Oct 17 2014

Chemical Weapons Revelations in the Middle East

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 5:52 pm

From American Thinker.Com

Two chemical weapons-related stories this week should be considered separate, not necessarily interchangeable, parts of a whole.

The first was that ISIS had used chemical weapons against Kurdish forces in Kobani, raising the question of where ISIS would have acquired such weapons.  The second, in the New York Times, detailed how U.S. forces in Iraq uncovered thousands of shells filled with chemical munitions from various areas of the country following the invasion, and how they were stored and guarded until 2011.

Those disinclined to support the Iraq War, including the Times, International Business Times, and Huffington Post, posit that the chemicals ISIS is said to have used in Kobani are from old Iraqi stocks now under ISIS control.  That would make it “Bush’s fault.”  The NYT story details how the Bush administration hid the finding of chemical munitions and suggests two motives:

  • First, neither the troops nor expert groups dispatched later found the active Iraqi chemical weapons production capability the administration said existed.  Information about the age and condition of the shells, and the absence of newer munitions, would have confirmed that Saddam had no active program, further undermining already lagging support for the war.

What U.S. troops in Iraq found was old and leaky but still very, very dangerous.  In fact, the most important part of the story is how American troops were exposed to chemical shells that had been turned into IEDs and found caches of chemical ordinance lying around in ditches.  Their treatment by the U.S. military, including poor medical treatment, denial of Purple Heart medals, and later lack of medical follow-up should be seen as a precursor to the VA scandals of 2014.

  • Second, reporting would have indicted a number of Western countries for their role in providing Saddam with chemical capabilities in the first place.  “Germans built the facilities…aviation bombs from a Spanish manufacturer, American-designed artillery shells from European companies, and Egyptian and Italian ground-to-ground rockets — to be filled in Iraq,” according to the NYT.  This is not news.  The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq by Kenneth Timmerman was published in 1991 with the details in spades.

So did ISIS really raid the leaky Iraqi stocks from a containment facility in territory now under its control?  That could prove more toxic to ISIS than to the Kurds.

How about a more plausible scenario?  ISIS got its supplies from Syria.

ISIS is ensconced in Syria, where Bashar Assad had a large, modern, and well-known program of CW production.  In August 2013, after Syria used chemical weapons in the city of Ghouta, and after President Obama’s “red line” proved to be a thin thread, Russia sponsored and the U.S. and U.N. agreed to a deal under which Syria “declare its stocks” of chemical weapons and turn them over to the U.N.’s Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) team for shipment out of the country, and dismantle its declared CW sites.

The agreement and its execution were crucial to the Obama administration, as it provided the rationale for calling off the threat of U.S. military intervention.

In July 2014, the Obama administration crowed over what it called the destruction of the Syrian government’s declared chemical weapon stockpile,” heralding the “neutralization of chemical agents…as a watershed moment in the Syrian conflict.”  As reported in The Washington Post, President Obama said, said “destruction” “[a]dvances our collective goal to ensure that the Assad regime cannot use its chemical arsenal against the Syrian people and sends a clear message that the use of these abhorrent weapons has consequences and will not be tolerated by the international community.”

He was echoed by Secretary of State Kerry: “In record time, even amid a civil war, we removed and have now destroyed the most dangerous chemicals in the regime’s declared stockpiles.”

Both acknowledged that it wasn’t quite the whole Syrian stockpile – after all, OPCW was relying on a self-declared Syrian arsenal.  But OPCW was willing to swear that the President’s optimism was warranted.  In a remarkably precise statement, Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator for OPCW-U.N., said 96% percent of Syria’s declared chemical weapons were destroyed.  Not 95% or 87% or 43.5%, but 96% on the nose.

By August, the administration claimed that the Syrian munitions had been “fully destroyed” but acknowledged that the munitions factories had not been dismantled as required by the agreement.  According to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, at least one of 12 storage facilities remained open, and only 5 of 18 production facilities had been closed.  An October 1 report by Fox News included the following: “The United States has said it is worried that the Islamic State group, which has seized large parts of Syria, and other terrorist groups could get hold of chemical weapons if Syria is hiding any stockpiles.”

Which is more likely?  That ISIS is handling pre-1991-era leaky canisters of CW damaged and improperly stored in Iraq, or that it has taken much more modern stockpiles – perhaps new weapons produced in unshuttered facilities in Syria – for use in its destructive sweep through both countries?  The first would indict the Bush administration, the second the Obama administration.

The Pentagon, by the way, denies that ISIS has seized any chemical weapons in either country.  “We have no indications right now that they have possession of those kinds of munitions,” according to spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby.

Well, that’s a relief.

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Oct 17 2014

2 Articles; ISIS is slaughtering Arab Christians. Why are churches in the West so quiet? Here’s one way you can help.; * Fact or fiction: Is ISIS using chemical weapons? New headlines echo plot lines of “The Third Target.”

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 11:36 am

From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

ISIS is slaughtering Arab Christians. Why are churches in the West so quiet? Here’s one way you can help.

by joelcrosenberg

Are you praying for the persecuted Christians in the Mideast? Is there more you can do?

Are you praying for the persecuted Christians in the Mideast? Is there more you can do?

(Central Israel) — When my family and I moved to Israel in mid-August, we did so amidst a jihadist onslaught against the Jewish State. The third Gaza war was underway. Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza were firing more than 4,000 rockets, missiles and mortars at Israeli civilians, including Jews, Muslims and Christians.

That said, Israel was (and remains) one of the safest places to be in the Middle East this year, and not just for Jews but for Christians, as well.

Christians are being persecuted and even slaughtered throughout the epicenter. Israel and Jordan are safe havens. But from Syria to Iraq to Iran and beyond, the Radical Islamic jihadist offensive against followers of Jesus Christ is fierce and unrelenting. Indeed, as I’ve written about in recent months, we are seeing genocidal conditions emerging in this region against the Christians.

Why then are so few pastors and Christians leaders in the West coming to the defense of our brothers and sisters in this region who are in such grave danger? Why aren’t pastors rallying their congregations to pray for the persecuted Church in the Mideast? Why are so few Christian lay people giving financially to ministries that are making a difference in the region in the name of Christ in the midst of the chaos and carnage?

The epicenter is on fire. Yet I’m stunned by how few Christians are paying attention, or trying to help. Some are, and may God deeply bless this wonderful, heroic remnant. But so much of the Church is asleep.

How about you? Are you moved by the suffering of our brethren? Are you and your congregation looking for a way to help in a practical way?

The Joshua Fund team is working hard to provide prayer, encouragement, funds, and other resources to Arab Christians fleeing from the ISIS rampage. We are doing this even as we continue to provide humanitarian relief and other help in Israel. The Bible certainly commands believers to love and bless Israel and the Jewish people, and this is more important than ever. But the Scriptures also command us to love and bless Israel’s neighbors, and even her enemies. Is it easy? No. Is it safe? Not always. But the Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to love everyone in this region and He set the example for us.

Would you like to join us? We need your prayers. We also need your financial support, especially at this time. You can learn more about what The Joshua Fund is doing by clicking here.

