Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen Leader Praises Perpetrators Of Recent Attacks, Vows To Continue Fight Against 'Crusaders' And Their Allies, And Rejects International Court of Justice Ruling On Disputed Over Maritime Boundary

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September 20, 2019

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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September 20, 2019 Special Announcements No. 811

The MEMRI Weekly: September 13-20, 2019

September 20, 2019
Special Announcements No. 811
The following are links to reports from MEMRI's Special Dispatch Series and Inquiry and Analysis Series, as well as to transcripts from the MEMRI TV Project, released during the past week. *MEMRI REPORTS Inquiry and Analysis No. 1474 – The 'White Resistance Manual': A White Supremacist Ideological, Strategic, And Tactical Guidebook, September 20, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8285 – Saudi Journalist: U.S. Taking Weak Position Vis-à-vis Iran, While Blackmailing Us; We Must Fend For Ourselves, September 20, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8284 – Editor Of Kuwaiti Daily Calls To 'Rescue The World From The Persian Nazism', September 19, 2019 Inquiry and Analysis No. 1473 – A Common Europe Stretching From Lisbon to Vladivostok No Longer Appeals To Putin; Europe Must First Preserve Its Own Civilization, September 19, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8283 – Editor Of Turkish Pro-Government Daily Suggests: Two Iranian Missiles Striking Dubai Will Leave Neither An Economy Nor The UAE In Its Wake, September 18, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8282 – Saudi Media Campaign Against Circulating Images, Videos Of Attack On Aramco Oil Facilities On Social Media: 'This Is A Real War,' 'Caution Is Paramount', September 18, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8281 – Turkish President Erdoğan Threatens To Let Refugees Cross Into Europe Unless International Community Supports Turkey's Plans For Northern Syria, September 18, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8280 – Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu: 'If The Counter-Terror Files [Of Turkey] Were To Be Opened, A Lot Of People Could Not Face Anyone', September 18, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8279 – Taliban Statement On Cancellation Of U.S.-Taliban Peace Talks: 'Trump Has... Fully Exposed His Evil Satanic Agenda Of Prolonging The War In Afghanistan', September 17, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8278 – Russian Media Outlet Kommersant: Strategic Instability; Russian Experts Call For Radical Change In Approach To Assessing Stability, Nuclear Arms Control, September 16, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8277 – Following Iranian Attack On Saudi Oil Facilities, Houthis Threaten Further Attacks, Warn Foreigners And Companies To Leave; Hizbullah Supporter Tweets Photo Of Anti-Ship Missile, September 16, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8276 – The Attack On Saudi Oil Facilities: An Implementation Of Iran's Explicit Threats In Recent Months To Target Saudi Arabia, U.S., Global Economy, September 15, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8275 – Russia This Week – Focus On Bilateral Relations – September 13, 2019, September 13, 2019   *MEMRI TV MONITOR PROJECT MEMRI TV Clip No. 7494 – Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Says America Has Been Conspiring Against Iran For 40 Years, Responds To 'Death To America' Chants: May This Come True Soon, Channel 1 (Iran) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7493 – Iraqi Researcher Hashem Al-Kindi: Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades Refrained From Assassinating Obama Because Iraq's President Was Standing Next To Him To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7492 – Houthi Military Spokesman Brigadier Yahya Saree Threatens The 'Glass Towers' Of Abu Dhabi And Dubai, Adds: We Have Dozens Of Targets In The UAE, Al-Masirah TV (Yemen) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7491 – Russian President Vladimir Putin: Saudi Arabia Should Buy Our Defense Systems To Protect Its Oil Installations, Russia Today TV (Russia) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7490 – Former Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari: Arab Leaders Missed An Opportunity To Prevent Shi’ite Iraqis From Being Loyal To Iran; Post-War Iraq Would Have Been Better Off If Not For Iranian, Syrian Support Of Terrorist Groups, Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7489 – Paris-Based Political Lebanese Analyst Ali Naseredine: Houthis Are Used By Iran; If The Head Is 'Chopped Off,' The Hands And Tail Will Follow, Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7488 – Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei: We Will Not Negotiate With The U.S. In Any Way Unless It Rejoins The JCPOA, Channel 1 (Iran) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7487 – Qom Friday Sermon By Ayatollah Alireza Arafi: The Iranian People Support Hassan Nasrallah, Khamenei Until The End, When Israel Will Be Erased, Channel 2 (Iran) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7486 – Turkish President Erdoğan Threatens To Let Refugees Cross Into Europe Unless International Community Supports Turkey's Plans For Northern Syria, The Internet To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7485 – Kurdish Politician Shaswar Abdulwahid: Kurdish Oil Is Openly Being Transferred To Iran And Turkey, IRINN TV (Iran) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7484 – Houthi Military Media Publishes Propaganda Video With Hebrew Subtitles Threatening Israel With Cruise Missile Attacks: 'There Is More To Come!', Al-Masirah TV (Yemen) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7483 – IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh: We Constantly Monitor U.S. Vessels Within 2,000 Kilometers Of Iran, Are Ready To Strike Them; We Stand United With Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen Against America, The Internet To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7482 – IRGC Quds Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani Posts Video After Attacks In Abqaiq And Khurais: We Are The Nation Of Martyrdom; Iraqi PMU, Yemeni Ansar Allah Are Following Imam Hussein's Path, The Internet To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7481 – Al-Jazeera Debate About Drone Strikes On Saudi Oil Fields: Total Failure By U.S., Saudi Air Defense Systems; Drone Attacks Can Paralyze Saudi Arabia; UAE Still A Potential Target, Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) To read the transcript, click here. MEMRI TV Clip No. 7480 – France-Based Iranian Opposition Activist Dr. Mahmoud Moradkhani, Who Is Khamenei's Nephew: Iran Is Responsible For Extremism In The World; The Opposition Must Unite To Bring Change, Alaan TV (UAE) To read the transcript, click here.  

