Archive for July, 2008

Artsakh: An Example to Emulate

July 31, 2008

Of all the wars sparked by the fall of the USSR, the Artsakh Liberation War is, without a doubt, THE war that absolutely HAD to be fought. Rarely in history have Good Guys and Bad Guys been so clearly identifiable, the cause so just, the odds so impossible, the heroism so undeniable and the victory so amazing. In fact, not only was Artsakh’s self-liberation the one undeniable post-Soviet Good War, it was also the war that put an end to the Soviet Union in the first place. Above and beyond these things, the story of Artsakh’s liberation puts paid to all bleating about the impossibility of liberating Medinat Yehudah and the supposed unviability of such an entity. From this story we can draw valuable lessons regarding strategy and tactics. Those who lack emuna can gain two more things from this story – the realization that Yesha’s position is neither unique nor unalterable and the realization that brains, bravery, skill and will count for more than mere numbers of barbarians in green headbands. Those of us who trust in Hashem know that if we plan well, struggle with all our might and pray hard, in that order, we will win. Those whose emuna is weak need examples. Therefore, let us provide examples.

Artsakh is a mountainous region to the East of what today is the Republic of Armenia. The Russians call it Nagorno-Karabakh. For centuries, this area has been the heart of Armenian resistance to foreign invasion. It is the only part of historical Karabakh that is still populated by Armenians. Most of the rest is occupied by a gigantic squatter camp called “Azerbajan”. This squatter camp’s artificial identity was largely invented by the Soviets in the 1930s as part of Stalin’s divide-and-conquer strategy for controlling the unruly Armenians. The population consists of descendants of various Moslem invaders, mostly of Turkic origin. Most of the Armenian population of what was turned into Azerbaijan was murdered by the Turks in 1918-1920. The rest were murdered and/or expelled in 1988-1989.

There are about 8 million Azeri squatters and, as is often the case with Moslems, they sit on a large lake of oil. The population of Artsakh is about 130,000. Nonetheless, try hard as they could, the Azeri squatters could not conquer Artsakh.

After the Soviet conquest of Armenia in 1920-1921, Artsakh was placed under the control of the Azerbaijan SSR. However, the Soviet authorities quickly found this situation to be untenable. As long as the region was ruled from Baku, the discrimination against the Armenians was too overt. This bred incessant rebellion. In order to pacify the region, Stalin isolated the core of Artsakh into an Autonomous Region within the Azerbaijan SSR, effectively ruling it via viceroys sent from Moscow. Extensive territories were cut off, handed to Azerbaijan proper and settled by Azeri squatters. This separated Artsakh from the Armenian SSR. Despite recurring efforts on the part of Artsakh’s Armenians to reunite with the Armenian SSR, this is where things remained until the late 1980s. The Soviet system’s suppression of religion and ethnic identity kept things down to a dull roar. The remote and mountainous nature of the region greatly helped. Nonetheless, the systematic policies of the Soviet government succeeded in reducing the Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region from 100% of the population to roughly 66%.

With the impending fall of the USSR, ethnic and cultural identities began to revive. Masses disappointed with the false promises of Soviet communism began to look for new things to believe, triggering the most large-scale search for identity in the history of mankind. In virtually all cases the search for identity on both individual and group level led to the traditions of one’s ancestors. Russians flocked to Orthodox churches. Residents of the Don region began to proudly call themselves Cossack. Lithuanians refused to speak Russian or use the Cyrillic alphabet. In this resurgence, the artificial identity of the Azeris began to take on more and more Islamic overtones. They were reverting to type as genocidal, jihadist Shia fanatics. The Armenians of the region watched these developments with growing alarm. Determined not to fall victim to yet another Genocide, the Armenians began to covertly arm themselves.

In 1987, the people of Artsakh openly demanded reunification with Armenia. Strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the region. The situation continued to escalate. Unrest in both Armenia and Azerbaijan began to drive a population exchange. In February of 1988, the Azeris launched a series of large-scale pogroms against Armenians throughout the Azerbaijan SSR. In response, the people of Artsakh took up arms in a guerilla war of national liberation, expelling and killing Azeri squatters wherever they could find them. Corruption within the Soviet military and covert aid from the Armenian Diaspora permitted the irregular forces of Arsakh, called “Fedayi”, to rapidly improve their combat power by acquiring arms via direct purchase, smuggling and raiding.

