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Distortions Over Isis and Orlando Play Into the Hands of the Jihadists
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Isis will benefit from the slaughter carried out by Omar Mateen in Orlando regardless of how far it was involved in the massacre. It will do so because Isis has always committed very public atrocities which dominate the news agenda, spread fear and show its strength and defiance.

So far there is strong evidence that Isis motivated Mr Mateen in his attack, but not that it played a role in organising it as it did in the killings in Brussels and Paris. Isis’s Albayan radio station based in Iraq, is saying that “God allowed Omar Mateen, one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America, to carry out an attack entering a crusader gathering in a night club…in Orlando, killing and wounding more than 100 of them.” The FBI says that he made an emergency call just before he started shooting claiming allegiance to Isis.

Western media are likely to emphasise the Isis angle because it feeds into popular fear of a vast Isis-led conspiracy that menaces every home in the US and Europe. This is scarcely surprising since it is the worst terrorist attack in the US since 9/11, but it is worth keeping mind that the casualties in Orlando are much less than the 200 killed last month by Isis suicide bombers in and around Baghdad over a four day period and a further 150 in the Syrian cities of Tartous and Jableh on 23 May.

These massacres were barely reported by the Western media which tends to under-cover or over-cover Isis actions, depending on whether Americans or Europeans are among the dead. This gives a distorted picture of the degree of danger posed by Isis, which at times appears to be on the wane and at others is exaggerated by round-the-clock news coverage to seem like a threat to our very existence.

These exaggerations play into the hands of Isis, a prime example being the infamous tweet from Donald Trump about the Orlando killings asking if President Obama is “going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!” This is the sort of hysterical and divisive response that Isis likes to provoke and Mr Trump is being rightly castigated for making such a comment. But recall that David Cameron did much the same last December before the House of Commons vote on extending British airstrikes to Syria by warning MPs not to vote with “Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers.”

An all-too-successful motive for Isis atrocities, whether they are carried out around Baghdad or the boulevards of Paris, is to provoke communal punishment whether it is against Sunni Arabs in Iraq or Muslims in general in the US or Europe. All sense of proportion is lost in what politicians in Northern Ireland forty years ago used to call “the politics of the last atrocity.” Isis gains because excessive and all-embracing retaliation becomes the unwitting recruiting sergeant for the very movement it is supposedly trying to suppress.

The dangers of over-reaction and collective punishment are widely recognised at least in theory, though this may lapse on the day that there is blood on streets. But there is also a risk that good-hearted people will respond in precisely the opposite way and say that the butchery in Orlando, Brussels, Paris, Baghdad and Tartous has nothing to do with Islam, which it has.

Much of what Salafi-jihadi movements such as Isis and al-Nusra believe about gays, women, Shia Muslims and Christians comes out of Wahhabism, the extreme variant of Islam that is effectively the state religion of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis likewise punish homosexuality and transgenderism with death, whipping and imprisonment. In 2014, for instance, a man in Saudi Arabia was reportedly sentenced to three years in prison and 450 lashes for using Twitter to arrange dates with other men.

Wahhabi beliefs are close to the Salafi-jihadi ideology and over the last fifty years Wahhabism has become an increasing influence over mainstream Sunni Islam. Sunni who once saw Shia merely as a different type of Muslims now often view them as heretics who are outside Islam. Supported by the vast oil wealth of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf those trained to preach and oversee mosques have become increasingly extreme and, while they may not support terrorist attacks, their beliefs provides fertile soil for those who do.

Here we touch on the reasons why Western leaders in the US, France and Britain have so entirely failed to win “the War in Terror” which they have supposedly been fighting at vast expense since 9/11. Few wars have been quite so demonstrably unsuccessful given that in 2001 al-Qaeda had only a few hundred fighters at most in camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while today their militants rule millions in swathes of territory across the Middle East.

This has happened because the US and EU states have not wanted to acknowledge the link between the terrorism and their strategic Sunni allies such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Pakistan.

