Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category
Why Arab countries have so miserably failed to create democracy, happiness or (aside from the windfall of oil) wealth for their 350m people is one of the great questions of our time. What makes Arab society susceptible to vile regimes and fanatics bent on destroying them (and their perceived allies in the West)? No one suggests that the Arabs as a people lack talent or suffer from some pathological antipathy to democracy. But for the Arabs to wake from their nightmare, and for the world to feel safe, a great deal needs to change.
Islam, or at least modern reinterpretations of it, is at the core of some of the Arabs’ deep troubles. The faith’s claim, promoted by many of its leading lights, to combine spiritual and earthly authority, with no separation of mosque and state, has stunted the development of independent political institutions.
But religious extremism is a conduit for misery, not its fundamental cause (see article). While Islamic democracies elsewhere (such as Indonesia—see article) are doing fine, in the Arab world the very fabric of the state is weak. Few Arab countries have been nations for long.
Economic stagnation bred dissatisfaction. Monarchs and presidents-for-life defended themselves with secret police and goons. The mosque became a source of public services and one of the few places where people could gather and hear speeches. Islam was radicalised and the angry men who loathed their rulers came to hate the Western states that backed them.
Today the outlook is bloody. But ultimately fanatics devour themselves. Meanwhile, wherever possible, the moderate, secular Sunnis who comprise the majority of Arab Muslims need to make their voices heard.
The jihadists who overran Mosul last month have demolished ancient shrines and mosques in and around the historic northern Iraqi city, residents and social media posts said on Saturday.
At least four shrines to Sunni Arab or sufi figures have been demolished, while six Shia mosques, or husseiniyahs, have also been destroyed, across militant-held parts of northern Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital.
Pictures posted on the internet by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group showed the Sunni and sufi shrines were demolished by bulldozers, while the Shia mosques and shrines were all destroyed by explosives. The photographs were part of an online statement titled “Demolishing shrines and idols in the state of Nineveh”.
Local residents confirmed that the buildings had been destroyed and that militants had occupied two cathedrals as well.
“We feel very sad for the demolition of these shrines, which we inherited from our fathers and grandfathers,” said Ahmed, a 51-year-old resident of Mosul. “They are landmarks in the city.”
The results were contradictory messages that encouraged radical Islamists. The conclusion radical Islamists drew was that even the Obama administration had admitted its anti-terrorism protocols were either morally questionable or ineffective.
Blaming a video maker instead of immediately taking out the known jihadists who had murdered Americans in Benghazi only reinforced that mixed message. So did exchanging five terrorist kingpins in Guantanamo for an alleged American military deserter in Afghanistan.
A series of empty Middle East red lines, deadlines, and withdrawal dates likewise reinforced the idea of American abdication.
We warned Syria of air strikes and then backed down. We surged in Afghanistan only to simultaneously announce a withdrawal date for our troops. We issued Iran lots of deadlines to stop enriching uranium, only to forget them and end sanctions in hope of negotiations.
But newly emboldened terrorists gambled that the old deterrence was stale and now existed mostly as Obama’s reset rhetoric. They gambled that it was a great time to go on the offensive. They may have been right.
Once more in the Middle East, Barack Obama is looking to blame others for a mess that has grown since 2009. But mostly he just wants out of the lose-lose region at any cost and wishes that someone would just make all the bad things go away.
Ever since Islamist militants emerged as the dominant force in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, much has been written about how groups such Isis, which is currently in the process of establishing an Islamic Caliphate in northern Iraq, should be distinguished from the mainstream al-Qaeda movement. Isis fighters are so extreme, or so the argument goes, that even al-Qaeda is appalled at their barbarous treatment of their fellow Muslims, to the extent that Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s somewhat isolated leader, has attempted to disown them.
But as transportation chiefs on both sides of the Atlantic are now giving active consideration to bringing in a security measures on flights to the US, it is clear that militant Islamist groups such as Isis and al-Qaeda have much more in common than was previously thought. And nothing is more guaranteed to forge a spirit of unity among these disparate Islamist groups than the tempting prospect of blowing up US-bound civilian airliners.
It is a truly alarming picture, and one that Western governments need to take seriously. The attitude of most politicians in Britain and America is that they want to avoid becoming involved in the violent conflicts in Iraq and Syria at any cost. But when you have radical Islamist groups like Isis and al-Qaeda united in their desire to commit atrocities in America and Europe, simply trying to ignore the problem is no longer an option they can afford.
