The objectives of Da’wah are to come back to the religion by keeping all the Sharī’ah’s commandments; to be a good and devoted Muslim; to establish unity among all the Muslims; and to exalt the word of Allah on earth with the purpose to establish the good and legitimate society, the Ummah.
As about the infidels, the objectives is to promote the Islamic Sharī’ah among them and to encourage them to join the ranks of Islam as Allah’s chosen religion. This means, to guide all the peoples of the world to Islam, being the only legitimate religion deserves of worshiping. This requires the use of wisdom in persuading the infidels of the supremacy righteousness of Islam as compare to other religions. This is the Da’wah of the word, and assist it then comes the financial Da’wah, to support the converts so that Islam can prevail.
This is Jihād al-Da’wah, the spreading of Islam among the infidels by peaceful propagating means, such as argumentations and reasonable examples:
Call them in the way of Allah, with wisdom and words of good advice; and reason with them in the best way possible. Allah surely knows who strays from his path and He knows those who are guided in the right way (Sûrat al-Nahl, 16:125).
He who finds the right path does so for himself; and he who goes astray does so to his own loss…we never punish till we send a messenger [to preach] (Sûrat Banī Isrā’īl, 17:15).
The question is, were the Islamic territorial expansion historically, and the conversion to Islam religiously, an intended strategic plan, or a result of historical circumstances? The Muslim exegetes do believe that Allah commanded Muhammad to start making the Da’wah, to preach to Islam, and to use Jihad war to subdue the entire world under Islamic rule, from the first day he was entrusted with the mission of Islam. From this point of view, Islam is a missionary religion from its very inception, yet, we suggest that this was a gradual process, which developed hand by hand with the Islamic political success. In the battleground, all Islamic exegetes agree that when the Muslims meet infidels, they should not fight them until they have been asked to convert to Islam or to come under Islamic rule. Jihad war to eliminate the infidels comes only later on. This means that Jihad can be conducted only after the missionary activity of Da’wah has failed. Indeed, in Islam, al-Da’wah Qablal-Qitāl (invitation to Islam before death in war). It is based on the commandment: “We never punish till we have sent a messenger” (Sûrat Banī Isrā’īl, 17:15) and by the Ahādīth:
Muhammad said: When you meet your enemies among the infidels, offer them three choices, whichever of these they agree to, accept it from them: call them to Islam. If they accept, make peace with them; if they refuse, demand they pay the Jizyah. If they agree, accept it from them; if they still refuse… fight and slay them for the sake of Allah.
Umar sent the Muslims to the great countries to fight the pagans. Every place they came, the Muslim declared: “our Prophet has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizyah; and our Prophet has informed us that whoever amongst us is killed, he is a Shahīd and shall go to Paradise to lead a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, becomes your master.
Muslim theologians and the four Islamic schools of jurisprudence have pointed out that Islam was spread by proof and evidence, in the case of those who responded positively to the message, and by strength and sword, in the case of those who stubbornly resisted it, until they had no choice. It is best elaborated by Tirmidhi:
And there is no group of people on earth in which you cannot bring to me from them Muslims. And the best I like that you bring their wives and sons and kill their men.
Da’wah can work as an active, dynamic and missionary force, and the Muslims have to invite, to call, to reason with, and to exhort all those who are not Muslims with the objective of submitting to Allah’s will. At the same time Muslims must let the infidels know about their perfect religion and its mission to mankind. They have to deliver the message of Islam in its totality to other peoples who are not acquainted with it, and to aid them to embrace Islam. This is facilitated by contacting individuals and families with information; lecturing about the values of Islam as the perfect way of life.
From the Free World vantage point, the most important aspect of Da’wah is concerned with education. He, who wishes to stop fanaticism and radicalism in contemporary Islamic activity, must spend his energies to totally eradicate the deep-rooted connection between religion and education, the extreme incitement and hatred to the other. Muslim propagators work mainly in schools, colleges and universities, and it includes publishing material about Islam; using of the communication media to deliver the message of Islam; and de-legitimizing all other religions, cultures, political systems and way of life.
Domestically, the means to achieve these purposes within the Islamic community is by the establishment of Muslim religious and educational institutions, mainly the mosque (Masjid) and the school (Madrasah). It is carried out by eloquent scholars and Imāms, through sophisticated propaganda, and it presented as the cure to all modern ills: the destruction of family values, the high crime rates, alcoholism and the drug problem.
