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Views from the third world. Earth.


Who Is The Axis Of Resistance?

A Hamas billboard in Iraq, showing the pan-Arab nature of the Resistance

The Resistance is being Telegram’d, and you can follow them directly, but it’s honestly a lot. As Pintada commented “I am too lazy and stupid to get access to all those sites that you mentioned.” For people like them, I’ll do some updates, but first you need a bit of context. Who are all these groups the western media lumps as ‘terrorists’, and why have they got the worst people on Earth so terrified?

In this brief and inadequate introduction, I’ll try to outline the main ‘Axis Of Resistance’, from Hamas in Palestine to Hezbollah in Lebanon to Ansar Allah in Yemen and so on. There’s a lot going on, and I hope this provides some context. Once we know the actors, we can get to the action.

Is Resistance Terrorism?

Another poster from Iraq. You tell me what’s the terror, the tank or the lone man in tracky bottoms resisting it

Firstly, as an obligatory throat clearing for western audiences, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc are not ‘terrorist’ organizations in any objective sense of that term. Certainly not anymore. Terrorism is as terrorism does, and right now, the ‘terrorists’ are hitting tanks while the imperial military is attacking premature babies. If you can imagine that colored people are also capable of feeling terror, this makes things clear enough.

While these organizations have attacked civilians, they have largely abandoned such tactics and operate more like conventional militaries than the conventional militaries. In cases like Hamas, they are only designated as terrorist organizations by Europe/America so, you know, consider the source. Honestly, if White Empire isn’t calling you terrorists, you’re doing something wrong.

When the worst people in the world tell me to hate something, I take it as a reading recommendation and I’ve tried to read about/from Hamas and Hezbollah directly, which I’ll quote from here. The western media method is to repeat some name over and over while teaching you nothing about them, but this propaganda is falling flat in the face of observable reality. You can observe and read for yourself, I hope.

Who Are The Resistance?

The great Telegram channel Fotros Resistance frequently posts this flag, and I’ll move around it clockwise to help orient us.

Iran

We’ll start from the top, where the big flag missing for some reason is Iran. Think what you want about Iran, it’s frankly none of your fucking business, especially if you’re a westerner. Iran has had to fight for its life against constant re-colonization attempts from the West, and they have someone survived, mashallah. As Sayyed Nasrallah (of Hezbollah) has said:

We in Lebanon sought to benefit from the experience of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, because it is a pioneering movement, on a global scale, that succeeded in defying the old world order. It also succeeded in building a state, a regime, and an entity outside the framework of compulsory loyalty to either East or West. It gave us many examples from which the Arab and Muslim world could learn.

Out of the crucible of decolonization and through the gauntlet of sanctions, Iran developed a highly sophisticated military capable of both protecting itself and fighting for the liberation of the region. Whereas Saudis and Emiratis bought US weapons and became spare-part vassals, Iran has an indigenous weapons program, which alone is capable of fighting for indigenous liberation. The masters tools will not dismantle the master’s house, as Audre Lorde said.Sanctions are, in many ways, the best thing that can happen to a country because they force you to stand on your own.

Iran has developed drone and supersonic missile technology that technically and practically (affordability) exceeds America’s. They fund and arm most of the Resistance and are a most vital piece.

Syria

Going clockwise, the next flag is Syria, which is nominally part of the Resistance, but they’re also still trying to get their pants on after being relentlessly attacked by White Empire. Many of its oil fields are still occupied by America (note that I use America, White Empire, Israel/America interchangeably because they are).Syrian paramilitaries are attacking American bases, but the Syrian state is just trying to survive and is not of supermuch assistance.

Liwa Fatemiyoun

The next flag is Liwa Fatemiyoun, which I have had to reverse image search because I have never heard of them. They seem to be an Afghan Shia group fighting in Syria (notably against ISIS) and now against the American occupation there (I assume). I don’t know anything else about them so I won’t go on.

Hezbollah

I’m going assume that all of the flags with a hand holding an AK-47 aloft are some variety of Hezbollah. For our purposes, I’ll address Hezbollah as one thing, based out of Lebanon and led by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, though this is obviously a simplification.

It’s important to understand that in Nasrallah’s philosophy, state borders in the Middle East are not real at all. Even less real is Israel, a colonial garrison state plonked there to keep the region divided (and conquered). This is an important philosophical point and Nasrallah is an important strategist, so I’ll quote from him directly here (from 1986):

We would like to allay the fears of those who think that Hezbollah intends to impose Islamic rule by force, and to tell them that we shall not impose Islam; for us, this is a matter of general principle. We are now intent on removing colonialism from this region, doing away with colonial means of information and culture, and making the people understand Islam as it should be understood; a lot of Muslim political terminology has been distorted by colonial interpretations.