You can also learn more about what is happening to the Christians in the epicenter by reading this excellent article by columnist Kirsten Powers. I cite it here in full.

A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent

By Kirsten Powers, The Daily Beast, September 27, 2014

Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening.

As Egypt’s Copts have battled the worst attacks on the Christian minority since the 14th century, the bad news for Christians in the region keeps coming. On Sunday, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 85 worshippers at All Saints’ church, which has stood since 1883 in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Christians were also the target of Islamic fanatics in the attack on a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, this week that killed more than 70 people. The Associated Press reported that the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab “confirmed witness accounts that gunmen separated Muslims from other people and let the Muslims go free.” The captives were asked questions about Islam. If they couldn’t answer, they were shot.

In Syria, Christians are under attack by Islamist rebels and fear extinction if Bashar al-Assad falls. This month, rebels overran the historic Christian town of Maalula, where many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The AFP reported that a resident of Maalula called her fiancé’s cell and was told by member of the Free Syrian Army that they gave him a chance to convert to Islam and he refused. So they slit his throat.

Nina Shea, an international human-rights lawyer and expert on religious persecution, testified in 2011 before Congress regarding the fate of Iraqi Christians, two-thirds of whom have vanished from the country. They have either been murdered or fled in fear for their lives. Said Shea: “[I]n August 2004 … five churches were bombed in Baghdad and Mosul. On a single day in July 2009, seven churches were bombed in Baghdad … The archbishop of Mosul, was kidnapped and killed in early 2008. A bus convoy of Christian students were violently assaulted. Christians … have been raped, tortured, kidnapped, beheaded, and evicted from their homes …”

Lela Gilbert is the author of Saturday People, Sunday People, which details the expulsion of 850,000 Jews who fled or were forced to leave Muslim countries in the mid-20th century. The title of her book comes from an Islamist slogan, “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People,” which means “first we kill the Jews, then we kill the Christians.” Gilbert wrote recently that her Jewish friends and neighbors in Israel “are shocked but not entirely surprised” by the attacks on Christians in the Middle East. “They are rather puzzled, however, by what appears to be a lack of anxiety, action, or advocacy on the part of Western Christians.”

As they should be. It is inexplicable. American Christians are quite able to organize around issues that concern them. Yet religious persecution appears not to have grabbed their attention, despite worldwide media coverage of the atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

It’s no surprise that Jews seem to understand the gravity of the situation the best. In December 2011, Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, addressed Parliament saying, “I have followed the fate of Christians in the Middle East for years, appalled at what is happening, surprised and distressed … that it is not more widely known.”

“It was Martin Luther King who said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ That is why I felt I could not be silent today.”

Yet so many Western Christians are silent.

In January, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) penned a letter to 300 Catholic and Protestant leaders complaining about their lack of engagement. “Can you, as a leader in the church, help?” he wrote. “Are you pained by these accounts of persecution? Will you use your sphere of influence to raise the profile of this issue—be it through a sermon, writing or media interview?”

There have been far too few takers.

Wolf and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) sponsored legislation last year to create a special envoy at the State Department to advocate for religious minorities in the Middle East and South-Central Asia. It passed in the House overwhelmingly, but died in the Senate. Imagine the difference an outcry from constituents might have made. The legislation was reintroduced in January and again passed the House easily. It now sits in the Senate. According to the office of Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the sponsor of the bill there, there is no date set for it to be taken up.

Wolf has complained loudly of the State Department’s lack of attention to religious persecution, but is anybody listening? When American leaders meet with the Saudi government, where is the public outcry demanding they confront the Saudis for fomenting hatred of Christians, Jews, and even Muslim minorities through their propagandistic tracts and textbooks? In the debate on Syria, why has the fate of Christians and other religious minorities been almost completely ignored?

In his letter challenging U.S. religious leaders, Wolf quoted Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed for his efforts in the Nazi resistance:  “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

That pretty well sums it up.

Fact or fiction: Is ISIS using chemical weapons? New headlines echo plot lines of “The Third Target.”

by joelcrosenberg

Fact or fiction? Releases January 6th.

Fact or fiction? Releases January 6th.

Chilling new headlines — and gruesome new photographs – from the Middle East increasingly suggest ISIS not only has chemical weapons, but may already be using them against its enemies in the region.

Thus, disturbing new questions are being raised:

· Are these reports and photographs legit?

· If so, where did ISIS get the weapons?

· How many WMDs do they have?

· What are their next targets?

· Could the U.S. and Israel bit hit with chemical weapons soon?

As readers of this blog know, these are fictional plot lines in my forthcoming thriller, The Third Target, which releases in the U.S. and Canada on January 6th.

In the novel, a New York Times reporter pursues rumors that ISIS has captured chemical weapons in Syria and is preparing a genocidal attack against an unknown target.

In August, however, it appeared the premise of my novel had been overtaken by events. The U.S. government declared that it had completed the destruction of all of Syria’s chemical weapons. Thus, it seemed impossible that ISIS could capture such weapons.

But in September, officials in the Obama administration began to backpedal. They started to publicly express doubts that all the Syrian WMDs had been disclosed and destroyed. This raised fears that that Assad regime or ISIS or other Radical jihadist groups could seize such weapons and use them against their enemies. That led me to write a blog on September 11th headlined, “What If ISIS Obtains Chemical Weapons?”

Now, in mid-October, we are getting reports that ISIS has indeed captured chemical warheads, and may be using them against the Kurds in Iraq.

What’s more, we’re hearing reports that even though for more than a decade the Western media told us there were no WMD in Iraq, that such weapons were there after all. A newly published New York Times investigation this week reports the following: “From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule. In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

There are also reports that ISIS forces have captured a chemical weapons production facility in Iraq, and may be using Iraqi WMD against the Kurds.

At the moment, I’m not sure we can say definitively whether ISIS has such deadly weapons. But I wanted to bring the latest headlines to your attention.

For my part, I pray the reports are not true, and that The Third Target remains merely a work of fiction.

· ISIS used chemical weapons on Kurds: report (New York Post)

· Doctors Confirm ISIS Use of Chemical Weapon in Kobanê — Graphic Photos (Kurdistan Tribune)

· The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons (New York Times)

· Has ISIS looted chemical weapons from former Iraqi nerve agent factory that US failed to destroy? UN told 2,500 rockets containing deadly Sarin are in the hands of the jihadists (Daily Mail, UK)

· ISIS capable of making dirty bombs with chemical weapons cache in Iraq, former British colonel warns (National Post, Canada)

· Islamic State: What is known about the ISIS chemical weapons claims (Global News, Canada)

· ISIS seizes former chemical weapons plant in Iraq (The Guardian, UK)

· ISIS storms Saddam-era chemical weapons complex in Iraq (Daily Telegraph, UK)

· ‘Discrepancies and Omissions’: The U.S. doubts Syria has disclosed all of its chemical weapons (Wall Street Journal)

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Oct 15 2014

The Battle of Kobani

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 2:29 pm

From American Thinker.Com

When General Grant assumed control of federal forces during the Civil War, he told President Lincoln that the quickest way to end the war was to win it.  When General Sheridan conquered the breadbasket of the Confederacy, the Shenandoah Valley, he imposed harsh limitations on travel and farm production and said the road to victory was the shortest path to peace.

