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September 04, 2017

The Rohingya Of Myanmar - Pawns In An Anglo-Chinese Proxy War Fought By Saudi Jihadists

[Update Sept 7 - The post below received some criticism which, in my view, missed its major points. See here for a reply. - b]

Media attention is directed to some minor ethnic violence in Myanmar, the former Burma. The story in the "western" press is of Muslim Rohingya unfairly vilified, chased out and killed by  Buddhist mobs and the army in the state of Rakhine near the border to Bangladesh. The "liberal human interventionists" like Human Rights Watch are united with Islamists like Turkey's President Erdogan in loudly lamenting the plight of the Rohingya.

That curious alliance also occurred during the wars on Libya and Syria. It is by now a warning sign. Could there be more behind this than some local conflict in Myanmar? Is someone stocking a fire?


While the ethnic conflict in Rankine state is very old, it has over the last years morphed into an Jihadist guerilla war financed and led from Saudi Arabia. The area is of geo-strategic interest:

Rakhine plays an important part in [the Chinese One Belt One Road Initiative] OBOR, as it is an exit to Indian Ocean and the location of planned billion-dollar Chinese projects—a planned economic zone on Ramree Island, and the Kyaukphyu deep-sea port, which has oil and natural gas pipelines linked with Yunnan Province’s Kunming.

Pipelines from the western coast of Myanmar eastwards to China allow hydrocarbon imports from the Persian Gulf to China while avoiding the bottleneck of the Strait of Malacca and disputed parts of the South China Sea.

via Geostrategic Media - bigger

It is in "Western interest" to hinder China's projects in Myanmar. Inciting Jihad in Rakhine could help to achieve that. There is historic precedence for such a Rohingya - Bamar proxy war in Burma. During World War II British imperial forces incited the Rohingya Muslim in Rakhine to fight the Bamar, the dominant Burmese nationalist Buddhists allied with Japanese imperialists.


The Rohingya immigrated to the northern parts of Arakan, today's Rakhine state of Myanmar, since the 16th century. A large wave came under British imperial occupation some hundred years ago. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh continued over the last decades. In total about 1.1 million of Muslim Rohingya live in Myanmar. The birthrate of the Rohingya is said to be higher than that of the local Arakanese Buddhists. These feel under pressure in their own land.

While these populations are mixed in some towns there are many hamlets that belong 100% to either one. There is generally little integration of Rohingya within Myanmar. Most are officially not accepted as citizens. Over the centuries and the last decades there have been several violent episodes between the immigrants and the local people. The last Muslim-Buddhist conflict raged in 2012.

Since then a clearly Islamist insurgency was build up in the area. It acts under the name Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and is led by Ataullah abu Ammar Junjuni, a Jihadist from Pakistan. (ARSA earlier operated under the name Harakah al-Yakin, or Faith Movement.) Ataullah was born into the large Rohingya community of Karachi, Pakistan. He grew up and was educated in Saudi Arabia. He received military training in Pakistan and worked as Wahhabi Imam in Saudi Arabia before he came to Myanmar. He has since brainwashed, hired and trained a local guerrilla army of some 1,000 Takfiris.

According to a 2015 report in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn there are more than 500,000 Rohingya in Karachi. They came from Bangladesh during the 1970s and 1980s on the behest on General Ziaul Haq’s military regime and the CIA to fight the Soviets and the government of Afghanistan:

Rohingya community [in Karachi] is more inclined towards religion and they send their children to madressahs. It is a major reason that many religious parties, especially the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, the JI and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, have their organisational set-up in Burmese neighborhoods.
“A number of Rohingya members living in Arakan Abad have lost their relatives in recent attacks by Buddhist mobs in June 2012 in Myanmar,” said Mohammad Fazil, a local JI activist.

Rohingyas in Karachi regularly collect donations, Zakat and hides of sacrificial animals and send these to Myanmar and Bangladesh to support the displaced families.