The Da’wah activity includes gentle preaching with reasonable argumentations and ideas to attract the infidels. The Islamic facts should be taught in such an elegant and beautiful language, as to bring in those with the capacity to accept Islam. The preachers must understand that the call to Islam should be clear, eloquent, self-evident and effective. They should present arguments in many ways and be replete with emotions and zeal, uniformity and unity of purpose. They should develop friendship and win the trust and confidence of those inclined towards Islam, be patient with them.
Da`wah should be pursued at all various societal and educational levels, and the communications media are considered imperative for the preaching. Special attention is given to campuses of colleges and universities where the Islamic propaganda is valued as effective and profitable. The second level of attention, after the campuses, is the Afro-Americans. The Muslim should carry the message of Islam to these groups in the ghettoes and in prisons, which are more susceptible to religious transformation. The emergence, in fact the flourishing, of mosques all-around of Western countries, together with the educational activity, the visiting of trained, sophisticated Imāms and scholars, alongside the distribution of informative literature and the proliferation of Islamic presses and publishers, all are intended to assist the spreading of the Da’wah in the West.
These twofold objectives of the Da’wah, to convert infidels to Islam and to strengthen the faith of the Muslims according to the Sharī’ah, not necessarily in this order, are illuminated by the above-mentioned activities. The interesting fact is that to the Muslim communities, the demand is for a more conservative and strict interpretation of Islam, urging them to reject all the elements of Western culture as Bid’ah (sin, unlawful). The projection is of the moral chaos and decadence of Western societies. Praying and visiting the mosques regularly, being educated in Islamic Madāris (schools), and dealing with any cultural and marital assimilation, become part of an ideological commitment to Islam as a way of life. This also means that the Muslims should organize themselves in communities, as close and segregated as possible.
Since they are considered missionaries and not immigrants, Muslim propagators are taught to master the modern languages and disciplines, and to have an absolute command of what they have to offer. By this, they can eliminate, amend, reinterpret and adapt the teaching of Islam according to the situation and the surroundings, producing and disseminating Islamic knowledge and providing daily requirements. They have a mission to the new generations of Muslims and the converted, how to follow in their footsteps and become a devoted Muslim. The Da’wah is connected to Jihad through the abandonment of personal wishes and sensual desires; promoting the unity of the Islamic community, and facilitating the absorption of Islamic values among the infidels.
From the early days of Islam, Da’wah was used extensively to denote the mission of Muhammad to the believers: to follow him and to believe in Allah’s Tawhīd. By that, the words Da’wah, Sunnah, Sharī’ah, Dīn are exchangeable and replaceable by one another. That is, Da’wah represents the real Islam in its full context, and a clear message to the world concerning Islamic intentions. One can find on many internet Islamic sites with huge passages and detailed instructions how to approach the infidels in deceit, concerning the character of Islam; proofs that Islam is the only true religion; the advantages of Islam to all mankind; how to convert to Islam; civil rights and human freedoms; Islam and terror.
From Islamic perspective, it is not only in order to convert people to Islam, but to liberate them from the dark slavery in which they live in by showing them the beauty of life in Islam. This is clearly echoed in the Muslim Brotherhood periodical, al-Da’wah, which indicates: the Da’wah is the genuine representative of the Islamic cultural and historical personality and identity, to recreate the Islamic true society, the Ummah. Da`wah is used as the chief diplomatic operation of the Muslims to deceive, disorient, and confuse the infidels about the real objectives of Islam. Moreover, it helps to redirect and twist reality. The aims of the Da’wah are very clear: to summon all the peoples of the world to accept Islam as the only true religion and to help its world spread.
Da’wah is the political use to divert public opinion from the horrors of Jihad, to whitewash Islamic terrorism: one hand butchers and demolishes, and the other condemns and misleads. So it turns that after a terrorist Jihad act is executed, Muslim organizations and NGOs rush immediately up to deny any connection to Islam and to reassure that Islam is a peaceful religion. Condemning and denying is only one aspect of Da’wah. There is the strategy aimed at subduing public opinion and by capitulating it to Islamic will. It is elaborated by Islamic practice in the US, with the aim to propagate in all fields and sources to exhibit Islam as a religion of peace and compassion.
While the operations of Jihad and Da’wah are carried out by different perpetrators and different means, they are all part and parcel of the objective to resurrect the Islamic caliphate as Allah’s kingdom on earth. This objective is compulsory on Muslims, and verifies the dictum of the Qur’an that the opponents of Islam will convert or become its supporters. Ibn Khaldun clearly articulates this division:
Because of the universalism of the Muslim mission, it becomes a religious duty to convert everybody to Islam or to bring them under Islamic rule, either by persuasion (Da’wah) or by force.