Observers during this early stage of the war noted the presence of foreign-born volunteers and quantities of dollars in the hands of the Armenians in Artsakh. Both came from Armenians in the West. The volunteers, though not very numerous, brought a wealth of expertise and suitcases full of cash. The hard currency was especially welcome, since it went a lot farther than the worthless Soviet ruble when it came to buying weapons and equipment. Men like Karo Kahkejian served as a core around which the disparate bands of Fedayi could rally to form large-scale military units. The most valuable foreign volunteer was Monte “Avo” Melkonian, a colorful character who had managed to participate in the Iranian Revolution, serve with the Peshmerga, fight in the Lebanese Civil War and serve a lengthy prison term in France for assassinating several Turkish diplomats on behalf of ASALA. Monte Melkonian would become Armenia’s Mickey Marcus.

As the Fedayi gained strength, the war intensified. Open large-scale fighting broke out in 1990. Despite massive punitive actions by Soviet Ministry of Interior troops and Azeri police, the Fedayi would not surrender. In 1991, Soviet authority in the Caucasus simply collapsed under the pressure of ethnic conflicts, first among them being the ongoing war in Artsakh. Soviet soldiers simply refused to fight. Soviet officers openly sold arms and supplies to the highest bidder. Ethnically non-Russian soldiers left their units to join their people’s national military organizations. While Soviet Army and Interior Ministry units in the region still existed on paper, in practice they ceased to exist almost overnight.

In the autumn and early winter of 1991, the people of Artsakh voted for independence in a national referendum. The North Karabakh Republic was proclaimed in January 1992.

At its birth, the Artsakh Republic faced long odds. In the Soviet conception of WW III, the Soviet forces in the Caucasus would stand on the defensive while the Soviet Group of Forces in Germany rolled through the Fulda Gap and drove toward the English Channel. Armenia would be the battlefield where Soviet troops faced any potential NATO advance from Turkey, while Azerbaijan would be the giant rear area supply dump and staging ground for counterattack at Army Group level. As result, the vast majority of military equipment and supplies in the region was to be found in Azerbaijan. For example, only 500 railroad cars’ worth of ammunition could be found in all of Armenia while Azerbaijan’s warehouses were filled to bursting with 10,000 railroad cars’ worth of ammunition. Virtually all rail links to Armenia ran through Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan had cut these links in 1989. Armenia and Artsakh faced near starvation. Azerbaijan controlled the primary road link between Armenia and Artsakh, which runs through the Latchin corridor. Artsakh was cut off, surrounded, outnumbered and massively outgunned.

By way of military forces, Artsakh possessed roughly 20,000 Fedayi armed mostly with small arms. Opposing these disparate and often ill-disciplined bands was an Azeri army of over 45,000, armed with hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles and bolstered by a flood of new equipment bought with oil money. As the war progressed, the Azeri government would supplement its regular army by hiring hordes of mercenaries. Foremost among the mercenaries in savagery and combat effectiveness would be the Chechen bands led by Shamil Basayev. This war would complete Basayev’s transformation from common bandit to ruthless mercenary to jihadist superstar.

However, the warriors of Artsakh had four things the Azeris lacked. These things were skill, will, balls and brains. Simply put, while most everyone on both sides had served in the Soviet Army, the average Armenian was likely to have toted a rifle, driven a tank or cocked a cannon during his service. If you found a non-Slavic soldier in the Soviet combat arms, odds are he would be Armenian or Georgian. On the other hand, the average Azeri went looking for the easiest posting he could find. This and his abysmal level of education and motivation would generally find him shoveling dirt in a construction battalion, peeling potatoes in a field kitchen or, if he was “technically inclined”, driving a truck in a transportation company. In other words, 20,000 poorly armed Armenian soldiers were facing 45,000 well-armed Azeri REMFs. Also, the Azeris, like most Moslems, could not organize an orgy in a whorehouse. Their rulers spent as much time fighting among themselves as they did directing the war. The infighting produced contradictory orders, misdirected supplies and confused objectives.

The other thing in Artsakh’s favor was the dawning realization in newly-independent Armenia that the Azeris were not going to stop. If Artsakh fell, the Azeris would keep rolling right into Armenia, joining hands with their brethren in Azeri-occupied Nakhchevan before turning north toward Yerevan. The end result of any Azeri victory would be the extermination of the Armenians. The Armenian Republic urgently needed a buffer state. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic could be that state. The moment this realization dawned on Armenia’s ruling elite, Armenia began to supply Artsakh with arms, equipment, funds and volunteers. With the collapse of Soviet power, it became easier to move funds into Armenia. Money began to pouring in from the Armenian Diaspora. This compensated somewhat for the Azeris’ oil wealth.

