This is a guest post by The Arabian Neocon and is part 1 of a 2 part report.
Where to begin with all this? While I unravel the issues here I implore you, gentle reader, to persevere. It gets good. Trust me.
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad is a snotty paranoiac doing a PhD at the University of Strathclyde. In his own words he is currently ‘researching the role of lobbies, think tanks and foundations in furnishing the propaganda for the war in Iraq’.
Now then, the crackpot theories of an overworked and undersexed postgrad do not usually merit much attention. But then, I discovered that Idrees has been going around compiling ‘wiki’ pages on all my friends for his new website ‘Neocon Europe’. It is the invasive nature in which he sought out that information that first brought him to my attention. The website supposedly aims to:
help people find out more about the Neoconservative networks operating in Europe. It is an attempt to monitor and publicise the sometime covert and not always visible activities of Neoconservatives attempting to internationalise their movement.
So I decided to look into the background of my new friend. After all, if Idrees is so keen to shine the spotlight on the rest of us – maybe we should shine it right back.
First, a brief bio: Muhammad Idrees Ahmad was born in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province. He likes to think of himself as a musician, writer and traveller and is also a lecturer at the Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Stirling.
Last year he ostensibly reviewed a book called ‘Voice of Hezbollah: The Statements of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’ while actually offering us a remarkable insight into his own thinking on the matter. His piece, titled ‘there will be blood’ starts by explaining that Nasrallah is important because he ‘restored dignity and trust’ to the ‘Arab mind’. With Nasrallah Hezbollah has evolved:
…from its ragtag origins to [become] the world’s most effective resistance movement, twice defeating the vaunted Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in battle. As a testament to [Nasrallah’s] intelligence and organization skills, Hizbullah has also developed an efficient and extensive social service network…
He goes on to tell us:
The modest Shia cleric is a living legend in the mostly Sunni Middle East.
For Idrees, Nasrallah is not a terrorist. Of course not. Firing rockets into Israel? Calling for the extermination of its people? It’s all just a misunderstanding!
Hizbullah remains a largely misunderstood phenomenon in the West where media demonology often conflates Hizbullah with al-Qaeda and Nasrallah with Usama bin Laden.
And the reason for that Idrees tell us is because:
Few in Europe or the US have heard Nasrallah’s voice.
He might have a point there – I’m told Nasrallah does a wonderful rendition of Auld Lang Syne at the annual Hezbollah jamboree. But now this new book gives us a chance to hear from the ‘modest cleric’ directly, about which Idrees tells us:
Nasrallah’s pronouncements are invariably thoughtful, nuanced and carefully worded, eloquence rarely giving way to rhetoric. At times fiery, they remain grounded in fact, and adversaries often ignore his promises at their own peril.
catalogues descriptions and details of PR firms, activist groups and government agencies as well as the criticisms that are made of these groups from different perspectives.
And what does Idrees do at Spin Profiles, I hear you ask? Well, he’s the editor of the Israel Lobby Portal which aims to be:
your guide to networks of power, lobbying and deceptive PR.
That must come in pretty handy considering he delivered an ‘academic paper’ on – you guessed it – the ‘Israel lobby’ at the University of Strathclyde in the department of geography and sociology.
You see a pattern developing here, don’t you?
After ploughing through piles of rote rhetoric, I finally found an article where Idrees didn’t pontificate about some global Jewish conspiracy conducted through ‘lobby groups’.
This time he turned his hand to Darfur – one of the most brutal genocides of our time. In the ‘Darfur deception’ Idrees laments the lack of coverage given to African conflicts by the Western press. He notes Darfur as an exception and credits the ‘Save Darfur Coalition’ (SDC) for getting it onto the news agenda.
They’ve been so effective that Idrees concludes their:
advocacy has been central to turning this into the biggest mass movement in the United States since the anti-Vietnam mobilization, bigger than the anti-apartheid movement.
And just who is behind this sophisticated campaign Idrees?
The SDC was established in July 2004 through the combined efforts of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Jewish World Service.
The apparent diversity of the SDC’s affiliates also obscures the fact that its agenda is mainly driven by Zionist organizations and the Christian Right.
But why Idrees, why?
Ned Goldstein has suggested in his investigation of the Zionist interests behind the SDC that Darfur is being deployed as a strategic distraction from Israeli crimes against the Palestinians
Aah, I see. All roads lead back to ‘that’ agenda, eh? Apparently so…
…the real interest of [the Save Darfur Coalition] is to perpetuate the conflict so as to continue using the image of the Arab as the perpetrator to distract from the regional reality of the Arab as the victim.
Got that? The Save Darfur Coalition wants to perpetuate the conflict!
What’s interesting is that Idrees says the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is involved in this SDC conspiracy. It completely shatters his hackneyed argument that he is ‘only anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic’. Of course, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum has nothing to do with Zionism and simply marks one of the darkest chapters in world history – the systematic and institutionalised attempt at exterminating an entire people. The museum is therefore active in promoting awareness, and trying to prevent, new genocides today. To any reasonable person that makes perfect sense. To Idrees it’s all part of a global conspiracy.
