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Monday, October 26, 2015

How will Russia reshuffle its balancing tactics in Syria?

Until early September the Russians were courting the Syrian Government and FSA simultaneously. But when Russian airstrikes began early October, there were reports of FSA being targeted. In Moscow, Russian leaders had a cordial meeting with Assad on October 20; earlier October 11, a gracious tete-a-tete with KSA's Mohamed bin Salman over arms deal to assist the Kingdom's anti-Ansarullah campaign in Yemen and pro FSA-(AQ) activities in Syria; and then there was a call for cooperation with FSA and USA on October 25. But FSA is purportedly having furious tantrums of mistrust, playing hard to cajole accusing Russia of targeting them and assisting Assad. According to Al-Jazeera (a pro-FSA source), Sergei Lavrov wasted no time reassuring the Syrian opposition that Russia is ""ready to give air support to the patriotic opposition, including the so-called Free Syrian Army, but we need to get in contact with the people who will have the authority to represent certain armed groups."" FSA's depth of disarray, its many groups, sub-groups and defections to AQ during the past four years make it difficult for them to present themselves as a reliable and "patriotic" fighting force. As long as the Kremlin is suspicious of FSA commanders having links to ISIL and ANF, events on the ground may remain more favorable for Assad. But if (or when) FSA gets the benefit of the doubt, things could go drastically wrong.

FSA has categorically stated that the Russian leadership must choose between Assad or itself while the awkward Russian diplomacy upholds the dire need for cooperation with the Syrian Government, its opposition and the United States, a very close ally of the Syrian opposition as well as a discreet ally of AQ - the oddest amalgamation ever! When a third party claims it has a common goal with two warring groups harboring opposite ideologies,it leaves you scratching your head.

Defeat of ISIL (which is still a distant dream) will not be enough to re-establish peace and sovereignty in Syria. Neither may it be possible for Russia to continue walking on egg-shells for much longer.

Something real bizarro here that isn't giving too many reasons to feel optimistic.

The following image shows Putin and Medvedev entertaining President Bashar al-Assad with, what looks to be, an insipid dinner.

                                            Source of image:  National Post

And Turkey reaction on Assad's visit to Moscow?

"If only he (Bashar al-Assad) would stay longer in Moscow, so the Syrian people could be at ease, or if only he could stay there permanently so that a real transition period could begin."  This was stated by the flagrant war-mongering bitch and puppet-Turkish PM, Ahmet Davutoglu, as if his government has offered plenty of "peace" to his country and the world.  He is actually a double puppet - a titular PM with no power whatsoever, only taking orders from the infamously corrupt and terror-loving Turkish President Erdogan .. who again is taking orders from the White House.  Obviously their jealousy of a nation striving to stay sovereign will never stop burning their rear like grass. 

By the way, Putin promptly briefed Erdogan of Assad's visit to Moscow (check the same hypertext above) the very next day (Oct.21) on telephone.  What was the rush, rather what was the need for it at all .. may I ask?  At times it gets hard to guess who is whose obedient rent boy.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ashura 2015

"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees" - Imam Hussein, the universal symbol of triumph of REVOLUTIONS and DEFEAT of OPPRESSORS, RENEGADES; an event that will keep the spirit of uprising alive forever. Writes Washington Irving, American historian & author of the 19th century: "Imam Hossein's soul will remain forever under the scorching sun and on the hot sands of Karbala."  Resistance against injustice is not a choice. It is mandatory for the survival of human dignity and justice regardless of the sacrifices and the odds stacked up against the resisting army. 

Muawiyah bin Abu Sufian, the first ruler of the Ommayads, died in 60 AH (680 AD).  In complete violation of Islamic principles, he appointed his son Yazid as his successor, converting the caliphate into a dynasty.  If Hussein wanted he could have very easily saved his life by caving in to the coercion of the Ommayad king, Yazid I, and declaring his allegiance to a disreputable ruler.  But his principles would NOT allow him to take such a step.  Nothing could sway him from the path of his beloved grandfather and the Final Messenger of Allah.  Neither Hussein nor his family felt the slightest fear to fight till the end, defending Islam from corruption, autocracy and the tyranny that comes with it.  What is important in the Sight of Allah is the intention and the depth of one's effort, not the extent of earthly achievement.