Finally, there was the mountainous terrain of Artsakh. For all the superiority of the Azeris in quantity and quality of equipment, almost all of it would be road-bound. When it came to climbing steep hills to face Armenian infantrymen at bayonet point, the Azeris suddenly found their courage deserting them. What this meant was that, though Azeris would win clashes and occupy numerous towns and villages, they would never really control the ground. Fedayi would continuously disrupt their supply lines and launch major offensives by infiltrating around Azeri positions. The Azeris also discovered many of the unpleasant realities of mountain warfare, such as that mortars dug in on a reverse slope can drop rounds all day onto attacking troops on the forward slope, while the attacker’s heavy artillery, with its flatter trajectory, will continually overshoot the defenders and fall far behind them or undershoot and fall among the attackers. For all their initial bluster and on-paper superiority, the Azeris had no idea what they were doing and, above all were not willing to die for Artsakh. The Armenians DID know what they were doing and WERE willing to die for Artsakh. The difference showed from day one.

This is not to say that the war was a cakewalk for Artsakh. Numbers are numbers and heavy equipment is plenty dangerous, even if operated by incompetents. Azerbaijan’s oil money bought competent Russian mercenaries and psychotic Chechens who lacked nothing in infantry skills. The front swung back and forth several times. At times, Artsakh seemed on the verge of annihilation, but the tenacity of its people would always win through in the end. Armenia’s regular army ultimately abandoned all pretenses and liberated the Latchin corridor. With the opening of a major road link between Artsakh and Armenia, the Armenians of Artsakh were able to secure heavy equipment of their own.

As the fighting dragged on, Azerbaijan’s casualties became so severe that 16-year-old boys were conscripted. By the spring of 1994, Azerbaijan’s military had nearly ceased to exist due to casualties, desertion and collapsing morale. Armenian forces had an open road toward Baku. But, logistically and politically, they could not take it. Supplies were running out, thousands were dead, the men were exhausted and Turkey and Iran were openly threatening to intervene.

The final cease-fire was signed on 16 May 1994. After six years of war, Artsakh was free. Not only did the brave warriors of Artsakh keep all the territory they had started with, but they had nearly doubled their country’s size. The war had turned nearly two million Azeri squatters into refugees.

The Artsakh Republic.  Solid lines show original boundary with Azerbaijan.  Additional liberated areas are shown in brown
The Artsakh Republic. Solid lines show original boundary with Azerbaijan. Additional liberated areas are shown in brown

Today, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is not officially recognized by any government, not even Armenia. Nonetheless, Artsakh is perfectly fine. Armenia recognizes the value of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a buffer state. For example, because Artsakh is not a signatory to the CFE treaty, Armenia can arm Artsakh while pretending to abide by the constraints of the CFE. Azerbaijan, though signatory to the treaty, openly flaunts its limitations. Needless to say, Armenian diplomats never fail to point out Azeri violations of the CFE. The border between the two countries is open to trade. Armenian troops are stationed in Artsakh as part of a basing agreement. Artsakh’s military, benefitting from Armenian aid and the help of the Armenian Diaspora, is a powerful complement to Armenia’s own.

Azerbaijan is flush with oil money and awash in jihadist propaganda. Shia mosques staffed by Iranian-trained imams are on every corner. Hezbollah operates almost openly. Azerbaijan has formed alliances with Turkey and Iran. It is importing ultra-modern military hardware as fast as it can, far faster than either Armenia or cash-strapped Artsakh. To our great shame, the moronic Israeli regime is among Azerbaijan’s military suppliers, facilitating the cause of global jihad and arming an Iranian ally solely because certain members of Israel’s ruling elite stand to line their pockets with wads of Azeri cash. Another war is coming. But then again, when your neighbors are Moslem, war is always coming. Perhaps next time the Armenians can expel another 2 million squatters and double their territory yet again.

So, what do we learn from the story of Artsakh?

First lesson: Don’t knock the Diaspora. There are 8 million Armenians outside Armenia. Two thirds of Armenians live in the Armenian Diaspora. When Azerbaijan imposed a blockade, it was these Armenians who kept their country going by sending money and volunteers. The people of Artsakh fought non-stop for 6 years. Granted, some funds were obtained by smuggling and some business activity continued. Monte Melkonian even imposed a tax on wine smugglers, payable in fuel and ammunition. But the vast majority of funds to buy food, fuel, weapons, ammunition, uniforms and everything else Artsakh needed came from Armenians in America and Europe willing to open their wallets for their brothers in need. Without them, Artsakh would not have survived.