We are now engaged in a conflict that is not a war (war has become a non-word for this administration), but we are told it could last a very long time.  We have been assured there will be no American boots on the ground in the area of this conflict other than those worn by strictly non-combat advisors.  In Syria and Iraq, we will rely solely on air power, where we are virtually unopposed, and expect allied troops to do the dirty work on the ground.  Allied troops on the ground consist of the Iraqi Amy, which the jihadists, despite being outnumbered three to one, routed with ease when they swept through the Sunni provinces, and the Peshmerga, the military force of the ethnic Kurds, who are well-organized and courageous but insufficiently armed.

As of this writing, the Peshmerga are battling for their lives in the Kurdish city of Kobani, which the jihadists, more numerous and more heavily armed, are besieging.  The Pentagon has already commented, en passant, that it expects the city to be lost – not exactly the most propitious announcement one cam make under these circumstances, but presumably helpful for domestic political reasons.

Actually, the battle of Kobani had already become grotesque.  The city lies on the Turkish-Syrian border.  From the Turkish side, one can see the streets of the city, and the fighting taking place there.  From the Syrian side, one can see rows of Turkish army tanks – lined up presumably to go somewhere, which of course they never did.

The situation is eerily reminiscent of the battle of Warsaw in 1945. The Soviet army pursued the retreating Germans to the gates of Warsaw, at which point the underground Polish army thought it opportune to rise and give battle.  The Soviets then paused and watched the Gestapo massacre the inhabitants.  Only when the city was in ruins and the underground army obliterated did the Soviets move forward.

The situation is not exactly the same – just reminiscent.  The Turks may never move forward.

The Turkish legislature has already passed legislation allowing Turkish troops to move into combat zones.  Turkish President Erdoğan and his foreign minister have expressed their willingness to join in a collaborative effort but insist on a no-fly zone and a combat-free area where war refugees can be accommodated and training take place.  The no-fly zone, though not officially declared, is actually already in existence.  The jihadists have no aircraft, and the Syrian Air Force has no desire to get in the way of the Americans.

We can do what we will in the sky above Syria.  The ground refuge is a different story and would naturally require ground troops.  François Hollande, the premier of France, who has already committed planes to the air war, finds the idea worthwhile, but our administration cannot accept it.  The reasons have not been fully spelled out, but it appears to be an infringement of Syria’s sovereignty and an indication that the United States does not object to the splitting of Syria into different parts.  Of course, the bombing of Jihadists in Syria is an infringement of Syrian sovereignty, but that hasn’t stopped us.  On the other hand, we have always stated that Syria is one cohesive country, not to be divided, and we wish to maintain that position.

Turkey’s position in this non-war is like so much else in the Mid-East: complicated and unclear.  It dislikes the Assad regime, considering it a lackey of Iran, its arch-rival for its longed for but never to be attained hegemony in the area.  It has certain secular customs dating from Mustafa Kemal, which, though fading in today’s world, are still adhered to.  Consequently, Turkey appears to support the moderate elements rather than the Muslim extremists in the Syrian rebel ranks.  In other areas of the Middle East, they support the Muslim Brotherhood, which no one can call moderate.

Ever since Turkey became a nation-state rather than an empire, the government has had trouble with the Kurds, a sizable ethnic minority.  The Kurds fought to preserve their ethnic identity, while the Turks fought to integrate them completely into the Turkish mass, mostly by eliminating the Kurdish language.  President Erdoğan has managed to calm the situation considerably by making a number of key concessions, including the use of the Kurdish language in education and in Kurd-inhabited areas.  Nevertheless it is difficult to believe that Turkey would welcome the establishment of an independent Kurdish state consisting of the Kurdish areas of Syria and Iraq that border the Kurdish area of Turkey.

That was in the offing until the jihadists or Islamic State (ISIS) turned up and began the slow, painful, and bloody conquest of Kobani.  It is difficult to believe that the Turks would prefer the jihadists rather than the Kurds to be on their border, but that, according to Pentagon spokesmen, is what will eventually happen.

What is America’s role in this mess?  First we need time for self-examination.  We must relearn who we are and what we stand for.  We should then be able to deduce who our friends are and who they are not.  Once we master these basic issues – for some reason we lost track of them – we can then conduct foreign policy.

Naturally we avoid war, but sometimes we cannot.  If war is essential, we must engage in it as energetically as possible.  Our aim is to win completely and quickly.  We should never use the phrase “no boots on the ground.”  American boots with soldiers in them will go wherever the government after-study decides they are most needed.  And they will, as always, perform well.  If there is a war, we should allow them to win it, and by doing so preserve our country and the ideals it embodies.

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Oct 13 2014

Netanyahu’s Plan

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 5:53 pm

From American Thinker.Com

Benjamin Netanyahu is one of a kind among seasoned politicians. He doesn’t just think outside of the box, the Israeli prime minister makes boxes for men like Barack Hussein Obama. Take the perennial impasse in the Middle East, the so-called Palestinian problem. The atmospherics alone tell the story. Netanyahu has been to America a dozen or more times since President Obama came to office. In that same period, the American president has been to Israel once and even then reluctantly.

The Israeli PM addresses the American president as “Mister President,” while President Obama addresses the Israeli PM as “Bibi,” a diminutive of Benjamin. In this, Barack Obama comes across as petty and immature. Surely, there’s no love lost between the two; their relationship is a little like an experienced adult trying to reason with an insecure adolescent.

My way or the highway seems to be Obama’s petulant premise for any domestic negotiation. In contrast, he seems to think the international world of Muslim pathology is win/win game. Foreign policy naiveté might be an attempt to channel the wisdom of urban philosophers like Rodney King, “Can’t we just get along?”

Every time that the Israeli prime minister comes to Washington, he reminds the world, and Diaspora supporters, that Israel alone has been at the front in the fight against Islamic terror for 60 years or more. In contrast, the Mediterranean littoral is now littered with the debris of recent American failure, failures among putative Arab and Muslim “allies” of the Obama administration.

In all of this, the American president thinks he is on the right side of history. He likes to whistle in the dark too, telling the American people that they are safer since his national security team came to town. Netanyahu sees the world as it is, the best that might be said of Obama is that he is naïve, frightened, confused — or in way over his head.

Israel is a sovereign successful nation, a rich culture that predates toxic Islamic monocultural illusions by millennia. Indeed, tiny Israel and the Diaspora have made more artistic, scientific, and cultural contributions to humanity in 60 years than the Ummah has made in 500 years. Unlike Arabs, Ottomans and their historical subjects, Jews never cultivated empire — political, religious, or military imperialism.

Calling parts of the traditional Jewish homeland “occupied” territories is a little like calling New Mexico, California, or Scotland occupied. Land lost in war is often lost to history and the enemy. Israel has been more than generous, by any modern standard, with lands returned to ungrateful Arab neighbors who were defeated in existential wars. For Israel, the alternative to military victory is always extinction.

