Antifa And Black Lives Matter Intelligence Report

Herschel Smith · 23 Aug 2020 · 8 Comments

Just who is Antifa? The American manifestation of the "Black Bloc" isn't new.  Antifa existed before now in Europe, but appears to have morphed into a more ad hoc conglomeration of people who have certain ideologies in common, some of whom appear to have been overseas. Department of Homeland Security intelligence officials are targeting activists it considers antifa and attempting to tie them to a foreign power, according to a DHS intelligence report obtained exclusively by The…… [read more]

Force Size

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

Following the Small Wars Manual, I have argued before that force projection and timeliness are critical for counterinsurgency operations, and that constant and perpetual offensive operations against guerrilla fighers is the way to effect security and thus stabilize territory.  Protracted duration is the enemy of victory in war and a sure path to defeat.  The al Qaeda high command letter to Zarqawi frankly admitted that “prolonging the war is in our interest.”  My arguments have been directly contrary to the Generals who have argued for a small footprint, believing that most effective way to achieve security is to use the minimum number of troops.  It is possible that the Generals have confused large force projection with the actual implementation of force.  There are even Generals who want to jettison the “kill-kill ethos” of the Army and Marines.  Yet this is certainly not the case.  The larger the force size, the smaller the probability that force will have to be exercised.  The two have proven to be inversely proportional.

The boots know that there aren’t enough troops, and haven’t been from the beginning.  In recent action in Iraq, we see what can happen with enough troops, versus the carnage that can ensue when the U.S. is not present.

… members of the Army’s 172nd Stryker Brigade are on a charm offensive. The soldiers spent 12 months in the restive city of Mosul, before having their tour in Iraq extended to help in the U.S.’s campaign to pacify Baghdad. The unit’s experience shows. They are alert but relaxed, carrying themselves with a gentle posture, weapons down, waving to the locals, talking with them. Kids hold hands with the Americans; an Iraqi mother hands a soldier her baby to hold. Locals invite U.S. officers in to sit and have glasses upon glasses of tea, orange Fanta, Pepsi and Arabic coffee. They don’t go into a house without a few Iraqi soldiers who can better gauge if someone looks suspicious. Walking out of one Iraqi home, Lieut. Colonel John Norris, commander of the Stryker 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment Tomahawks, enjoys a moment of guarded optimism. “Days like this you think, wow, they can really do it. If they can just stop the killing.”

It’s the glimmers of hope that make the realities in Iraq so heartbreaking. Residents of Ur say that with the Strykers around, sectarian murders have all but disappeared. Neighbors emerge from their homes to chat and allow their sons and daughters to play in the street. But the Iraqis and Americans know that such sanity won’t last. Though 12,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops have moved to the capital to try to defuse sectarian violence, the level of killing across the city remains as high as ever. That’s because the U.S. doesn’t have enough troops to maintain the peace in the areas they’ve secured, instead relying on Iraqi units who have yet to prove they can impose order. In Ghazaliyah, a west Baghdad neighborhood the 172nd Strykers cleared weeks earlier, violence has already gone back up to previous levels. For all the progress made in Ur, the troops know the cycle is bound to repeat itself there too. “We leave,” says Sergeant First Class Joshua Brown, as his Stryker pulls out of Ur city, “and it turns into f—— Somalia.”

Commanders in Iraq have recently called for more troops, but will stop short of directly saying that these troops need to be U.S. rather than Iraqi troops.  As we have pointed out, Iraqi soldiers can sometimes hinder U.S. efforts.

There is a revised field manual soon to be issued, including reformulated counterinsurgency doctrine.  But is has been pointed out that the number of troops required to uphold this strategy are not there in Iraq, and are not coming.

North Korea Tests Nuclear Weapon

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

There are a lot of unknowns at the moment, such as yield, degree of success, etc.  But Fox News is reporting that North Korea has tested a nuclear weapon.  There will be many consequences to this action, but perhaps the most significant will be what happens with Japan.

We have argued before that while Japan has not gone nuclear yet, the right set of circumstances could converge to cause Japan to embark on a robust nuclear program.  This is the right set of circumstances.  After Japan, South Korea will likely succeed in the development of such a program, and then possibly Taiwan.

The real loser in this is China, because the balance of power has just dramatically shifted.  Numbers of troops and size of industrial infrastructure now matters less than it did prior to a nuclear arms race.