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September 20, 2019 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1474

The 'White Resistance Manual': A White Supremacist Ideological, Strategic, And Tactical Guidebook

September 20, 2019 | By Michael Davis
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1474
Introduction In the early 2000s a long and detailed document titled "White Resistance Manual" was published online.[1] Of its 310 pages, 302 deal with tactical matters, and provide in-depth instructions for manufacturing, obtaining and using multiple types of weapons and explosives, to be used against public figures, institutions and private citizens who are considered "enemies of the White race." However, the document's first chapters serve as an ideological and strategic manifesto, exhibiting explicit anti-Jewish and racist ideology. The manual calls for the establishment of a movement whose ideological and racial goals persist in white supremacist circles to this day. Among these themes: opposition to immigration of non-whites into "White nations"; the alleged Jewish influence on political and financial policies; opposition to the mixing of whites and non-whites; prompting a race war and a socio-politic revolution. To this end, the document includes instructions for supporters of the movement on how to prepare for violent and non-violent action, how to control information within the movement, and how to deal with undercover law enforcement agents who might attempt to infiltrate the movement. The "White Resistance Manual" names Jews and non-whites as direct targets: "No longer will we allow the Jews to live like parasites upon the body of our race. No longer will we tolerate any Jewish influence in our political system, our legal system or our mass-media. No longer will our children be taught the suicidal and baseless dogma of egalitarianism and racial equality. No longer will we allow dysgenic breeding to damage the health of our race. No longer will we tolerate any non-White colonizers living and breeding among us. In this new era we fight for nothing less than the absolute physical separation of the White race from all Jews and non-Whites. Along with this we will purge from our midst the traitorous and degenerate elements of our race." On March 27, 2019, and again on August 22, the "White Resistance Manual" began resurfacing on the white supremacist forum Stormfront.[2] Links to the document were shared by multiple accounts on Gab and BitChute, and it has thus far been available for over 3,000 online users[3]. The manual can also be found using search engines like Google and Duck Duck Go. Image with the name of the document posted by users on Gab and BitChute. The manual has been linked with multiple white supremacist attacks since its publication. Between December 2009 and July 2010 two men in Hemet, California carried out a series of attacks on local police offers using weapons they constructed based on instructions from the manual.[4] In the U.K. in June 2019 Michal Szewczuk, 19, and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, were convicted of promoting terrorism and disseminating neo-Nazi propaganda on Gab. The two men, who were members of British neo-Nazi organization Sonnenkrieg Division, had created and shared racist propaganda online, including a threat made by Sonnenkrieg Division against Prince Harry for being a "race traitor." Szewczuk pleaded guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism and five counts of possession of terrorist material, including the "White Resistance Manual" and an al-Qaida training manual.[5] In another case, Tristan Morgan, 52, of Exeter, England, pleaded guilty to charges of arson and terrorism after setting fire to a synagogue in Exeter on July 21, 2018. He also admitted to promoting terrorism by publishing a song titled “White Man” on audio platform Soundcloud, and possessing a copy of the "White Resistance Manual."[6] The image disseminated by Sonnenkrieg Division, depicting a pistol aimed at Prince Harry's head, with the text: "See Ya Later Race Traitor" (Source: Newsypeople.com/british-neo-nazi-group-calls-for-prince-harrys-assassination-for-marrying-mixed-race-meghan, December 6, 2018.) The Manual's Content Since the manual's publication almost 20 years ago, the speed and reach of information online has increased significantly. Instructions and tutorials on the creation and use of many types of weapons are now widely available on the Internet. However, the advice offered in the "White Resistance Manual" relates not only to the legal purchase of firearms best suited to the movement's tactical and strategic goals, but also includes instructions for building and using simple tools that are meant to wound or kill. It also provides ideas and methods for carrying out attacks, with the purpose of creating widespread chaos. The anonymous writer explains that the "White Resistance Manual" does not aim to answer the "Whys? of armed struggle", but rather to provide the movement – whose members are described as a "nation in exile" – with "information on the Hows? of armed struggle." Thus, the document is a guide to different aspects of creating a violent revolution, one which will ultimately overthrow current "anti-White" governments. According to the manual, members of the White Resistance movement will be "waiting to assume power in the vacuum which will be created by the fall of Western civilization". He writes: "We will cast off our wishful belief in democratic salvation, our votes will now be cast with bullets and bombs." The table of content of the "White Resistance Manual." The Ideology Underlying The Manual In the section titled "The Goals Of Our Struggle," the writer lists four short and long-term goals for the revolution. The writer's calls to action primarily target Jews and non-whites, "anti-White" politicians, the media, law enforcement, and "race traitors." The manual explains why these groups should be targeted, and how to carry out attacks against them. The first goal is "To exacerbate existing racial tensions to the point where a situation of open conflict exists between Whites and non-Whites." This will prompt a "Race War." The manual continues: "Only the violence and life-or-death imperative of an open racial conflict, a Race War, will rouse the majority of our racial kin from their sleep. Only racial conflict at this level will drive home the fact that the idea of a peaceful and prosperous multi-racial state is lunacy and only with the civil breakdown during a violent racial conflict will we gain the opportunity to proceed with the rest of our program." Thus defined, the goal addresses the issue of immigration, which has become prevalent in white supremacist circles in recent years. As stated in the manual, "We must immediately begin to make it clear to the world that non-Whites are not welcome in our territory and will eventually face forced deportation or death at the hands of our growing movement. Our lands must no longer be seen as safe havens for the excrement of the world but as places of great danger for non-White colonizers." The second goal is "To smash Jewish power and influence both in our own respective nations and worldwide." Jews are framed as a primary target: "The Jews are now, always have been and always will be the enemies of the White race and jealous murderers of anything beautiful and healthy in this world. Any individual, organization or movement which fights for the future of the White race will be doomed to failure without a clear understanding of this fact. No movement for social reform has any hope of success unless it is specifically and overtly anti-Jewish. It is essential to understand that all of our goals are anti-Jewish in nature." Thus, according to the manual, Jews must be viewed as targets for attack: "We must attack Jewish power wherever it exists and at all levels. Our focus must be placed upon high-profile