The Arab population within Israel lives better than average Muslims in most any state with an Islamic majority. Indeed, most Arab countries are judenrein by fiat and that includes the lands occupied by Fatah and Hamas. When the subject is Jews, the progressive West and the Islamic East see tolerance as a one-way street. Indeed, anti-Semitism is the bond that now unites the liberal West and theocratic East, a kind of macabre moral suicide pact.

Israel cannot trust fractious Palestine any more than Arabs trust Palestinians.

Any examination of the history of so-called Palestinians in states bordering Israel tells the tale of Arab duplicity. Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt have been ruthless in suppressing Palestinian militants. Indeed, you might argue that, until the advent of al Qaeda, most Muslim autocrats were happy to have the jihad focused on Israel.  Arabia, especially, was happy to let the Palestine chimera fester in the Holy Land.

Arabs care about Palestinian territorial claims in the Levant about as much as New Yorkers might care about Algonquian claims to Manhattan. For too many Muslims, Palestine is seen as the permanent drip torture that erodes the state of Israel.

Alas, the fascist wolf always goes for the weak and lame. Hence, those plump complacent Arab dictators who supported Fatah, Black September, the PLO, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and predictable grandchildren like ISIS, are now surrounded by Islamist carnivores.  You might buy a wolf, but he will never be housebroken.

For once, Joe Biden was correct when he recently called the Turks on similar double dealing in Syria and Iraq. ISIS is a created problem, a descendant of all the other “nefarious characters” that rampage globally in the name of religious war these days. Biden conveniently failed to mention America, Europe, and Arabia as early co-sponsors of ISIS in the Levant. ISIS is simply another mutation of the global Islamic jihad.

Bibi Netanyahu is too diplomatic to use a canine metaphor to describe metastasizing Islamic terror. Dogs are haram for Muslims. At the UN on 29 September he instead compared religious terror to a tree; indeed, he used a Christian homily, a selection from the New Testament, Mathew 7:18 [show/hide]ERROR: You have exceeded your quota of 5000 requests per day. Please contact the developer of this application if you have questions. (If you're the developer and have questions about this error message, please contact Crossway.)
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
.

Say nothing else about the Israeli prime minister, you would have to admit this guy knows how to work a room.

The prime minister’s simile was creatively ambiguous. Examples of bad fruit, Hamas and ISIS, are specified; however, we are left to wonder whether the “poisoned tree” is Islam, Muslims, or just the twisted beards who would behead infidels, apostates, and oil autocrats.

Nonetheless, beneath Netanyahu’s UN lament lay some new thinking on a new approach to the Palestine pot hole and the global jihad; withal, a new direction for Israel and the West.

Without equivocation, the Israeli prime minister calls Islamism a global fight, a threat to Arab regimes as well as the Ummah at large. He puts the burden for a Palestine solution where it belongs, with the Arab nation. Concurrently, he isolates Iran’s nuclear ambition as a threat to Sunni Islam and Israel. Netanyahu suggests that Shia and Sunni Islamists are branches of the same “poisoned tree.”

Heretofore, Israel and America have tended to atomize the threat, attempting to deal with individual manifestations while ignoring the larger phenomenon. A fractured strategy is manifest in whack-a-mole tactics where each terror group is treated as a local problem.

Yesterday it’s the West Bank, today it’s Gaza. Yesterday it’s Fatah, today it’s al Qaeda and Hamas, and tomorrow it’s ISIS. The anthology of firefights and factions is open-ended and global.

Trying to solve the Palestinian problem by talking to Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas is a little like trying to contain global terror by talking to the Taliban’s semi-literate Mullah Omar. Even if success could be had with one faction, little is done to solve the universal problem.

Without saying so much in so many words, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be suggesting that Israel ought to be negotiating directly with Riyadh and Cairo, indeed the Arab League, not Ramallah.  By implication, we might also suggest that America and the EU ought to bypass the UN and negotiate directly with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). If the OIC aspires to speak for the global Ummah, the time has come to speak with one voice.

Islamism is now a universal problem, the defeat of same requires a global solution. And if any boots are required on the ground, they need to be worn on Muslim feet. And the West doesn’t need to offer too many incentives, as Netanyahu says, for collective Muslim action. Without a new strategy or plan, the oft celebrated “moderate” Islamic majority will be devoured in short order by the beasts of Muslim hell. Ins’allah!

The author writes about the politics of national security.

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Oct 13 2014

With U.S. air campaign against ISIS not working, fmr. Delta Force commander offers five-point plan. Here it is.

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 1:06 pm

From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

With U.S. air campaign against ISIS not working, fmr. Delta Force commander offers five-point plan. Here it is.

by joelcrosenberg

5. Cancel all foreign aid and foreign military sales of US arms and equipment to any nation that will not fight with us. Start with Turkey. Turkey is not a reliable ally and Erdogan is an Islamist himself. He has no intention of ever doing anything to stop ISIS. He wants Bashar al-Asaad’s head and has no interest in destroying ISIS because they are his strongest allies in the fight against al-Asaad. NO MORE US $ for nations that will not stand with us in the fight against ISIS.

Former Delta Force commander, Lt-General (ret). Jerry Boykin, offers five-point plan to defeat ISIS.

Former Delta Force commander, Lt-General (ret). Jerry Boykin, offers five-point plan to defeat ISIS.

Media reports increasingly suggest the U.S.-led military effort crush ISIS is not working.

ISIS is close to capturing the city of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border. There are fears ISIS will slaughter every person in the city if they defeat coalition forces.

Meanwhile, ISIS is only eight miles from Baghdad and gaining ground on other fronts.

· “General [Martin] Dempsey [the President's top military advisor] painted a decidedly mixed picture of the campaign against the Islamic State, describing a nimble foe that has adjusted rapidly to coalition air attacks by blending in better with local populations,” reports a leading American newspaper, adding that ISIS attacks could soon begin inside the capital city of Baghdad.

· “Waves of U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State fighters appear to have done little to stem the terrorist army’s advance in Syria, and now the militants are close to overrunning key positions on the outskirts of Baghdad,” reports one U.S. cable news network. “With the world’s eyes on the terrorist army’s siege of the Syrian border city of Kobani, where U.S.-led airstrikes are backing Kurdish fighters, some 500 miles southeast, Islamic State fighters are within eight miles of the Iraqi metropolis.”

· “America’s plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group’s fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad,” reports a key British newspaper. “The US-led air attacks launched against Islamic State (also known as Isis) on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria have not worked. President Obama’s plan to ‘degrade and destroy’ Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting….In the face of a likely Isis victory at Kobani, senior US officials have been trying to explain away the failure to save the Syrian Kurds in the town, probably Isis’s toughest opponents in Syria.”

Why is the much-heralded U.S. and Arab military campaign announced by President Obama last month not having success?

There are several reasons, says retired three-star General Jerry Boykin, who used to command the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force and later served as U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Over the weekend, Boykin offered a five-point plan to improve the U.S. campaign against ISIS. I quote it here in full.