We do not believe in multiple Islamic republics; we do believe, however, in a single Islamic world governed by a central government, because we consider all borders throughout the Muslim world as fake and colonialist, and therefore doomed to disappear.

We do not believe in a nation whose borders are 10,452 square kilometers in Lebanon; our project foresees Lebanon as part of the political map of an Islamic world in which specificities would cease to exist, but in which the rights, freedom, and dignity of minorities within it are guaranteed.

Therefore, in order for this project to be realized, priority should be given to removing Israel from the scene, because it was established for the express purpose of dividing and partitioning the Muslim world. We are not only against the partition of Lebanon, but also against the partition of the Muslim world; this explains why we see no alternative to fighting Israel, with all means at our disposal, until it ceases to exist.

I suppose western people find much of this scary, but it’s again none of their business. Decolonization in an Islamic region could and would look Islamic, and that’s their business. There’s this weird liberal idea that everyone should liberate themselves the same way, and deserve to get couped or bombed if they don’t. That’s just liberal colonialism.

Islam is a perfectly valid governing philosophy (much more than that really) and it contains huge amounts of wisdom, jurisprudence, and centuries of cultural experience. Muslim states have historically been tolerant, open, and diverse, in their own way. Trying to impose western liberal democracy (Democracy™) is just another form of colonialism, which Hezbollah rightly opposes.The colonizers want a European Union and White Empire for themselves, but attack any form of unity among Muslim peoples. It’s not even hypocrisy, it’s hierarchy, and that’s what must be overthrown.

Most borders in the Muslim world are divide-and-conquer lines drawn by the British, and they serve the same purpose under American rule. Hezbollah operates above and beyond such lines, and with a very singular focus. Hezbollah is not a governing party in Lebanon or anything like that. As Nasrallah says, “The long-term strategy of the Islamic Resistance is clear and does not require additional explanation. It involves fighting against Israel and liberating Jerusalem, as well as Imam Khomeini’s proposal — namely, ending Israel as a state.” Hezbollah is just a Resistance organization and their priority for decades has just been attacking Israel.

The western perspective on organizations like Hezbollah is that they are destabilizing the region, which is precisely the opposite of what’s happening. They are the region! The destabilizing presence is the carbon crusaders invading and colonizing the place. The real question is WTF the West is doing in the Middle East at all, with Israel as its ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’. As Nasrallah has said, “the resistance is linked to the occupation. As long as there is occupation, there is resistance.” And so the Resistance from Hezbollah goes on.

After beating Israel in 2006 (at great sacrifice), Hezbollah is now a highly sophisticated paramilitary. In 2021, Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah had 100,000 fighters. They also have precision rockets that can hit all parts of Israel. Since the start of the Al Aqsa Flood on October 7th, they have been systematically dismantling Israeli intelligence points along the Lebanese border and have effectively decolonized much of the north of occupied Palestine already.

Given that Hezbollah has a large standing army and missiles, the question has been why don’t they attack Israel in full now? There is a story from the 1980s that illustrates their strategic thinking. As the story goes (via Fotros):

Sayyed Hassan reports that in the 80’s Hezbollah had launched a self-sacrificing attack on an “Israeli” convoy killing and wounding its soldiers. As a result, they besieged the village where it took place, arrested all males aged 14–60, imposed a curfew and cut off water and electricity from the village. People weren’t allowed to buy medicine nor food and were besieged in their houses for a certain period. At the time people (among which were big scholars) complained to the leadership of Hezbollah that the operations weren’t guided by wise decisions. They said that the resistance suffered more than the “Israelis” as a result of the retaliations. All while on the “Israeli” side there were only a couple of deaths and injuries. The leadership went to Imam Khomeini [of Iran] for guidance. He replied that they should continue with resisting. He said the people misidentified the benefit of the attack. The benefit wasn’t that they killed a couple of soldiers. The benefit was that the buildup of the operations would lead to liberation. Imam Khomeini’s response was clear, continue resisting whatever the price may be.

