Tag Archives: Osama bin Laden

The Man Who Would be Caliph

Mugshot_of_Abu_Bakr_al-BaghdadiWhat sets Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi apart from all other would-be Caliphs, including Osama bin Laden and his successor as al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, is that he is supremely qualified, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe, of the current battle in Syria and Iraq. An excerpt of today’s column:

Half a dozen so-called Islamic states have been created out of countries in crisis in the last 20 years, and each new one is more brutal and bloodthirsty than the last.

The latest is the “caliphate” created by the messianic descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, soldier and Islamic scholar Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the territory he and his followers control in the border region of Syria and Iraq.

Al-Baghdadi’s puritanical Muslim enclave may well be the most brutal of all the Islamic states that have flared and died since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 1996 with the aid of Pakistan’s military intelligence agency after the departure of the invading Soviet Union.

The surge of al-Baghdadi’s fighters over the fellow Sunni Muslim homelands of central Iraq has been accompanied by the mass executions of rival Shiia Muslims, beheadings and the crucifixion of at least eight people … read more (subscription*)

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Al-Qaida Jihadists Suspicious of Iraq-Syria Caliphate

Jonathan Manthorpe’s columnist page is here.


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On Iraq and America’s Folly


United States forces captured Saddam Hussein December 13, 2003, at ad-Dawr near Tikrit. Iraqi courts found him guilty of numerous offences. He was executed by hanging December 30, 2006. U.S. Army Photo

From five words flow the events we see today in Iraq, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe in today’s column. As the United States grappled with a response to 9/11 Donald Rumsfield, then Secretary of Defense, said, “What if Iraq is involved?”  What has  been largely overlooked about America’s invasion of Iraq, Manthorpe argues, “is how conclusively the Iraq invasion fouled the west’s moral authority in a world where new centres of cultural, political and military power are rapidly emerging.” An excerpt: 

There has never been a satisfactory explanation why George W. Bush and his Praetorian Guard nursed such a visceral hatred of Saddam Hussein.

But they came to power in 2000 intent on vendetta, and within hours of the September 2001 al-Qaida attacks on New York and Washington the closest officials and advisers around Bush were looking for a Saddam connection. Within days, senior officers in the Pentagon realized with alarm the administration had already loosed the unstoppable juggernaut that would lead to the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam in 2003.

In the intervention months an entirely spurious paper trail was fabricated in Washington and London, creating the fantasy desired by the ideologue dunderheads around Bush. Saddam, they claimed, not only conspired with Osama bin Laden in the attacks on the United States, he had also developed weapons of mass destruction that threatened the entire Middle East and beyond.

Blitzkriegs built on lies never end well. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in over a decade of warfare in Iraq. But now it gets even worse. It is beginning to look as though the Bush coven has created the conditions for bin Laden’s heirs to realize their master’s dream.

Well armed fighters of the fanatical Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an al-Qaida spin-off group, is marching on the Iraqi capital Baghdad after capturing the central towns of Tikrit and Mosul, the old heartland of Saddam’s regime. The ISIS is, like al-Qaida, a militant group from the Sunni Muslim faction of Islam. The government of Iraq is led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shia Muslim, whose intolerance for the Sunnis has given ISIS the foothold to become the voice of the Sunni regions.

Bin Laden’s dream was to recreate the Caliphate of Islam’s early days when all Muslims came under one government … read more (subscription)*

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Bin Laden’s disciples move to realize his dream.

Jonathan Manthorpe’s columnist page is here.

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