Next, the young Idrees turns to the Iraq war which he tells us was:
formulated by a small group of unaccountable neoconservative political appointees and rammed through in the face of strong resistance from career civil and military professionals in the State and Defence departments. The architects of the war in the administration were Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, who have no connections to the oil industry.
What, no oil connections?
Ritualistic denunciations of “Big Oil” are convenient and cost-free, and also eminently ineffective. Unless the real source of the war-agenda is identified and challenged, it is unlikely that the next war could be averted.
Ok, ok, so it’s not about oil. In that case, Idrees, any idea what could have possibly motivated them?
Their [Wolfowitz and Perle’s] devotion to Israel, however, is well established.
The same is true of Elliot Abrams and Douglas Feith, strong proponents of “Jewish Purity” and Israeli expansion and settlement policy…[they] cherry picked intelligence and used uncorroborated evidence to prepare talking points which were then passed on to the vice-Presidents office via Irving “Scooter” Libby – another Zionist zealot.
But how did they manage to wangle all that influence? Won’t you tell us Idrees?
Money plays an important role as close to 60% of the funds for the Democratic Party and 35% for the Republican Party come from pro-Israel Jews. But for every dollar spent, Israel receives $50 in aid.
Typical, eh? Those Jews don’t just run the world but also ensure a good return on investment.
Idrees is pretty much obsessed with Jews and Israel, a theme to which he returns with breathtaking regularity. He even signed this utterly bonkers petition:
We the undersigned ask Facebook to not allow users of Facebook who live in Jewish settlements in the West Bank to choose their country of residency so that it appears that they are from the State of Israel. Their resident status should be listed as what it is internationally recognized as: The Occupied Palestinian Territories.
While we’re on the topic of Facebook, that’s another place where Idrees tries to ‘educate’ those of us who just don’t realise that the whole world is run by a handful of powerful ‘lobbyists’. Even Obama has fallen for it:
[Obama] has offered the position of Chief of Staff to Rahm Emanuel, the son of an Irgun terrorist. Back in ’91 when the US was on its way to war with Iraq he volunteered for the military — not the US military, but the Israeli Occupation Force. This hardline Israel-firster also helped diminish the margins of the Democratic victory in 2006 by giving preference to pro war candidates over the more popular antiwar ones. Now he’ll be the gatekeeper for all Middle East policy, and the keys — once again — will be held by the Israel lobby.
It is also being suggested that Dennis Ross will get the State gig. This former AIPAC lobbyist had been accused by Aaron David Miller, one of his own Zionist surrogates, of behaving as ‘Israel’s lawyer’ in negotations over the Israel-Palestine conflict.
So, to sum up, while in the best US governments used to act as surrogates for Israeli interests. Now, Israeli interests are the US government.
Because that was taken from his Facebook page I can’t link to it – but you can click on this picture here for verification of what he wrote.
I think the Facebook groups Idrees has joined also reveal a lot about his politics. A brief glance through the 79 groups of which he’s a member reveals that he:
- Supports Osama Saeed – of Scottish Islamic Foundation fame
- Is a fan of the Iranian backed Press TV
- Is against sanctions on Iran
- Is a member of the “John Mearsheimer is my homeboy” group
But I digress. Idrees also thinks that the BBC has a
long tradition of relaying state propaganda while maintaining a veneer of respectability.
This was apparently evident during the Gaza conflict when, it was through sneaky ‘chicanery’ and:
…subtle – and not so subtle – manipulations of language that the BBC has shielded its audience from the ugly realities of Occupied Palestine. In the BBC’s reportage Palestinians ‘die’, Israelis are ‘killed’ (the latter implies agency, the former could have happened of natural causes); Palestinians ‘provoke’, Israelis ‘retaliate’; Palestinians make ‘claims’, Israelis declare. Schools, mosques, universities and police stations become ‘Hamas infrastructure’; militants ‘clash’ with F-16s and Apaches. ‘Terrorism’ is something Palestinians do, Israelis merely ‘defend’ themselves – invariably outside their borders. All debates, irrespective of fact or circumstance, are framed around Israel’s ‘security’. If the Apartheid wall is mentioned, it is in terms of its ‘effectiveness’.
Ok, so now that we know what’s really going on what should we do about it Idrees?
The [Israel] lobby, as one of its stalwarts colorfully put it, is like a “nightflower” which wilts in the sunlight. Those seeking justice for the Palestinians and accountability for the disastrous course of foreign and domestic policy under the lobby’s tutelage could do worse than to ensure constant sunlight.
Right, constant sunshine it is. Reviewing the sum total of Mohammed Idrees Ahmad’s writings (and there are many more not listed here) reveals him to be a poor man’s Asghar Bukhari; a rotten anti-Semite who sees conspiracy and intrigue everywhere.
Just so you know Idrees – now we’re watching you sunshine.
The websites Idrees writes for are registered to Professor David Miller at the University of Strathclyde. More on him and his group of kooks later in the week.