Few Armenians living in America dropped everything the way Karo Kahkejian did and came all the way from Fresno to fight and die for their people. But those few were worth their weight in gold. Karo Kahkejian brought a core of fighting men and enough cash to raise and equip an entire infantry battalion, the famous “Crusaders”. Monte Melkonian was worth an infantry battalion all by himself. But most only gave their money.

The Armenians of Artsakh did not call their brothers in America a bunch of names because these failed to come to Artsakh, nor did they hold them in contempt for it. They did not call futilely for an impossible mass influx of Armenians from the West. They did not expect millions to instantly abandon their lives and families and come to their ancient homeland. Instead, they thanked their brothers for opening their wallets, put the money to good use and then asked for more. The Armenian Diaspora gave them more, and more and more and more. The Diaspora’s dollars paid for Artsakh’s victory.

When the battle for Medinat Yehudah is joined, few American Jews will drop everything to come fight for their country. The author will come. Some of those who read this blog will come. But most will not. This is human nature. Nonetheless our Diaspora, ten million strong and wealthier than any other Diaspora in the world, will certainly open its wallets to help Medinat Yehudah in her hour of need. The same black-hatted Boro Park bochurim who refuse to come and fight will give the shirts off their backs and will go door to door day and night with tzedakkah boxes in order to buy the fighting men of Medinat Yehudah everything they need to continue the struggle. Money buys the sinews of war. Without money, Medinat Yehudah will die as surely as without fighting men. Those who hold the fundraisers in contempt only show their ignorance and stupidity.

When the American volunteers come, they will come with loads of equipment and suitcases full of money. Most of them will have no military experience whatsoever. But they will have a will to fight and die. And among them will be men with surprising experience and unshakeable will. The Diaspora’s volunteers will provide a contribution far out of proportion to their numbers.

Second lesson: Take help from any quarter you can. In Armenia’s bleakest hour, when Azeri troops were rampaging through Shushi and Azeri cannon in Nakhchevan rained indiscriminate death upon all in range, when the economy collapsed and defeat followed defeat, Russia extended help in the form of equipment and supplies. Yes, the Russians had an ulterior motive. Yes, they wanted, and still want, their empire back. Yes, they wanted to use Armenia as a proxy against the Islamic threat emanating from Iran and as a proxy against the meddling influence of the West in Russia’s Near Abroad. But all of this was beside the point. Armenia needed tanks and rifles and helicopters and ammunition and fuel. It did not matter why these were provided. When Russian volunteers came to fight in Artsakh, the Armenians did not look at them askance. They simply took help from wherever it came. Yes, they watched the Russians closely. Yes, they were weary of their motives. But they did not reject what was given to them.

When the battle for Medinat Yehudah is joined, when Arab cannon rain torrents of shells on Shilo and Ariel, when the men and women of Medinat Yehudah fight desperately block by block to hold Ma’aleh Adumim, when defeat follows defeat and all seems lost, Evangelical Christians will offer funds, equipment and volunteers. Hundreds if not thousands of Americans with funny accents and Christian bibles in their backpacks are likely to come and fight for our country. Yes, they will have ulterior motives. Yes, some of them will try to convert Jews. Yes, they want us all to become Christian and they always will. Yes, tomorrow they may turn against us. But this is no reason to reject their help today. Hashem has caused them to support us for a reason. Like all things in the world, they are His tool. We would be both stupid and ungrateful to Hashem if we were to reject our Evangelical allies. We would also be stupid to forget the world of difference between “ally” and “friend” and doubly stupid if we fail to guard against missionary activity, for example by placing the Christians into separate units.

Third lesson: Snowballs grow when they roll downhill. When the people of Artsakh saw the incredible odds against them, they did not whine about the need for miracles, nor did they beg for the army of the Armenian Republic to come save them. They did not wait for foreign volunteers or for Armenians from Armenia proper to join them. They simply took up arms and did what had to be done. Their tenacious resistance proved the viability of their newborn state. Armenia saw their value as a buffer state and helped them. Others joined them because they saw that victory was possible. Soon, the whole thing snowballed toward victory.

