Who Does ISIS Really Threaten?

Thank you, Mr. President.  By taking the country to war yet again you have made my job as a blogger so much easier…..since I like international relations and especially the Middle East….I am thrilled!

We have heard the war hawks thumping their chest like crazed primates about the threat to the homeland…..but really who is threatened by the appearance of ISIS?

Sorry, but US is a low priority for them…..regardless of what mental midgets like McCain and Graham would have you believe……

If not us then who?

Maybe those with the highest probability of attack should be part of this newest intervention by the US……..whatcha think?

 

Worldpress.org – World Press Wire.

 

 

Ignorance Fuels the Calls for War – Reason.com

Americans are ready to go to war……again.  As usual Americans as usual are not thinking they want revenge…..and revenge is not a good way to go into a war.  Americans show a massive bag full of ignorance on so many levels.

When the war goes to crap then they start blaming everyone but themselves…..right now the polls show that Americans want some sort of action against the common enemy, in this case ISIS…..without thought of the consequences of their actions……

 

Ignorance Fuels the Calls for War – Reason.com.

Iraq: ISIS Coalition Briefing #2

As promised I will try and keep my readers up to date on the happenings around our newest war……the battle for hearts and minds in Iraq/Syria….or the coalition of the willing (cute name for a handful of cowards) against the spread of the Islamic State…….

There is a lot more happening than the media is willing to tell the public…..I will try and do my best to tell “the rest of the story”…….

Item 1–the media coverage of the conflict…….we know that the media will not have free access as in Vietnam but rather an imbedding system that way the control of information can be controlled.  the media will be used to drive the conversation…I know I keep harping on that point but if not why would this have taken place?

President Barack Obama met with over a dozen prominent columnists and magazine writers Wednesday afternoon before calling for an escalation of the war against the Islamic State, or ISIS, in a primetime address that same night.

Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, reported on Saturday that Obama had met with columnists and magazine writers but did not name the attendees.

Baker wrote that three New York Times columnists and one editorial writer attended, but indicated they weren’t sources for his story. Since the meeting was off the record, the Times columnists could not report what Obama said. But Baker, a Times reporter not in attendance, was under no obligation to withhold the fact that the meeting took place.

The Obama team will need some allies in their trip to control the flow of information……and the media is a willing participant.  You still think that there is a free press?

Item 2–The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been named as one of the ‘moderates’ that we should be supporting…..but how successful are they?

The FSA has a much smaller footprint across Syria than it once did, having lost virtually all of its territory to rival rebels, and seeing mass defections, including large numbers joining ISIS.

The FSA’s ability to recruit and keep fighters seems to be heavily weighed down by the group’s lack of success so far, as the group has not shown itself to be particularly adept at anything but currying favor with Western nations, and what arms its obtained from them are quickly distributed to other factions, which do all the heavy combat.

Sounds like any training and weapons we give the FSA will be of more use to IS than any coalition Obama may put together…….

Item 3–Some members of the ‘coalition of the willing’ does not think it is a good idea that it include other Arab nations……

The Obama Administration’s efforts to cobble together a coalition of nations for the new war on ISIS has netted a handful of Sunni Arab nations willing to conduct airstrikes inside Iraq, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and by some accounts Egypt.

The big problem is that no one asked the Iraqis if they were okay with this, and President Fuad Massoum today made clear that the Iraqi government considers such nations “unnecessary,” which is a polite way of saying extremely unwelcome.

That dislike comes from sectarian distrust more so than any geopolitical reasons…..will this be a major sticking point when the hard choices become necessary?

Item 4–I personally do not like smoke up my butt……it appears that some Americans relish the idea……I am talking about the Iraq/IS thing……as long as Maliki was the PM we did nothing in Iraq….we went on and on about the needs for a inclusive government…….you see Maliki was of the Shia persuasion and a majority in the country are of Sunni……so Obama’s rhetoric was a more inclusive government….then there was a new Pm and our airstrikes began seemingly because it was a new day in Iraq and inclusiveness…..but there is a slight rub that no one mentioned very much in all the reports…..

New Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s cabinet is 56 percent Shia, according to a count by indispensable Iraq blogger Joel Wing. That makes his cabinet even more Shia heavy than either of his disgraced predecessor Nuri al-Maliki’s last two administrations, which were (respectively) 52 and 46 percent Shia.

“I’ve insisted that additional US action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days,” Obama said in his September 10 address announcing the new counter-ISIS campaign.

But the reality of the Iraqi government, thus far, suggests the opposite. “The government is composed mostly of Shia Islamists who may not differ from Maliki on many key issues,” Fanar Haddad, an expert on Iraq’s Sunni-Shia divide at the National University of Singapore, told me in an email. “In fact, the track record shows that the new government is likely to be more hardline than Maliki on contentious issues.”