Jewish influence in government, big-business, the mass-media and entertainment. Destruction of high-level Jewish targets will have a great propaganda effect and will be a boost to the morale of our fighters… Of secondary importance will be low level Jewish targets such as individuals of only local importance, Synagogues, Jewish owned small business and other symbols of Jewish power. Remember that, because of their power and influence, any attack upon a Jewish target will receive national if not international media attention. This is exactly the propaganda effect we need and we will use the media power of the Jews against them in order to achieve it. There is no undeserving Jewish target!" The third goal, "To destroy the legitimacy of current government and to offer legitimate government in its place," addresses the wide scale aspirations of the movement – to overthrow current governments, who they deem illegitimate. As the manual states, "We must strike at the heart of the traitorous, Jew-controlled governments which have done their best to murder and pollute our race. The apparatus, infrastructure and property of government must be placed high on our target list… Individuals in decision making positions in government should be targeted for selective assassination. Those most outspoken in the campaign to rob our children of a future should be placed at the top of the list, however, just about any high ranking official in government will make a deserving target. Only those tiny fraction of government officials who have fought against our destruction should be exempted. Any successes in this campaign will have a positive propaganda effect in favor of our movement." The fourth goal, "To punish those Whites who have committed treasonous acts against their own people", addresses the manual's views on 'whites' who they blame for betraying the white race. As they say, "A heavy emphasis must be placed upon those, high profile, individuals in government, the media, entertainment, clergy and academia who have presented lies as truth, promoted race-mixing, drug abuse and degeneracy, encouraged non-White immigration or have schemed to profit from policies which damage the health of our race and rob White children of a future." The author of the manual thus envisions the movement as a "nation" leading fighting for its survival against "race traitors": "We can never really hope to [be] taken seriously as a Nation if we are unwilling to punish traitors in the way any healthy Nation would, by death. A campaign of attacks targeting these individuals and their property will have a significant propaganda effect, both discouraging traitorous behavior and, with high profile targets being struck, boosting the morale of our movement." Strategic and Tactical Operations Guide The manual describes two levels of operation in the effort to instigate a race war: lawful activity and covert, violent attacks. The first type of operations is to be lead by "out of the closet" activists, who will act strictly through non-violent means to spread the "message of White survival" (i.e. spreading propaganda via the Internet, printed material, newspapers, radio and television.) These non-violent activists will also be in charge of raising white birthrates. Activists who use violent non-lawful methods will operate in small cells (no more than 4-5 members), or as lone wolves. This strategy will supposedly make them "impenetrable to law enforcement."   Weapons, Explosives, And Strategic Attacks The manual provides instructions and guidelines for manufacturing and procuring various types of weaponry, including shotguns, assault and sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, personal sidearms, crossbows, knives, and other close combat weapons. It also offers similar information and recipes for creating explosives, booby traps, mines, and poisons. The manual provides explicit instructions for lethal attack, including arson, sabotage, and assassination, as well as non-lethal attack, including threats, vandalism, and harassment of Jews and non-whites. The following are images from the "White Resistance Manual": Image of a Winchester 1300 Defender with pistol grip and 8rnd tube magazine Illustration of a technique for a close-combat attack using a knife, with the instructions: "Nose Pinch, Mouth Grab, Throat Cut" Instructions for building and installing an improvised silencer. Illustration for a "Classic Pipe Bomb.". The manual also provides strategy ideas and methods for attack. For example, in order to carry out an assassination (surveillance of the target is compared to "stalking wild game") the manual details a number strategies, including the use of a silenced pistol, a knife, committing arson, or using bombs or poison. Advice is also offered on whom to target: "High profile targets, such as non-White entertainers, sports figures, religious and political leaders must be targeted for selective assassination". Another suggested strategy  is to carry out attacks in public or symbolic places: "Non-Whites must also be attacked anywhere they can be stuck in large numbers, such as in high-rise apartments, subways, shopping malls or packed nightclubs in order to produce maximum causalities. The symbols of the non-White presence on our land; churches, temples, Mosques, businesses and political institutions must be considered valuable targets as well". Echoes of the Methodology in Recent Attacks It is noteworthy that some recent white supremacist attacks appear to follow the manual's suggested methodology, whether intentionally or not. For example, the idea of using violence to provoke civil war in the U.S. also appears as a primary goal in the manifesto written by Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch, New Zealand shooter.[7] Tarrant said that a civil war "should be a major aim in overthrowing the global power structure and the Wests’ egalitarian, individualist, globalist dominant culture". San Diego synagogue shooter John Earnest claimed that a civil war has already begun.[8] The issue of immigration, expressed in "The Goals Of Our Struggle" in the manual, has become a prevalent theme in contemporary white supremacist circles. It has also been a major focus of the manifestos written by Tarrant and (probably) by El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius.[9] Moreover, the method of carrying out well-planned attacks against groups in symbolic locations was adopted by a number of recent white supremacist terrorists: Charleston shooter Dylann Roof targeted a black church,[10] Tarrant targeted mosques, and Earnest targeted a synagogue. * Michael Davis is Head of the White Supremacist Online Incitement project at MEMRI   [1] Stormfront.org/forum/t241960, October 27. [2] Stormfront.org/forum/t1275205, [3] Information identifying the social media accounts has been redacted. A full version of this document is available upon request at media@memri.org. [4] Splcenter.org/hatewatch/2011/01/25/investigators-white-power-guerrilla-manual-behind-attacks-police, January 25, 2011. [5] Theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/18/michal-szewczuk-sentenced-prince-harry-online-post-far-right, June 18, 2019. [6] Independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/exeter-synagogue-fire-video-far-right-extremist-court-tristan-morgan-a8990876, July 9, 2019. [7] On March 15, 2019, Tarrant shot and killed 51 people and wounded dozens of others in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. [8] See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1454, The Anti-Jewish Manifesto Of John T. Earnest, The San Diego Synagogue Shooter, May 15, 2019. [9] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1467  'The Manifesto Posted On 8chan By Alleged El Paso Shooter Minutes Before Attack', August 6, 2019 [10] In 2015, white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine African-Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina

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Urdu Daily: Afghan Taliban Attack Electricity Towers And Disrupt Import Of Power From Uzbekistan Resulting In Darkness In 11 Provinces

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September 20, 2019

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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September 20, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8285

Saudi Journalist: U.S. Taking Weak Position Vis-à-vis Iran, While Blackmailing Us; We Must Fend For Ourselves

September 20, 2019
Iran, Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 8285
Following the September 14, 2019 Iranian attack on the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, many Saudi officials called on the international community to take active measures against Iran's regional policy and play a role in defending the world's energy supply.[1] Similar calls were also made by writers in the Saudi press, some of whom condemned what they called the hesitant and feeble policy of the U.S. and the international community towards Iran. Prominent among these responses was a September 18 article by Hamoud Abu Taleb in the daily 'Okaz, titled "We Have No Ally But Ourselves." Abu Taleb wrote that the superpowers are not interested in taking any significant action against Iran, because the chaos sowed by Iran in the Middle East actually serves their long-term interests. He urged Saudi Arabia to calculate its course based on the assumption that it is alone in the fray against Iran, while warning that the kingdom faces an existential threat of unprecedented proportions. The following are translated excerpts from his article: [2]   Hamoud Abu Taleb (source: mz-mz.net) "It is almost certain that neither the international community, nor the superpowers, nor the U.N. and its Security Council will take any serious practical action in response to the significant, dangerous and unprecedented attack carried out on Saturday [September 14, 2019] against the Saudi oil facilities. An examination of [their] positions leads to this conclusion. The statements of [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump, which contradict those of the heads of his administration, and the contradictory nature of Trump's own statements, teach us that the U.S. position on Iran, which was unclear to begin with, is feeble. The position of the European [countries], such as France and Germany, is always inclined in Iran's favor. Britain – which follows the lead of the U.S. – is preoccupied with its domestic crises and ultimately adopts America's [position]. [As for] Russia, despite Putin's polite and diplomatic expressions of support for Saudi Arabia, [this country] is known to be closely aligned with Iran when it comes to regional issues, especially the Syrian one. China has almost completely disregarded the events, although it is among [the countries] most dependent on Saudi oil. So who is left? The real answer that emerges is that nobody will forcefully intervene to stop Iran's extreme [behavior] and its threats to the security of the region and to the world's most important energy sources. "Deception by means of internal contradictions, [and by creating] crises and instability, is part of the superpowers' policy in managing their interests. They disagree on minor issues but agree on the overall strategy. It would be superficial and naïve to think that they are interested in the security of the region. They clearly and openly decided to sow anarchy in the region by means of the Arab Spring in order to make it fragile and rearrange the balance of power within it. It will benefit them if Iran keeps escalating [its aggression] and drags the region to the brink of the abyss. If Iran has its agents in the Arab countries, it [itself] is one of the most important agents of the superpowers, who make plans for the region as they please. "If we want to confront reality clearly and objectively, we must realize that we are alone in the fray and handle our affairs accordingly. The allies of yesterday are no longer what they were, and the blackmail they use against us... in the guise of supporting us in the crises has been exposed. I do not refer only to [their policy towards the Saudi] kingdom, but towards the entire bloc of Gulf [states], which escaped the plot of [sowing] anarchy [i.e., the Arab Spring] and still enjoy security and economic stability. They are being provoked and threatened by means of threats [to the bloc's] largest and most prominent member, [Saudi Arabia]. "O people of reason, think well, for we are facing an existential danger of unprecedented [magnitude]."   [1] For prominent examples, see statements by Saudi Energy Minister 'Abd Al-'Aziz bin Salman immediately after the attack ('Okaz, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019), by Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Turki Al-Maliki at a September 18 press conference (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, September 19, 2019) and a September 19 tweet by State Minister for Foreign Affairs 'Adel Al-Jubeir (twitter.com/AdelAljubeir, September 19, 2019).   [2] 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), September 18, 2019.

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Pro-ISIS Media Outlet Shares Poster Mocking U.S. President For Declaring War Against Islam, Urging U.S. To Leave Muslim Lands Or Stay And 'Drown In The Quagmire Of Death'

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September 19, 2019

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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Afghan Taliban Spokesman Suhail Shaheen On Failed U.S.-Taliban Talks: '[Ceasefire] Was Not Part Of Negotiation With The American Side... We Agreed That During Their Withdrawal We Will Not Attack Them'