When Medinat Yehudah demands independence, at first there will be no help from any quarter. But as the Jews fight on, a funny thing will happen. Israeli youth will come and join the Jews of Yesha. Volunteers and money will come from abroad. Certain circles within the Israeli elite will realize the value of a Jewish buffer state and will extend help. The snowball will grow. Ultimately, with the help of Hashem, the snowball will become an avalanche and there will be victory.

And the fourth and final lesson of Artsakh is simply this: If you will it, it is no dream. Artsakh is free. Artsakh has been free for 16 years. Medinat Yehudah can be free also, if we but plan well, fight hard and trust in Hashem.

Abkhazia: A Cautionary Tale

July 27, 2008

Of all the awful wars sparked by the disintegration of the Soviet Union, none was as horrible and completely unnecessary as the Abkhaz War of Independence.

Abkhazia is a tiny country on the Black Sea, squeezed in between Russia and Georgia. The modern population is about 200,000. Before the war, when the population was about 500,000 and the cities were still standing, it was a great place to go on vacation. The fruit was cheap, the sun was warm, the mountains were beautiful and the people were reasonably friendly. The food, as everywhere else in the Caucasus, was great.

Historically, the Abkhaz have generally been independent (or semi-independent) from Georgia. They have their own language and a distinct ethnic identity but, when you boiled things down, before the war there was less difference between the Abkhaz and the Georgians than there is between the residents of Salt Lake City and the residents of San Francisco. Georgians formed about 45% of the population of Abkhazia. Intermarriage was fairly common. There was some resentment on both sides, but most of it amounted to pride in illustrious ancestors. The Abkhaz were proud of Medieval princelings who gave the finger to Georgian kings, while the Georgians were proud of Medieval kings who kicked Abkhazian butt. Everyone mostly agreed that getting taken over by the Russian tzars in the end kind of sucked, but it was better than having the Ottomans march in. All things considered, things were no worse than what obtains between the Scots and the English today.

Between the large Russian, Armenian and Greek populations, the Abkhaz were a minority in their own homeland. This did not particularly discomfit them while everyone remained equally stuck under the Soviet jackboot. Misery, after all, loves company.

All of this began to change in the late 1980s. As the Soviet Union began to openly disintegrate in 1988-89, the Georgians began making loud secessionist noises. There was a revival of Georgian culture, language and national pride. The problem was, the Georgians refused to give their Abkhaz neighbors the consideration they demanded for themselves. The Georgians outnumbered the Abkhaz almost two to one. As the largest component of the population, they felt, and behaved, as the majority. Before long, Georgian nationalists began imposing the Georgian language and discriminating against non-Georgians.

The Georgian cultural revival sparked an Abkhaz cultural revival. It was becoming apparent to all that the USSR would not last much longer and that the individual republics and autonomous regions would end up as independent states. The Abkhaz issued a declaration demanding autonomous status within the USSR. The situation was escalating, but there was still time to avert catastrophe. All the Georgians had to do was offer the Abkhaz broad autonomy within Georgia, in line with Abkhazia’s historical status as an autonomous principality within the Georgian kingdom. Had they done so, Abkhazia would have become Georgia’s cosmopolitan Riviera and all the horror of subsequent years would have been avoided.

Instead, the Georgian nationalists rejected the idea of Abkhazian autonomy, declared Abkhazia to be part of Georgia and, in defiance of all historical fact and ethnic reality, made the preposterous claim that the Abkhaz were foreigners expected to assimilate into the Georgian masses or leave, same as the Russians and the Armenians. After all, what could a mere 17% of the population do against the Georgian “majority” of 45%, backed as it was by the four-million-strong population of Georgia proper? In the conception of Georgia’s nationalists, the Russians could go back to Russia, the Armenians could go back to Armenia and the Abkhaz did not exist.

Needless to say, the Abkhaz did not share this sentiment. Not surprisingly, the Armenians and Russians who lived in Abkhazia and had done so for generations, did not particularly want to go anywhere, either. And, as it happens, the Georgian nationalists’ high-handed policies and bombastic rhetoric about a Greater Georgia were seriously discomfiting other peoples in the Georgian SSR, foremost among these being the traditionally warlike Ossetin. There was also the question of who would actually rule an independent Georgia. When the chips were finally down, it would not necessarily be the case that the Georgians would be free to concentrate solely on Abkhazia. The Abkhaz made alliances with their neighbors, proffering the idea of a cosmopolitan Abkhaz state instead of the Greater Georgia that seemed to be in the offing.

