Friday, January 9, 2015

Islamo-terrorists in France, and the role of the radical right and the NRA

They're all dead now, the two groups of terrorists.

It was inevitable that would be how it ended, but it was avoidable from the beginning.

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The radical right, the worst of the bad actors on the religious right, and of course the perpetually bad actors over at the NRA have blood on their hands in the recent terrorism incidents (plural) in France, and likely will have more blood on their hands, for their contribution to terrorists possessing military weapons, including fully automatic firearms and RPGs.

They have blood on their hands for their opposition to the UN arms treaty, excerpted below from the first two pages of the treaty containing the preamble.

Bad people, too many of the WRONG people, have guns and other weapons BECAUSE they want to commit acts of political and religious violence, and the radicals on either side of the spectrum WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO DO SO UNCHECKED AND UNREGULATED.

Stopping the sales of firearms and RPGs to the bad guys, whether religious terrorists, right wing racist terrorists like Anders Breivik or other related extremists like Cliven Bundy and those who threatened legitimate and lawful government agencies with lethal force.  Or narco-terrorists, or just garden variety criminals -- the problem is too many weapons in too many wrong hands.

The gun manufacturers hold the leash of the NRA; the gun manufacturers (and other weapons manufacturers) don't want any check or restraint on their sales to the good, the bad, or the bloody minded extremist ugly.

THAT is not freedom, that is not civilization or civil rights. It is in fact a threat to them from greed, corruption, and the power of the fanatically paranoid controlled by powerful special interests -- in this case weapons manufacturers and the NRA. Fear and violence are good for selling more guns and ammo!

It's Pragmatic merchanting and marketing at its finest! Hooray for unbridled and immoral capitalism!

You know  corrupt special interests are pulling the strings when you see lies like these claims, including those made by most of the GOP presidential wannabees, which are so easily fact-checked and disproven:

Without such irrational and paranoid opposition, and without such calculated disinformationa nd misinformation campaigns, the UN and the individual nations supporting this treaty would be better able to keep such weapons out of the hands of Islamo-terrorists as well as the right wing nut terrorists like those supporting Cliven Bundy and his cop-killing supporters.

The key sections which refute the opposition to the treaty are highlighted in bold letters.
United Nations The Arms Trade Treaty Preamble (read the whole thing here)
The States Parties to this Treaty, Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
Recalling Article 26 of the Charter of the United Nations which seeks to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources,
Underlining the need to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market, or for unauthorized end use and end users, including in the commission of terrorist acts, (my emphasis added - DG)
Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial interests of States in the international trade in conventional arms, Reaffirming the sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system, (my emphasis added - DG) <!--more-->
Acknowledging that peace and security, development and human rights are pillars of the United Nations system and foundations for collective security and recognizing that development, peace and security and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing, Recalling the United Nations Disarmament Commission Guidelines for international arms transfers in the context of General Assembly resolution 46/36H of 6 December 1991,
Noting the contribution made by the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, as well as the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, llicit Small Arms and Light Weapons,
Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of the illicit and nregulated trade in conventional arms, Bearing in mind that civilians, particularly women and children, account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict and armed violence,
(my emphasis added - DG)
Recognizing also the challenges faced by victims of armed conflict and their need for adequate care, rehabilitation and social and economic inclusion, Emphasizing that nothing in this Treaty prevents States from maintaining and adopting additional effective measures to further the object and purpose of this Treaty,
Mindful of the legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities, where such trade, ownership and use are permitted or protected by law, (my emphasis added - DG)
Mindful also of the role regional organizations can play in assisting States Parties, upon request, in implementing this Treaty, Recognizing the voluntary and active role that civil society, including nongovernmental organizations, and industry, can play in raising awareness of the object and purpose of this Treaty, and in supporting its implementation,
Acknowledging that regulation of the international trade in conventional arms and preventing their diversion should not hamper international cooperation and legitimate trade in materiel, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes, (my emphasis added - DG)
Emphasizing the desirability of achieving universal adherence to this Treaty,
Determined to act in accordance with the following principles;
– The inherent right of all States to individual or collective self defence as recognized in Article 51 o f the Charter of the United Nations;
– The settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered in accordance with Article 2 (3) of the Charter of the United Nations ;
– Refraining in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations in accordance with Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations;
Non -intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State in accordance with Article 2 (7) of the Charter of the United Nations; (my emphasis added - DG)
– Respecting and ensuring respect for international humanitarian law in accordance with, inter alia, the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and respecting and ensuring respect for human rights in accordance with, inter alia, the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
The responsibility of all States, in accordance with their respective international obligations, to effectively regulate the international trade in conventional arms, and to prevent their diversion, as well as the primary responsibility of all States in establishing and implementing their respective national control systems; (my emphasis added - DG)


  1. Most of the terrorists in the world are Muslim, but most of the 1.6 billion Muslims are not and will not be terrorists, nor do they express support for individual acts of terrorism. Although a significant and large proportion of the Muslim population in their countries of origin and in Europe do, however, express support in general for the aims of for ISIS and/or Al Qaeda; that tacit support gives life to terrorist organizations, and provides a steady flow of recruits, from majority Muslim countries and from European and American Muslim minorities.

