and terrorism will re-organize, re-exist. The hatred against USA will grow, and the strikes will be very useful for the “Islamic State” propaganda.

Nonetheless, I am supporting US bombardments for multiple reasons.

1) IS needs to be stopped, their expansion is very dangerous and is already destroying Middle East Culture and minorities.

2) If they are not slowed down, this expansion will continue, Baghdad may fall. More chaos.

3) IS is killing innocents.

I will not support a military ground operation or intervention.

And as soon as the bombs are killing mostly civilians, my support will end.