Reuters noted in late 2016 that the Jihadist group is trained, led and financed through Pakistan and Saudi Arabia:

A group of Rohingya Muslims that attacked Myanmar border guards in October is headed by people with links to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Thursday, citing members of the group.
“Though not confirmed, there are indications [Ataullah] went to Pakistan and possibly elsewhere, and that he received practical training in modern guerrilla warfare,” the group said. It noted that Ata Ullah was one of 20 Rohingya from Saudi Arabia leading the group’s operations in Rakhine State.

Separately, a committee of 20 senior Rohingya emigres oversees the group, which has headquarters in Mecca, the ICG said.

The ARSA Jihadists claim to only attack government forces but civilian Arakanese Buddhists have also been ambushed and massacred. Buddhist hamlets were also burned down. 

The government of Myanmar alleges that Ataullah and his group want to declare an independent Islamic State. In October 2016 his group started to attack police and other government forces in the area. On August 25 this year his group attacked 30 police stations and military outposts and killed some 12 policemen. The army and police responded, as is usual in this conflict, by burning down Rohingya townships suspected of hiding guerilla forces.

To escape the growing violence many local Arakanese Buddhist flee their towns towards the capitol of Rankine. Local Rohingya Muslim flee across the border to Bangladesh. Only the later refugees seem to get international attention.

The Myanmar army has ruled the country for decades. Under economic pressure it nominally opened up to the "west" and instituted "democracy". The darling of the "west" in Myanmar is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Her party won the elections and she has a dominant role in the government. But Aung San Suu Kyi is foremost a nationalist and the real power is still held by the generals.

While Aung San Suu Kyi was propped up as democratic icon she has little personal merit except being the daughter of Thakin Aung San, a famous leader of the Burma Independence Army (BIA) and the "father of the nation". In the 1940s Thakin Aung San was recruited by the Imperial Japanese Army to wage a guerrilla war against the colonial British army and the British supply line to anti-Japanese forces in China:

The young Aung San learned to wear Japanese traditional clothing, speak the language, and even took a Japanese name. In historian Thant Myint-U’s “The River of Lost Footsteps,” he describes him as “apparently getting swept away in all the fascist euphoria surrounding him,” but notes that his commitment remained to independence for Myanmar.

The ethnic strife in Rakhine also played a role in the British-Japanese conflict over Burma:

In April 1942, Japanese troops advanced into Rakhine State and reached Maungdaw Township, near the border with what was then British India, and is now Bangladesh. As the British retreated to India, Rakhine became a front line.

Local Arakanese Buddhists collaborated with the BIA and Japanese forces but the British recruited area Muslims to counter the Japanese.

“Both armies, British and Japanese, exploited the frictions and animosity in the local population to further their own military aims,” wrote scholar Moshe Yegar

When the British won against the Japanese Thakin Aung San change sides and negotiated the end of British imperial rule over Burma. He was assassinated in 1947 with the help of British officers. Since then Burma, later renamed to Myanmar, was ruled by ever competing factions of the military.

Thakin Aung San's daughter Aung San Suu Kyi received a British education and was build up for a role in Myanmar. In the 1980s and 90s she quarreled with the military government. She was given a Nobel Peace Price and was promoted as progressive defender of human rights by the "western" literati. But she, and the National League for Democracy (NLD). she leads, were always the opposite - ultra-right fascists in Buddhist Saffron robes. The hypocrites are now disappointed that she does not speak out in favor of the Rohingya. But doing so would put her on the opposite side her father had famously fought for. It would also put her in opposition to most of the people in Myanmar who have little sympathy for the Rohingya and their Jihadi fight. In general many of the 50 million people of the larger Myanmar fear overwhelming immigration from the 160 million Bengalis of the smaller, flood prone and overpopulated Bangladesh.

Moreover - the Chinese OBOR projects are a huge bon for Myanmar and will help with its economic development. The Saudis and Pakistani send guerilla commanders and money to incite the Rohingya to Jihad in Myanmar.  This is a historic repeat of the CIA operation against Soviet influence in Afghanistan. But unlike in Afghanistan the people of Myanmar are not Muslim. They will surely fight against, not join, any Jihad in their country. The Rohingya are now pawns in the great game and will suffer from it.