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September 19, 2019
The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. On September 7, 2019 U.S. President Donald Trump authored a series of tweets announcing that he had "immediately cancelled" secret talks which he had scheduled for the next day with the leaders of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) and separately with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David, after the Taliban admitted to killing, among others, an American soldier in Afghanistan.[1] Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesman based in Doha. Trump also announced that he had "called off peace negotiations". The U.S. and the Taliban had gone through nine rounds of talks which were held over the past year in Doha, Qatar, and the global media was full of reports that a draft peace agreement had been agreed to in principle by the U.S. and Taliban delegations.[2] The talks over the preceding months had been steered by a U.S. delegation under Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, while the Taliban delegation from the Islamic Emirate's Political Office in Doha had been led first by Suhail Shaheen, and later by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund. Suhail Shaheen is the spokesman of the Doha-based Political Office, while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund is the deputy emir of the Islamic Emirate and chief of the Political Office. President Trump's cancellation of the talks came as a shock to the global media, as well as the Taliban leaders, who had sensed an incoming victory. After the cancellation of the talks, Suhail Shaheen was interviewed on Al-Jazeera television by journalist Zein Tawfik in which he answered a range of questions. From the interview, it emerges that the American delegation was focused solely on the withdrawal of its troops – not even a ceasefire – while the Taliban refused to engage with the Afghan government, which they do not recognize. Following is the full text of the interview, originally in English and with some linguistic inconsistencies:[3] "[The U.S. Negotiating Team Leaders Had Agreed About] The Ceremony Of Signing The Agreement And Invitation To Be Extended To Foreign Ministers Of About 24 Countries" Question: "Let me start with the negotiations President Donald trump announced the end of it. Did that come a surprise to you?" Suhail Shaheen: "In the name of Allah the merciful and compassionate. Yes, it was astonishing for us. Because, we had already concluded the peace agreement with the American negotiation team and we [had] continued the talks for almost one year. And at the end, we concluded a peace agreement. And also, we concluded... the implementation framework of the peace agreement. Then both heads of the negotiation teams, they initialled the copies. One copy of that was given to the Qatari side. And we got the one copy and one [went to] the American team. "And after that Mullah Baradar, the chief of the Political Office and deputy emir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan for Political Affairs, and his delegation had a meeting with Dr. Khalilzad and General Scott Miller [the commander of the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan]. They were happy with the peace agreement. And they talked about the ceremony of the signing the peace agreement. Amidst that the tweet [by President Trump] was very surprising, astonishing for us." Question: "So, the last thing you heard from Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad and General Scott Miller... was about actually the ceremony for signing the agreement, and not the stoppage of the negotiations. Is that right?" Suhail Shaheen: "No, there was no hint, no sign. Only they talked during that meeting about the ceremony of signing the agreement and invitation to be extended to foreign ministers of about 24 countries of the world. And also they talked about the communication channel which was also part of the agreement. And we had pointed from our side the people for the communication channel in order to facilitate the implementation of the agreement. That was discussed during that meeting [with Khalilzad and Miller]. "[And then there was another meeting involving them and Mullah Baradar.] That was the last meeting our chief of the Political Office had with Scott Miller and Dr. Khalilzad... and in that [later] meeting with him, there were no sign, no hint about what was mentioned in the tweets. That was really very surprising for us." Question: "So, when was the meeting, was it on Saturday for example?" Suhail Shaheen: "Yeah, I don't know exactly the day. But it was after the meeting in which they discussed the communication channel and also about the ceremony, and they had another meeting; the topic was similar topics, some additions but similar topics." "The Invitation [For Meeting With Trump At Camp David] Was Given By Dr. Khalilzad To Us; And We Discussed... And Agreed, Accepted The Invitation [But After The Signing Ceremony At Doha]" Question: "So, during these two meetings, have you ever confirmed actually that you are going to see President Trump on Camp David on Sunday [September 8, 2019]...?" Suhail Shaheen: "Yes, it was, the invitation was given by Dr. Khalilzad to us. And we discussed it in the political office and agreed, accepted the invitation. And we conveyed our message to Dr. Khalilzad that we accept the invitation and we will go to visit the United States – but after the signing ceremony of the peace agreement. Because, the signing ceremony of the peace agreement will create an atmosphere, that it will be, you know, reduction in violence and [there] will be a good atmosphere inside Afghanistan because after signing of the ceremony the actual implementation of the peace agreement will start, thus will create a conducive atmosphere to go there [to the U.S.]. That, we conveyed that message to him, that would be appropriate time." Question: "So, in his tweets, President Trump claimed that the meeting between you and President Trump were scheduled on Sunday. I am asking here about the signing ceremony of the agreement that was supposed to be here in Doha. Was it on the same day, was it on Sunday, or a different day, or it wasn't agreed upon?" Suhail Shaheen: "The expected date of the ceremony was to be fixed by all sides. And the ceremony to be held, it was decided to be held here in Doha. It was to be held here in Doha in the presence of international witnesses and in presence of the media. That was decided. That was not that it will be signed in Camp David or anywhere [else]. It was decided, the venue was Doha. But the date was not fixed. But it was generally decided that it will be held within one week." Question: "So in this case, do you consider the tweets by President Trump as incorrect when he claimed that the meeting was scheduled on Sunday?" Suhail Shaheen: "Yes, they gave us, so [there are] these two different things: one is their invitation to us that we accepted; and the other is the date of going there, [about] that we had our own view. They gave us their date, but we had our own view that it is appropriate to go there after the signing ceremony of the agreement. Because, before that we did our ceasefire. "So, having no ceasefire means there will be attacks from each side. And they had attacks on our territory. We also retaliate by attacking some parts. But after the beginning of the implementation of the peace agreement, so all this thing [i.e. attacks by the two sides in Afghanistan] will stop. And that would create a conducive atmosphere for visiting the United States. That was our viewpoint. And we conveyed our viewpoint to him, to Dr. Khalilzad." Mullah Baradar Akhund meets with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla on July 27, 2019 "First We Want To End The Occupation Of Afghanistan And Then To Talk With Afghans About The Formation Of The New Islamic Government... And Also About The Ceasefire" Question: "So, according to your statements [and] to Mr. Khalilzad, the agreement was ready for signature by the President of U.S.A. and for the ceremony of the signing agreement? But we don't know a lot about that agreement. Can you tell us more information about that, what you actually agreed upon?" Suhail Shaheen: "There was some main points and main parts of the peace agreement. One, withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan. Second, not allowing anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against the United States, its allies. Third, to begin intra-Afghan negotiations. Fourth, that ceasefire will be an item of agenda of discussion during intra-Afghan negotiations. That was four parts of the peace agreement." Question: "So, what you are saying now that the ceasefire was never part of the agreement?" Suhail Shaheen: "No. That was not part of negotiation with the American side. We had two topics, or two parts with the Americans. One, to talk with them about ending occupation of