Wrote Boykin:

I have hesitated to write this posting because I have been trying to find an alternative to what I will propose here.

The situation with ISIS is very serious now as I am sure that everyone is aware. The Obama administration is totally inept and not serious about reducing the threat to America and American interests. These airstrikes are not effective because they have not been well directed at real targets in most cases and they have not been in large numbers.

So what do we need to do now? I hate to recommend this but I have considered the alternatives and I find none acceptable.

We need to do five things right now:

1. Put forth a significant intel effort against ISIS. This includes flying drones throughout the ISIS area of operations as well as a big Human Intel and Signals Intel effort. The idea is to find ISIS targets and kill them including the leaders and the command and control nodes.

2. Put as many Special Operations teams on the ground as the US Special Operations Command calls for. They should operate with the Kurdish Peshmerga and any Sunni tribal entities who can reasonably be assessed as true anti-ISIS entities. They should be equipped with SOFLAMS (Laser Designators) for controlling air strikes.

3. Deploy ground forces of at least one full US Army Armor or Mechanized division with supporting assets to go into the urban areas and to ferret out ISIS an kill them with anti-tank systems and attack helicopters. Yep, I know this is controversial and I don’t like it either but we have to destroy ISIS and reduce them as a threat. The US division must go in order to convince and persuade other nations to do the same. Even the NATO nations have to see that they either stop these pigs in Iraq and Syria or they will fight them on their home turf in Europe. The same applies to America. Now we cannot deny that they are coming across the US southern border since members of congress are now acknowledging the same thing.

4. Arm the Kurds directly and not through the Iraqi government. Anything going through the Iraq government never gets to the Kurds. Fly plane loads of arms and equipment into the city of Irbil and off load it there where the Kurds will get it themselves.

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Oct 11 2014

Report: Iran ordered retaliation on Israel for Parchin blast

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 11:18 am

From American Thinker.Com

A huge explosion on Sunday at an Iranian military site suspected of being connected to their nuclear bomb program was an attack carried out by a foreign government. The report in a Kuwaiti newspaper also quotes American and Israeli sources saying that Tuesday’s blast on the Israel-Lebanese border that killed two IDF soldiers was ordered by Tehran in retaliation for the blast.

The Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezb’allah took responsibility for the attack on Israel.

Haaretz:

The Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Friday that that the Parchin blast earlier in the week was an attack “by a foreign country,” rather than an accident as presented by Iran.

It quoted European and American sources as saying that Iran had ordered Hezbollah to undertake Tuesday’s bombing in retaliation for Parchin.

The A-Rai report has not been confirmed by any other sources.

Analysis of before and after satellite images of the Parchin military compound in Iran show the telltale signs of “damage consistent with an attack against bunkers in a central locality within the military research complex” analyst Ronen Solomon wrote in a report in Israel Defense this week.

According to Solomon’s report, the effects of a large explosion in the center of the complex can be clearly seen in satellite images.

On Monday, an Iranian defense industry told Iranian news agency IRNA that two workers were killed in a fire at an explosives factory in an eastern district of Tehran.

An Iranian opposition website, Saham, described the incident as a strong explosion and said it took place near Iran’s sprawling Parchin military facility, which is located around 30 kilometers (19 miles) southeast of the capital. It did not give a source for its report, which could not be independently verified.

The Parchin military facility where the blast occurred has long been suspected of being a primary location of Iran’s nuclear bomb efforts. Some experts say that the blast revealed evidence for the first time that Iran has not stopped trying to build the bomb.

Fox News:

Parchin, a site to which international inspectors have repeatedly been denied access since 2007 – a fact that many opponents of the P5+1 talks have long insisted in itself makes a mockery of the so-called negotiation process – is rumored to be the location of the development of the key warhead components required for making a nuclear bomb.

“Western officials suspect that at the heart of this secret development is the weapon group developing the nuclear lens mechanism,” Bergman said. “It’s a complex system of timers and explosives assembled around the core of the bomb, which explode in a way that “pushes” the enriched uranium sphere inwards and starts the chain reaction needed for an atomic explosion. If the smoking gun for the existence of the weapon group is found, it will serve as decisive evidence that Iran has been lying and that there is no point in negotiating with it.”

The assassination of a series of Iranian nuclear scientists inside Iran in recent years as the result of bombs planted on, or next to their vehicles by mysterious motorcycle-riding hitmen, together with the vicious Stuxnet computer virus that hit Iran’s key Natanz nuclear facility in 2010, has allegedly put the brakes on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear project.

While unverified, the charge that Iran thinks Israel is responsible makes sense in the context of Hezb’allah’s attack on Tuesday.

It’s unknown how much Iran’s nuke program has been set back. But as long as western nations march toward inking an agreement that would allow Iran to continue its nuclear program, it won’t matter in the long run.

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Oct 10 2014

The Middle East Nightmare Intensifies

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 2:16 pm

From American Thinker.Com

In a recent article in Commentary, Jonathan Tobin states, “As the Times notes, even though both Iran and Hezbollah agree that there will be no coordination with the United States – a position that the administration is adamant about – the reality on the ground may be different.”

Mr. Tobin says there “may be” coordination.  Let us instead state unequivocally that there is and will be definite and explicit coordination among Hezb’allah, Iran, and the U.S.  We are already in (structured but bogus) negotiations with Iran about its nuclear weapons systems.  These negotiations will now, in private as well as public, include discussions about dealing with ISIS and our presence as a military force in Syria, which Iran is claiming to protect.

Have you read one word of protest or outrage by Syria or Iran about our bombings in Syria?  Does not that itself show that we have made a deal to get their permission to do this bombing?

In short, by fighting ISIS in Syria and joining hands with Iran in order to do so, the U.S. is giving its seal of approval to its hardened enemies.  This is not merely a “possibility,” as Mr. Tobin implies, but a fact.  The enemies of our enemies have become our friends.  But they are not really our friends, because Iran hates the U.S. more than it can ever hate ISIS.

At the same time, we have been told that the U.S. has engaged a coalition of Arab states including Saudi Arabia and Qatar in its fight with ISIS, but these “allies” still are not completely on board, and it is unclear what their role will be.  These “allies” are also our enemies.  We remember that 16 of the 19 terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center were Saudis, and Saudi Arabia has been the leading exporter of the most virulent doctrine of sharia rule by Islamists, called Wahhabism.  The potentates of Saudi Arabia are funding this doctrine in Muslim and non-Muslim states through schools and mosques throughout the world.  Similarly, Qatar has been supplying weapons to militant Islamists throughout the Middle East, including Yemen, Libya, and especially the Taliban in Afghanistan (recall that the recent prisoner swap of Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders was negotiated and channeled through Qatar).

My mind keeps going back to the Book of Jeremiah, where Jeremiah brings a prophecy from Almighty God to the leaders of Judah that their attempts to negotiate deals with Egypt in order to save themselves from the Babylonians not only were futile, but would lead to even greater destruction than if they just accepted the inevitable.  You cannot enter into negotiations with your enemies and expect to be “saved” from your other enemies by those alliances.