S. K. Malik elaborates this interaction between Jihad and Da’wah:
“…our main objective is the opponent’s heart or soul, and our main weapon of offence against this objective is the strength of our own souls… (These) are not only a means, but the end itself… It can be instilled only if the opponent’s faith and belief systems are destroyed.”
Muhammad as a model
For the Muslims, Muhammad is not merely a prophet, and not only a political and military leader, but an admired symbol; the representative of Allah on earth, the person with immunity to sin and error. He is the perfect embodiment of a human being on earth, and a model of the reality to come true by his deeds and sayings. It is the utmost goal of every believer to obey and to imitate him. Muhammad encouraged these trends by demanding that all the believers love him supremely and cherish him by his name. This is the reason why almost every Muslim also has “Muhammad” or “Ahmad,” or “Mahmud” or “Hamdan” as one of his names.
Narrated Anas: “The Prophet said: ‘none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his faith, his children and all mankind.’”
Narrated Abu Hurairah: “The Prophet said: ‘name yourself after me…and whoever sees me in a dream, he surely sees me, for Satan cannot impersonate me. Who intentionally ascribes something to me falsely he will surely take his place in hell fire.’”
If we understand the deep and total admiration to Muhammad, we can understand the reasons for today’s violent Muslim riots against even mere cartoons of Muhammad. It is demonstrated with the horrific slogans used by the Muslims marching all around the world: “Slay those who insult Islam”, “Butcher those who mock Islam”, “Behead those who insult Islam”, “Exterminate those who slander Islam”, “Massacre those who insult Islam”, “Europe is the cancer, Islam is the answer”, “Europe take lessons from 9/11”, “Europe you will pay. Your 9/11 is on its way”, “Freedom go to hell”, “Be prepared for the real holocaust,” and the most: “Islam will dominate the world.”
Contrary to the exegesis of most classical Islamic exegetes and the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the second part of the twentieth century brought a resurgence propagation and reinterpretation of the attitude to Jihad. Moulavi Ali, a Pakistani scholar and exegete, puts it very blatantly:
Almost all Muslim and European writers think that the religious war of aggression is one of the tenets of Islam, and prescribed by the Qur’an for the purpose of proselytizing. I do not find any such doctrine enjoined in the Qur’an or preached by Muhammad. His sole mission was to enlighten the Arabs to the true worship of one Allah. These have nothing to do with popular jihad and exterminating the idolaters. All the verses of the Qur’an are related only to defensive war without exception, and none of them has any reference to make warfare offensively. All fighting injunctions within the Qur’an are only in self-defense, none of them has any reference by which to make warfare offensively. There are several passages in the Qur’an which forbid taking offensive measures and enjoin only defensive war.
In a booklet “The Basics of Islam at a Glance” prepared by The Islamic Cultural Center in Tempe, Arizona, we read:
There is no historical proof that Islam was “spread by the sword”. Even non-Muslim scholars now admit that this is nothing more than a vicious myth which cannot be substantiated by historical fact. Others have claimed that Islam is a religion of love and peace and forgiveness.
An Egyptian exegete of Islam, Mahmoud Shaltut:
Muhammad revealed a book containing the principles of happiness. It commands to judge by reason, it propagates science and knowledge, it gives clear rules, it proclaims mercy, it urges to do good, it preaches peace, it gives firm principles concerning politics and society, it fights injustice and corruption. The Islamic community is commanded to do only what is good and is forbidden to do what is reprehensible and evil. The Islamic mission is clear and evident, easy and uncomplicated. This is the mission of Muhammad to humanity.
Here is the verse that Muslim Propagators falsely deceive the infidels, and most
Western leaders quote without any trace of understanding, as if Islam is tolerant, compassionate, and peace-loving: Sûrat al-Mā’idah, 5:32
“If anyone slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land -it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole.”
However, the full verse is:
“[Because of Cain killing Abel], That is why we decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever kills a human being except for murder or for spreading corruption in the land it shall be killing all humanity. And whosoever saves a life saves the entire human. Our apostle brought clear proofs to them, but even after that most of them committed excesses in the land.”