So what part of the Iraqi election changed anything?  Anything culturally that is……

Item 5–Al Anbar province of Iraq, a Sunni majority area has been under attack and parts controlled by IS…..but it seems that IS has decided to pull out of the region at least for now…..

 

In a piece written in Asharq Al-Aswat an Arabic newspaper………

Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is adopting new tactics in anticipation of impending air strikes by the US-led coalition, an expert on armed groups has told Asharq Al-Awsat, at the same time that authorities in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province announced the group is beginning to flee areas in and around the governorate.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the head of the Anbar Provincial Council, Sabah Karhout, said Anbar’s security forces had received information that members of ISIS were “fleeing the districts and surrounding areas of the province which are under their control and heading to the Western Desert region and to Syria in a state of panic.”

Hisham Al-Hashimi, an expert on armed groups from the Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies, told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS was adopting “new tactics” in anticipation of international military action, including “hiding in ditches and using camouflage to evade fighter jets, since the [impending] international mobilization [against the group] will only rely on air strikes for the time being.”

Hopefully Western intel has picked up on this change in tactics……..if I were part of the ‘coalition’ I would be concerned about this…..what tactic will they replace it with?

Item 6–One might ask….why is the US having such a problem lining up willing participants in the war on IS…..and the answer is an easy one to pin point…….

U.S. credibility has suffered in the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001, which doesn’t help the recruitment effort. The arguments for invading Iraq have been discredited, and the Iraqi and Afghan campaigns — which went on years beyond the original plan — are not looking successful. Smaller fights against terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen seem destined to continue without end. The Obama administration’s swift abandonment of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 shocked allies in the region, most of whom were hardly more democratic than the ousted Egyptian leader. U.S. attempts to work with Islamists, during the brief rule of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, left many concluding that American leadership was naive and its diplomacy inept. When the U.S. threatened Syria if it used chemical weapons, and then did not attack after their alleged use, it was seen as America flinching, even though Assad eventually gave up the arms. In an echo of colonial-era animosities, many in the region see Western leaders who are stirred to action by the beheading of a few Westerners — but not by hundreds of thousands of Arab deaths. Washington also has proven unable to influence its close ally Israel to slow down Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank — one of the few things that can unite virtually all Sunnis and Shiites in angry opposition.

That ends briefing #2.  You may smoke if you have them.

If you want to stay up to date on the newest US war in the Middle East then I suggest that IST become your new fave site.  I will be giving you all the info available that you will need to stay up to date and on your toes….

Next briefing will be as soon as possible the intel is available.

Thanx for your attention.

Turn the page.

 

Will UK Finally Step Up?

Obama and his coalition is getting a lack luster acceptance……many have join the force but few want to truly involved with maybe some behind the scenes doings…….the r3eport is that we now have 40 countries signed onto the coalition deal…..France may help with airstrikes and Australia is commit troops, yes I said troops, about 600 total….so far the countires most in danger from an expanding Is, the Sunni nations, are not as enthusiastic as France and Australia.

The UK has been hinting around the fringe of helping but I think IS last act of horror may bring them on-board and in a big way…..

ISIS appears to have carried out its threat to behead yet another Western hostage, this time a British citizen named David Haines. The executioner who killed Steven Sotloff in the last video had threatened that Haines would be next. Britain’s foreign office said it is “working urgently” to verify the newly released video, reports the BBC. Haines, a 44-year-old aid worker, was captured in Syria last year, as were Americans Sotloff and James Foley. The video emerged a day after the family of Haines issued a public plea urging his captors to contact them.

In the video, the group threatened to kill another Briton. Both British men were dressed in orange jumpsuits against an arid Syrian landscape, similar to that seen in the Foley and Sotloff videos. The SITE Intelligence Group, a US terrorism watchdog, reported the video, which was also posted online by users associated with the Islamic State group. The video was entitled “A Message to the Allies of America.” Haines’ purported killer, who appeared to be the same man speaking with a British accent as in the previous videos, tells the British government that its alliance with the US will only “accelerate your destruction” and will drag the British people into “another bloody and unwinnable war.”

Lots of back and forth…….and then Cameron made his move………

David Cameron emerged from an emergency meeting this morning with harsh words for Islamic State militants in the wake of yesterday’s video that purports to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines: Calling the execution—which hasn’t been officially verified, though a UK Foreign Office rep tells the Wall Street Journal that “all signs are that the video is genuine”—”an act of pure evil,” the BBC reports that Cameron vowed “we will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.” In the video, Haines singled out Cameron thusly: “I would like to declare that I hold you, David Cameron, entirely responsible for my execution.” ISIS militants threatened a second British hostage, Alan Henning, with the same fate

Looks like the UK is now ALL IN……….Glad to see that our allies will step up when needed but what are they stepping up to do?