The U.S. non-policy in Iraq and the Middle East masquerading as policy is verging on madness.  It is a non-policy of diddling, manipulating public opinion, indecisiveness, and confusion as to the goals of the U.S.  Although condemning and threatening Assad for using chemical WMD on civilians, and Israel for the deaths of Gazan women and children,  the United States is now using missiles and/or bombs in civilian-populated areas.  Our moral position is hypocritical at best.  Further, U.S. strategy is more than questionable.  “Strategy” not built on a sound and constructive set of policies is inherently flawed.  Our bombing of ISIS and negotiations with our enemies is a delaying tactic, hoping that the beheadings and bad press about President Obama’s  “lack of strategy”  will blow over.

How can U.S. national defense possibly be enhanced by drawing closer to Iran?  The U.S. military is being downsized.  The threat of Islamic militancy is being downplayed or marginalized in the U.S., and our use of drones over sovereign state airspace is only of limited usefulness.  Further, the U.S. military’s rules of engagement for U.S. troops in foreign lands have been diluted.  A recent directive to our troops noted that if they are fired upon, they can return fire.  Imagine: a military force needs to be “allowed” to fire on the enemy.

Why is the U.S. leadership not more firm or even hostile towards the bad actors in the Middle East?  To U.S. leadership – a leadership deeply steeped in leftist ideology – Hezb’allah, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and even al-Qaeda  are acting out and crying out because of long held “legitimate grievances” that need to be addressed.  Even in his speech about “degrading” and “destroying” ISIS,  Pres. Obama referred vaguely to longstanding “grievances” of various parties in the Middle East.

What are some of their longstanding grievances that are so intractable?  For one thing, the Arab “on the street” is still infuriated that crusaders attacked in 1095 and three other times in the 12th century.  Should the leaders of Europe and the West go on a tour of the Muslim world, apologizing for this great misdeed to their ancestors?  Perhaps there should be reparations paid to all the descendants of the “victims” of the Crusades.  What about the grievances of the Shiites and the Sunnis toward each other?  They have been killing each other for 1,400 years over the true line of succession from Muhammad.  We may all recall that the Roman Catholics had a longstanding dispute about whether the true pope should be located at Avignon or in Rome.  And there was a dispute between Constantinople and Rome that morphed into a disagreement between Rome and the various Eastern Orthodox churches  that has lasted until this day.  But the two sides made their peace with it, agreeing to disagree rather than killing each other.

Does the U.S. have a right to bomb Syria?  What will a victory over ISIS look like?  In fact, the key word is “victory.”  Without a defined policy with a highly rationalized definition of what the policy’s success will be, one is doomed not to a stalemate, but to a loss.  Would not these questions be asked if Pres. Obama were to go to Congress, as required by the U.S. Constitution, to get permission for said bombing?  Should Congress give that permission?  The murky waters of U.S. shifting alliances in the Middle East have been made even murkier by the absence not only of strategy, but of a policy toward Iraq guiding that strategy.

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Oct 10 2014

Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Kobani

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 2:08 pm

From American Thinker.Com

Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby told reporters he understood that U.S. air power wouldn’t save Kobani, but there is a “larger strategy” in place.  The primary goal of the campaign is not to save Syrian cities and towns, U.S. Central Command officials said, but to go after ISIS senior leadership, oil refineries, and other infrastructure that would curb the group’s ability to operate.  If the strategy is to allow ISIS to advance its murderous agenda against Kurds and others while we “plink” its leaders from above, it is a humanitarian, military, and political disaster of a strategy.

The successful Houthi power-grab in Yemen this week is important by itself, but it is also an example of what happens when the U.S. attempts to arm and train militaries that are not our own, determines who those militaries will have as enemies, fails to provide “boots” where necessary to control events on the ground, focuses on one enemy/situation to the exclusion of other relevant players, and engages in “reform” of the military’s relationship with its government at the same time.  Thus, it provides perspective on other Middle East hot spots, including the unfortunate Kobani.

The U.S. has been conducting drone and air strikes in Yemen since 2002, which is slightly misleading – in 2002, there was one drone and no air strikes, and then drone/bomb silence until 2009 under the Obama administration.  Since 2009, there have been 112 drone strikes and 99 air strikes.  It appears that about 1,000 people have been killed: 700-900 militants, 80-plus civilians, and almost 50 “unclassified.”  Statistics being notoriously unreliable, consider the political implications.  The American goal was to “degrade and destroy” al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and preserve the Sunni Yemeni government, sitting just south of Saudi Arabia and its oil.

There were no American “boots on the ground,” except where there were.

The State Department reported that the U.S. spent $256 million in assistance to Yemen in FY2013, after more than $356 million in FY2012.  In December 2013, DOD notified Congress that it planned to spend $64 million on precision strike aircraft, unmanned aerial surveillance, and training for Yemen’s national military forces.”  (This despite a 2013 UN report noting that about 15% of government forces are child soldiers, which by U.S. law makes Yemen ineligible for US military assistance.)

According to the Congressional Research Service, U.S. military and intelligence personnel worked closely with the Yemeni army to train, equip, and assist ground forces in reclaiming territory seized in 2011 by AQAP militants.  To some extent Yemenis succeeded in driving AQAP out of populated areas in certain southern provinces, and U.S. strikes appear to have degraded its leadership.  At the same time, the report states, the U.S. attempted to “restructure” the Yemeni military to work under civilian leadership, responsive to its public.

The emphasis on the degradation of AQAP appears to have led some to overlook the other groups in opposition to the Sa’ana government, including the Houthi Shiite militiamen of the north.  Houthis, by the way, use child soldiers for about 20% of their fighting forces and, according to the UN, force girls to marry militia members and then cook and carry military and other supplies.

The Houthis have been expanding control of territory since October 2013 and engaged in battle with pro-government forces in two other provinces before barging into Sa’ana this week.  They faced little opposition, it seems, from the Yemeni army as they took control of the Ministry of Defense, the Central Bank, the airport, and the state television building, forcing a power-sharing arrangement on the government and announcing their anti-American credentials.  A full-blown coup was averted only by Houthi political leaders who apparently decided that was enough for now – perhaps to avoid total blame if things don’t work out.  In Yemen, things often don’t work out.

Starting to sound familiar?