Starting from 60 A.H., the first month of our Islamic calendar has been that time of the year when a tender scar erupts into a painful wound once again. The profound grief leaves one numb and distracted. Despondency deepens to realize that similar injustice prevails within the pan-Islamic world and far beyond. Millions continue to tread the path of injustice and corruption but very few have worked to build aspirations from the memories of beloved Hussein.

Rest in comfort dearest, in the loving care of The Almighty, The One, The Only, The Bountiful, The Eternal. 

Art gallery - Battle of Karbala
 photo prisoners karbala.jpg
After the Battle of Karbala, the female members and children of Hussein's family (Household of the Final Messenger pbuh) were taken prisoners, put on chains and made to walk up to Kufa

Guess what you see here?  The 21st century counterpart of Yazid bin Muawiyah attacking Karbala - The 101st Airborne Division of the US army attacks the city of Karbala in April 2003,  the site of the tomb of the Imam Hussein martyred in this city in 680 A.  Unfortunately there have been and are Yazids in every era of Islamic History. 
Source:  Military art by James Dietz - "Strike on Karbala" at JamesDietz.com 

Monday, October 12, 2015

"The small Satan and the big Satan" - Khomeini got it right 36 years before lackluster folks like ourselves

Russia will crush Al Qaeda and FSA, defend Bashar al-Assad until its last breath, establish an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem have been the kind of choruses reverberating across the anti-imperial community all over Facebook and Twitter.

In Russia, the militaristic and orthodox Cossacks for whom the mandatory precondition for joining the Cossack group is belief in "Christ" have "immortalized" the Russian leader in a Roman emperor-style bronze statue after the annexation of Crimea early 2014. 

Much of that jarring jazz blends with an overtone.  The West has been frowning over Mr. Putin's participation in the showdown in Syria .. or so we are told.  But the truth doesn't quite reflect that, not in the context oft reported.  Despite the proclaimed fuss, the U.S. and its Middle-Eastern allies including Saudi Arabia aren't really perturbed at all.  Many Arabs are of the opinion that "Putin was Assad's best choice."  He certainly was Assad's 'best choice.'  A drowning man would clutch at anything, even a serpent.  But the story does not end here.  Al-Qaeda (ISIL & ANF) has been an evil necessity for the White House that has left Obama dithering for a long time.  Under the circumstances, Mr. Putin shouldering this messy issue is also the *best choice* of  U.S. and NATO.  They know he has imperial ambitions like themselves, but not to worry.  He no longer has a strong economy to support those fanciful aspirations.  Though he has absolute power within his country as did the former Czar Nicolas II, his resources are a trickle compared to the Romanov era.  And unlike Nicolas II, Putin is pro-Semite and proud of Russia's anti-Nazi history.  

There are no good reasons for his Western counterparts to distrust the Russian leader.  Might as well utilize him to do the dirty work ... as far as national interest allows him to proceed.  It would also help to downplay their own (though largely feigned) military intervention against IS, putting Russia on the terrorists' line of fire, while at the same time acquiring the advantages of Russian air strikes under the cover of criticism.  Gimmicks like Britain one step closer to war with Russia after giving RAF the green light to shoot hostile Russian jets in Syria need to be taken as little beyond political entertainment news by Western propagandists aimed at gaining international sympathy/support for booting out the Syrian government using Russia as a tool.  If RAF shoots down a Russian jet and starts a war and if the US perceives no future benefits for itself in such a scenario (which it won't), it will not be loyally protective of Britain and no way will Britain enter a war alone .. maybe in tiny Falklands, never with Russia.