Afghanistan, ... withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan. Second, our obligation not allowing anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against the United States and its allies. That was the two main points that we discussed with the American side. The remaining two parts, we were to discuss with Afghans." Question: "And really the Americans agreed to the withdrawal without ceasefire?" Suhail Shaheen: "The Americans agreed with withdrawal [without a ceasefire]. And we agreed that during their withdrawal we will not attack them. It was part of that [agreement]. And they will not attack us. And we will not attack them. We will give them a safe passage to withdrawal from Afghanistan. There was no question of worry about that." Question: "Does not it seem a bit strange, at least for the Afghani people, that you agreed to a ceasefire with the Americans, you were prepared and agreed to stop killing the Americans, but you did not agree to something similar to the Afghani people, your fellow citizens? How can you explain that?" Suhail Shaheen: "That is part of intra-Afghan negotiation. As I already mentioned, ceasefire will be, comprehensive ceasefire will be an item to discuss with Afghans to reach an agreement about that. But now with Americans, we talked about the withdrawal of their forces, when they want to withdraw or they are intending to withdraw, why we should we attack them while they are withdrawing? It is rational to provide them safe passage. "But about other Afghans, we are ready to talk with them. If there is ceasefire with them, there will be no attack with them. This is another aspect of the Afghan issue. First we want to end the occupation of Afghanistan and then to talk with Afghans about the formation of the new Islamic government in the country and also about the ceasefire. These [are] two different things." "If The American Wants To Not Attack Us And They Want To Withdraw And They Sign The Agreement, Yes We Will Not Attack Them; We Will Provide Them A Safe Passage" Question: "So, now the Americans stopped the negotiations. President Trump said it's ended... Are you going to resume attacks on American troops in Afghanistan?" Suhail Shaheen: "If the American wants to not attack us and they want to withdraw and they sign the agreement, yes we will not attack them. We will provide them a safe passage, withdrawing from Afghanistan. But if they attack us, they continue their bombardment, ... [there are] night raids, that would continue from our side what has been continuing for the last eighteen years." Question: "I am sure you follow the American press. And there were some suggestions that some Trump aides told them [i.e. the press] that he could actually withdraw without any agreement with you, the Taliban. If the Americans do that, if they start withdrawing without any agreement with you, will you still attack them, or just leave them go. Because, that is what you actually want anyway?"  Suhail Shaheen: "If we sign an agreement with them, then we have an obligation not to attack them and provide them a safe passage. If they withdraw without any peace agreement signing with us, then it is upon our consent [means conscience] or our willing whether to attack them or not to attack them. It is then up to us because there is no agreement. So, we will attack them if we want, if we see it in our interest, our national interest, our Islamic interest. If we see it not in our interest... to attack, we will not attack. That will be up to us...." Question: "So, what is the benefit to you in attacking the Americans while they are withdrawing?" Suhail Shaheen: "Yes, you are right. If they are withdrawing, it is more rational that we give them a safe passage...." Question: "Will it be a different matter if they start withdrawing without an agreement with you but also they stopped attacking you?" Suhail Shaheen: "Yes, if they attack us, we have the right of self-defense. But if they do not attack us and they are withdrawing, it is another story. Then we will do what is rational." Question: "Mr. Sadiq Siddiqui, the spokesman for the Office of the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, said that your honeymoon in Doha was over, that is after the President Trump's decision to stop the negotiations. Do you think he is right that your honeymoon is over and there is no coming back to negotiations again?" Suhail Shaheen: "We already have in Afghanistan, 70 percent of the territory of Afghanistan is with us. They are [limited]... to go to the Kabul airport, which is a few kilometres from the Presidential Palace, they go in helicopter. So, that means that we are also prevalent in the Kabul city. So, whose honeymoon is over? ... It is in Kabul, all the people in the NGOs ... want our permission and we facilitate... NGOs' movement from one province to another – even in the Kabul city. So, you can now imagine whose honeymoon is over, who are the people, the real people of the country and the master of the country." Suhail Shaheen being interviewed by journalist Zein Tawfik "We Were Talking With The American Side; They Also Represented All Foreign Forces, Including The NATO Forces In Afghanistan" Question: "The agreement you just told us about did not mention anything about the Afghani government. They feel they were left out, and they were sold by the Americans, and you refuse still to have any negotiations with the government until the withdrawal of all the foreign forces from Afghanistan. Do you not consider them as Afghani, as worth talking to?" Suhail Shaheen: "First, the document which found way to the media, that agreement is not the real agreement, that is not the original agreement. It was a fake text put by someone, posted on media. This is the first thing. Second is, I said intra-Afghan negotiation is part of the peace agreement. We will talk with all sides of the Afghans and that also includes the Kabul administration. And with that we will discuss the future of Afghanistan." Question: "So, are you planning to have talks with the Afghani government, or you will carry on ignoring any talks with them until the withdrawal of the foreign forces?" Suhail Shaheen: "Of course, first, peace agreement should be signed with the Americans. Then we will enter the intra-Afghan negotiations, that also includes the Kabul administration. They will be part of the negotiations...." Question: "So, the Americans, according to the agreement, will withdraw and that was agreed upon. How about the other forces, other [non-U.S. foreign] troops in Afghanistan? Will they stay behind, or they will withdraw with the Americans?" Suhail Shaheen: "That we were talking with the American side. They also represented all foreign forces, including the NATO forces in Afghanistan. That is part of the peace agreement. That is mentioned in the agreement that American forces, including the NATO forces, will withdraw from Afghanistan...." Question: "So, let's assume that all the forces in Afghanistan are out. And Afghanistan has no single foreign soldier. What is your vision for the future of Afghanistan and the system of government?" Suhail Shaheen: "It will be an independent country, a prosperous country with national unity... and have the power to take its political decision, its economic decision, and all other decisions by themselves. It will not be dictated by anyone, whether super power or zero power...." "One Thing But We Want: The Future Government Be An Islamic Government; And How And What Form, That Will Be Discussed In The Intra-Afghan Negotiation" Question: "So, can you explain a little bit more about this – Are you going to enforce and impose the Islamic rule by force on other Afghanis, or you have changed your doctrine a little about and now you can allow for dialogue and for democracy and elections and things like that?" Suhail Shaheen: "That's part of the intra-Afghan negotiation. We have put up this to intra-Afghan negotiations. One thing but we want: the future government be an Islamic government. And how and what form, that will be discussed in the intra-Afghan negotiation. And the Afghans will decide about, but it should be an Islamic government because for the last forty years Afghan Muslim people and the mujahideen have laid down their lives, sacrificed for establishing an Islamic government." Question: "So, what will you do if you give people a right to vote and right to have a say in their future, and they say, no we don't want Islamic rule, we want civil and secular government? What will you do? Will you enforce Islamic rule by force? Suhail Shaheen: "We enter intra-Afghan negotiations. And that means we will talk with all sides of Afghanistan, all political figures, and other...... influential [leaders], including the current Kabul administration... about the future government of Afghanistan. That means we want to reach a conclusion through talks and negotiations."   [1] Twitter.com/realDonaldTrump, September 7, 2019. [2] Twitter.com/realDonaldTrump, September 7, 2019. [3] AlJazeera.com (Qatar), September 13, 2019