The Israeli war crimes in Lebanon were similar to those in Gaza today. Lebanon, indeed, is where the Dahiya Doctrine of attacking civilians came from. Hezbollah follows a different doctrine, which is steadily building up operations until the occupation collapses. This seems to be the methodical strategy they’re following today, tying up at least a third of the Israeli Occupation Force in the north, and steadily degrading them, day by day. Whether this works only time will say, but Hezbollah is the most intellectually deep organization I’ve read about, and Nasrallah is a thinker for the ages.

Palestine

Palestine is at the bottom center of the flag infographic above and at the epicenter of the graphic violence we’re witnessing today. They are the fulcrum of both oppression and resistance in the Middle East, and so this section will be a big one.

As Paola Caridi says in her book Hamas: From Resistance To Government, “The flag might be the green of Hamas; it might be the lemon yellow of Fatah, or the red of the PFLP. It might be black, like the bandannas wrapped around the foreheads of Islamic Jihad militants. The shaheed [martyrs] are shaheed, they belong to everyone, and the colors of the flags are mere embellishments, the distinguishing mark of a political “family.””

PLO/PNA/Fatah/Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade

To start from the start, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was a Resistance group once, but now they’re basically the kapos of the concentration camp. They have been neutered by negotiations and corrupted into becoming colonial administrators more than a decolonial movement. The Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which they control, has neither a nation nor authority to speak of. The PLO is approved by the West and Israel, which is a bad thing for a resistance organization.

The PLO gave up everything for nothing, and are not worth talking about in this conversation, except as an irritant. I will use PLO interchangeably with its largest faction, Fatah, and the PNA, which they largely control. They are all, at this point, compradors. As Nasrallah said, “Any party, movement or faction that abandons resistance under any pretext, and for any reason, is giving up on a sacred duty,” and I concur. They are increasingly unpopular, in both Gaza and the West Bank, the latter of which they nominally control.

It’s important to note, however, that Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is still part of the active Resistance. Due to assassinations and spies, most Palestinian resistance organizations have political and military wings that are completely independent. Hence the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade features prominently in Resistance actions, though their political wing mostly sucks.

Hamas

Hamas is the big one, the bogeyman that Empire is using to justify massive war crimes. Hamas is actually an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement (Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah), and that’s what they are and do. There is nothing inherently evil about such a movement, just racism about them following Islam. In western media, the very word Hamas is to conjure up the idea of ‘scary Muslims’, a well-rehearsed trope used by both western media and Hollywood. If you look into the organization at all, however, it’s just a resistance movement that happens to be Islamic. The Islamic Resistance Movement, as it says on the tin.

This 'Islamization' of resistance is not even particularly unique to Hamas. As Caridi says, “In Palestine, however, the problem is that this so-called Islamization can be found throughout all political forces, even those that are defined simply—and simplistically—as secular, nationalist, or leftist.” The general repugnance towards Hamas as an Islamic movement is really just racism. As Caridi says about the evolution of Hamas, “by the methodological standards of the history of Western-style political parties, there would be nothing remarkable in such a watershed: from movement to institution, from opposition to governments, from armed struggle to reentry into mainstream politics.” Indeed, the governments of both Israel and America both started with ‘terrorism’, which is really only a bad thing if you lose.

All of the western hand-wringing about violence is really about anyone threatening imperial monopoly of violence, not any problem with violence per se. They just want to be the ones doing it. Western conservatives want Muslims to just shut up and die, and liberals want them to peacefully protest and die, but to the colonized, it’s the same damn result. As Kwame Ture said,“In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.”

Hamas as a resistance movement has figured this out and they use ‘any means necessary’ to liberate their people, including violence. They are not, however, inherently or blindly violent. This ain’t Hollywood and that’s just racist. As Caridi continues, “The first answer — the hardest, the most controversial, but also the most clearly backed by both facts and experts — is that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, but rather a political movement that has used terrorism, particularly during a certain phase of its history spanning over two decades.” That phase is notably over and Hamas has returned to its earlier form of targeting the military occupation directly (though not exclusively). I’ll cover Hamas more in detail (in a review of Caridi’s book), but for our purposes here their military wing — the Martyr Izz al-Din Al Qassam Brigades — is more relevant. I’ll refer to them as Al Qassam.

Al Qassam

The thing about Hamas which pisses the West off so much is that they are creating a Palestinian state with an army. And that army is led by Al-Qassam. The PLO had an army but turned it into an internal police state, capos for an ever shrinking concentration camp. Hamas rebuilt a resistance army and, for that, they are called terrorists, but, again, let’s get realpolitik. If Empire isn’t calling you terrorists, you’re doing it wrong.