Other than a few disgruntled whispers, the House of Saud has been equally complacent.  True that most of Saudi Arabia's military needs are provided by the US.  But the Sauds have made other inroads and entrenched further to lessen their dependency on the US.  In August 2015 the Saudi FM made intensive contacts with senior Russian military officials for a wide range of military armaments including the deadly Iskander ballistic missile systems with a range of 500km and capability for carrying 700kg of various warheads.  Moscow Top News confirmed Saudi Arabia signing contracts for buying a bunch of different Russian military hardware that includes "combat helicopters, T-90C tanks, armored vehicles and anti-aircraft missile systems. The deal approximately totals $2 billion."  With unjust sanctions clamped on Russia over the Ukraine episode and the ruble steadily falling, the Russian government is in dire need of attractive contracts  from wealthy countries.  Principles and fair play are the last things to get hung up on.

Along side US weapons, the Saudi/Russian arms deals have definitely played a significant role in the destruction of Yemen.  While you rightly applaud Russia for blasting ISIL in Syria, the Saudis are flattening Yemen with similar hardware, much of it purchased from the same military. 

As little as five days after its official military intervention in Syria, the Kremlin welcomed a senior Saudi delegation for talks on cooperating in the Syrian war.  The Saudi FM recapitulated his country's position - "Assad's resignation" - to a silent Putin who is supposed to be bombing Syrian rebels to help Assad survive.  Same day Mr. Putin had a cordial meeting with the crown prince of UAE, a country supportive of the Syrian opposition and is ravaging Yemen after joining the Saudi coalition that started a preemptive war in March 2015.  One might be curious to know what exactly was the purpose of these meetings with the arch enemies of Syria?  It surely wasn't about ending the war, closing the borders nor Saudi Arabia declaring a neutral policy.

It would be naive to repudiate that a substantial bulk of high powered weapons and armaments currently supplied by Saudi Arabia to the "Free Syrian Army" and Jaish al-Fatah aren't Russian-made.  Contemplating logically, the framework isn't a whole lot different from US military airdropping "50 tons of small arms ammo and grenades in norther Syria on Sunday," reported by Fox News as "Pentagon's shift from training rebel fighters to equipping them."  While FSA receives its smaller perks directly via US military, it gets the heavier US and Russian armaments indirectly through Saudi Arabia.  The SAA is not the only beneficiary of Russia's 'compassionate' policies.

Of course Putin never gave any reasons to assume he was madly in love with Assad.  He is only focused on thwarting Al-Qaeda's international agenda of a 'caliphate' spilling into Chechnya and possibly other parts of Russia.  The Syrian rebels on the other hand, though almost just as radical, are fighting for ousting the Syrian government and staying within Syria.  Vladi Puts is thoroughly comfortable with that.  Whatever happens to Assad eventually was never his concern.  The Kremlin has been cleverly balancing its relations between Assad and the SNC;  whichever of the two finally wins, Moscow will only require to continue its diplomacy and trade links.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Putin-mania is bubbling with unanswered questions

It began around August 2015 and continues until now.  Only time will disclose the outcome and on that day Syria may not have too many reasons to rejoice.  

On August 2015 Sergei Lavrov held formal talks with Khalid Khoja, leader of SNC (so-called Syrian opposition) for building "a broad coalition to fight IS" while simultaneously wooing Bashar al-Assad for the same purpose despite knowing that Khoja and Assad are far from friends. This is the same Khalid Khoja who left Syria at age 18.  It's the same Khalid Khoja who believes that allowing the present Syrian government to survive would be a victory for Iran.   It's the same person who said in his message as an SNC member in Turkey that the benefit of Zionist Israel lies in the ouster of Assad's government which "works for Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas."  Even if Khoja agrees to fight IS, he will still want to break away Syria from the Axis of Resistance. Moreover, various ground fighters and commanders of SNC have close links with IS and ANF which Khoja is incapable of preventing.  Don't forget to look up the comedy of betrayal involving Pentagon and its knight in shining armor - New Syrian Forces a.k.a. Division 30.  Is Lavrov really crazy enough to imagine a handshake between Assad and Khoja based on such a proposal?