And then things got worse. What started with fistfights between rowdy college students, escalated into rapes, sporadic murders and finally pogroms on both sides. The Soviet Union fell. The Abkhaz, Georgians, Russians and Armenians all formed irregular armed units. The Georgian regular army invaded. In order to fill out the ranks, Georgia’s new government offered pardons to all jailed criminals willing to volunteer to fight in Abkhazia. They got a glut of eager recruits, especially from those sentenced to long terms in maximum security prisons. These men were issued rifles and uniforms, formed into units and sent to Abkhazia straight from prison. You can imagine the results.

By this point, all pretense of civilization had gone out the window. The Abkhaz procured the services of lunatic Chechen mercenaries led by none other than Shamil Basayev. The Russians called in equally lunatic Cossacks. The Armenians could not call in lunatics from outside the country. The Artsakh Liberation War was starting in earnest. But they had plenty of home-grown lunatics already. So, for that matter did everyone else. Before long, treachery and psychotic atrocity ruled the day, cease fires were made to be broken and Abkhaz, Cossack and Chechen troops were kicking severed Georgian heads around the football fields of Gagra and shooting down civilian airliners, while Georgians massacred non-Georgians wherever they could find them and shot down Russian Army transport helicopters full of refugee women and kids. Then units of the Russian regular army intervened openly on the side of the Abkhaz.

Atrocity piled upon atrocity, the region was completely devastated and 300,000 people were killed or turned into refugees. As a cherry on the cake, shortly after the Georgians were kicked out, the Armenians, Abkhaz and Russians turned briefly on each other in an orgy of mutual slaughter. Luckily, the Russian government in Moscow had finally had enough and acted to impose order by slamming down an economic blockade and sending in thousands of “peacekeepers”.

Now, you might ask, why is all this important? This blog is supposed to be about the liberation of occupied Medinat Yehudah. Why does it matter which group of goyim slaughters which other group of goyim in some faraway place? The answer is, Abkhazia is an example of what happens when escalation gets out of control. All the Abkhaz wanted originally was broad autonomy. The Georgians have since offered them everything they once asked for. But it’s too late. Despite the bleating of idiotic OSCE officials, it will take centuries for the hatred to die down. After mutual genocide attempts, you can’t go back to square one.

This is where Judah and Israel can end up, unless the struggle for partition is carefully managed. Except that in this case there is no Russia to intervene. Instead, there will be a Second Holocaust. This is why it is important to carefully study the doctrine of guerilla warfare, carefully manage escalation and always seek to de-escalate on advantageous terms. Ultimately, the Jews need an independent Jewish State. But let’s get this straight: the Jews should take broad autonomy instead, as long as it’s on reasonable terms. And let’s get another thing straight, too. The Jews are in it for Jewish rights, not because the Jews hate the Israeli chilonim or want them dead. Killing chilonim may become necessary, as may all kinds of otherwise atrocious behavior. But it should be kept to a minimum and the Jews should always remember that violence against non-Moslems is an unfortunate part of doing business, not an end unto itself.

On Propaganda

July 25, 2008

As a supplement to Self-Liberation 101, let’s review and contrast some propaganda.  First of all, note that there is essentially NO propaganda being directed at the Jews of the Holy Land by any Jewish group committed to the defense of Eretz Yisrael from Moslem aggression and Israeli conspiracy.  We know this because we know the characteristics of a successful propaganda campaign.

Consider, for example, the following news article

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080724/ap_on_re_as/taliban_media_2

This article highlights the tremendously successful Taliban propaganda campaign.  Note the nature of the campaign:

1) It is multifaceted.  All available media, from ringtones and DVDs to tribal singers are being used to spread the message.

2) It uses simple messages anchored in popular values

3) It is incessant.  The same messages are being used over and over again

4) Enemy propagandists are eliminated

5) The insurgents take credits for successes, but never for failures.  Attacks that kill primarily Western occupation forces and puppet government troops are claimed by the Taliban.  Attacks that kill large numbers of Afghanis are not claimed by the Taliban.

Note especially the use of music.  Islam categorically prohibits most music and song (in fact, this is one of the proofs of the Satanic nature of Islam).  When they were in power, the Taliban spent a great deal of effort on eradicating music from Afghanistan.  Nonetheless, human nature is such that song and music mobilize better than speech and the written word.  The reason is that music bypasses the intellect and appeals directly to emotion.  The best form of propaganda in the modern world is a music video.  This is especially true when appealing to youth.  Youth are not readily swayed by intellectual debate and explanation, but they follow music eagerly and ape their favorite musician in all things.  Therefore, despite their utter opposition to music in all forms, the Taliban are using music.  This is a key aspect of a successful guerilla movement — ideology is nice, but victory is more important.  Any and all means are used to achieve victory, no matter how abhorrent they may be or how much they conflict with the guerillas’ ideology.  The only restriction on means is that the means must not publically embarrass the insurgency.  Islamic insurgents run whorehouses, for example, but they never do this openly.