The vanguard of the Palestinian Army is the Al Qassam Martyrs Brigade. Al Qassam has some tens of thousands of militants (20–25,000 by some estimates, over 40,000 by others, who knows). They are headed by Mohammed Deif—after the previous commander was killed—and their spokesman is Abu Obeida, who has become something of a folk here. Al Qassam uses homemade Yasin anti-tank weapons (based on Iranian tech) and their own modified rockets, including the M-90, which can reach 90 km. They operate out of some unknown kilometers of tunnels underneath Gaza. Despite being literally underground, they are a formidable fighting force and highly disciplined.

From the M-90 ‘launch’ video, via Fotros Resistance

Ideologically, Al Qassam is named after a preacher/militant killed in 1935 by the British, Izz al-Din al-Qassam. The OG al-Qassam was killed by the British for fighting them and Zionist colonizer, and now his vision goes on, through his indirect descendants, the Al-Qassam Brigade. The Brigade today is an army of (largely) orphans fighting the Zionists and latest incarnation of White Empire, nearly a hundred years later.

Izz al-Din al-Qassam did “his daily work with the poorest and most marginalized sectors of society” and his ‘nightly’ work focused on the root cause of their suffering, the occupation and colonization of their land. As Caridi continues, “al-Qassam moved from straightforward political activity during the early 1930s to the establishment of full-fledged armed groups who carried out attacks against the kibbutzim, which had become the symbols of Zionism… According to the Sheikh, it was necessary to choose an armed jihad.That is to say, he reached the same insight Kwame Ture did, which is that you have to just fight these people, rather than appeal to a conscience where there is none.

While there is no straight line from Izz al-Din al-Qassam to the martyrs brigade that bears his name, there is an ideological connection. The brigade is also committed to armed jihad and sign off most statements saying ‘it is indeed a jihad of victory or martyrdom.’ And so the struggle (one translation of jihad) goes on, with Al Qassam at the vanguard.

That vanguard shattered enemy lines on October 7th, which is why we’re having this conversation at all. After years of planning, Al Qassam executed a disciplined hit on Israeli military targets—the very bases occupying the concentration camp of Gaza. They also took hostages to exchange for the thousands of Palestinians Israel regularly kidnaps. The humiliated Israelis lied about beheaded babies and rapes— the same lies imperialists use for every slave rebellion and resistance movementbut it wasn’t true at all. The Al Aqsa Flood was a legitimate, military hit by an occupied people that have every right to self-defense, while Israel, as an occupying power, legally has none.

Israel responded with an orgy of war crimes that just made the contrast more clear. The ‘terrorists’ are a disciplined army and the ‘army’ are wild-eyed terrorists. Al Qassam are heroes of the Resistance, bravely blowing up tanks at point-blank range, while the Empire blows up hospitals. Allah knows Palestine needs an army to defend against these monsters, and in Al-Qassam, they have one.

Everyone Else

I’m honestly getting tired here—as you must be of reading all this—and this is also where my own reading stops. For the rest of the resistance groups I will defer to this infographic from the Resistance News Network. This is not because they’re less important—Allah knows they’re putting their lives on the line and every one counts—but simply because I’m ignorant. You can, however, get a sense from these ‘Pokémon’ cards:

Al Qassam (Hamas) and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fatah/PLO)
Sarya Al-Quds (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades (PFLP, commies/nominally PLO)
Mujahideen Brigades and Al-Nasser Salah Al-Deen Brigades (Popular Resistance Committees)
Omar Al-Qasim Forces (Marxist) and Lions’ Den
Joint Operations Room and Night Confusion

As you can see, there are a lot of Resistance groups in Palestine, because they have a lot of resisting to do.Luckily they’re not alone. Israel is not an isolated thing, it is just part of the greater White Empire, and that Empire is being attacked, in solidarity, across the whole region. Slowly but surely, the carbon crusaders are being kicked out.

Iraq

Most notably they’re being kicked out Iraq, a nation they still occupy despite being voted out by the very democracy they bombed into the place. The white flag at left is the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units. These are Iraqi state-sponsored militants numbering over 200,000, but as will all these numbers, who knows. It’s a lot, and they’re quite pissed off at America now, as you’ll see. They’re attacking American bases now, constantly.

