Babies. In incubators.
The stories about Jewish babies beheaded or not by Hamas reminded me of very different events happening 23 years apart. The first being the murder of Lee Rigby in London (2013): hence the photo above. The second was the occupation of Kuwait by the Iraqi army in 1990. I write about the latter first.
Table of contents
Saddamiyat al-Mitla’ A part of Kuwait named after Saddam Hussein
A messed up timeline Loathing for Saddam was not a Western thing
Adolf Hitler would have been jealous of Saddam Hussein
Arab ‘nations’ and wars
Lee Rigby murdered by Nigerian christian converts to islam
The End of Times and the Twelvers
Extreme stupidity of Saddam Hussein
That Absolute Autocratic Ruler or the 14 centuries sunni-shia strife
Trump in Saudi Arabia so unlike Obama’s visit to the ulema in Cairo
Pit sunni and shia against each other or mediate between them?
Note on Zebibahs two galleries
Saddam Hussein first wanted to turn Kuwait into a puppet state, but later decided on full annexation. Saddam even named a part after himself.
The occupation was immediately condemned by almost all countries in the world.
Although the expulsion of Iraqi troops was mainly carried out by US troops, dozens of other countries supplied troops. This happened on the basis of a series of Security Council resolutions. Yes, that UN Council with five permanent members: China, France, Great Britain, Russia and the USA.
Never before had a battle taken place in the world about which, in addition to many reports, many videos also became available to billions of people (Making CNN famous). One of those ‘reports’ with (suggestive) images related to baby incubators. A false propaganda message.
Today, if you search for what was so false about it, you will end up with absurd, even more mendacious stories about that propaganda. It is claimed that the incubator story was a pretext to wage war against Saddam Hussein and liberate Kuwait.
A messed up timeline
The annexation of Kuwait had a special, complex historical context of which the end of the Ottoman Empire and the very old Sunni-Shia conflict were parts.
In the appendix to this blog post I elaborate on that conflict. I conclude that appendix with answering the question of whether it is wrong to pit Shias and Sunnis against each other.
That false testimony about those baby incubators took place on October 10, 1990 and was presented before the United States Congress. However, the first of that series of Security Council resolutions (Number 660) was already adopted on August 2, 1990: on the day of the invasion of Kuwait!
Resolution 665 was adopted in the same month. In addition to Western countries, the Soviet Union, China and five African and South American countries voted in favor of this one too. It was already about military intervention.
That false report about those incubators was therefore mostly of importance to massage the American people and Congress certainly not for the rulers of China and Russia!
Loathing for Saddam Hussein was certainly not a purely Western affair; And rightly so!
Adolf Hitler would have been jealous
1979 was the year that Khomeini and his followers captured power in Iran, but also the year of the so-called Ba’ath Party Purge in neighboring Iraq. That purge was somewhat similar to the Night of the Long Knives in Nazi Germany, but was actually a lot more sophisticated.
About 20 members of the Ba’ath party, of which Hussein had become the leader, were murdered: only a quarter of the number of prominent Nazis Hitler had ordered to be slaughtered in 1934, but the way Saddam organised this purge would certainly have made Hitler jealous.
A few days after becoming the Iraqi Führer, Saddam convened the top of Iraq’s Ba’ath party. One of the people he considered a traitor had to make a statement in which that man had to ‘expose’ 68 others as fellow traitors. Those were removed.
21 of them were executed.
By the other 47 !
Please let that last sentence sink in for a moment.
The ‘betrayal’ was said to relate to efforts from neighboring Syria to thwart Hussein. Bear in mind that shortly before, Syria and Iraq were engaged in a process that could possibly lead to a merger of the two countries. There was a Ba’ath party in both countries. Ba’ath parties are Arab Socalist parties.
The merger reminds of another one about 20 years earlier. Thát merger between Syria and Egypt lasted from 1958 until 1961.
Actually in the sixties several small groups of Arab countries started special forms of cooperation.
Iraq and Jordan formed the ‘Arab Federation’ during a few months in 1958.
The Arab Islamic Republic lasted even shorter. It involved Libya, Tunesia, Marocco and Algeria, in 1974.
The Federation of Arab Republics lasted longer: 1972-1977. It involved Libya, Egypt and Syria.