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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September 19, 2019 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 198

No Principles, No Dignity, No Power, No Deterrence

September 19, 2019 | By Yigal Carmon
MEMRI Daily Brief No. 198
People without principles and dignity do not understand that these are sources of tangible power that create deterrence. People who evade projecting those elements of power are doomed to be deterred by those with dignity and principles – however odious and deplorable – such as Iran, Russia, and China down to the level of Turkey. They treat the U.S. with constant verbal contempt and actual provocations, in the knowledge that they can bait the U.S. with impunity. [1] The attacks of 9/14 on Saudi Arabia's oil plants demonstrate this American tragedy. The immediate, tactical targets were Saudi, but they could well have been American CENTCOM targets with a similar level of damage sustained. Out of the best intentions of sparing America wars, America will inevitably face both "war and shame." President Trump asked Senator Lindsey Graham, "How did going into Iraq work out?" One would have expected the man who restored the bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office to consider how did the appeasement policy of Chamberlain work out and what was the cost to the U.S. in lives a few years later. But even the understanding that in a world where America is no longer the guarantor of world order, the American economy will also tank is beyond the qualifications of a great hotelier and real estate mogul. The 9/14 attacks, correctly referred to by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo as "an act of war,"are a harsh humiliating blow dealt to the U.S., signaling an American multilevel failure: Firstly, there was a failure of deterrence. The Iranians took a calculated risk and were proven correct. They view themselves the military regional equals of the U.S. and via their proxies even beyond the region.  American military officials openly betray their fear of Iranian power and retaliatory capability on CENTCOM targets and they thus make Trump's boast that the U.S. is the world's strongest military power, empty posturing In fact it is Iran that is actually deterring the U.S. from any retaliation. Iran relies on its proven ability to act in the local theater while its results have a global ripple effect. Secondly, it was a failure of U.S. intelligence (military, NSA, CIA and others). Apparently, there was no early warning about an operation that must have had dozens of parties engaged in the decision process, the secret planning and the preparations. Since May 2019, MEMRI has issued several strategic warnings about the Iranian threats to carry out such attacks, based on open Iranian sources. Thirdly, the successful Iranian attack represented an American technological failure, as not a single cruise missile or drone was intercepted. Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif ridiculed the U.S., tweeting "Perhaps [the U.S. is] embarrassed that $100s of blns of its arms didn't intercept Yemeni fire". Fourthly, and most disturbingly, it is a case of political failure -- no one in the U.S. administration expected such a bold direct Iranian attack. True, Iran has resorted to proxies to afford it deniability, but now the Iranian leadership has realistically gauged American hesitancy and conflict aversion and believed that Iran could risk making a direct attack, discounting the possibility of strong American retaliation. Considering the global effect of this bold attack, so far, the calculated risk has proven to be a sound bet. Why The Attacks? The attacks of 9/14 have nothing to do with the war in Yemen; it is about the U.S. sanctions. Iran is painfully squeezed and tries to ease the sanctions by applying force – for now only against American allies and U.S. interests. Iran will continue to do so until the sanctions are significantly eased, as long as it assesses that the penalty for these attacks is nil or bearable. This is not rocket science and only requires a basic comprehension and not secret intelligence. What Can Now Be Expected? 1. No deterrent American response against Iran should be expected. Knowing that the U.S. administration will not stand by the Saudis militarily, KSA spokesmen and leaders have refrained from explicitly accusing Iran, and have emulated the UAE leaders, who refrained from pointing a finger at Iran after the attacks on their tankers on June 2019, even when Iranian complicity had been proven. 2. Further Iranian attacks, based on the same Iranian logic, will take place in the future as a result of continued U.S. sanctions, and not due to any reaction by KSA, the U.S., etc. to Iranian attacks. 20/20 Vision   No American can gain from Iran's humbling of America. Any future president will have to address the Iranian threat and restore America's power, deterrence, principles and dignity, albeit at a much higher price.  The powers of evil cannot be tamed by American self-abnegation. This lesson should have been assimilated in the previous century. With all the justified aversion to Saudi Arabia due to the murder of Khashoggi, Saudi crimes pale in comparison to the mega murders committed by the Ayatollah regime in their ongoing unbridled drive for an Islamic dictatorship. The real threat is Iran's quest for regional domination and nuclear weapons. Ideally, presidential contenders should prioritize these long-range considerations; realistically this is not going to happen. * Yigal Carmon is the President and founder of MEMRI   [1] The American loss of dignity was on display in spades when Trump thanked the Iranians for not downing a manned U.S. plane that flew alongside the downed American UAV.  No wonder that the Iranians were further convinced of their moral superiority and the justice of their Islamic Revolution ideology.