    1. It is factually false Rudy that most of the terrorists in the world are Muslim.

      What gives support to terrorists is not religion, so much as it has consistently been resistance to corruption. And sadly, we have supported far too many corrupt dictators.

      This is true for narco-terrorism as well as extremist terrorists.

      Then we have the straight up nut-jobs, who are entirely driven by false narratives, the right wing domestic terrorists.

    2. Do you have data to support your assertion that most terrorists are not Muslims?

    3. The vast majority of terrorist organizations in the world are Muslim. If you care to dispute the data, please list your citation and weblink.

      This is where I culled my data: National Counterterrorism Center

      “Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations"

    4. It’s embarrassing to see a blogger cling to her “factually false” statements regarding “Most of the terrorists in the world are Muslim”. Quite frankly I find it more than embarrassing; it’s intellectually dishonest.

      The National Counterterrorism Center lists the top 52 terrorist organizations in the world and the *vast majority* are Muslim.

      “Foreign Terrorist Organizations"
      (as of 14 January 2014)

      Perhaps you’ll find this link to the NCTC helpful as it links to any number of the typical alphabet soup of acronyms that comprise our national security apparatus.

    5. The National Counterterrorism Center and I would respectfully beg to differ with you. As you will find in the links provided below, Muslims comprise the majority of terrorist groups in the world. You will also find on the NCTC website links to addition resources most of which include the usual alphabet soup of acronyms in our National Security apparatus. If you follow the data, I respectfully submit, you will find the data and facts to back my original assertion (“Most of the terrorists in the world are Muslim”).

      Foreign Terrorist Organizations

    6. Rudy, Emory, I'd be happy to debate these statistics with you.

      And yes, I can back up my assertion. I think you will find some significant differences in the national counter terrorism center's definition from the definitions used by others -- including in our own government (like the FBI).

      Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil

      For example, this doesn't include right wing organizations in North America, especially the U.S and Canada, that have participated in terrorist acts. It does not include narco-terrorists, which are just as much terrorists as Islamist terrorists.

      The list you both cite is one that is used by the state department, and therefore is specific to the policies and interests of that governmental agency. It is not encyclopedic, and it ignores those terrorists outside it's sphere of policy or other interests.

      Therefore it is both NOT a broadly inclusive or encyclopedic listing of terrorists or terrorist groups. Rather it lists those which are a priority FOR THEM, while ignoring many other terrorists. NOR does it list numbers for comparison either. Groups listed do not equate to totals of any kind of numeric participation.

      Terrorism is a TACTIC. The dictionary definition is:

      "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes"

      In that regard it very much overlaps hate crimes where violent or viciously intimidating acts are directed at an individual belonging to a group (or perceived group) with the intention of intimidating or coercing the larger group (or perceived group if not actual group) of people.

      Narco terrorists, for example, qualify as terrorists because they coerce local, state, and regional governments using terroristic means even if their ultimate goal is not political in the same sense than ISIS defines their purpose of establishing a theocracy.

      I would point out as well that terrorists do not have to kill or injure people for an act to be terroristic -- for example, some of the acts of eco-terrorists come to mind, or animal rights terrorists. It also overlaps into a variety of crime syndicates, which I would respectfully argue to you should include some of the eastern European and Russian mafias, since they also engage in politically controlling acts of terrorism where simple financial corruption is unsuccessful. They CLEARLY use terrorism as a tactic.

      So, sorry - you haven't sufficiently proven your contention about Muslim terrorists.

      Further, I would argue you are off-topic in so far as you have missed the essential argument, which is that right wing nuts are lying about the UN treaty to keep guns and other weapons - like the RPG - out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.

      That includes the factually false position of the NRA.

    7. Nice link, which in my estimation is about as credible as the PJ Media links that MBerg often uses. I suppose you have to go with what you can *find*. It also appears you want to redefine the definition of “terrorist”. I’ll trust the credible data at the non-partisan NCTC, rather than the editorial content of an idealogical website.