While Israeli youth listen to leftist trash that emphasizes confusion and division, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIbjpev6U5s

The Moslem enemy fills their heads with well-crafted antisemitic propaganda, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIo6lyP9tTE

Note that both these videos are shown on Israeli TV.  They reach millions of young viewers.  Forget everything else.  Turn off the sound and watch the video.  Whose cause is portrayed as legitimate?  Who has a coherent message?  Who is shown as united?  While you are at it, note the portrayal of the Jews of Yesha in the Israeli video.  Is it a positive portrayal?  Now, turn the sound back on.  Note that both songs are in HEBREW.  Imagine yourself as a confused Israeli kid of 13, without an iota of Jewish education, raised by the TV and Yuli Tamir’s schools.  Whose cause will you grow up to support?  In your heart of hearts, will you believe that Israel even has a right ot exist?

In the meantime, while Israeli youth grow up to hate themselves and their country, the youth of the “Palestinains” listen to well-crafted, unifying propaganda, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SShRR7sInsc&feature=related

This particular video has been re-geared for the West.  Thus the introduction by Ramsey Clark.  Forget the introduction.  Go straight to the video itself.  Imagine yourself as an Arab youth.  Would it not make your blood boil?  Would it not inspire you to fight?

While the Arabs direct a message of “legitimate grievance” at the Israelis, they direct the message of “kill the Jews, kill them all” at their own people.

Where are the Jewish equivalents of these messages?  Where is the Jewish message directed at Israelis, portraying the legitimate grievance of the Jews of Yesha?  Where is the internal message mobilizing the youth of Yesha to struggle for national liberation or even to engage in self-defense?  These messages do not exist.

While we are on the subject of propaganda, let’s look at some propaganda from Iraq.  Note the careful compilation of dozens of attacks.  Not a single attack takes place without being filmed.  Many are filmed from multiple angles.  The camera is more important than the IED  After all, what’s the point of the attack?  Killing occupier soldiers is meaningless in itself.  It is the MESSAGE that counts.  The public must KNOW that you have killed occupier soldiers.  Note also that only successful (or moderately successful) attacks are generally shown.  Over 70% of IEDs are, in fact, discovered before they explode.  Most Iraqi snipers miss.  But you would never know it from these videos.  Note also the careful use of Koranic verses as soundtrack in order to mobilize religious fervor and portray the cause as not only victorious, but also holy and deserving of reward by Allah.  Finally, note the ever-present logo of the insurgent group, in this case the Islamic Army in Iraq, a Sunni nationalist group composed originally of former soldiers.  The Islamic Army wants the public to know that IT and not anyone else, is the true epitomy of success.  This brings more recruits, more money and more publicity than the same video without attribution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGVYpjq5-Xg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0ccFu9hPrs

Here is recruiting propaganda from Jaish Al Mahdi.  Note the different emphasis.  This stems from the nature of the audience.  Whereas the Sunni Islamic Army of Iraq seeks to recruit those who (preferrably) have a military background and are intersted in PERSONAL heroism, the Shia Mahdi Army places emphasis on the Shia tradition of MASS heroism and GROUP self-sacrifice.  Thus the repeated images of Ashoura (and also the Mahdi Army parades on Ashoura).  The propaganda deliberately seks to draw a parallel between the Shia failure to come to the aid of Imam Hussein at Karbala and the opportunity to expiate this sin by joining Muqtada al-Sadr’s army in the battle against the Americans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xs-LKsBHkU8&feature=related

Here is a Mahdi Army video geared toward the Arab Diaspora.  Note the emphasis on the eternal nature of the struggle, the kinship and alliance between Muqtada al Sadr and his brother-in-law Hassan Nasrallah and the deliberate invocation of the great jihadis of antiquity.  Again, the emphasis is very much on MASS self-sacrifice and on a single charismatic leader.  Note also that both videos advertise internet sites where individuals can go to help the cause.  These recruiting portals are the first step for both donors and fighters.  This is an example of doctrinally correct fundraising.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qBMsm77E20&NR=1