Fabrice Balanche of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy writes that “the jihadists who hit Paris and then Brussels on 22 March, 2016, had been indoctrinated in the Salafi ideology sponsored by Saudi funded mosques, indirectly financed by private donors in the Gulf, and tolerated by Turkey – the country through which they pass to Europe.”

A further sign of the extent to which Western security services are wedded to their alliance with Saudi Arabia came this week when the CIA director John Brennan went out of his way to deny that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials were involved in the 9/11 attack and that the 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission report did not implicate them. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any involvement.


The link between an unstable security guard in Orlando and Isis may be limited, but it is still there and such attacks will continue to be inspired or organised by Isis so long as it exists. As has been the case since 9/11, Western states are refusing to confront their Sunni allies in the Middle East whose well-funded ideology creates the conditions in which terrorism flourishes. Until they do, Orlando will only be the latest in a string of atrocities.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: ISIS, Orlando Shooting, Terrorism 
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  1. KA says:

    IS is in a bad shape . It has to depend on a violent,alcoholic,gay or may be at best bisexual man to defend it’s philosophy .

  2. KA says:

    ” Western states are refusing to confront their Sunni allies in the Middle East whose well-funded ideology creates the conditions in which terrorism flourishes. Until they do, Orlando will only be the latest in a string of atrocities.”

    Do they have a choice?

    “According to a State Department memo, the Secretary of State spent much of late March 2011 persuading Qatar to contribute to the anti-Gaddafi effort. She was therefore overjoyed when Doha at last agreed, as was her boss. Welcoming Qatar’s dictatorial leader Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the White House the following month, a grateful Obama said:”

    And she ” called for the ouster of Basher Assad in July 2011 ,she demanded the removal of Basher as the precondition for any peace talk

    Over in Pakistan,there is growing sense that the continuation of the conflicts in Afgahnistan is in the interest of US until US has a stable government which means an American vassal like Qatar or Saudis who will allow America to carry out the agenda of regime changes in China and Russia and Iran.
    Now look at sudden fight between Pakistan and Afghanistan and the diplomatic onslaught of Indian government in Iran,Aghanistan,and US coupled with American distaste for everything Pakistan government says or thinks or needs.
    ( Peter Lee has touched these areas )

  3. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    Jews are a very sneaky people.

    They promote Wars for Israel in the Middle East and North Africa that have destroyed millions of lives.

    But Jews take no blame for their horrors. Instead, they play humanitarian and do-gooders by sponsoring massive migration of ‘refugees’ into the West.

    And if people(esp whites) in the West oppose the the migration-invasion, Jews excoriate them as ‘racists’, ‘xenophobes’, and ‘far rightists’. Even though Jewish foreign policy created the regional mess that led to the ‘refugee’ crisis and even though Israel takes in no refugees(not even into Golan Heights stolen from Syria), Jews dump all the responsibility on OTHER nations and point fingers of blame at them if some nations, like Hungary, are adamant about protecting their borders.

    But but but… once the Muslims enter the West, some are bound to commit acts of terror against whites and homos. That makes whites more sympathetic to Israel on the basis that both Israel and the West are faced with the ‘Muslim problem’.

    Because Jews control the media and narrative, they blind Westerners to the fact that (1) refugee crisis was set off by Wars for Israel and (2) Jews promoted mass invasion of Muslims/Africans into the West.

    Because most Americans and Europeans fail to see the Jewish Link between the Wars for Israel, the refugee crisis, and Jewish role in mass immigration/migration, they just blame the Muslims for the invasion and terror.

    And so, as whites become more anti-Muslim, they become more pro-Israel. And Jews love this. Jews love to make gentile fight gentile. Make Muslims fight Whites while pretending to be friends to both sides.

    Jews go to Muslims and say, “those white Christian crusaders hate you and don’t want you. But we Jews champion your rights to move to the West and to build mosques in every town.”