The ISIS map of the world: Militants outline chilling five-year plan for global domination as they declare formation of caliphate – and change their name to the Islamic State
ISIS has formally declared the establishment of a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the vast stretches of the Middle East that have fallen under its control, and has outlined a vision to expand into Europe.
The announcement was described as the ‘most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11′.
Upon declaring a caliphate, the Sunni militants – whose brutality in attempting to establish control in Iraq and Syria has been branded too extreme even by Al Qaeda – demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world.
With brutal efficiency, ISIS has carved out a large chunk of territory that has effectively erased the border between Iraq and Syria and laid the foundations of its proto-state.
ISIS militants produce slick weekly magazine packed with English language Islamist propaganda designed to recruit and radicalise would-be extremists in the West
Islamist militants fighting in Iraq and Syria are producing a weekly English language magazine designed to recruit and radicalise would-be jihadists in the West.
The magazine, which is professionally designed and edited, is published by AlHayat Media Center – the propaganda wing of ISIS, the Sunni militant group whose brutal campaign to establish an Islamic state in the Middle East has been branded too extreme even by Al Qaeda.
ISIS already make extensive use of social media to keep in near-constant contact with supporters in the West – even selling branded merchandise such as T-shirts, baseball caps and cuddly toys.
Communications: The professionally designed and edited Islamic State Report is published by the AlHayat Media Center – ISIS’ propaganda wing. It is put out once a week, with four editions already released in June
And…. If you just realized…. Yes, ISIS or ISIL currently on the march in Iraq, came from Syria, fought in Syria and more than likely was armed by the U.S. inside Syria; and trained by the same CIA operatives used by the State Dept to send Syria weapons from Benghazi and Darnah back in Libya.
If Operation Zero Footprint in Libya was stupid, arming the Syrian branches of al-Qaeda two years after the FSA was thoroughly corrupted by al-Qaeda, is infinite degrees beyond stupid.
But that’s hindsight for ya….. or as Secretary Clinton would say “Whether they were, … at this point, what difference does it make?“
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said striking a nuclear deal with Iran will “change history.”
If the Obama administration cuts a deal that lifts most sanctions currently imposed on the regime in Tehran while allowing the mullahs to keep most of their nuclear capabilities, he told NBC’s David Gregory, “It would be a monumental mistake.”
“I hope it doesn’t come to pass,” he said. “This would change history.”
There were reports of the execution of Iraqi judge, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, who sentenced Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to death, according to confirmed the pages on the social networking site, without official confirmation from the Iraqi government.
The pages on social networking sites, including Page MP Jordanian Khalil Attieh on the site “Facebook” to “revolutionaries Iraqis arrested him and sentenced him to death in retaliation for the death of the martyr Saddam Hussein,” he said, adding that Rauf tried to escape from Baghdad after wearing uniforms dancers. She page Izzat al-Douri, vice-president Saddam Hussein, the “Facebook” to the rebels Iraqis were able to arrest the Kurdish judge Rauf Rashid, who issued a death sentence against the former Iraqi leader, which is currently in the “grip of the soldiers of the Islamic State and the men of the Baath Party.”
“On 16 June 2014, Abd al-Rahman was arrested by ISIS rebels during 2014 Northern Iraq offensive. Two days later, it was reported that ISIS captured and executed him.”
Emperor Narcissus probably can’t wait for this to happen so he can declare martial law and himself Emperor for Life...
Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, former Vice President Dick Cheney plainly stated that there are much bigger problems than are going on in Iraq.
Using a recent Rand Corporation poll, Cheney listed all of the other terrorist organizations that are popping up around the globe who are as dangerous as ISIS, if not more, especially those with nuclear capabilities.
There’s been a 58% increase in the number of groups like al Qaeda — Salafi-Jihadists, and it stretches from west Africa all across north Africa, east Africa, through the Middle East all the way around to Indonesia — a doubling of the number of terrorists out there.
I worry about Pakistan. Just a couple of weeks ago, in Pakistan, the Taliban — the same group we just released five of the leaders of from Guantanamo — raided Karachi Airport. Why do I care about that? Well, Pakistan is unique in that it has a significant inventory of nuclear weapons.
Cheney went on to explain that now, through a bribe with Pakistan’s nuclear program, North Korea gained intel on enriching uranium and has 2,000 centrifuges operating. North Korea also tried to provide Syria with a nuclear reactor as well.
“First thing we have to do,” Cheney added, “is recognize we’ve got a hell of a problem and it’s not just in Iraq.”