Here is another important example of Mahdi Army propaganda geared toward the internal Iraqi audience.  Here, the emphasis is placed to establish the young and inexperienced Muqtada al-Sadr as the true successor to his father Muhammad al-Sadr.  The elder Sadr’s immense authority and popularity is thus conferred onto the son.  Again, note the recruiting plugs throughout the video.  Before the Sadr uprising of April 2004, the Shia areas of Iraq were flooded with such videos, distributed on DVDs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-FbqAruiHk&NR=1

In one of his blog entries, A7’s Fishy Fishman complained that he has no money to engage in serious propaganda, because it costs some ridiculous amount of shekels to order posters printed and to pay somebody to put them up.  Insurgents print posters by themselves.  They put them up by themselves.  They make the DVDs by themselves.   This is why the “National Right” has FAILED utterly in every propaganda campaign.  The “National Right” is either INCOMPETENT (Feiglin) or UNWILLING TO FIGHT (Nadia Matar) or simply in cahoots with the Israelis (Aryeh Eldad and the Yesha Council).  Thus they are either unable or unwilling to produce good propaganda and to wage a doctrinally correct War of Symbols.  They waste the time of their youth on waving orange ribbons and squatting on hilltops, when these youth should be attacking Israel’s Moslem stooges, putting up posters and distributing videos.

Among the first signs that aliyah is no longer a form of suicide will be a COMPETENT propaganda campaign aimed at both the Israelis and the Jews of Yesha.  The themes targeting the Israelis would emphasize that the Jews of Yesha are oppressed by Israel, have a right to the Land that the Israelis do not have and are willing to live in peace with the Israelis only if their grievances are addressed.  At the same time, it should portray Medinat Yehudah as THE ONLY viable alternative to the Islamic Emirate of Palestine.  The Israeli public must be given this choice EXPLICITLY.  They should be told that their only options are a hostile Hamas State in Yesha or a friendly Jewish State.  The alternatives are civil war (unthinkable) or continued occupation (unthinkable).  The propaganda should arouse a deep shame in the heart of the Israeli as well as a desire to pull the IDF out of Yesha in some kind of negotiated settlement so that Medinat Yehudah can arise AND be successful.  It should cause him to feel that Jews and Israelis can live in peace ONLY if the Jew has his own State and the Israeli has his own State.  Note that such propaganda will sway huge numbers of Israelis and will deeply split Israel’s ruling elite.  The rulers of Israel know full well that the Moslems are a deadly djinn that will certainly turn on them.  They cooperate with the Moslems solely out of desperation.  It is the threat to their power and privilege emanating from the Jews that drives these people.  By giving the Israeli elite the alternative of Medinat Yehudah , the Jews actually give them a SAFE way to eliminate the threat to their power.  With a Jewish State as the buffer between the Haifa-Tel Aviv coastal strip and the Moslem world, the elite would be free to rule and indulge in hedonistic idiocy to its heart’s content.  No more having to deal with Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Gaza, Yesha…  It’s a dream come true.  Half the elite will jump at the chance to make this happen.  Once the seeds of discord are planted among the elite in this fashion, they wil rapidly grow to the point where massive military and political assistance, covert or overt, will flow from the ruling classes to the Jewish self-liberation movement.

At the same time, the propaganda aimed at the youth of Yesha should portray the struggle for national self-liberation as Maccabean in nature.  It should emphasize self-sacrifice, mass heroism and allegiance to the ideal of an independent Jewish State.  The propaganda should tell the youth of Yesha that they are NOT Israeli, that Israel is a foreign occupying power with whom they have nothing in common, that Israel is responsible for all Moslem terrorism and that peace is only achievable when Jews and Israelis live in separate States.

P.S.  Some have complained that Jewish posters are rapidly taken down by Israeli soldiers and policemen.  US troops in Iraq quickly got out of the habit of messing with Mahdi Army and Hezbollah posters when the insurgents began to booby trap these.  Plasic explosives formed into thin sheets, especially RDX moulded with 5 -10 % styrofoam by dissolving both in acetone and then slowly evaporating the acetone, are excellent quality, waterproof, durable media.  They make excellent backing for posters.  A less advanced method is to build small IEDs and conceal them in niches behind posters.  A few missing fingers and/or hands later, the enemy begins to treat every poster as an IED, even if only 1% really ARE IEDs.  When every poster requires an EOD robot to take down, posters tend to stay up for quite a while.  After all, the number of EOD robots and skilled technicians to operate them is highly limited.