One of the last misuse of this verse as a diplomacy of deceit was the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremists, on February 18, 2015. Imam Abdisalam Adam of the Islamic Civil Society of America said that “Mosques serve as beacon of hope,” and they “provide moral compass for the Muslim community in navigating life… The peace, safety, and security of the US are of fundamental importance to the Muslim American community, and we oppose any form or shape of violent extremism that threatens peaceful coexistence… We believe in the right of all people to live in peace and security… Muslim imams have condemned and continue to denounce anyone who tries to use the religion of Islam to support terrorism.”
He has quoted verse 5:32, as to prove Islam is a religion of peace. President Obama used this passage in his Cairo Speech as do many apologists for Islam. What is actually presented by apologists is a distorted, out-of-context and misleading paraphrasing of the verse. The phrase “if any one saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole” is taken from the Jewish Mishnah, Sanhedrin, 4:5. Hence, this commandment is not incumbent upon Muslims, but on Jews. And the reference to “our messengers” is the Jewish prophets coming to the Jews with “clear proofs” which the Jews ignored, and filled the land with excess. This verse is written in past tense and does not apply to Muslims but to “the Children of Israel,” who, according to Islam itself, received the scriptures earlier.
In fact, this passage mentioned in the Qur’an is not a prohibition on Muslims to kill anyone, but explicitly not to kill fellow Muslims. Ibn Kathir explains this verse: he who kills a believing soul intentionally, Allah makes the Fire of Hell his abode. He will become angry with him, and curse him, and has prepared a tremendous punishment for him, equal to if he had killed all people. He explains the meaning of “mischief:” Do not commit acts of disobedience on the earth. Their mischief is disobeying Allah, because whoever disobeys Allah on the earth, or commands that Allah be disobeyed, he has committed mischief on the earth. This commentary also appears in Tafsīr al-Jalālayn. Moreover, Muhammad himself said the life of a non-Muslim is not sacred:
“Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. And if they say so, pray our prayers, face our Qiblah and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred.'”
“Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik, ‘What makes the life and property of a person sacred?’ He replied, ‘Whoever says, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah… then he is a Muslim.'”
Furthermore, Muhammad also gave the Fatwah that a Muslim cannot be killed for killing a non-Muslim. However, most important, the problem emerges in its fullest expression in the following verse (5:33), which is tightly connected, reveals the issue clearly: The price to pay for the “mischief” (Fasād) done is death:
“The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and his prophet and perpetrate disorder in the land is to kill and hang them or have a hand on one side and a foot on the other cut off. Or banish them of the land. Such is their disgrace in the world, and in the hereafter their doom shall be dreadful, except for those who repent before you apprehend them. Allah is forgiving and merciful.”
Top Afghan commander’s killing raises questions
The formidable, flamboyant, maverick police chief of southern Afghan province of Kandahar General Abdul Raziq Achakzai was gunned down in a shootout inside the provincial governor’s office on Thursday, along with the governor and intelligence chief. The ‘insider attack’, which wiped out the provincial leadership, was carried out by the governor’s bodyguard and claimed by the Taliban, which shows Taliban infiltration of police and army in the war-ravaged country.
Gen. Raziq, 39, a bulwark against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan had a larger-than-life persona. To his credit, he had almost wiped off the terrorist group from its traditional stronghold – Kandahar, and was always seen in the thick of things. As the Taliban mounted gruesome attacks to seize other parts of the country, Gen. Raziq’s presence in Kandahar ensured peace and stability there.
A fierce commander, who was seen as an American ally, was often accused by human rights watchdogs like Human Rights Watch of ‘torture, extra-judicial killings and other human rights abuses’. But, his presence was so powerful and domineering in a country where U.S. war has stretched into its 18th year that the government struggled to sideline or ignore him.
The social media was inundated with poignant posts on Thursday, with netizens terming his death an “irreparable loss”, which could have “far-reaching consequences” for peace and security in southern Afghanistan, where he was a “pillar of stability”. Many of them blamed Pakistan while many blamed the U.S. for his violent end.
On Friday afternoon, the fallen commander was given a tearful adieu in Kandahar city by the border police he commanded for years. The bustling city was remarkably quiet as his coffin was paraded to the burial ground. The invincible man had met his inevitable death.
The enormity of the tragedy can be gauged from the fact that the Afghan government decided to delay the parliamentary elections that were scheduled for October 20.
Not the one to mince his words, Gen. Raziq was fiercely critical of Pakistan for providing sanctuary to the militant groups attacking Afghanistan. Over the years, he had survived many bids on his life, including a deadly suicide bombing last year. In an interview once, he said he had lost the count of times when the Taliban tried to exterminate him. A brave young commander and a smart war strategist, he always prevailed because he always had an upper hand and better luck.