    And then Jews go to whites and say, “those muzzies are anti-Christian and blow stuff up. They are terrorists. Now that YOU have suffered from Muslim terror, you know what Israelis have to go through on a daily basis. So, please love and support poor beleaguered Israel. And since Muslims are anti-homo, support homos as your fellow patriots and what Western Values are all about.”

    Jews play a dirty game. And homo-imperialists worked hand-in-hand with Jews to blow up the Middle East and Muslim world.

  4. So far there is strong evidence that Isis motivated Mr Mateen in his attack, s.

    Strong evidence, eh? What strong evidence is that? Oh, the various Mockingbird assets in the media, like this jerk, say so….

    but not that it played a role in organising it as it did in the killings in Brussels and Paris

    Oh, they organized those, huh? I suppose they rented an office where they auditioned the crisis actors… they got the authorities to run drills at the same time as the event…

    Yeah, right.

    This kind of thing should be a joke but I realize that must people here buy this kind of bullshit.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Revusky

    I buy this kind of bullshit. I’m “this kind of jerk.” I too am convinced that ISIS International Promotions Worldwide rented out a rehearsal studio and pianist to audition Singing Hitlers and Dancing Hitlers; I can’t imagine any other way to do it. Besides, my Amazing Insights and Insults are far better than yours.

  6. I buy this kind of bullshit.

    So you believe that there is a political movement in the Middle East that wants to kill gays in Florida?

    Just out of curiosity, have you ever thought of why they want to do this? What political goal are they furthering by shooting up a gay night club in Orlando?

    Have you ever really thought about just how absurd all this story really is?

  7. Svigor says:

    Cockburn is as tuned into the public’s mind as Hussein. Both are using this silly “play into their hands” thing.

  8. The west needs to ban Saudi financing of mosques or Islamic organizations, much as Putin’s Russia wisely banned western NGO’s.

  9. bunga says:

    I am wondering about this guy who killed mercilessly 50 people who meant no harm to him and who was in position to defend themselves .Only a coward bastard can do it with the soul of a Nazi top brass.

    But why did he?

    He was a gay,has tried to sleep with other gay from school age and has been unsuccessful quite a few times . He is a Muslim from conservative family( with potential political aspirations back in Kabul country . Will his father be able to have a political career with his son being Gay?)
    He has lived in the constant dual rejection all his known life .

    He is also violent ( this might have helped him or family back in Kabul)

    He is not alcoholic but a heavy drinker ( again not a good social mix if you want someone out here in U and obviously -NO .NO for Kabul )

    He is impulsive and wife beater .
    This is his background and he is trained in forensic and security .

    One can understated that he will have anger at lot of people but why against gay.
    A man of this type will not be very religious , so why this sudden wisdom of saying hello to IS

    Are we missing something? Why was he not caught but killed ? Why he was not made inoperable or badly wounded?

    Is it possible that he had help and he was assured of personal safety and escape by those helpers? Are government itself involved with it ?

    Remember Northwood, Gladio and all those entrapment operations ? Remember the craetion and use of Jihadist in foreign countries to reach the empire’s goals . If they could do it abroad, what prevents them from doing it at home.

    It reminds me the WTC 1993 bombings NYT exposed the dark hand of government in supplying real bomb and not fake bomb as the “informant” was told and then betrayed by government. The informant provided the reality check to the judge and to the country by exposing the myriad entanglements the government get into to forestall terrorism apparently- and we are supposed to believe government’s version and ignore the inconsistencies ,contradictions,and past known psychopathic behaviors of the government.

    ( More troubling still, Omar Mateen worked for a company that was perpetrating systemic violence against vulnerable people long before he took up arms against his LGBTQ neighbors. For nine years Mateen worked for G4S Security, a British-based corporation that contracts with the U.S. and Israeli governments for work that often violates human rights on a massive scale 6/15/16 ) This last part does not level with his pro muslim sentiment and love for muslim- but then it might we live in interesting times.