Posted by b on September 4, 2017 at 03:08 PM | Permalink

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@93 thanks b and others who have continued the conversation here.. it has been enlightening for different and opaque reasons.. i feel i learned something about human nature and how quick folks are, or thin skinned folks are towards forming a position that looks like dogma, or a dogmatic attitude to me..

Posted by: james | Sep 7, 2017 12:59:27 AM | 101


"I wasn't addressing anyone specifically"

Only two people (James and I) mentioned gender, and we mentioned it innocuously.

[deleted some 50 lines of obvious trolling - b.]

Doesn't matter, does it?

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 7, 2017 2:50:17 AM | 102


Are my posts not well considered?

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 7, 2017 2:51:22 AM | 103

@ 9

"The bottom line is that the rohingyas are people of Myanmar and should not be ethnically cleansed and genocided or treated like trash."

The only problem is that they ARE trash.

"The riots finally came after weeks of sectarian disputes including a gang rape and murder of a Rakhine woman by rohingyas"

I tire of how you darkies seem to favor only your own 'brethren', as if you people are free from all sin or crimes.

Nowhere have I read or seen any of your 'brethren' empathize or pity those of other faiths (Christianity, etc.)

And I - along with several associates - tire of how you blokes 'enlist' the help of self-hating white cucks in your agendas, that are always portraying the whole damn lot of you as victims eternal, forever oppressed by whichever host countries you find yourselves.

I reckon "shame" ain't part of your lexicon.

How similar you are with the very ones you detest most (i.e. bagel dogs)...

Posted by: YT | Sep 7, 2017 5:17:46 PM | 104

@yt - your statement is one of complete hostility with no respect for the welfare of others... i hope b bans you permanently.. we definitely don't need people like you on this site..

Posted by: james | Sep 7, 2017 5:57:47 PM | 105

James @ 105

Mate, a spade is a spade.

I'd rather not bicker with you over the details (since you do not live with or have to put up with said fanaticist darkies - forever proselytizing their 'victim posture' like I do).

Posted by: YT | Sep 7, 2017 10:43:03 PM | 106

more info on rohinya from usa state dept... thru the eyes of the usa state dept daily briefing..

Posted by: james | Sep 7, 2017 11:00:45 PM | 107

As noted in my recent post,
The follwing countries have already succumbed to
WEAPON OF MASS MIGRATION from the sub continent,

Sri Lanka

Posted by: denk | Sep 8, 2017 1:18:19 AM | 108

b 93
'There are strong propagandist elements in the usual story that is now told. There is no genocide in Rakhine. The level of violence is still quite low. The refugee wave is quite small compared to other events (currently at least 1,500 people flee EACH DAY from South-Sudan to Uganda - this has been ongoing for many months and by now millions have fled the violence - many more people than all the Rohingya in Myanmar) '

Sudan refugees, more WMM ?

Posted by: denk | Sep 8, 2017 1:37:17 AM | 109

The developing coverage in the MSM over the last few days is, IMO, vindicating b's views on this one.

This morning, the news (CBC) reported that Desmond Tutu spoke out against Aung. While anyone can make a mistake, what I found interesting was that the news reported what Tutu said, as presumably he does pipe up about any number of things from time to time without being quoted on the Western mass media.

The clincher will be when George Clooney makes an impassioned appeal. Then all doubt will be put to rest.

Posted by: xpat | Sep 8, 2017 6:54:23 AM | 110

@110 xpat.. i agree.. see my link @107 where the usa state dept has it at the top of the conversation for an extended part of the daily briefing, which incidentally - are more like once a week briefings..

Posted by: james | Sep 8, 2017 11:07:49 AM | 111

and again today, the usa daily press briefing was a complete focus on rohingya.. for an insight into how the usa is approaching this see the questions and answers here -

Posted by: james | Sep 8, 2017 8:18:14 PM | 112

@112 Not sure about an insight james. Mr. Murphy seems to be trotting out stuff we all know already. Complex situation, many ethnic groups, US working with the newly elected government etc. I could have given that briefing.