However, on Thursday, his luck ran out. The incident took place following a meeting between Afghan and American officials at Kandahar governor’s compound in the afternoon. In a statement, Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was aimed at Gen. Raziq and Gen. Austin Miller, the newly-appointed top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Miller escaped unhurt.
News reports, quoting eyewitnesses, said the shooting took place when Gen. Raziq was escorting the U.S. officials, including Miller, to their helicopters. How Miller survived the attack, which killed Gen. Raziq, governor Zalmai Wesa and intelligence chief Gen. Abdul Momim, is a great mystery. If the attack was indeed aimed at Gen. Raziq and Miller, then how did latter escape unhurt. Did the Taliban actually not want to kill the top U.S. official in Afghanistan?
There are many questions that may never be answered. Many believe Gen. Raziq, who was not in favor of peace talks with the Taliban, had become a stumbling block in the U.S.-led so-called ‘peace efforts’. Notably, the U.S. and Taliban officials had recently held secret parleys in Doha, in which the U.S. delegation had even proposed a political role for the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, thereby giving legitimacy to the group they have been claiming to fight for the past 17 years.
Although Gen. Raziq was seen as a staunch U.S. ally in southern Afghanistan, many observers believe he had become a liability because of his dogged opposition to peace talks with the Taliban. For Americans, there can be no permanent friends or foes, and we have examples of Saddam Hussain and Muammar Gaddafi before us. This could well have been an attack orchestrated and executed jointly by the U.S. and Taliban to get rid of the formidable anti-Taliban commander.
In a statement, the U.S. military said the target of the Thursday attack was Gen. Raziq, not Miller. It is interesting how sure they can be that the attack was not aimed at Miller. As eyewitnesses said, Gen. Raziq was walking alongside Miller and other U.S. officials when the assailant opened fire. Gen. Raziq received four bullets – two in legs, one in abdomen and one in chest. The top U.S. commander safely walked to his helicopter and left the spot.
If the Taliban insurgency is all about the U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and if all they want is the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the war-torn country, it defies logic why the Taliban fighter masquerading as an Afghan policeman would open fire at Afghan officials and not the U.S. official. There is definitely more to it than meets the eye. The attack proves yet again the duplicitous policies of the U.S. in Afghanistan and its covert support to groups that seek to destabilize the country.
The ‘peace talks’ between the U.S. and Taliban officials is hogwash. Otherwise how does it make sense that the ‘peace talks’ would be followed by deadly suicide bombings and targeted attacks. The engagement between the U.S. and its former-allies is basically to prevent any chance for real ‘peace’. The idea is to keep the pot boiling so that the U.S. can justify its presence in Afghanistan.
In the process, both friends and foes will have to pay the price; like Gen. Raziq did today and many others did before him. Everything is fair in a dirty war.
First published in our partner Tehran Times
The issue of intelligence between the United States and China
The economic and intelligence tension between the United States and China is currently at its peak since the end of the Cold War. During that phase, however, China had also taken actions to oppose the Soviet Union, with the opening to the United States and the “ping-pong diplomacy” in the early 1970s, as well as its tacit support to Kissinger’s resolution of all tensions between the United States and the Southeast Asian countries.
At the time China wanted to help the United States to regionalize – in Asia – its historic “Northern enemy,” namely Russia.
In his “Three Worlds Theory”, Mao Zedong placed it together with the United States in the “First World”, as both imperialist powers, while he regarded China as the current and future leader of the whole Third World fighting against the “metropolises” of the First World.
Said project has not changed, it has only changed its language and its procedures.
Now that the bilateral tension between the United States and the People’s Republic of China is at its highest, the rationale for this new Sino-American scenario is simple. China wants to achieve global geopolitical hegemony, while the United States led by President Donald J. Trump wants to rebuild its new economic and purely financial hegemony, and hence resort to protectionist practices.
The practices that even the old liberal handbooks of economic science considered lawful when a “nascent industry” needs to be protected.
China has now Africa in its own hands – a continent where the US power is linked almost exclusively to the US Africa Command, which is headquartered at the Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart.
Europe, of course, does not count for anything.
Moreover, China operates in Iran and also in Russia, considering that it has now incorporated Russia into its Belt and Road project towards Europe and the Mediterranean – in spite of the Eurasian Alliance project of Russian origin – and hence operates as a hegemonic power in Central Asia.