A nuclear arms race has just begun in the Far East.  Japan and South Korea are set up to succeed in this race given their success at commercial nuclear power.

Land of Many Wars

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

Iraq today is a land of many small wars, each with different goals, participants and dangers.  Bill Roggio is commenting on the multiple counterinsurgency operations currently taking place, in Kirkuk, Diyala and Diwaniyah.  The nature of these operations (COIN) and the widespread geography of these (and other recent actions) demonstrate the problematic nature of the conflict today in Iraq.  Also at The Fourth Rail, it was pointed out that al Sadr had sent two companies of the Madhi army into Kirkuk over the spring.

This was not a random action by al Sadr; there is a reason that his forces are located near or in the Kurdish north.  Iran has trained as many as 40,000 Iraqis in order to prevent an unlikely rollback of Shiite control, and is likely pulling the strings to effect the policy that is most beneficial to their interests in regional control.  Shiite control is also related to control over oil and refinery infrastructure.  Kurdish leaders have made it clear that they will not relent on their demands to reverse Saddam’s Arabization of the Kirkuk oil fields, which accounted for the bulk of exports before the 2003 invasion.  “We always said we would make no concessions on … the Kurdish identity of Kirkuk,” said leading Kurdish politician Massoud Barzani.

It is likely that al Sadr’s forces (and other factions in Iraq) are positioning for negotiations and decisions that might be determinative for the future of Iraq, namely, the division of Iraq into three autonomous regions: Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni.  In a strategically timed trip to the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has put political pressure on the Kurds to share the wealth associated with a Kurdish Kirkuk.

Rice visited the region’s powerful president, Massoud Barzani, less than two weeks after the regional government threatened to break away from Iraq in a dispute over oil.

Barzani told reporters after meeting with Rice that Kurdistan, “like any other nation, has the right to self-determination.

Ramadi is Still a Troubled City

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

Ramadi has seen successes recently, not only from action by the U.S. forces, but also from the Sunni tribes, some of which have turned against al Qaeda.  However, al Qaeda is still very active, and Ramadi remains a deadly city with troubled times ahead.

The 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, recently returned home from Ramadi, Iraq.  There is good news and bad news to convey.

During their deployment, the unit had its hands in counter-insurgency operations, detaining more than 300 insurgents, said Lt. Col. Steve Neary, the battalion commander. They also cut the violence in half in the western sections of the city.

“Central Ramadi is a different story,

Baathists Make Overture to U.S. Now What?

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

From IHT, we learn that Ibrahim al-Shimmari of the Islamic Army of Iraq is alleged to have made an overture to the U.S.

BAGHDAD, Iraq A purported spokesman for a Sunni insurgent group, the Islamic Army in Iraq, offered to open negotiations with the Americans in an audiotape aired by Al-Jazeera television on Thursday.

The tape was said to be from Ibrahim al-Shimmari, whose name has appeared in past statements by the group, which has claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bombings against civilians and attacks on U.S. troops.

The tape’s authenticity could not be independently confirmed.

“We are prepared for any negotiations, whether secret or public, on the condition only that they are sincere. We have no objection to mediators with international credentials, and it is possible to exchange letters,” the speaker in the tape said.

Al-Shimmari has offered such negotiations in past statements. He did not elaborate on the goal of any talks.

The Islamic Army in Iraq is believed to include former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, his intelligence service and former army officers. It rejected a call from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier this year for insurgents to join the political process, saying it would not participate until there was a timetable for withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.

In sections of the tape not aired, the speaker on the tape said Iraq faces occupation by two powers — “the Crusader Americans and the Iranians … and the latter is the more dangerous,” Al-Jazeera reported.

He said his group was allied to former al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed June by a U.S. airstrike. But the speaker criticized al-Zarqawi, saying he “committed some mistakes,” including the killing of four Russian embassy workers who were kidnapped, then slain in late June.

In contrast to the Islamic Army, al-Qaida in Iraq is believed largely made up of Arab Islamic militants, though the group has tried to ally itself with Iraqi insurgents.

U.S. policy will soon have to consider the disposition of the remaining Baathists in the al Anbar province.  The foreign fighters such as al Qaeda pose an easy decision.  They are dedicated to the overthrow of the current regime by violent means as shown by the recently released letter from al Qaeda senior leadership to Zarqawi.  They will have to be killed.