Kerry insisted it was not only “premature” to talk about what, if anything, the coalition allies will do, but was even “inappropriate” of people to be talking about how little commitment many of the members seem to have.

Over the weekend 26 nations came together to plot a course through the ISIS thing……..

The world is discussing the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Paris today, with President Francois Hollande opening a conference attended by leaders and diplomats from 25-plus countries by saying “there is no time to lose. Iraq’s combat against terrorism is also ours.” Or so hopes Iraqi president Fuad Masum, who urged those in attendance to expand the fight against ISIS to Syria, reports the New York Times. “We must not allow them to have sanctuaries. We must pursue them wherever they are.” The Times notes that, thus far, the US has OKed only intelligence gathering over Syria. More on the ISIS front:

  • Not in attendance at the conference: Iran. Though France “initially opened the door to a possible role” by the country, per the Times, John Kerry put the kibosh on the idea over fears it would dissuade Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern states from participating. Iran, for its part, says that Syria should have been invited to the table.
  • Though it was announced yesterday that several Arab nations have agreed to join the fight against ISIS, with the BBC reporting that the anti-ISIS coalition now stands at about 40 countries including 10 Arab states, specifics remain in short supply. A BBC analyst describes a “scramble to craft a coherent plan from contributions offered” by the countries. The Wall Street Journal reports that while no officials have named which Mideast states might also conduct airstrikes, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Qatar likely have the ability to join the US campaign.
  • As far as those airstrikes go, five weeks of them (150 strikes since President Obama’s speech last Wednesday, notes the New York Times) have halted the militants’ progress, US officials tell the Journal, but the paper points out that ISIS has reacted by becoming more “stealthy.” Equipment isn’t moved in open convoys; electronic communications have been curtailed; tarps and foliage are increasingly used to shield militants from drones; and militants are hiding among locals. The upside is that “ISIS has not gained any land since the airstrikes started,” per one official. The downside is that they may be tougher to track.

Sorry dude but it is the exact time for these people to step forward and say what they will do and not do……I fear that we are in for another Iraq War…..edition 3.

Iraq: Mr. Kerry, The Plan Sucks!

The following is the story of the week and yet it is not important enough for the MSM to be concerned……….

First, the debate of the last couple days has been settled……..it is now officially a WAR…..gone is the “counter-terrorism operation”.  We can rest easy now….we have an answer to the question.

One of the selling points for this war is that there will be NO American troops on the ground, right?  It is perfectly fine to kill from the air put no one wants us to do it from the ground.

The prez has laid out his plan for action…..and one of those articles of engagement is that we will work with the ‘moderate’ rebels to assist and handle fighting the IS on the ground……said in the prez speech….

Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.  In June, I deployed several hundred American servicemembers to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi security forces.  Now that those teams have completed their work –- and Iraq has formed a government –- we will send an additional 475 servicemembers to Iraq.  As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission –- we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.  But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.  We’ll also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control.

Now we can rest comfortably knowing that all effort will be focused on training and arming the ‘moderates’……good plan….if it would work……and?

The problem is that it WILL NOT work.  Why would I say that?

I reported on the possibility in a slight flaw in the prez plan in my post …”Counter-Terrorism Operational Briefing” of three days ago…….but for those lacking the foresight to read my report let me reiterate……..

Today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ISIS and other significant rebel factions, including both Islamist and “moderate” groups, have signed a mutual non-aggression pact in a Damascus suburb.

The pact was said to have been brokered by al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra, and agrees that all sides will respect a truce until the destruction of the “Nussayri” regime, a pejorative term for Alawites.

That small piece of news will pee all over the plans of the prez.  So far I have heard NOTHING along these lines from the MSM….why?  This is more important than worrying about what to call the situation.  And yet, so far NOTHING!

Then the question is if not those ‘moderates’ which ‘moderates’ were the administration speaking of in their nice little speech?

Tell the American people just who be the ground force fighting IS………not Turkey….not Saudi Arabia…..not Egypt……….then who?  So far it still looks like it will be Americans (again and for the third time).

 

The last thing Iraq needs is more misguided military action by the west | Sami Ramadani | Comment is free | The Guardian

In case you were unaware of it the US has been doing airstrikes in Iraq since 1991….the 4 presidents, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2 and now Obama,  have ordered them…….when is enough enough?

 

The last thing Iraq needs is more misguided military action by the west | Sami Ramadani | Comment is free | The Guardian.