  • ISIS grabbed our attention for good reason.  But the all-out U.S. effort to “degrade and destroy” it from the air leaves the butcher Bashar Assad to understand that his enemies are also America’s enemies and that the U.S. will leave him in power while it pursues ISIS. The U.S. decision to arm and train “moderate militias” is strange, actually – the Pentagon has asked for $500 million for training, but acknowledges that it hasn’t decided yet on whom to train. And even if, a big if, a fighting force can be produced in a year during which ISIS and Assad will continue fighting with trained troops and war crimes, who says it will kill its ISIS cousins if that results in protecting Assad?
  • Assad’s new confidence that U.S. air strikes will degrade his enemies may in turn account for increased Hezb’allah activity against Israel’s north.  Lebanese citizens are furious that Syria’s civil war has been spilling into their country.  With less need to spend its Iranian assets in Syria, Hezb’allah can work to restore its eroded position at home – best done, it believes, by taking the fight to Israel.  Cross-border attacks and IEDs generated by Hezb’allah have forced Israel into retaliation, making the north increasingly nervous on both sides.
  • The Iraqi military, which the U.S. ceased to train in 2011 and which the Shiite government in Baghdad tried to transform into a Shiite-dominated force, is now ill-equipped to fight for its territory. The U.S. decision to create Iraqi Sunni “national guard” units to protect territory “recaptured” from ISIS sounds much like the 2007 Sunni Awakening of the surge except for two things: last time, they had the United States Marines behind and alongside them, and since our departure, Sunnis have less reason to trust us.
  • And now, Kobani. The Kurdish town that had taken Iraqi refugees of all ethnicities and religions is under siege by ISIS on the ground.  While the U.S. has bombed some ISIS assets, fighters are infiltrating the city making further pursuit by air impossible without large-scale civilian casualties.  There are no “boots” to stop them.  Turkish troops, sitting in tanks, can be seen across the border watching Kobani but not moving to its defense.  Not surprising, but watching them watch disaster speaks volumes.

The viciousness of ISIS against women, children, and “apostate” Muslims will make Yemen’s troubles look simple, but Yemen was the canary in the coal mine. Now the real disaster is underway, and the U.S. remains out of touch with its origins and its path.  Kobani and what it represents appear doomed – to America’s shame.

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Oct 08 2014

2 Articles; As fires rage across the Mideast, a key man to watch is Jordan’s moderate King Abdullah II.; * What did a Jewish Washington Post columnist write about the Christian #RallyForIsrael? It’s worth reading. @JRubinBlogger

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 10:26 am

From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

As fires rage across the Mideast, a key man to watch is Jordan’s moderate King Abdullah II.

by joelcrosenberg

A key man to watch: Jordan's moderate King Abdullah II.

A key man to watch: Jordan’s moderate King Abdullah II.

On January 10th of this year, I began writing a series of columns on key people in the epicenter who I planned to keep an eye on in 2014. The first name on my list was Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Sure enough, the King has proven himself a central player in a region set aflame by the forces of Radical Islam this year.

As the flames get higher, several critical questions come to the fore:

· Will ISIS or other Radical groups try to topple the King and raise their black flag over Amman?

· Will the U.S., NATO and other allies stand closely together with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, one of our most important allies in the region, to make sure this does not happen?

· Will the U.S., Israel and Sunni Arab countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia — as well as some of the emirates – forge a quiet but effective alliance not only to stop jihadists like ISIS but to stop the ayatollahs in Iran from going nuclear?

As the year draws to a close, I remain intrigued and impressed with King Abdullah II both a monarch and a Reformer. He is actively trying to lead his small, oil-less, but vitally important nation towards progress and freedom, tolerance and modernity. He’s keeping close ties with the Arab world. He maintains a close friendship with the U.S., and is maintaining his nation’s courageous peace treaty with Israel. He’s also actively trying to help the Palestinians and Israelis make peace, as well. But the Radicals desperately want to topple the King and seize Jordan for themselves.

When I was in Amman in May doing research for my forthcoming novel — The Third Target – I met with Jordan’s Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Interior Minister and other key officials. They warned of an “explosion” of Radical Islamic extremism and foreign jihadist fighters coming out of Syria that could threaten other nations in the region, including them.

“I’m not worried about Syria imploding,” a senior advisor to Jordan’s Foreign Minister told me, “I’m worried about it exploding” and sending newly emboldened terrorists across the region and across the globe.

I specifically asked Jordan’s Interior Minister, His Excellency Hussein Hazza’ Al-Majali, if ISIS — the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Arabic for the “Levant,” or Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel) — was a particularly serious threat. Without hesitation, he agreed it was.

Majali said he wasn’t worried about ISIS toppling King Abdullah II, assuring me that he and the King’s intelligence and security forces work around the clock to prevent just such a disaster. But when I asked him if the plot of my novel about the rising ISIS threat was credible, he assured me that, unfortunately, it was.

· Please pray for the moderate Arabs in the epicenter — King Abdullah II chief among them — to be strong and decisive in putting down this rapidly rising threat from ISIS and other jihadists.

· Let’s pray for the safety of the King, and the millions of Jordanians who live a very stable and peaceful life.

· Let’s also keep praying for the people of Iraq and Syria who are suffering terribly at this dark time.

Finally, consider this headline from earlier this summer: “ISIS THREATENS TO INVADE JORDAN, ‘SLAUGHTER’ KING ABDULLAH.”

Here are a few excerpts from the story:

“The recent victories in Iraq and Syria by the terrorists of ISIS — said to be an offshoot of al-Qaeda — have emboldened the group and its followers throughout the Middle East,” writes Khaled Abu Toameh, a former Arab affairs reporter for the Jerusalem Post. “Now the terrorists are planning to move their jihad not only to Jordan, but also to the Gaza Strip, Sinai and Lebanon. Failure to act will result in the establishment in the Middle East of a dangerous extremist Islamic empire that will pose a threat to American and Western interests.”….

“According to the sources, ISIS leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi recently discussed with his lieutenants the possibility of extending the group’s control beyond Syria and Iraq,” Toameh notes. “One of the ideas discussed envisages focusing ISIS’s efforts on Jordan, where Islamist movements already have a significant presence. Jordan was also chosen because it has shared borders with Iraq and Syria, making it easier for the terrorists to infiltrate the kingdom.

“Jordanian political analyst Oraib al-Rantawi sounded alarm bells by noting that the ISIS threat to move its fight to the kingdom was real and imminent,” the report states.

“We in Jordan cannot afford the luxury of just waiting and monitoring,” he cautioned. “The danger is getting closer to our bedrooms. It has become a strategic danger; it is no longer a security threat from groups or cells. We must start thinking outside the box. The time has come to increase coordination and cooperation with the regimes in Baghdad and Damascus to contain the crawling of extremism and terrorism.”

“The ISIS terrorists see Jordan’s Western-backed King Abdullah as an enemy of Islam and an infidel, and have publicly called for his execution,” says Toameh. “ISIS terrorists recently posted a video on YouTube in which they threatened to ‘slaughter’ Abdullah, whom they denounced as a ‘tyrant.’ Some of the terrorists who appeared in the video were Jordanian citizens who tore up their passports in front of the camera and vowed to launch suicide attacks inside the kingdom.”

What did a Jewish Washington Post columnist write about the Christian #RallyForIsrael? It’s worth reading. @JRubinBlogger

by joelcrosenberg

At the US Capitol on Sunday, Gov. Mike Huckabee rallied Christians to support Israel in our joint fight against Iran, ISIS & Radical Islam.

At the US Capitol on Sunday, Gov. Mike Huckabee rallied Christians to support Israel in our joint fight against Iran, ISIS & Radical Islam.