Posted by: dh | Sep 8, 2017 9:52:42 PM | 113

@113 dh.. i agree.. however, it is the info that they leave out that tells one much of what they need to know... b's article and info here has critical info that is being left out of the official usa state dept storyline... that is the key difference specifically "over the last years morphed into an Jihadist guerilla war financed and led from Saudi Arabia." the usa state dept. makes no mention of any of this... it is all about the government forces being the bad guys... i would like a more nuanced presentation and i never get it from the usa state dept.. it is always what they leave out and why they leave it out, that one must be clear on..

Posted by: james | Sep 8, 2017 10:52:48 PM | 114

@114 Murphy did say "On August 25th, the attacks on security forces were quite substantial, quite coordinated. This is relatively new. And there were casualties. That creates a lot of concern, a lot of fear, and a requirement for security forces to respond."

He's not endorsing the military action but he does seem to suggest that there are two sides to it. I guess he wouldn't want to discuss Saudi involvement.....but nobody asked him directly.

Posted by: dh | Sep 8, 2017 11:17:15 PM | 115

i just think one has to have more info in order to see how the info that is selected, can push the story a particular direction or not..

Posted by: james | Sep 9, 2017 12:07:51 AM | 116

@116 Actions speak louder than words. I think Donald has enough conflicts on his plate for now. He is 'aware of the situation'. Haley is 'deeply troubled'.

Posted by: dh | Sep 9, 2017 10:18:40 AM | 117

Islamic Bangladesh has been carrying out a genocide of Buddhists and even Christians from the Chittagong Hill tract region for a long time, why does no one talks about that?

Check out this series on the Muslim genocide of Mongoloid Buddhists in Bangladesh

Posted by: Malla | Sep 15, 2017 12:48:11 PM | 118

That's great be draws our attention to the issue. One thing's for certain - the conflict is blown out of the proportion by the lame-scream media, clearly lying, obfuscating and manipulating. Which confirms the diagnosis - the violence is again incited to undermine the OBOR and formation of the new, multipolar, gold-based world order.

I do not see the evidence of the Rohingya terrorists relying on the population, they are again some fringe fanatics selected by the AngloZio empire for the job.

I'm not sure about the crimes of the Myanmar forces against that population.

The plight of the Buddhists there is of not concern for the lame-scream media.

This is interesting Rohingya Genocide – Links to Corporatism, Geopolitics & Wahhabism

Corporations from dozens of other countries – US, France, Canada, Japan, India and so on – have similarly carved up various parts of Myanmar. So what happens when corporations and countries build oil wells, offshore rigs, sea ports, railways, highways and fancy hotels for the foreign workers? Well, the native poor people have to be evacuated. This happens all over the world and often creates political, financial, and legal nightmares for the corporations. For one, many people may refuse to leave, especially farmers and fishermen whose livelihood depend on the land and the sea. Second, the corporations have to pay people who are willing to be relocated. Say, for example, the Myanmar law says the corporations have to pay $1,000 per person. For 100,000 people, that comes to $100 million.

Now, rather than paying these people or trying to deal with those who’re refusing to leave, what if the corporations could pay $1 million to some shady characters to drive those 100,000 people out of the area? That way, the corporations can save money, stay above the fray, and avoid any PR disaster...

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 18, 2017 1:36:27 AM | 119

I don't doubt there is some truth in this, but it cannot justify the massacres and ethnic cleansing of Rohingya which is going on now and which has been going on and off for decades by the Burmese military, nor the Burmese military treating all Rohingya as "illegal Bengali migrants" when Rohingya have lived in the country for centuries.

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 19, 2017 9:22:00 PM | 120

It also seems strange, if this was a Saudi led insurgency, that the first attacks by ARSA on Burmese security forces only came in October 2016, when the inter-communal violence began in 2012, with no mention of armed Rohingya militants at all, and then continued with 3 years of genocidal ethnic cleansing massacres of Rohingya villages in which the Myanmar army and police took part, before any Rohingya militant attacks.