But as the Strategy Page discusses, the issue of the Sunni insurgents is a more problematic situation.

When it comes to fighting the terrorists, tribal ties still matter. In central Iraq, three Sunni tribes are particularly linked to the Sunni Arab violence; the Bulaym, Janabi, and Shammar Jarba. They were mainstays of the old Saddam Hussein regime, providing many recruits for the secret police and Republican Guard. Tribal politics for these three is all about either regaining control of the government, or getting amnesty. The government has been discussing amnesty deals with many of the tribal leaders. The problem is that the tribes want amnesty for more people than the government believes it can get away with. Attempts to give amnesty to those known to have been involved in killing Americans, blew up when Americans got wind of it. Same thing happened in Iraq when the government proposed giving amnesty to Sunni Arab tribal officials who had participated in attacks on Kurds and Shia Arabs both before, and after, the fall of Saddam in 2003. What it comes down to is that there are thousands of prominent Sunni Arabs who have to be either pardoned, captured or killed, before there can be peace in Iraq.

High sounding phrases such as helping the Iraqis to “secure Ramadi,” and “winning the hearts and minds of the people,” might sound impressive in a hot-off-the-press master’s thesis, but are sometimes not very useful for formulating policy or doctrine.  The fact is that the U.S. administration will have to make a difficult decision.  Either we kill or capture the remaining Baathist elements in the al Anbar Province, or we formulate some sort of treaty, pact or agreement with them to secure the surrender of their weapons and the standdown of their armies, while stopping short of killing or incarcerating them.  These are the only two options.

If we decide for the former option, there is much work remaining, and it will be hard and bloody work.  There is no “winning the hearts and minds” of those for whom you have made it clear that you intend to kill them.  There is absolutely no reason for a person with a sure and certain death sentence to surrender.  If we decide for the later option, the objections from the U.S. will be understandably loud and emotional.

How can we make peace with those who have killed our sons?  But if we do not, how many more sons will we lose?

Taliban Lays Plans for Regional Islamic Intifada

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

In a major expose of the plans of the Taliban, the Asia Times has an article entitled Taliban lay plans for Islamic intifada.

THE PASHTUN HEARTLAND, Pakistan and Afghanistan – With the snows approaching, the Taliban’s spring offensive has fallen short of its primary objective of reviving the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan, as the country was known under Taliban rule from 1996-2001.

Both foreign forces and the Taliban will bunker down until next spring, although the Taliban are expected to continue with suicide missions and some hit-and-run guerrilla activities. The Taliban will take refuge in the mountains that cross the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where they will have plenty of time to plan the next stage of their struggle: a countrywide “Islamic Intifada of Afghanistan” calling on all former mujahideen to join the movement to boot out foreign forces from Afghanistan.

Some of this is consistent with what we already know.  I have previously discussed the fact that the Taliban were preparing for a major spring offensive, and that they currently had 12,000 fighters and 500 suicide bombers at their disposal.  They claimed that by the spring they would have enough fighters to launch a major offensive against Kabul.  During this period of re-grouping and readying for a major fight, they were planning something more akin to special operations, with small teams crossing the border without identification and staying in Afghanistan for protracted periods of time.  These would be smaller, lighter and more dedicated incursions into Afghanistan than before.  But the real import of the article has to do with the magnitude of the planned operations.  The Taliban intend to launch a country-wide “intifada.”  Continuing with the Asia Times story:

The intifada will be both national and international. On the one hand it aims to organize a national uprising, and on the other it will attempt to make Afghanistan the hub of the worldwide Islamic resistance movement, as it was previously under the Taliban when Osama bin Laden and his training camps were guests of the country.

The ideologue of the intifada is bin Laden’s deputy, Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has assembled a special team to implement the idea. Key to this mission is Mullah Mehmood Allah Haq Yar. Asia Times Online was early to pinpoint Haq Yar as an important player (see Osama adds weight to Afghan resistance, September 11, 2004).

Oriented primarily towards Arabs, especially Zawahiri, Haq Yar speaks English, Arabic, Urdu and Pashtu with great fluency. He was sent by Taliban leader Mullah Omar to northern Iraq to train with Ansarul Islam fighters before the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. He returned to Afghanistan in 2004 and was inducted into a special council of commanders formed by Mullah Omar and assigned the task of shepherding all foreign fighters and high-value targets from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan.