On Sept.16, 2015 Sergei Lavrov reportedly suggested to John Kerry for a "military-to- military conversation" to combat IS terrorists while the United States is already spending $100 million a week on airstrikes within Syria for simplifying the mission of those terrorists and consequently refusing to put "boots on the ground" in ISIL strongholds of Syria and Iraq. 

A quick wrap of the Putin-mania as it stands at the moment, excluding lengthy details and the naive fervor.  On Sept.26  'Telegraph' stated David Cameron "will soften his stance towards the brutal Syrian leader as a temporary measure"  as if it's that pig's legal entitlement to dismiss and appoint Syrian leaders.  That came with an insinuation of a 'victory' for Putin.  Seemed far more like a warning that Syria could be a battleground for a much longer period than Viet Nam!   The pig then flew to the U.S. to attend Putin's UN performance. 

Despite the Russian leader's game of tricks n balances as an unidealistic player, Putin continues to cling to that conventional eyewash "UN will prevent international confrontations."  He has been plain and open about his desire to coordinate Russian presence on Syrian soil with the US coalition despite yesterday's NYT report on Russian air force targeting Assad's opponents. 

How much longer might it take the enthralled Vladimir supporters to catch this little chess tournament as a hard-nozed pragmatic move devoid of ideological principles?

If some day Syria is cleansed of the Al Qaeda marauders, will Bashar al-Assad finally be left alone?  If not, and with the possible risk of terrorists infiltrating into Chechnya from Syria and Iraq eradicated, with no more chances of lucrative business and military contracts from an economically wreaked Syria, will defending Assad still be important to Mr. Putin?  Or will he again become a recluse, try to disarm Syria with deceptive advise as he did in 2013 much to the pleasure of Israel?  Still worse, will he then make efforts for a common cause with his EU/US partners calling for Assad to step down with the hope of distracting them from the turmoil in eastern Ukraine?  Will it then be time for Vladimir Putin to resume his age old 'political love-life' with Israel and his favors for those thousands of nationalist Israeli Russian Jews who have also loyally been voting for him in every Russian election?

To make a long story short, none of these self-serving sluggards are worth an ounce of trust.  If Syria is destined to survive, it can only happen with the endeavors and unconditional commitment of the Axis of Resistance.  Considering the steady flow of weapons and money flowing into Syria since the last four years to assist foreign terrorists, if Hezbollah and Iran were not diligently helping the Syrian Arab Army behind the scenes, the SAA  wouldn't have had the resources to handle this war beyond a couple of years and Assad would have almost certainly been toppled long ago.  If Russia is serious about standing up to defend Syria, is it also interested in preserving the Axis of Resistance?  If not, then its support for Bashar al-Assad is pretty much useless.

Murdered in cold blood for eating beef

Why blame only ISIL when sickness abounds far and wide?

Mohammed Akhlaq, a 50-year-old Muslim man in India was brutally beaten to death for eating beef. He was dragged out of his home in the suburbs of the Indian capital by a hundred men, some reportedly high on alcohol. They smashed his head. His 22-year-old son was seriously attacked and lies in hospital in critical condition. Mohammed Akhlaq's home was ransacked. His wife and 70-year-old mother were also attacked but managed to save their lives. And this country is dubbed as the world's "largest democracy." This is no isolated occurrence. It's a pattern. The incident happened a couple of days after the Pakistan Embassy staff in New Delhi was disallowed by the Indian government from celebrating Eid-al-Adha outside the capital. As if the ruthless occupation of Kashmir since the last six decades isn't terrible enough, the Indian peninsula also stoops down to hardcore, fierce hindu radicalism.

Those who won't raise their voices against such savagery must also be just as comfortable with Al Qaeda at heart ... they have to be .. their criticism of AQ would be nothing beyond spectacular hypocrisy.

Fact check:

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