It does so by operating with a strategy that is at first economic, but also and above all political: the peripheries of the world against the metropolises, i.d. Mao’s old “policy line”.
Currently we are instead shifting from geoeconomy to the real global strategy – and China will have no particular difficulty in moving from a generically friendly position towards the United States to a far more adverse one.
When its primary interests are attacked by US actions, China will never make the first move.
The Thirty-Six Stratagems of the Chinese secret art of war are clear in this regard: “Watch the fires burning from the river” and also “Hide a knife behind a smile”.
However, let us better analyze what has happened in the current “spy war” between the United States and China.
For nearly ten years, the US spy network in China has been severely undermined, if not wiped out. This has happened to the US intelligence services also elsewhere.
Allegedly, the vulnerability of the US network results from the fact that China has long “penetrated” the network used by the operatives and informants present in China.
China maintains that this has led to the “elimination” of 30 local citizens who worked for the United States and the imprisonment of an unknown number of others.
China’s counterintelligence operation is said to have started in 2010, when the encrypted firewall used by the US operatives in China was discovered.
Obviously it is almost useless to add that the “sophisticated” IT firewall used by CIA is now in China’s hands and the analysts of its intelligence services will use and implement it even more easily.
Moreover, the program discovered by China had to be used in such a way as not to connect with and not to be traced by CIA’s major IT networks.
Without CIA knowing it, however, the encrypted system could also connect with its primary web network – and China could listen or read quietly and easily.
Incidentally, it is currently certain that all countries’ intelligence services can use the Web, but it is equally certain that the security of communications is at least the top goal, together with the quality and depth of the intelligence and analyses reported to the “central unit”.
Nevertheless, the more the Web gets complex, the easier it is “penetrated”. This law has been never denied by facts.
The more complex it is, the easier is to manipulate or “penetrate” it.
Experts tell us that the Web’s rate of complexity increases by seven the danger it can be penetrated. At every additional step of structural complexity there is a 7-time multiplier for possible “holes”.
Hence, in many cases, it would be good to still resort to the old craft systems that made the history of modern intelligence. China still does it.
We believe, however, that the real problem lies in the fact that the United States still believes that China is a country which is trying – with some difficulty – to follow the development course of the Anglo-Saxon community.
This is certainly not the case: China has not long been a “second class” nation or, as some US analysts say, a “Third World country that has grown too much”.
Far from it: it is a good thing that the United States soon realizes that China is certainly the second military and economic power in the world and that it can certainly cooperate with the United States, but dictating at least some essential conditions.
No Chinese decision-maker thinks about a “covert war” against the United States – not even remotely: currently the Party and the State think about other “enemies” and other regions.
However, we should never forget China’s huge power of constraint, persuasion and negotiation.
Moreover, the free market myth has affected the whole system of what – in the intelligence community of every modern country – should be the axis of all major operations, namely influence.
Over 110 “Confucius Institutes” have been founded in the US universities and huge Chinese capital is present in many of the most important US entertainment companies, such as Legendary Group, AMC Theathers, STX Entertainment, Studio 8 and Global Road Entertainment, as well as in many other smaller companies.
Not to mention Chinese investments in other sectors and in US Treasury securities.
The US majors obviously sell much in China, but China has entered their system with money, not just with encrypted firewalls.
Clearly China is strongly interested in the US operations on its territory, but certainly the Chinese leaders have operated a linkage between the trade wars started by President Trump and their counterintelligence actions.
This is another bond to break.
The more the geoeconomic contrast between the United States and China mounts, the more intrusive actions will be taken by China in the United States (such as those of the many Chinese students in North American universities who are spying for their country of origin), as well as “harsh” counter-intelligence operations.
Furthermore, what some leaders of the US Central Intelligence Agency fear is partly true: China is now in such a Cold War phase with the United States as to eventually oust it from its position as global power.
It is very unlikely, however, that Chinese leaders think they can weaken the US power in a short lapse of time: there is no blitzkrieg or lightning war that can decide, in a short sequence of clashes – even in the muffled world of intelligence or in the slightly noisier world of electronic war – who definitively wins.
It is pure madness and the Chinese are not mad at all.
Obviously both contenders must well understand that the Great Powers – if they have to disappear – do so over a period of centuries, always much more slowly than they have grown in good times.
Certainly even traditions count in the world of intelligence.
The United States is the realm of technology, in which an American – a good American and not an ugly American like the one described by the British novelist and intelligence agent, Graham Greene, who however had titled his novel The Quiet American – believes blindly. Probably the ugly and the good are two sides of the same coin.