He is an expert in urban guerrilla warfare, a skill he has shared with the Taliban in Afghanistan. His new task might be more challenging: to gather local warlords from north to south under one umbrella and secure international support from regional players.

In signs that the Taliban understand the significance of the GWOT, the extent of the intifada only starts in Afghanistan.  Its reach will be global, and the support of regional players will be sought.

A major first step toward creating an intifada in Afghanistan was the establishment of the Islamic State of North Waziristan in the Pakistani tribal area this year. This brought all fragmented sections of the Taliban under one command, and was the launching pad for the Taliban’s spring offensive.

Subsequently, there has been agreement between a number of top warlords in northern Afghanistan and the Taliban to make the intifada a success next year. Credit for this development goes mainly to Haq Yar.

Haq Yar was recently almost cornered in Helmand province in Afghanistan by British forces. Before that, he spoke to Asia Times Online at an undisclosed location in the Pashtun heartland straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan.

One of the weaknesses in the facist Islamic movement is the heavy reliance on individuals and personalities.  In this case, the Taliban have a real asset that they can leverage.  Haq Yar speaks multiple languages and is trained in guerrilla warfare, and he apparently has non-trivial negotiating skills.  However, his success will be restricted to the extent that he has to remain on-the-run.

Asia Times then shows that they have landed a significant catch.  They have a direct interview with Haq Yar.

Asia Times Online: When are the Taliban expected to announce the revival of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan?

Haq Yar: Well, the whole Islamic world is waiting for the revival of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan, but it will take some time. But sure, it will ultimately happen, and this is what the Taliban’s struggle is all about.

ATol: Can you define the level of Taliban-led resistance in Afghanistan?

Haq Yar: It has already passed the initial phases and now has entered into a tactical and decisive phase. It can be measured from the hue and cry raised by the US and its allies. Daily attacks on NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] forces are now routine and suicide attacks are rampant.

ATol: To date, the Taliban have been very active in southwestern Afghanistan, but traditionally success comes when a resistance reaches eastern areas, especially the strategically important Jalalabad. When will this happen?

Haq Yar: Well, I do not agree that the Taliban movement is restricted to southwest Afghanistan. We have now established a network under which we are allied with many big and small mujahideen organizations, and in that way we are fighting foreign forces throughout Afghanistan. In a recent development, the deputy chief of the Taliban movement, Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani, is now positioned in the eastern zone, including Jalalabad, from where he is guiding attacks on coalition forces. This eastern zone is also part of the Taliban’s stronghold.

ATol: What is the role of bin Laden and Zawahiri?

Haq Yar: We are allies and part and parcel of every strategy. Wherever mujahideen are resisting the forces of evil, Arab mujahideen, al-Qaeda and leaders Osama bin Laden and Dr Zawahiri have a key role. In Afghanistan they also have a significant role to support the Taliban movement.

ATol: Is the present Taliban-led resistance against the US and its allies a local resistance or is it international? That is, are resistance movements in other parts of the world led from Afghanistan?

Haq Yar: Initially it was a local movement, but now it is linked with resistance movements in Iraq and other places. We are certainly in coordination with all resistance movements of the Muslim world.

This last statement is signficant.  The letter from al Qaeda high command to Zarqawi shows a similar sentiment with the desire by Haq Yar for coordination of the “resistance” movements: in spite of assessments to the contrary, they do not want command and control to become too diffuse.

ATol: What is the Taliban strategy with groups like Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (Khalis)?

Haq Yar: The Hezb-i-Islami of Hekmatyar and the Taliban are fighting under a coordinated strategy and support each other. The leadership of the Khalis group is now in the hands of his son, who is coordinating everything with Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani.

ATol: What is the Taliban’s weaponry? Is it old Russian arms or they have acquired new ones – and if so, where are they getting them?

Haq Yar: The Taliban have all the latest weaponry required for a guerrilla warfare. Where does it come from? Well, Afghanistan is known as a place where weapons are stockpiled. And forces that provided arms a few decades ago – the same weapons are now being used against them.

ATol: The Taliban contacted commanders in northern Afghanistan. What was the result?