Jennifer Rubin is an intriguing voice inside the Washington Post. She’s not simply a columnist, she’s also a conservative, and she’s Jewish. This week, she wrote a column about the “Rally For Israel” that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Sunday and was organized by Governor Mike Huckabee and Concerned Women For America’s Penny Nance. It’s a fascinating take — one worth reading in full, and sharing with others. For the full text, and a link, see below.

On a personal note, I was deeply grateful to the Governor and Penny for inviting me to speak at the event. Since we are now living in Israel as a family, I wasn’t able to attend in person. But I strongly supported the Rally and recorded a video for it. And I want to thank everyone who attended, and all those who spoke.

It is absolutely vital that Christians stand with Israel and the Jewish people at this critical hour. It is also vital that we fully support efforts to defeat the Iranian nuclear program, Hamas, ISIS, and all other Radical Islamic threats to the U.S., Israel, and our Arab allies. For as I write about in my forthcoming novel, The Third Target, the stakes are incredibly high. If we do not stop the jihadists in the Middle East, they are coming here, and their goal is not simply to terrorize us, but to annihilate us.

—————————-

CHRISTIANS STAND WITH ISRAEL

By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

On the day after Jews’ holiest day of the year (Yom Kippur), a mostly Christian throng of zealous pro-Zionist Christians held a “Stand with Israel” rally on Capitol Hill on Sunday. For two hours plus, they sang, they prayed, they cheered and they spoke in defense of Israel. The rally was co-sponsored by Concerned Women for America (over half-a-million religious women voters who adopted Israel as a core issue) and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Both CWA president Penny Nance and Huckabee repeatedly delivered the message: America — and Christians in particular — must stand with Israel. Implicitly and sometimes explicitly mentioned was the argument that the administration is insufficiently supportive of Israel and clueless about the enormity of the jihadist threat.

In essence preaching to his flock, Huckabee made clear how central Israel and the defeat of radical Islam are to their faith. He declared, “There is no other nation that reflects the United States as Israel does.” Arguing that both nations value religious liberty he proclaimed that the United States can only be understood in the context of “God’s providence.” They fervently believe that if they break faith with Israel, God will break faith with them.(“If America doesn’t stand with Israel God will remove his hand from us,” Huckabee told them.)

This is the largest and most politically active “Israel Lobby” in the country. (Attendees came from as far away as North Dakota.) If the theology is not quite comprehensible to all Americans, then the geopolitical arguments the speakers made may sound familiar. These Zionists understand Israel and the U.S. are up against the same Islamist fundamentalists who want to cleanse Christians, Jews and non-fundamentalist Muslims from their midst. Journalist Eric Stackelbeck, reviewing the persecution first of Jews in the Middle East and then of Christians, reminded the crowd of mindset of radical Islamists who first go after Jews and then Christians. (“First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people,” he explained is their outlook.)

Huckabee and other speakers were emphatic that even if Americans don’t see this in theological terms, our shared enemies do. “Israel isn’t the ultimate target. We are,” Huckabee said.  When the deputy ambassador from Israel spoke to express his appreciation for the support, he reminded the crowd that in the Middle East it is only Israel which allows women full participation in all facets of society, has a free press and allows Christians to practice freely. But what brought a rousing cheer from the crowd was his declaration, “We are proud to be the Islamic Republic of Iran’s little Satan.”

Several aspects of the gathering are worthy highlighting.

First, the evangelical Zionists are acutely aware of the uptick in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric in Europe and on American campuses. Nance and Huckabee both spoke about it directly, warning of the danger of passivity. (A large student contingent from Liberty University was present.) Beyond support for the Jewish state, this group much more so than the administration or the MSM is following this development closely and sees the passivity of elites in the West as nothing less than a repeat of the 1930′s.

Second, Huckabee speaks to these kind of voters in a way that few other politicians do. It stems from his faith, not from a political agenda. He embodies their values and world view, and they know this. He speaks with the passion of a preacher, not with the anger of a politician bent on inflaming the crowd. If he chooses to run in 2016, other candidates will have their work cut out for them if they want to poach voters from Huckabee’s base. The question is whether since his 2008 run and with the benefit of years of Fox News hosting he now has developed the range to appeal beyond this core group.

Third, this crowd sees themselves engaged in an existential threat against radical Islam. These people do not separate Israel from that fight; they are one and the same. A politician who labels himself as pro-Israel but is less than fully committed to the fight against jihadists is unlikely to find much support here. In that sense, they are looking not merely for a pro-Israel leader but an anti-jihadist warrior who understands the stakes if jihadists are not defeated. And for many, this issue ranks right up there with abortion and marriage.

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Oct 07 2014

Is ISIS Beheading Kurdish Women?

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 5:52 pm

From American Thinker.Com

It is hard to know what is truth and what is propaganda coming from online posts out of the Mideast.  The most disturbing picture I have seen concerning the ISIS horrors comes from The Shia Post. A friend did a great deal of prodding to get me to look at it.

It shows a smiling, gleeful ISIS fighter holding the severed head of a Syrian Kurdish woman. The Shia Post says she was fighting for her family and was, Beheaded by takfiri terrorist of ISIS in Kobani. According to reports, takfiri killer who shared his photo with head of a YPG’s fighter has been sent to hell by YPG.” [YPG is the Yekîneyên Parastina Ge or “People’s Protection Units” armed wing of the Kurdish Supreme Committee of Syrian Kurdistan.]

Adding to the horror of this photograph is the fact that her face is so peaceful.  Her long brown hair is braded in the back and falling down behind her severed head as the disgusting human animal in fatigues with all the trappings of war attached to his belt smiles holding her head up with one hand and with the other hand holds up his index finger in a gesture that seems to indicate, “Good one!”

Kurdish women historically fight alongside the men. They are actively defending the Kurdish regions of Iraq and of Kobani, Syria borders Turkey.  Turkish military is watching across the border with tanks poised but not helping.  US and coalition airstrikes seem to miss all the ISIS tanks moving around as is clear in many online videos.

Below is a picture of a female Kurdish fighter who appeared on BBC News in September. The photo is similar to a picture of my mother peering out of a transport truck in her WWII khakis.  She had joined the Red Cross and was in New Guinea and the Philippines. So the below picture has personal significance to me. In 2001 my mother passed away peacefully, unlike the beautiful woman below.

Al Arabiya News

The Photo above comes from the Al Arabiya News online, which states that on October 5, 2014,

Ceylan Ozalp, 19, was reportedly surrounded by ISIS fighters near the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane also known as Ain al-Arab. After she run [sic] out of ammunition Ozalp said “goodbye” over the radio and spent her last bullet on killing herself.

According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights another female Kurdish fighter blew herself up at a gathering of Islamic State near the Kurdish city of Kobane. She was a leading figure in the Kurdish militants YPG and stormed a gathering of IS fighters hurling grenades at them before blowing herself.

These Kurdish women fighters are heroines in my eyes.  Rather than succumb to the radical, totalitarian, soul robbing, rapist, misogynist ISIS,  they fight.  God protect them all.  And shame on Turkey and the US for not helping these brave Kurdish women.

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