    8. Homeland security's definition of terrorist disputes -- and correctly so -- the definition used by NCTC, and applies the generally accepted one that matches up with the dictionary.

      NCTC pretty much focuses ONLY on terrorism that is directed at nations, rather than smaller entities. That is NOT a legitimate definition, nor does the NCTC quantify the number of terrorists in the groups it lists.

      So by any rational metric, you've failed to support and substantiate your claim that most terrorists are muslims.

      Partisanship or lack of it makes no difference in factual measurement.

    9. Btw Emory -- how do you define homeland security as partisan, but NOT the NCTC?
      You DO know, don't you, that the right wing terrorism report was crafted under a right wing administration, don't you? It was released under Obama's presidency, but it was crafted by an agency administered by conservatives.
      BOTH the NCTC and Homeland Security are government agencies, and both use many of the same sources (FBI, CIA, etc.) for identifying terrorist groups and activities.
      So, own up - you're cherry picking. There is NOTHING about the NCTC that makes it a superior source to the other sources cited here.
      Ya got nothin.

    10. DG: You really need to read the fine print in the Loonwatch piece. The percentages are only about the situation in the United States. Which neither the author or the title makes clear.

      Secondly their math is faulty. 94% of all terrorists -- globally, not in the United States -- are Muslims. What Loonwatch is apparently doing is to simply use that figure itself, applied it only to the United States alone and then stated: “except the 94% of terrorists that aren’t”. But even that doesn't make sense. Even if Muslims don’t make up 94% of all terrorists, it's a bit of a coincidence that, according to Loonwatch, they make up 100% minus that 94% of terrorists -- that is, 6% of all terrorists.

      Further evidence that these type of sites are just diversionary, not intended to get at the truth. Loonwatch has removed the article, "All terrorists are Muslims... Except the 94% who aren’t", from its front page -- after three years. Now I wonder why that is?

    11. No, Emery -- I read it all, carefully. And yes, I recognize that the article was referencing US terrorism.

      The POINT which you seemed to miss, is that there are all those terrorists in the US which are NOT included, recognized or acknowledge in the NCTC list --and that is A LOT OF TERRORISTS WHO ARE NOT MUSLIM.

      That percentage carries through in a lot of other countries, particularly those in Europe. I don't see for example, on the NCTC list, any of the groups to which Anders Breivik belonged, in spite of the fact that Breivik committed a massive terrorist attack, far higher in casualties than the ones in France last week.

      Those groups are still active, and if you track them back, you will find those are the same groups that David Duke was visiting back in 2002 when Congressman Scalise was speaking to his organization as key speaker back home --- along with similar groups in Russia that Duke was also visiting on the same trip, and subsequent trips. There has been a huge increase in the membership of these groups --- some of which are quite actively terroristic in ATTACKING muslim communities, as well as anti-semitic attacks on Jewish targets, which have increased dramatically in the last two decades. (Although technically, anti-semitic is a term that should apply equally to Muslim and Jewish victims.) Those attacks get little if any coverage, especially here. You have to do what I do, and look at world news coverage from OTHER sources to be aware of them -- and you don't appear to be. THAT simply means you have a less accurate perception, not that those many other terroristic attacks (and the groups making them) don't exist.

      It's not only Loonwatch that makes these findings. It is also the Dept. of Homeland Security, if you ever take the time to read their reports as they are declassified.

      The Islamists get far more media attention -- one might say hype -- disproportionate to their actual numbers. Narcoterroists don't tent to turn up under the rubric of groups identified by agencies like the NCTC, but rather turn up under Drug War agencies listings --- but they are still very much well within the definition of our government and pretty much every expert as TERRORISTS.

      Beyond that, the fact that listing groups does nothing to identify actual numbers or percentages, and the likelihood that there is significant overlap of at least a large percentage of those listed as having members that belong to more than one group, makes it impossible to establish that there are in fact more Muslims terrorists than OTHER kinds of terrorists.

      No one has a reliable count, much less a reliable percentage.

    12. Even now, as the details continue to unfold from the attacks in France, it is unclear what actual membership (if any) the perpetrators had with either ISIL or Al Quaida in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly as relates to either funding or any kind of control or direction from those entities.

      In any case - back to the MAIN TOPIC at hand. The Belgian non-Islamist black-market sells to anyone arms dealer who provided the AK 47s and the RPG to the terrorists has turned himself in to authorities. Apparently he admits he sold the stuff, but is in fear because he swindled the two French Islamist terrorists, and is in fear of retaliation.