The Arab League still exists and counts 22 members. Syria was suspended in 2011 and readmitted recently (May 2023). Several other members are represented by a government that is not recognised by most countries in the world.
(Sidenote: Yes, I used several Wikipedia-lemmas. Those are of very different reliability. Contrary to the one on members of the Arab League the lemma on the Arab Cold War mentions that Egypt under Sadat was also suspended because he made peace with Israel in 1978. Later he was murdered because of that peace agreement.)
The United Arab States definitely deserves special mention in this list. It was the name of the extension of the Egyptian-Syrian merger with Yemen. The falling apart of it (triggered by one of those many military coups in Syria) resulted in setting up the UN organisation called UNYOM. Below the last sentences from the final report of that Observation Mission:
In hindsight certainly one of the saddest remarks ever to figure in a United Nations document. Neither wrong or evil: just extremely sad.
If you dig through the avalanche of wars between and within Arab ‘nations’ in the 20th century, you come across comments about the background to their reduction that seem made almost in passing. That diminishing would be due to the availability of not one, but two common enemies: Israel and the Ayatollah regime in Iran.
This is the crucial element in the assassment of the many sad developments in the greater Middle-East in the last 100 years and in a way the last fourteen centuries. Since Mohammed died.
The photo above this blog post shows the faces of Rigby’s Nigerian killers. Both men had been raised as Christians and had converted to the Mohammedan faith (BBC). Nigeria is the country where the ISIS-like group of muderers and rapist is named Boko Haram. The number of lethal victims of Boko Haram is significantly higher than that of ISIS iself. It is not on the scale of ‘wrong or evil’: it is pure evil.
Lee Rigby was not decapitated he was beheaded.
The reason why I immediately thought of the slaughter of Lee Rigby is that in 2013 I translated an English text by Dawn Perlmutter about the difference between those two verbs into Dutch.
Jihadist Modus Operandi‘ [MO]. The jihadist MO involves neck trauma, partial or full beheading, decapitation, and often facial and other mutilation committed by Muslim offenders whose motivation and victimology are connected to Islamist ideology or Islamic controversies.
The Dutch translation of the first sentence I quoted above is very special: “Lee Rigby werd niet onthoofd maar onthoofd”: Yes, you got that right: the Dutch language has no different words for those two concepts. Apart from the fact that our constitutional state is not designed to deal with the evil of jihadism, we literally have no words for it!
On X.com I happened to see exactly how the appropriate disgust for the Hamas actions of October 7 led to distortion. I read a report that 40 babies had been killed and possibly some of them were even beheaded. An hour or two later I read somewhere else that 40 babies were beheaded.
Was that change the wrong? Yes. Was it Evil? Definitely not.
Now compare it with that propaganda story about incubators in Kuwait City.
Only if that had been decisive for the Security Council’s decision to expel Saddam’s armies from Kuwait, it would have bordered on Wrong and Evil indeed.
I go one step further because that is my role. Not am attractive role but no one else takes on that role.
‘Decapitation’ refers to the separation of the head from someone’s body AFTER the death of that person, whether or not carried out by the same person who committed the murder, and is (rightly) interpreted as desecration of the body in the legislation of many countries. The punishment for this is lower than for murder. ‘Beheading’ refers to the crimes wherein the murder and the cutting in or through the neck are in the same act.
If all those 40 babies – undoubtedly not only babies but also toddlers – had been been hit with the heel of a sword in the style of official Saudi executions, the very young children actually would have suffered for a shorter time…
The End of Times
So, digging into my memories and looking back with even more distance on Saddam Hussein’s war of conquest in 1979, I was insistently reminded of that bizarre, perverse conflict between Shiites and Sunnis.
The distinction between Sunnis and Shiites is the roughest division of the mohammedans: both can be further classified. For example, there are various so-called ‘law schools‘.
But no mistake: there are NO movements or sects that occupy a kind of middle position with regard to that main classification!
The very wierd movement of Ahmadiyya for example, is despised by both Sunnis and Shiites.
The ideological and military conflict between Sunnis and Shiites is the longest lasting in human history and has claimed the lives of many Mohammedans over the centuries. For that reason alone it is important to consider this.
Delving into the question of which dispute(s) formed the basis for it is of great importance for all non-mohammedans too.