The tradition of Chinese intelligence is also excellent in technology, but it does not forget the ancient rules of power and war.
When some defecting KGB men were sent to some US military academies, they were surprised that in the libraries there were not the classics of Eastern war thought and strategy: the Thirty-Six Stratagems, the Liezi, as well as Sun Zu’s military treatise The Art of War.
Hence too much technology in the United States and sometimes a certain tendency to conceptual hyper-simplification; too little history and knowledge of the real power structure which – when really powerful – is covert.
Also China, however, is not lagging behind in the field of technology. We should recall the hacking of over 30 companies among the most important ones in America, including Apple and Amazon, with a modified chip.
The Silicon Valley is now full of spies who work for the Chinese government for money or for other reasons.
According to many officers of the Armed Forces, all the US military networks are in danger.
CIA, too, has successfully carried out some operations on the Chinese territory, sometimes forcing the Chinese to give up their electronic espionage techniques, and also using Chinese intelligence agents.
Hence what can we do to stop, slow down and put in an acceptable position of security and business as usual this crisis between China and the United States, which – apart from trade wars – is still a mere war between intelligence services?
A first solution could be an extensive and universal protection – to be reached and signed as soon as possible – for the protection of sensitive intellectual property.
Currently trade secrets and patents are acquired not with old reverse engineering, but with the launch of IT attacks on companies and even law firms that hold regulations and protections.
While, as is well known, China is now a global software producer, it would be rational that even China would adapt to a new, stricter and safer international regulation of IPs and networks.
There could also be – in the offing – an international agreement on web addresses and network security, organized by the major companies operating in the sector, which are all interested in achieving a higher security level.
The US Invention Secrecy Act dates back to 1951 and it is too old for the technologies it should protect. Moreover, it is not part of the US intelligence chain.
In fact, the large US companies have increasingly relied on international laws for the protection of industrial data, often coming out of the North American judicial and legal system.
This is another “hole” that the United States must fill as soon as possible.
Moreover, now the US military can control patents, even when they are fully developed in the civilian sphere.
This is a good thing, but one thing is the law and another is counterintelligence.
However, the Web is and will always be wide-meshed: Google, in particular, is used by 67% of all Internet operators in the world and it has never made a secret of wanting a US patent system as “weak” as possible.
Google itself wants to sell the trade secrets at low price and quickly – and possibly keeping its own ones very secret.
The classic case of a paradox generated by a technology that does not find the legal mesh suitable for regulation.
Furthermore, China adheres to all international intellectual property regulations but, also in China, it is precisely the complexity and the inevitable archaic nature of rules compared to the speed of technology that impose the aforementioned “wide mesh” to China’s patent protection.
Hence two things are needed: firstly, a technical-legal and bilateral Conference between China and the United States, with a view to regulating the specific needs of sensitive data protection.
Moreover, light is better than darkness, although the Chinese wisdom tradition maintains that it is necessary to “cultivate darkness” – as when you need to grow rhubarb.
Secondly, a US-Chinese Committee shall be established at the highest possible level, where one asks the other for the patents it needs – obviously against payment.
Later a “third” Committee shall be created to check the efficacy of the agreement, possibly made up of members of the intelligence community of a country that is good for both countries: Italy, for example, which is second to none in the field of cybersecurity and can guarantee both contenders.
Thirdly, an International Conference shall be held – again possibly in Italy – to draw up specific rules for “technology secrets”, to be adapted each year according to new technologies.
Obviously also a new international Authority would be needed to coordinate and control – above all – the private network managers and the content collectors, as well as websites.
ICANN, the Californian organization that – as we may all recall – was given the Internet “source code” by the US government, is still a cooperative incorporated under California’s law, although the source code is now an open secret and former President Obama decided it to be managed not only by ICANN.
Hence the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is still a structure that is only responsible for “opening” the network, as well as for dissemination and “transparency”.
The Web, however, must also be a structure controlling data security, reliability and efficacy.
For each “transparency”, a rule of security and control. If the system of intellectual property protection fails, the whole contemporary world will fail.
Hence we could think of establishing an Agency, again in Italy, with the major powers’ support – an Agency called Security Agency for the Internet (SAFI), which can remove or report real-time passages of business and State secrets within the whole network.
This is another action that could be taken in Italy.
Is Jamal Khashoggi real a dissident journalist?