Haq Yar: About one and a half years ago these contacts were initiated. Various groups from the north contacted us. We discussed the matter with [Taliban leader] Mullah Mohammed Omar Akhund and then, with his consent, I was assigned to negotiate matters with the Northern Alliance.

The first meeting was held in northern Afghanistan, where I represented the Taliban. Many individuals from various groups of the Northern Alliance attended the meeting and they all condemned the foreign presence in the country, but insisted that the Taliban should take the lead, and then they would follow suit. Another meeting was held after that in which various individuals come up with some conditions, and there was no conclusion. There was no collective meeting, but there are contacts.

In yet another instance showing the importance of timeliness in the defeat of the enemy, it appears that there might be a swelling of support for the departure of NATO troops.

ATol: What is the role of the tribal chiefs?

Haq Yar: The tribal chiefs have always been supportive of the Taliban and still are. How could they not be? The US bombed and killed thousand of their people and the puppet [President Hamid] Karzai government is silent. All Afghans are sick and tired of US tyrannies and daily bombardment, whether they are commoners or chiefs, and that is why they are all with the Taliban.

Actually, we have also worked on organizing that support. On the instructions of Mullah Mohammed Omar Akhund, I met with tribal chiefs last year and prepared the grounds for this year’s battle [spring offensive], and all tribal chiefs assured me of their support. And now there is support – it is there for everybody to see.

ATol: It is said that the Taliban are now fueled by drug money. Is this correct, and if not, how do they manage their financial matters?

Haq Yar: It is shameful to say that the Taliban, who eliminated poppies from Afghanistan, are dependent on the drug trade to make money. This is wrong. As far as money is concerned, we do not need much. Whatever is required, we manage it through our own limited resources.

ATol: Are you satisfied with the media’s role?

Haq Yar: Not at all. They do not publish our point of view. They never tried to talk to the genuine Taliban. Rather, they go after not genuine people who are basically plants and rejected by the Taliban leadership.

It would appear that there is much more to come in Afghanistan.  Yet another concern presents itself that we have discussed at the Captain’s Journal, and that has to do with the viability and stability of Musharraf’s regime, and the implications for a nuclear Taliban in the event of the fall of the Pakistan government.  The apparent strength of the Taliban makes this concern more salient than ever.

The Taliban Meet AC/DC (and lose)

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

In recent action in Afghanistan, NATO forces have killed as many as 200 Taliban fighters in a battle lasting ten days.  In one interesting note about this battle:

NATO and Afghan forces began an operation Sept. 2 after warning civilians to leave the area and dropping leaflets promising the Taliban safe passage out if they gave up their weapons.

There were several pockets where the Taliban concentrated their fighters on either side of the river – at Sperwan, Pashmul and Siah Jui – and NATO deployed forces from the south, north and east in a pincer movement.

More NATO forces guarded the western and southern flanks to cut supply and escape routes.

The commander of U.S forces in southern Afghanistan, Colonel R. Stephen Williams, 46, joined the battle four days later. He gathered Canadian, American and Afghan forces for an attack on Pashmul on Sept. 12.

After wearing the Taliban down for six days with rock music blaring across the river valley, and artillery and airstrikes, they found a weak spot in the Taliban’s defenses.

Playing his favorite music, AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” to hide the sound of the armored vehicles, Williams took the Taliban by surprise, crossing the river and driving through the cornfields from the northeast.

The fighting was intense over a day and a half. The Taliban were dug in at vineyards with deep irrigation channels and high, mud-wall barns for drying grapes. The village school, a cluster of white painted classrooms, built with American aid money in the past four years, was destroyed by repeated air and artillery strikes.

“The Taliban used this as a weapons cache and their command-and-control place,” Williams said.

The Taliban pulled out under the attack in groups, leaving small numbers of men to delay the NATO advance. Williams calculated from battlefield reports that his force alone killed 150 to 200 insurgents in 10 days of fighting, and only had 4 men wounded on their side.

Our allies, friends and colleagues ‘down under’ should “get a kick” out of this (hint for those who do not know, AC/DC is an Australian band).  Before the U.S. had troops in Afghanistan post-9/11, Australia did.  They have been our ally through thick and thin.  Now, AC/DC works with the Australian special forces to defeat the Taliban.