    • Replies: @Athens
  10. KA says:

    “Out of the 508 terrorism-related cases since September 11, 2001, more often than not, the FBI has had a hand in creating the very terrorist threat they have claimed to be protecting us from. Two-hundred and forty-three of these cases involved an FBI informant. In many instances, the targets of these operations, who are later accused of plotting attacks, are not only almost always Muslim, but they are also often suffering from a mental illness, such as schizophrenia. Moreover, the targets are also vulnerable and easily susceptible to bribery as they are desperate for money – so desperate, it seems, they will help put their own friends behind bars.”

    What the FBI Was Doing Instead of Catching the Orlando Shooter
    by, June 15, 2016
    Print This | Share This

    Did the entrapment go wrong ?

  11. Athens says:

    Why did Mateen do it? As a person who has studied the Middle East professionally for decades, I can state with a fair degree of confidence that Mateen was not gay, not closeted, not conflicted about his sexuality. That whole line of thought reflects a lack of understanding of the traditional gender norms of Afghanistan.

    In the West, we classify a man who has sex with another man as gay or bi. What matters in the highly sex-segregated societies of the Middle East is position. Men who are penetrators are classified as straight. The sex of the penetrated partner is irrelevant. Instead of the gay identity that we have in the West, these societies have dancing boys and effeminates who pair with straight men, sometimes even in same-sex marriages.

    It is usual for an Afghan male to have sex with boys and effeminates in addition to his wife. Penetrating many individuals is seen as a demonstration of manliness. It is probable that Mateen regarded the guys in the club as dancing boys for his own gratification, easy to pick up and cheaper than a whore. His father and his wife would not have seen anything wrong in this, nor would Mateen have needed to hide his activities from other Afghans (although he may have aimed for a low profile to avoid embarrassing encounters with co-workers who did not understand Afghan culture).

    It is not inconsistent for Mateen to be disgusted by gay kissing at the same time that he himself was engaging in same-sex behavior as a penetrator. Gays are regarded as abominations in the Middle East because they have sex with each other and alternate positions, making them neither masculine nor feminine. The gay identity is objectionable because it is Western, not because of the sex; in fact gays who are tossed off buildings are usually savagely gang raped first, demonstrating that sex between males is not the crime.

    In short, the inconsistencies that everyone is talking about exist in the eye of the cultural outsider. A man who identified with ISIS shot a bunch of gays because they were an soft target and because they were emblematic of Western decadence. Reading this as a simple hate crime downplays the very real threat that rising numbers of unassimilated Muslims pose to the gay community.

    • Replies: @bunga
  12. bunga says:

    Can you make up few more stuffs that may add some colors to your arguments which has no support in academia ( and that pertains to both west and east or Arab and Europe or Christianity and Islam about homo behaviors and practices )?

    • Replies: @Athens
  13. Athens says:

    I’m in academia and I specialize in the gender customs and beliefs of the Middle East, ancient and modern. I come at the subject from the perspective of history and anthropology, which means that I have spent many years learning foreign languages and studying a wide range of evidence.

    The problem with the currently fashionable gender studies, which seems to be what you are alluding to, is that it is based on rhetoric and philosophy rather than being grounded on tangible evidence. This tends to be why academics in LGBT forums have little knowledge of actual facts on the ground about non-Western cultures. They are focused on the Quran and other texts, which they often study in translation, and they endless prattle jargon about Foucault and Derrida and the like.

    I travel and collect primary evidence from first-hand witnesses and informants. I also study material evidence and a wide range of texts in original languages. There’s a lot of sexual activity going on in Middle Eastern societies that is not generally shared with cultural outsiders and that doesn’t often make it into print because it’s not politically correct and no one wants to offend Muslims. Scholars like myself have seen it. So have veterans. Ask anyone who has done a tour in Afghanistan; they are better informed about that culture than any LGBT scholar you will ever meet.

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