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi allegedly disappeared from Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. According to the US press, a trap was set for him at a meeting to hand him new documents for his remarriage. Fifteen Saudi intelligence officers would have come to arrest him, torture him, kill him and dismember him. His mortal remains would have been returned to Saudi Arabia. Since then, Turkey and the United States have been asking Saudi Arabia, which denies the allegations of the US press, for clarification. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vehemently denied the allegations.
The case has become one of the major international crises between the West and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has above all unveiled the double standards of the West’s relations with the Saudi Kingdom. Analysts have suggested that the diplomatic crisis has been exploited by the West to create in Saudi Arabia a condition similar to Libya, in preparation for regime change and a possible military intervention.
Jamal Khashoggi is represented in the media as a journalist and dissident, suggesting that the case has a connotation of violation of freedom of expression and human rights. In reality, Jamal Khashoggi was the nephew of an important Saudi Arabian’s arms smuggler, Adnan Khashoggi, who was considered the richest man in the world in the early 1980s. Adnan Khashoggi, who died in London in June 2017, was known for his lavish business deals. Adnan Khashoggi was implicated in the Iran–Contra affair as a key middleman in the arms-for-hostages exchange. His role in the affair created a controversy when Adnan Khashoggi donated millions to the American University in Washington, DC to build a sports arena which would bear his name. In 1988, Adnan Khashoggi was arrested in Switzerland, accused of concealing funds in connection with Imelda Marcos, widow of the exiled Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Adnan Khashoggi stopped fighting extradition when the U.S. prosecutors reduced the charges to obstruction of justice and mail fraud and dropped the more serious charges of racketeering and conspiracy. In 1990, a United States federal jury in Manhattan acquitted Adnan Khashoggi and Imelda Marcos.
Jamal Khashoggi, today considered disappeared since 2 of October 2018, after he entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, befriended Osama bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan and Sudan while championing his jihad against the Soviets. At that same time, he was employed by the Saudi Arabian intelligence services as an advisor. It is reported that Jamal Khashoggi was the only non-royal Saudi Arabian who knew of the Royals’ intimate dealing with al-Qaeda in the lead-up to the September 11 terrorist attacks. He dissociated himself from bin Laden following the attacks. It what during this time that Jamal Khashoggi’s cousin, Dodi Fayed, was dating the UK’s Princess Diana.
During his career as intelligence advisor, Jamal Khashoggi became the protégé of the former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki Ben Mark, who then became an ambassador to London. Then he entered the service of Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, who was extensively tortured in the Ritz-Carlton during the palace coup d’état in November 2017. In recent years, Jamal Khashoggi defended the Muslim Brotherhood and Israel, which was why he was hired by the Washington Post. According to intelligence information, several members of the royal family whose assets were confiscated in whole or in part during the palace coup d’état in November 2017 have planned an operation against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to the sources, Jamal Khashoggi was involved in this conspiracy. Analysts have suggested that Jamal Khashoggi might have been considered especially dangerous by the Saudi Arabian leadership not because he was a dissident, but rather a pillar of the Saudi Arabian establishment who was close to its ruling circles for decades and was involved in intelligence operations sponsored by foreign forces.
The fate of Jamal Khashoggi is still unknown and the facts of the investigations are still fragmentary and contradictory. But the case has some reminiscence with that of the ex-Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter who were poisoned in Salisbury in March. The difference is that in the Skripal case it took nothing more than a swift declaration (sans evidence) from British intelligence agencies before sanctions had been slapped on Moscow.
Trump has promised “severe punishment” will be handed out to Riyadh if it turns out that the country is responsible for the alleged killing of the journalist — but that harsh comment has been tempered by other less angry statements which indicate that the US president is not quite serious about doling out any kind of consequences. After all, there are other things on Trump’s mind, far more important than the fate of one journalist. Referring to a $110 billion weapons deal previously signed by Riyadh and Washington and noting that Jamal Khashoggi was not a US citizen, Trump told journalists last week that he didn’t really want to stop “massive amounts of money” from being poured into the US from Saudi Arabia. “It would not be acceptable to me,” Trump said.
In other words, if Saudi Arabia really did send a team to torture, kill and dismember Jamal Khashoggi, weapons sales are still more important. Even the sale of weapons which are being used by Riyadh to continually slaughter civilians in Yemen during a war that threatens to create the worst famine in 100 years, according to the UN. On the other hand, if the Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman refuses again to pay some hundreds of billions to the United States for the defense of his country, the Jamal Khashoggi disappearance case is a beautiful pretext for a regime change in Libyan style.
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