      Here's the point of the whole post --- the terrorists couldn't get weapons in France because of EFFECTIVE GUN CONTROL. Getting those weapons was only marginally easier in Belgium -- both countries support and have signed on to the UN treaty to try to keep these weapons out of the hands of the bad guys.

      So not only did they make it more difficult, those two nations helped make sure the buyers got ripped off, because getting the weapons was so hard, there was NOT a lot of competition to sell. And now that's one more underground arms dealer out of business, with far fewer deaths resulting than the shooting by domestic terrorists like Anders Breivik in Norway.

      NO measure will ever be 100% successful, but every time someone has to cross a border and is acting illegally, there is a good chance they will get caught -- or be discouraged.

      A little side observation - looks like the President was 100% justified in going after Anwar Al Walaki, now, doesn't it? Too bad the drones that killed him didn't take out the French terrorist too.

  2. Emory,

    First, saying you want to "respectfully disagree" a few sentences behind saying, "It's embarrassing to see.." are contradictions. You aren't being respectful, far from it. This stems from simply answering the question, for whom are you embarrassed? For Dog Gone? If "yes" then get over yourself and/or look up the word. You on get to be embarrassed by and for yourself based on your actions. It's like saying you get to decide if DG IS anxious. It's not only a silly comment, it's pretty deeply condescending and hardly "respectful."

    Second, the first statement was "the majority of the terrorists in the world are Muslim", the second one you made was "the majority of terrorist ORGANIZATIONS are Muslim." Those aren't the same thing and I'm sure you know it. In fact, you're moving the goalposts, quite probably because it's essentially impossible to prove your first point. Perhaps on right wing sites that sort of slight-of-hand gets by because the people with whom you are conversing are dull, but it won't fly here.

    I say you can't prove your point because the broad definition of terrorism includes thousands to tens of thousands of people who are both unaffiliated and undocumented. Even just taking those we know about, there are LOTS of people in each organization for some organizations, and very few in many others, so the pure number of organizations isn't and wasn't the question, but rather, what's the size of the membership. For reasons DG pointed out, the NCTC list is hardly exhaustive. So it's both not a full accounting of the total number of TERRORISTS nor is it even a good or full account of the full gamut of terrorist groups.

  3. continued..

    Going further still, certain organizations and movements, like the separatist movement in Northern Ireland, may be "inactive" for now, but are hardly abandoned. At one time, it certainly boasted a very large number of supporters in Ireland AND IN THE US, a population which would not have been included in the NCTC list. Equally, groups like the Tamil Tigers, FARC and Shining Path (and narco-terrorists as DG points out), have (or had) VAST memberships, while groups like Al Qaeda in Iraq, have (right now) relatively few Even ISIL, the right's big boogey man, is a comparatively small number of "terrorists" and a fairly large number of Islamic State Nationalists. The point being, there are lots of people in these long standing movements, either as direct or indirect supporters, whom you can't count and who also represent large numbers of people, people you have no facts to back up don't account for more than the people affiliated with Islamic terrorism.

    Further still, if we look at extremism, or simply nationalism, as a way to frame the potential pool of indirect supporters (which many people have done when defining ISIL), well unless you are a are a devotee of John Foster Dulles, that's an absurd notion, but if you are and want to now supplant "communism" with "terrorism", ok, but that stance means that many people in the US are terrorists since many of us are nationalists (the one that says "nationalism = communism").

    Finally, where in your accounting do states like, say oh, the US which has threatened violence or used violence, against civilian populations for political means, where do they fit? I heard a friend's daughter say to me when I asked her about ISIL, that she felt, "Sometimes you just have to bomb a few people to scare them into remembering who's the boss." I think that attitude is far from unique, especially on the right, where I often here "they want to 'F' with us, let's go turn their cities into glass." What would that kind of attack, upon uninvolved civilians be, if not terrorism designed to intimidate, for political purposes, the populations of states who do not agree with our policies? I've heard righties say, "collateral damage is just fine, "they" didn't care about civilian collateral damage, why should we?" The point being here, I don't consider the US to be a terrorist state, but depending upon the rather too broad definition, MANY others would, and where then does the calculus fall? The final point has a corollary, what shall those with little military power do when faced with unbearable oppression? Nothing? If not nothing, are they obligated to follow the Honors d' Combat? It used to be we defined asymetrical warfare as guerilla warfare. We have changed to defining it as terrorism. We should not be surprised that those who have less traditional military power chose not to be suicidal, but instead make war in the way they can. Our hand-wringing and sanctimony ultimately only points fingers back at ourselves far too often.