The invasion of Kuwait followed soon after, and was also linked in a very special way to the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq (1980-1988) wherein between one and two million lives were lost.
Iran had just come under the gruesome regime of the very explicitly Shiite ayatollahs, and Iraq at about the same time had come under the gruesome regime of the more Sunni Saddam Hussein.
I deliberately write ‘more Sunni’ and not ‘Sunni’ and certainly not fundamentalist Sunni.
It is quite a surprise to many people when they find out how few really clear commands and prohibitions there are in Mohammed’s holy book, the Qu’ran. Partly because of this, Mohammed’s teachings form an ideal vehicle for all kinds of regimes to ‘sanction‘ any policy.
With this in mind and from a distance, when you compare Shiaism and Sunniism, the Shia are more religious and the Sunnis are more corrupt.
Yes, that is really a very crude distinction: the Alawites in Syria, the Mohammedan movement to which dictator Assad also belongs, are just about the least fundamentalist among the Mohammedan subsects.
No mistake: here ‘more religious‘ is certainly an extremely negative qualification: the faith of the ayatollahs contains not only a longing for the end of times, but even a wish to hasten that end of time. (Shia Twelvers).
Many thousands of Palestinians lived in Kuwait at the time. Some of them supported the Kuwaiti resistance. So much so that Saddam Hussein threatened Palestinian leaders!
Other Palestinians supported Hussein precisely because he was such a fanatical Israel hater. After the Iraqi occupiers were expelled, the Palestinians were driven out of the country.
In response to the military action by the Allied forces in Kuwait, Hussein attacked Israel with Scud missiles hoping for a response from Israel that would bring more Mohammedan countries to his side.
Apart from being utterly disgusting this was also an extremely stupid move by Saddam because Israel hardly reacted AND Hussein simultaneously attacked Saudi Arabia: one of the most explicitly Sunni countries in the world!
Did Saddam Hussein really try to unite all mohammedans via their shared hatred to jews and to the Israeli state more particularly?
That Absolute Autocratic Ruler
In August 2013 I wrote an extensive blogpost about that that bizarre, perverse conflict between Shiites and Sunnis; In Dutch.
I made an English version, shortened and slightly updated. Here I reproduce that post in a slightly further abbreviated form.
In the Dutch article I elaborated on a another blogpost in Dutch about Egypt entitled Arab Spring or Mohammedan Autumn? That was in 2011. The event described in my 2013 post happened less than two weeks before Morsi was ousted as president. The reason why the Egyptian army acted against Morsi (and also for my article) was a horrific lynching.
This lynching took place in Giza. A city wedged between the-pyramids-of and Cairo. A few kilometers away from the infamous Tahrir Square.
It is truly exceptional that the opposing camps hardly differ in opinion about what actually happened!
More than a thousand men, armed with blows and stabbing weapons, marched on the house of 66-year-old, a controversial Shiite preacher.
There he had some kind of celebration with several dozen Shia friends and/or followers.
All Shias present were injured. Shehata himself and three others were beaten to death and their bodies were dragged around…
Several video clips from those events had been uploaded to YouTube. These have now been removed because of the violence in them.
The content of these types of clips could be summarized as: ‘I want to put a rope around his neck’ . ” I don’t have a photo of the body yet.’ ‘I haven’t kicked yet.’
Everyone also agrees why Shehata was murdered: because of things he said.
The difference of opinion mainly lies in the extent to which people consider the murders to be a case of ‘own fault’.
But there are more, and more important differences.
I came across a special video clip that shows this perfectly. The man who uploaded it calls himself ‘LeftShia4Good‘: so the man was first Shia and has now become Sunni. One of the first things he mentions about the murdered Shia sheikh is that he was a former Sunni!
But what is it really all about?
Shehata railed against the very first followers of Muhammad, even against the ‘mother of the faithful’: Aisha.
The way Leftshia4good portrays this is in itself telling!
To understand why the Shia Shehata berates her, you need to know something about the nature of the conflict between Sunnis and Shias. Shehata’s insults go back to the early days of Mohammedanism.
Apart from a few insignificant trifles, the world’s longest-running conflict concerns only one real point of contention: who should be the absolute ruler of all behavior and thoughts of all Mohammeds followers and, in fact, of all humanity, after the death of Mohammed himself?