It seems a bit like arguing that the Holocaust was caused by the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 19, 2017 9:25:14 PM | 121

Malla - you're right the media should be giving more coverage to human rights abuses against the Buddhist minority in Bangladesh - but Human Rights Watch and Amnesty do report on it. The difference is that while the Bangladeshi police and military have destroyed the homes of many Bangladeshi Buddhists, they have not killed lots of them while doing so. That doesn't make it right - it's still completely wrong - but the number of people killed by comparison with what the Burmese military and police are doing in Rakhine state is very small

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 19, 2017 9:32:13 PM | 122

Article also seems to be attributing attacks on civilians to ARSA, which, when you read the articles linked to from this one as sources for these claims , actually refer to mobs of Rohingya, not men armed with guns. In one case some were armed with swords. If those are jihadist militants funded by Saudi Arabia then Saudi must be being unusually stingy with money and equipment.


Seems more likely they are mobs of civilians - like those from both ethnic/religious communities that massacred civilians of the other in 2012 - and not ARSA?

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 19, 2017 9:40:54 PM | 123

Ah wait - correction - reading article linked below ARSA's leader said most of them only have swords and knives - so could be ARSA attacks after all. Would make it much harder to believe this was an insurgency funded/armed/trained by the Saudis and Pakistanis though - if they were they would surely be better armed

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 19, 2017 9:44:17 PM | 124

And as for the Rohingyas coming to Karachi "at Zia Ul haq's behest" in the 70s and 80s, that's not quite right. There has been ethnic cleansing of Rohingya's going on since the events in World war Two you mention - and there was an episode of large scale ethnic cleansing of Burmese Rohingya by the Burmese military in 1978.

Pakistan was certainly welcoming Muslim immigrants and refugees at the time, but they were leaving Burma for Pakistan because their homes had been burnt and anyone who didn't escape killed - a bit like today.

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 19, 2017 10:15:21 PM | 125

@ commenter with handle @9 - why don't you sod off back to The Daily Stormer? Oh wait, i forgot, no one in the world wants to host you people any more. Back to building giant crosses in fields to set on fire, and making hoods out of pillow cases for you

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 19, 2017 10:18:28 PM | 126

The one thing that does seem at least a possibility is that ARSA/Harakat al-Yaqeen could have been among the mobs of Muslims who were involved in attacks on Rakhine Buddhist civilians, at the same time as Rakhine Buddhist mobs were killing Rohingya Muslim civilians in 2012.

However there is no hard evidence of this and ARSA/ Harakat al-Yaqeen at least claim to have only formed as a result of and after that inter-communal violence.

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 19, 2017 10:52:13 PM | 127

Seems a bit crazy to be talking about people who have lived in Burma by your own admission since at least the 16th century (i.e 500 years ago, dozens of generations) as if they weren't Burmese - plays into or falls for the Myanmar military and Buddhist nationalist propaganda lines.

And if the Rohingya militant group is a "financed and led from Saudi Arabia" then how is it that the Burmese government gives the arms the ARSA "terrorists" who attacked police stations from October last year as swords, spears, powder-lock sidearms (i.e 19th century pistols) and home made bombs consisting of gunpowder and lead balls (more like 18th century).

Meanwhile Syrian rebel groups which we know definitely are armed by the Saudis have modern automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade launchers. That would have to make ARSA the worst funded "Saudi funded" group in modern history. It's just not credible.

What we do know from credible sources (International Crisis Group) is that ARSA's leadership are Rohingya exiles based in Saudi. That is very different from the Saudi government backing ARSA though. If there's any Saudi involvement it must be limited to training of leaders - and they could have easily got their experience serving in militaries or in jihadist groups in other countries, before forming ARSA - just as e.g IRA members used to join the British military for several years to get training.

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 22, 2017 11:37:10 AM | 128

@ duncan mcfarlane.. what we do know is saudi arabia is exporting wahabbism - the 'moderate' headchopping cult around the globe.. now, whether they want to give the gear to murder all the infidels or not, it is clear the level of intolerance demonstrated by this sick cult knows no bounds.. the fact the leadership of arsa is based in saudi arabia is a very bad sign for all things arsa..