    Limit your definition to "attacks upon uninvolved civilians by non-state entities" and you get closer to what you're view of terrorism is, but then the world may ask, why non-state entities? There are many unjust attacks in this world, and your view is both unproven and seemingly at least, willfully myopic, leading to others to look at you and say, "You're cherry-picking because you don't want to be honest about the problem." And in that, it sure looks to be true about you.

  4. The problem is that somehow any act of terrorism which is not perpetrated by a Muslim in the United States somehow is not classified as "terrorism". And even thought the National Counterterrorism Center is a US Governmental body, it also seems to neglect the obvious threat from the US right wing.

    Then again, if you trust the US Government to protect you from Terrorist threats after their fuck up on 9-11, then I would seriously question your judgement.

    That said, the most serious incident of Terrorism on US territory prior to 9-11 was carried out by a White, Christian was the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The perp whose capture was more of a fluke than anything else since the suspects mentioned immediately after the bombing were, of course, Middle Eastern. We also have another plot by white, christian, right wingers that was foiled, but was mentioned as being far worse than the 9-11 attacks ( Additionally, other agencies have noted the right wing threat. The the US Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division released an assessment of US far-right extremism. Initially intended for law enforcement and intelligence agencies only, the report—“Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”. Of course, this report was derided by many inside and outside of government as “ridiculous [and] deeply offensive,” an “inconceivable” assault on US veterans, and, in general, “a piece of crap.” Buckling under political pressure from conservatives, homeland security rapidly repressed the report.

    Unfortunately, there is one problem with some government agencies, and that is they are influenced by politics. And it is seriously incorrect to challenge the US right wing.

  5. I'm going to toss in another point on the National Counterterrorism Center--they appear to track only groups which are not DOMESTIC.

    I can tell you that Continuity IRA would be about as likely to strike in the US as I am to have a winning ticket in Powerball. In fact, the winning ticket is far more likely. The IRA has always gotten support from the US and attacking its support base would be idiotic.

    You might want to look into DOMESTIC terrorism before attacking Muslims since there are loads of groups out there that are incredibly frightening, but I doubt the US Government would want to paint the radical right as a threat no matter how much they violate Article III, Section iii of the United States Constitution.

    1. Let's toss in activities by the radical right that violate 18 U.S. Code Chapter 115, even thought there is something out there that claims "equal justice before the law", US right wing groups seem immune from the same scrutiny as did the communists at one time.

  6. And if you want an idea of how piss poor your Government is at protecting you, realise that people on the Terrorist Watch list are not barred from buying firearm.

    Of course, this situation has been brought to you courtesy of the NRA:

    So, if you want to cite to an Agency which is neglecting an important aspect of terrorism, then feel free. The US fucked up on its "War on Terrorism" the moment it failed to enact strict regulation of firearms in my opinion, which is something that the Charlie Hebdo, WestGate Shopping Mall , and DC sniper attacks have all highlighted as a failing of US policy in this area.

  7. I doubt either of our commenters are familiar with groups like Jobbik or Veems or PEGIDO, much less how they connect to the US right wing domestic terrorists and crime.

    This might help:

    and another example:

    The crime/terrorism groups have more of an overlap than is acknowledged or recognized on the internet page of the NCTC. It IS however clearly understood in the UN treaty.

    1. “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”
      Will Rogers

    2. Take your own advice, Emery. I'm not the one in a hole.

      You might want to check out these two examples of what I mean -- that other kinds of terrorism than Islamist terrorism are misclassfied, and get far less attention.
      The same terrrorist network that Anders Breivik belonged to when he committed his terrorist bombing and mass shooting. But they don't tend to get publicly identified as terrorists, because the right wing nuts have fits when they do.

      So, you don't see conspiracies to commit violence like this recent example get anything like the attention given to Islamic related terrorism --- which confuses hell out of how many of the different kinds there are, if you go primarily by superficial sources like you have been doing.

      My point - which you have yet to refute in any substantive way - is that a more comprehensive examination shows that there really are not a majority of Islamist terrorists when you look more closely and specifically at the whole spectrum of terrorism.

      So when you have something more substantive than retreading an out of date wit, you'll have a point. Right now, you don't.

  8. The vast majority of political terrorism in the United States is perpetrated by non-Muslims:

    Yet, these people can buy guns in the US.

    1. Last year I read a book on modern astronomy, which had said that both Neptune and Pluto were predicted long before they had ever been seen because of peculiarities in the orbits of the other outer planets. It made me think that planets weren’t so very different from people. Seeing what happened around them was enough to tell you where they were and what they were.