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September 19, 2019 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1473

A Common Europe Stretching From Lisbon to Vladivostok No Longer Appeals To Putin; Europe Must First Preserve Its Own Civilization

September 19, 2019 | By Anna Mahjar-Barducci
Russia | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1473
(Source: Kremlin.ru) On August 19, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited French President Emmanuel Macron, in the south of France. At their joint press, Macron channeled Charles de Gaulle: "I am thinking about everything that has happened over the past few decades, what has managed to drive us apart. I know that Russia is a European country in its heart of hearts. And we believe in a Europe that spreads from Lisbon to Vladivostok."[1] However, Macron, was not merely echoing De Gaulle – who first voiced the idea about a Europe stretching "from the Atlantic to the Urals" – he was invoking an old Putin proposal as well. Back in 2011, during his term as Russian prime minister, Putin wrote an article titled "A New Integration Project For Eurasia: The Future In The Making," in which he stated that his pet project, the Eurasian Union, does not entail a "revival of the Soviet Union," because "it would be naïve to try to revive or emulate something that has been consigned to history." Instead, Putin proposed "a powerful supranational association capable of becoming one of the poles in the modern world and serving as an efficient bridge between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific region," Putin specified that the Eurasian Union "will be based on universal integration principles" as an essential part of a "Greater Europe." Putin explained that, in line with the idea of a Eurasian Union, Russia proposes "setting up a harmonized community of economies stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok."[2] Probably, Macron read Putin's 2011 article. However, if he expected an enthusiastic reaction from his guest, he was dissappointed. Commenting on Macron's statement, Putin said: "Regarding the prospects for creating a common Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok… I believe that, if we think about this today, and if we set such goals, which are very important for Europe, in the strategic long-term context (if it wants to preserve itself as the center of civilization), and also for Russia, and if we work on this together, then, sooner or later, we will come close to achieving this. It is important to choose a way in one form or another (it does not matter how) and to move slowly in the right direction, in line with the present-day conditions…"[3] Identity First In his answer to Macron, Putin specified the circumstances under which this vision can be realized: Moscow is ready to create a Common Europe provided that Europe preserve itself as the center of civilization. In other terms, while the US became known as the promoter of democracy around the world, official Russia arrogates to itself the role of European identity's preserver. For official Russia, democracy is not a value per se, identity is the real value worth fighting for. The former Kremlin advisor Sergey Karaganov believes that authoritarian regimes command "an advantage over modern democracies," since they are better at consolidating resources and promoting a consistent long-term policy.[4] The anti-liberal Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, interviewed by the Economist (September 22, 2017), underscored the importance of identity in Russian society and the difference between Russian and European identity today. Dugin said: "First of all, in order to understand what the difference is between Russian and European identity, we need to understand what European identity is, because it is not so easy to understand. There are two reasons for that. First of all, now, European identity consists, as far as I understand, of ultimate destruction. So the concept of identity is judged by the liberal or progressive agenda as something which we should overcome. "Liberal European identity consists of denying any identity, as some kind of transgression. To be European today means not to be European, but to be on the side of immigrants, Muslims, and everybody except Europeans. When or if you affirm yourself as an English man rooted in English culture or a Frenchman, 'Français de souche', it is almost or it sounds like you are not only a conservative, but a Nazi. You are something completely labeled as extremist, marginal. Today, European identity is negation, denial of any kind of identity. This was obviously not always so, but that is the liberal agenda.' Dugin then added: "Precisely the difference with Russian identity is that we deny this denial. With Russian identity, we have no shame in being Russian. We have no guilt for being Russian. We have no remorse for being Russian. That is the difference, because, precisely to be German, that is to be ashamed of what Germany did. To be British today is to have remorse for everything the British Empire did in the past. To be American is to be ashamed of the Southern part of history, of the slave trade. "We have no remorse, so we are judged immediately for having an identity - that is a crime compared to the liberal agenda. That was not always the case. Before, the West blamed the East or Catholics blamed the Orthodox for different reasons. The same geopolitical tensions existed before, but were formulated in other terms. Today it is clear that we defend our identity as something that has value."[5] Russia therefore considers that Europe is losing its own Western and European identity and questions where Europe's traditional values and identity are going. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained few days after Putin's statement: "Russia's future as part of Europe largely depends on Europe's willingness to preserve the civilizational identity of this area."[6] 'The Liberal Idea Outlived Its Purpose' In order to understand Putin's words addressed to Macron, and the idea behind them, it is important to read the Russian President's interview with the Financial Times (June 27, 2019), in which he describes post-modernism and liberalism as today's Europe's identity malaise. In the interview, Putin explained that "the liberal idea" had "outlived its purpose" as the immigration, open borders and multiculturalism policies failed and risk to destroy the Western identity. Putin: "What is happening in the West? … What is happening in Europe as well? … Of course, we must always bear this in mind. One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future. "There is also the so-called liberal idea, which has outlived its purpose. Our Western partners have admitted that some elements of the liberal idea, such as multiculturalism, are no longer tenable. "When the migration problem came to a head, many people admitted that the policy of multiculturalism is not effective and that the interests of the core population should be considered. Even though, those who have run into difficulties because of political problems in their home countries need our assistance as well. That is great, but what about the interests of their own population when the number of migrants heading to Western Europe is not just a handful of people but thousands or hundreds of thousands?" Putin also argued that "liberal idea", permeating the West, became "obsolete": "In other words, the situation is not simple in Russia either, but we have started working to improve it. Whereas the liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these? Every crime must have its punishment. "So, the liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population. Or take the traditional values. I am not trying to insult anyone, because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia as it is. But we have no problems with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish. But some things do appear excessive to us."[7] 'Representatives Of The So-Called Liberal Idea Are Simply Forcing Their Ideas On Others' A few days later, commenting on his interview with the Financial Times, Putin further elaborated on his ideas: "There are other issues related to that liberal idea. This idea is multifaceted, and I do not question its attractiveness on the whole, but look at the migrations I have just mentioned. You see, how can one imagine that in some European countries parents are told that 'Girls should not wear skirts to school for safety reasons.' What is that? Listen, people are living in their own country in their own culture. What is that? How did it get so far? This is what I was talking about. "It has gotten too far, in my view, that this, liberal idea starts destroying itself. Millions of people live their own lives whereas those who promote those ideas, they seem to be living in their own paradigm. This is what I was saying…" Putin also tackled the topics of gender identity and of the LGBTQ community: "We have a law that everybody has been kicking us for – a law prohibiting homosexual propaganda among minors. But listen, let a person grow up, become an adult and then to decide who he or she is. Leave children in peace. There are so many inventions nowadays. I also said in that interview that they invented five or six genders, transformers, trans… "You see, I do not even understand what it is. This is not the problem. The problem is that this part of society is aggressively imposing their view on the majority… Meanwhile, representatives of the so-called liberal idea are simply forcing their ideas on others. They dictate the need for the so-called sex education. Parents are against it, and they are practically imprisoned for that…"[8] Post-Modernism Vs. Neo-Modernism The Western "liquid" society, as described by the philosopher Zigmund Bauman, is perceived by Russia as the postmodern ultra-liberal dissolution of traditional values and identity. The director-general of the Russian think-tank RIAC, Andrey Kortunov, described post-modernism in the West as characterized by four pillars: Agnosticism (i.e. legal relativism and moral relativism). Pragmatism (i.e. foreign policy viewed as a purely technical mechanism for servicing immediate economic interests). Eclecticism (i.e. double standards and political correctness in foreign policy narratives). Anarcho-democracy (i.e. a "geopolitical deconstruction," in which rigid structures are replaced with flexible tactical alliances, where every member can determine the format and degree of its involvement without making any firm or long-term commitments). In contrast, Russia supports a different vision, which Kortunov describes as neo-modernism, characterized by the following four tenets that are antagonistic to post-modernist principles: Nationalism (as opposed to post-modernists tearing down walls along the "friend or foe" line) Transactionalism (i.e. joint work with partners and opponents on the international stage to establish business relations where each negotiating party bargains for the best possible terms. Notions like "common values," "interests of humanity" or "world public opinion" are not key priorities. Transactionalism disparages the double-speak, and the political correctness of the post-modern era). Holism (i.e. when economic considerations are deprived of their determining role in foreign policy, and considerations of national security, ethno-cultural identity and state sovereignty achieve equal importance). Historicism (contrary to post-modern leaders, who draw their inspiration "from fantasies about the global future of mankind", neo-modernists are guided by political beacons rooted in their national past).[9] Europe, Not Russia, Needs To Remain Part Of The European World In his Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly in 2013, Putin further explained his antagonism to post-modernism. Putin said: "Today, many nations are revising their moral values and ethical norms, eroding ethnic traditions and differences between peoples and cultures. Society is now required not only to recognize everyone’s right to freedom of consciousness, political views and privacy, but also to accept without question the equality of good and evil, strange as it seems, concepts that are opposite in meaning. This destruction of traditional values from above not only leads to negative consequences for society, but is also essentially anti-democratic, since it is carried out on the basis of abstract, speculative ideas, contrary to the will of the majority, which does not accept the changes occurring or the proposed revision of values. "We know that there are more and more people in the world who support our position on defending traditional values that have made up the spiritual and moral foundation of civilization in every nation for thousands of years… "Of course, this is a conservative position. But speaking in the words of [Russian philosopher] Nikolai Berdyaev, the point of conservatism is not that it prevents movement forward and upward, but that it prevents movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state."[10] In his comment to Macron, Putin once again criticized the post-modernist policies, implying that Europe's agnosticism (i.e. moral relativism and consequently a loss of traditional values) and lack of national sovereignty policies won't preserve Europe's role as the "center of civilization." Moreover, Putin clearly stated that official Russia is not interested in a common Europe, if the latter will keep on pursuing policies that he considers damaging to the European traditions and identity. Quite ironically, during the meeting in France, Macron recalled and quoted lines from "The Raw Youth" by Russian philosopher and novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky: "A Russian becomes most Russian when he is most European." Macron was essentially arguing that it is necessary for Russians to become part of the European world.[11] Putin's riposte was that it is not Russia, but Europe that needs to remain part of the European world. *Anna Mahjar Barducci is Project Director of the Russian Media Studies Project.     [1] Kremlin.ru, August 19, 2019. [2] Izvestia, October 3, 2011; See also MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1239, Understanding Russian Political Ideology And Vision: A Call For Eurasia, From Lisbon To Vladivostok, March 23, 2016. [3] Kremlin.ru, August 19, 2019. [4] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7730, Former Kremlin Advisor Karaganov: Our People Are Anti-Western; Authoritarianism Is Not Imposed On Us From Above, History Shaped Our Genetic Code, October 25, 2018. [5] Geopolitica.ru, November 22, 2017. [6] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8263, Russia This Week – Focus On Bilateral Relations – September 6, 2019, September 6, 2019. [7] Kremlin.ru, June 27, 2019. [8] Kremlin.ru, June 29, 2019. [9] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6846, From Western Post-Modernism To Russia's Neo-Modernism – Director General Of Government-Funded Think Tank, Kortunov: 'International Relations Today Are Entering A Neo-Modern Period', March 28, 2017. [10] Kremlin.ru, December 12, 2013. [11] Kremlin.ru, August 19, 2019.

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