In honor of Williams’ battle, I am posting a link to AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”   Hmmm … I wonder what speakers they used and how many watts it took?  AC/DC versus the Taliban: I think I’ll post this in my “Weapons and Tactics” category.

AC/DC, “Back in Black

Shepard Smith with Bill Kristol

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

My son is USMC, MOS 0311. So then, at the Captain’s Journal, we are unabashedly pro-grunt. We are the grunt’s apologist and advocate, and thus we discuss the good, the bad and the ugly. The show here is intended to be complete and challenging. On YouTube this video is posted along with some very leftist comments. I am not politically left, and so the comments are irrelevant to me. The video is not. Let’s let the readers speak to this video in the comments section. What do you think?

Habitually Offensive Operations Against Guerrillas

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

From the LA Times:

BAGHDAD — Two months after a security crackdown began in the capital, U.S. military deaths appear to be rising, even as fatalities among Iraqi security forces have fallen, U.S. military sources and analysts said.

The U.S. military Tuesday revised to eight its count of American deaths in the capital on Monday, the highest daily toll in a month. In September, 74 U.S. troops died nationwide, about a third of them in Baghdad, according to the military.

U.S. officials and military experts caution that it is too soon to declare a definitive trend, but they said the recent increases could be attributable to U.S. troops’ greater exposure to combat since redeploying in early August from heavily guarded bases to Baghdad’s streets. Their mission is to stem sectarian bloodshed involving Shiite paramilitaries and Sunni Arab insurgents.

“When you’re conducting operations and you’ve doubled the number of troops doing operations in Baghdad, there is more opportunity — as there is much more activity as they go into more neighborhoods — for attacks to occur and casualties to result,” U.S. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said.

This statement about redeploying from heavily gaurded bases (a defensive strategy designed to minimize casualties) is interesting in juxtaposition with this statement from Section 2-9 of the Small Wars Manual.

Tactical operations of regular troops against guerrillas in small wars are habitually offensive.  Even though operating under a strategic defensive campaign plan, regular combatants in contact with hostile forces will emphasize the principal of the offensive to gain psychological supremacy.  Isolated forces exposed to possible attack by overwhelming numbers must be well protected in positions prepared to develop the greatest possible effect of their weapons.  Reverses, particularly at first, must be avoided at all costs.  [Bold and italics are mine]

So when did we go on the defensive in Iraq?

Letter from al Qaeda High Command to Zarqawi: An Analysis

BY Herschel Smith
14 years, 1 month ago

The Department of Defense has recently released a letter from a previously unknown (to the U.S.) but highly placed al Qaeda leader, “Atiyah.”  There is some brief analysis by the U.S. Military Academy at the front end of the released document.  The analysis by West Point focuses mainly on the dissatisfaction of the al Qaeda leadership with Zarqawi’s harsh tactics.  So I want to add a few comments to the analysis that do not overlap with the main thrust of their analysis.

Of importance to the proper understanding of facist Islam today is not so much that the al Qaeda leadership counseled against Zarqawi’s use of harsh tactics.  It is the question ‘why?’  We get a glimpse into their thinking when Atiyah encourages patience, stating:

The path is long and difficult, and the enemy isn’t easy, for he is great and numerous and he can take quite a bit of punishment as well. However, true victory is the triumph of principles and values, the triumph of the call to Islam. True conquest is the conquest of the hearts of people, and the regard for seeing the Treaty of Hudaybiyah as a victory.

The invocation of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah is particularly interesting.  While Muhammed was still alive, access to Mecca was under the dispute by two different tribes, or clans.  A detailed analysis of this treaty is beyond the scope of this post, but it may be briefly pointed out that Muhammed and his followers made a treaty with the Quraish tribe to have alternate access to Mecca (i.e., They retreated the first year his amassed followers made their pilgrimage to Mecca, and made their sacrafices outside the city, but the next year they were supposed to have unrestricted access to Mecca).  In fact, not only did Muhammed and his followers have unrestricted access to Mecca, but within two years they were numerous enough that they demanded and obtained the surrender of the tribe in Mecca.  The region soon saw a rapid spread of Islam.

The Atiyah letter is more than a little reminiscent of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah and the ensuing actions by Muhammed and his tribe.

“… be humble to the believers, and smile in people’s faces, even if you are cursing them in your heart, even if it has been said that they are “a bad tribal brother,


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