Posted by: james | Sep 22, 2017 1:35:39 PM | 129

Seems to me most of the sick rape and killing since Burma became independent has been committed by the Burmese military against ethnic minorities - including Muslim , Buddhist and Christian ones, resulting in some of those ethnic minorities forming armed resistance groups - and it's no different with the Rohingya.

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 22, 2017 3:40:28 PM | 130

There is indeed a Special Economic Zone planned in Rakhine state around the town of Maungdaw under the NLD government.

The laws for SEZs in Burma allow forcible relocation of the population and seizure of their land without compensation.

And President Thein Sein proposed the permanent deportation of Rohingya villagers to other areas and even other countries in 2014.

So there may well be a plan to depopulate Rakhine state to allow economic dvelopment and pollution with no limitations - but it's a plan by the Myanmar military and government.

Posted by: Duncan McFarlane | Sep 23, 2017 5:36:54 PM | 131

Hi, M of A,

Not sure where you get "minor ethnic violence in Myanmar" and "The refugee wave is quite small compared to other events" but UNHCR says "number of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar edges towards half a million" so obviously it is a humanitarian catastrophe not excusable by the presence of a few poorly armed "Islamic insurgents" and "Tafkiris" attacking police stations and army outposts

Likewise, some quibbles about the Pakistani newspaper Dawn report there are more than 500,000 Rohingya in Karachi. Those, discredited figures by the defunct Pakistani agency NARA were based on "estimates by senior officials". Other estimates by the same agency say 200,000 but no one knows for sure, since, the agency never counted them. Indeed, a Sindh High Court judge censured them for not keeping track of foreign nationals and the President merged the agency into NADRA

On the one hand, those born in Bangla Desh have a right to Pakistani citizenship, on the other, those falsely called Rohingya can be denied essential services in Karachi. Too many sources to link here, but there are competing interests to ensure those figures are inflated or underestimated.

Likewise, the Muslim presence in Myanmar goes back to the 9th century and since then, the Muslim Tatar armies of the Mongols also invaded Burma around the 13th-14th centuries. It is shameful that later immigration by Bengalis in the 19th century should be used to deny the Rakhine Muslims (Rohingya is a misnomer) their civil rights.

Now, your major, geo-political theme about nefarious interests trying to disrupt the Chinese silk road. Ataullah has already made peace overtures to Myanmar; stop persecuting Muslims, make peace. If Myanmar won't listen, and refuse to allow UN inspectors, fine. But the major plan by China is not to build a pipeline through Myanmar, but through the Pakistani port of Gwadar. The Iran/Pakistan gas pipeline's already well under way, and eventually carry up to China. This will be built along the China-Pakistan highway as part of the China-Pakistan economic corridor

Which brings us to the ultimate prize: Gwadar - a port built by China - is the absolute key. It is the essential node in the crucial, ongoing, and still virtual Pipelineistan war between IPI and TAPI. IPI is the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline", which is planned to cross from Iranian to Pakistani Balochistan - an anathema to Washington. TAPI is the perennially troubled, US-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline, which is planned to cross western Afghanistan via Herat and branch out to Kandahar and Gwadar.--Pepe Escobar, "Balochistan is the ultimate prize," Asia Times, May 9, 2009]

[So whoever "wins" Balochistan incorporates Pakistan as a key transit corridor to either Iranian gas from the monster South Pars field or a great deal of the Caspian wealth of "gas republic" Turkmenistan.--Robert D. Crane, "Baluchistan: Pivot of Asia, Revisited,", May 9, 2009]

There is indeed, a hybrid war against China taking place, but that is in Pakistan. Why should oil tankers go around India to dock in Myanmar when Gwadar, a deep sea water port is a lot closer? The gas pipeline from Iran’s Pars field extend from there to China?

Posted by: Naseer Ahmad | Sep 23, 2017 7:44:47 PM | 132

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