Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

US and Islamic State: ‘We did see this coming’

And they just sat back and let it happen…

Like the rest of the world, the U.S. government appeared to have been taken aback last month when Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, fell to an offensive by jihadis of the Islamic State that triggered the collapse of five Iraqi army divisions and carried the extremists to the threshold of Baghdad.

A review of the record shows, however, that the Obama administration wasn’t surprised at all.

In congressional testimony as far back as November, U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials made clear that the United States had been closely tracking the al Qaida spinoff since 2012, when it enlarged its operations from Iraq to civil war-torn Syria, seized an oil-rich province there and signed up thousands of foreign fighters who’d infiltrated Syria through NATO ally Turkey.

The testimony, which received little news media attention at the time, also showed that Obama administration officials were well aware of the group’s declared intention to turn its Syrian sanctuary into a springboard from which it would send men and materiel back into Iraq and unleash waves of suicide bombings there. And they knew that the Iraqi security forces couldn’t handle it.

The tragedy of the Arabs

TheEconomist

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.

In Iraq, Islamic State jihadists destroy ancient mosques, shrines

TimesOfIndia

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.”

Remember? They’ve done this before…

How Obama Lost the Middle East

By being a community “organizer” instead of Presidential material?

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.

What unites Isis and al-Qaeda? Blowing up American planes

Thanks, Barry…

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.

Releasing the hounds

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.

Caliphate: A map purportedly showing the areas ISIS plans to have under its control within five years has been widely shared online. As well as the Middle East, North Africa and large areas of Asia, it also reveals ISIS' ambition to extend into Europe. Spain, which was Muslim-ruled until the late 15th Century, would form part of the caliphate, as would the Balkan states and eastern Europe, up to and including Austria

People Magazine for the ISIS recruits…

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

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

An exhaustively constructed timeline of the Benghazi incident

ConservativeTreeHouse

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?

Iran Nuke Deal Could ‘Change History’

NationalReview

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.”

Judge Who Sentenced Saddam Hussein to Death – Captured & Executed by ISIS

GatewayPundit

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.”

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