Occupation bases in Iraq/Syria have been attacked nearly a hundred times now, with damage as follows:

America has been effectively covering this up, but the attacks are happening and the American has likely taken casualties. In response, America hasn’t done much, because they’re simply much weaker than they were in 2001. They can’t muster their own troops if they try, they have to rely on proxy armies willing to kill themselves. America did missile strike a few places in Iraq, leading to massive funerals like below:

The body of the martyr, Commander Montazer Alaa Al-Mamouri — Abu Mahdi, via Sabereen

Whereas the killing in Palestine was a salient but distant issue, now it hits home. The White Empire is under real pressure in Iraq/Syria, and following the general doctrine of Resistance, that pressure is systematically ramping up. Until liberation.

Yemen

Yemen, are the real heroes in the actual 'international community'. Despite suffering from a recent genocidal campaign themselves (from America/Saudi), they assembled a world-class military. That military stepped up to support Palestine by completely taking control of the Red Sea, while America warships float around impotently.

Yemen —the poorest country in the Arab world— has done more for Palestine than any nation state besides Iran. Despite being divided themselves (a proxy Saudi government claims power), they are united around the Palestine issue, as Muslim countries are supposed to be.

After executing a daring raid on the Israeli owned Galaxy Leader ship (above), Yemen has —as Israel escalates—escalated the embargo on their eastern shipping route. Do you see the pattern here? While Empire lashes out like a wounded animal and exhausts itself, the Resistance steadily ramps up operations until liberation.

Yemen first shut down Israeli owned shipping and now blocks ships going to/from Israel at all (unless they carry relief for the besieged people of Gaza).In response, Israeli Red Sea ports are almost empty, insurance rates have skyrocketed, and Maersk (big shipping company) has stopped all transit through the Red Sea entirely.

This is a serious economic drag on Israel and also a big black eye for America, which is supposed to be a naval power. If American Empire can’t secure shipping lanes against one of the poorest countries in the world, what sort of power are they? Yemen has shown in yet another way that the Empire has no clothes.

YouTuber Mustafa Al-Mumari inside the Galaxy Leader ship

Yemenis honestly seem like great people. The crew on the ships are treated as honored guests, chewing mouthfuls of qat and jamming out to local musicians. Meanwhile the Galaxy Leader has been turned into a tourist attraction and photo spot for locals. Yemen is punching well above their weight in the Resistance. Much ‘greater’ powers like Saudi Arabia and Egypt are frankly humiliated in comparison.

The Resistance Will Be Telegram’d

When I said the Resistance will be Telegram’d at the beginning of this post, I meant that literally. You can follow all of these groups directly, with a little working-around. As I wrote before:

With Telegram and a little working-around Apple/Google censorship, you can follow Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades, Hezbollah, and Abu Obeida himself. You can follow Ansar Allah Media Center from Yemen, Sabereen for the Iraqi resistance, or great analysts like Fotros Resistance and the Resistance News Network, who aggregate all of the above. You have to take all of this information with plenty of salt and I, in fact, cannot vouch for the provenance of any of them, but you should be doing that with media anyways.

However, to repeat what Pintada told me “I am too lazy and stupid to get access to all those sites that you mentioned,” which is completely understandable. It’s a veritable fire hose of information, much of it traumatizing. The value of this direct source of information (most of it auto-translated from Arabic for me) is, however, that it shows a very different picture than the constant Israeli war crimes we have all seen. While that shows the Palestinians being relentlessly beaten, which is true, the Resistance sources show them actively resisting, and winning. At great human cost, but that is the cost. As the Hamas leader abroad Khaled Mashal said:

Nations are not easily liberated. The Russians sacrificed 30 million people in World War II in order to liberate it from Hitler’s attack. The Vietnamese sacrificed 3.5 million people until they defeated the Americans. Afghanistan sacrificed millions of martyrs to defeat the USSR and then the US. The Algerian people sacrificed six million martyrs over 130 years. The Palestinian people are just like any other nation. No nation is liberated without sacrifices.

Today we live at a time of both liberation and devastation. They seem go together. Devastation is what we want to be liberated from, and when we fight back, it comes all at once. We live at a time of both imperial collapse and global rebellion, and its epicenter is in occupied Palestine. That font of so many tears is also the cynosure of all eyes. I am no authority but I am angry and I read these direct sources every day. Now that we’re at least on the same page in terms of who the actors are, I can begin to update you on their actions which, believe you me, are many. As the wheel of oppression breaks under the force of jihad, I hope you have a better sense of who the Axis of Resistance is. Next time, we’ll see how they roll.