For Sunnis, by the way, quoting or extolling Aisha is the surest way to fend off rapprochement towards Shiites.
I quote my 80000 words book IS, the Kurds and the Caliphate. Turkey: from sick occupant to paranoid neighbor :
One of the most repugnant representatives of contemporary Mohammedanism was Yusuf Qaradawi (He died in 2022). He thought for many decades about ways to make Mohammedanism dominant worldwide. He has of course also spoken out about the contrast between Shiites and Sunnis. This video is from August 2006: Qaradawi explains that he is in favor of Sunnis and Shiites not debating each other and he also explains why.
When one of the two -shia or sunni- dominates a country, the other one should certainly not try to gain followers there.
Otherwise you will inevitably get the civil war and endless massacres of the image.
The death penalty also has a place in suppressing debate…
Nothing Wrong here: Evil is in the spotlight.
Trump in Saudi Arabia
May 2017 Donald Trump made his first international trip as POTUS. The first country he visited was Saoudi Arabia. There he gave the best speech by a President Of The United States ever given abroad.
I wrote an extensive text about it in Dutch (Sunni versus Shia). The praise I received for it was greater than I received for any other text. Below the most important part of it in my translation:
Trump’s speech may come across as slimy on a cursory reading. It also contains cringe-worthy compliments, but they are of a completely different nature than those Barack Hussein Obama came with on hís first visit to the Middle East.
And take note: Obama did not visit any worldly rulers, but went to the ulema hotbed Al-Azhar and even came up with a twisted Qu’ran verse to present that nasty book as something decent. When he was president, Obama insulted the Iranian opposition.
Speaking specifically about the ayatollah regime, Trump said:
It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room
But without indicating whether he was talking more about the Shia or Sunni troublemakers, he also said:
… defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it. (…) Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.
Pit against or mediate between them?
Imagine you are a Persian or Arab muslim because your loving parents were. What would make you most sad when you thought about what is going on WITHIN the global Muslim community?
If you know such a man or woman, would you dare to ask that question or are you too worried about the possibility that he or she got sad because of that question?
If you are such a man or woman, would the first thing that came to your mind be the disagreement that is possible over who to invite to an Iftar meal?
The answer is in the question. It is the elephant in the room. The elephant named shia-sunni-strife.
A ‘Machiavellian’ answer from outside the mohammedan world to the question of how to deal with the threat posed by radical Islam is an explicit one: let them continue with their mutual contradictions and wars.
Daniel Pipes is one of the very few outspoken proponents of this approach.
It does sound really, really unkind.
Shouldn’t we look for consonance instead?
Consonance between sunni and shia people, preferably including Ibadi and even Ahmadiyya too?
There is no doubt that millions of ordinary Muslims worldwide would welcome a move towards greater harmony between different Islamic ‘schools’.
There is almost as little doubt that among professional Muslims, people who enjoy money and/or prestige thanks to their Qu’ran interpretation skills, there is none to be found.
The third group is of course the most interesting: the people with worldly power. Both in countries that are completely dominated by Islam and in countries that have to deal with immigration from such countries. How would those people feel about serious reconciliation efforts?
Two facts give rise to quite a bit of pessimism. First of all, there are many countries that have established a Mohammedan character for their country in their constitutions. The most horrific example being Iran of course.
Secondly, the disturbing loyalty of Muslim immigrants who have risen to high positions in Western countries. Loyalty to ‘Islam’. The mayor of Rotterdam is one of those. This man has publicly stated that he is a Salafist.
Note on Zebibahs
November 2012 I produced a gallery of zebibahs and in May 2014 I made asequel. On a site written almost completely in Dutch. The galleries mostly consist of images and links however, so you don’t have to know my mother tongue to appreciate them. Especially the sequel contains loads of information and links -in both meanings of that word- you find nowhere else. Here I only add the English translation of my conclusion:
People with a zebibah should be discriminated against in my opinion. By that I mean that we should take it as a warning sign: this is probably a religious madman and possibly a dangerous one. Basically the way you should deal with someone who has a swastika tattoo.
- The zebibah: ‘Symbol of muhammedan piety and brain damage’.
- 30 Zebibaists. The guy on the photo (on the right) was possibly the most influential one ever.