Sep 21 2014

Iran’s Quds Force fighting in Iraq - with the administration’s blessing

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 3:48 pm

From American Thinker.Com

Iran’s notorious Quds Force - the foreign adventure wing of the Revolutionary Guards - is apparently fighting alongside Shiite militias in Iraq and the Obama administration has welcomed them to the fight against ISIS.

The Quds Force is also killing rebels in Syria on behalf of President Assad.

Confused? So is the administration.

Washington Times:

Iran’s secretive Quds Force is becoming more active in Iraq alongside Iraqi soldiers and militias battling the Islamic State terrorist group, as the Obama administration sends signals welcoming Tehran to the fight.

A source close to the U.S. special operations community said some elite Quds forces were on the ground last month when Iraqis recaptured the strategic Mosul Dam from Islamic State invaders. The Iraqis were aided overhead U.S. strike aircraft providing close-air support.

The report comes as the Obama administration is talking more openly about relying on Iran, a Shiite-dominated nation, to take on the Islamic State, which also is known as ISIS and ISIL.

“There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday at the U.N. while drumming up support for destroying the Islamic State.

The Pentagon says it had no troops on the ground and thus does not know the affiliations of all the anti-Islamic State fighters during the battle for Mosul Dam, the most famous and successful to date after U.S. planes began striking the terrorists in early August.

But a senior defense official told The Washington Times that Quds Force troops are active in Iraq advising Shiite militias and other Iraqi forces.

“We know that the Quds Forces have been operating in Iraq,” the official said. “That we know for a fact. And we know that they have been doing some partnering and assisting with Iraqi forces. A lot of what the Quds Forces are doing is more focused on the militias, the Shiite militias.”

The battle for Mosul Dam in northern Iraq would be the first known clash in which Americans fought on the same side with Iran, albeit not in an official or a coordinated manner.

You can imagine the reaction of our Sunni allies - those who aren’t aligned with ISIS - to the notion that we’re welcoming the participation of the Quds Force. By providing close air support for Quds and the Shiite militias, we can easily be seen as a proxy air force for the Shiite militias, who have been accused of several atrocities against Sunnis already.

Is it a good idea that Iran develop a close military relationship with these Shiite militias? The war can;’t last forever, and there may be many of the quarter of a million armed Shiite militiamen who may wish to finish the cleansing of Sunnis from Iraq that they started in 2005. That’s what the Sunnis fear, anyway, and it does no good to have the Sunnis seeing us as allied with their deadly enemies.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/09/irans_quds_force_fighting_in_iraq__with_the_administrations_blessing.html#ixzz3DxRVVEjl
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Sep 16 2014

Israel, Palestinians and the Nation State

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 4:58 pm

From American Thinker.Com

Israel is now being forced to confront what it means be a nation-state.   The evident fact that Israel will never withdraw from the territories is forcing Israel to confront the awful question that it has dodged for far too long since 1967.  What to do with all these hostile Palestinians under its control?

In dealing with the Palestinians, the West expects Israel to perform like a Western nation-state; so a careful examination of just exactly what a nation-state is, required.

The idea of the nation-state came out of the American and French Revolutions.  The idea arose out of the Enlightenment that a state is actually a social contract between the people and the leaders.  Gone was the concept of divine rule. Gone was the concept of top down authority.  To certain extant, so was identity.  People could choose their nationality.

The nation-state elevated everyone to the status of citizen — initially limited to white males.  Along with the status came equality and rights, as well as civic obligations.  These were tied together.  Once the idea of natural and civil rights was enshrined, it became impossible to deny rights to women and minorities.

In France the effect was astounding.  In 1789, France was an empire, not a nation.  Brittany spoke Celtic Breton, not French.  The French Basque country spoke a language related to no other on the planet.  The Southern half of France spoke Occitan, a language halfway back to Spanish. Corsica spoke Italian. Alsace-Lorraine spoke German. The Mediterranean coast spoke Provencal, a relative of Catalan.  Gentically, Northern France was Germanic, Southern France Latin, Brittany was Celtic, the Basque country Basque, the Mediterranean coast and Corsica Latin.  Only the areas around Paris and the Northwest coast spoke Langues d’oïl: what we would call Parisian French.

Formerly, France had been united only in the person of the monarch.  With the monarch gone, a new creation was born in France:  the citizen.  He had rights and duties enumerated to him.  The Revolution gave the citizen equality, enfranchisement,  freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to a trial.  In return, he was required to learn (Parisian) French, forget his provincial ethnicity, serve militarily if called upon, and assume the honorific of Frenchman.

For the most part it worked.  Multiple ethnicities and languages — many now all but extinct — surrendered their traditions and history for their future; the unassimilable mix become French, by decree of the République du France.   A similar process happened here in the USA with the incorporation of immigrants.

Those nations which maintained monarchies, like Britain and Spain, did not fare so well.  There, ethnic rivalries spun out of control. Ireland left the United Kingdom. Scotland may go.  Norway split from Sweden; and Spain is chock full of separatist provinces.  Only the equalizing promise of Republics proved effective at assimilation and unifying.  To see the difference, take note that Basque separatism is rife in Spain, but weak in France.

The transaction of exchanging indentity for equality worked.

The concept of common blood, ancestry, and language has been traded for reason, and freedom is the unifying principle of Western Civilization.  Even Euro-monarchies now function like republics, with the monarchs all but useless vestigial traditions.

So effective is the Western idea of the nation-state that we assume that it is the standard of good governance, and we have exported it — with some degree of success — to much of the planet.  We assume it is God’s natural order.  Even those who oppose the West adopt some of our governmental forms.

By this process, Israel should start to teach Hebrew to all the Palestinians, slowly enfranchise them and make Israelis out of them.

But Israel refuses to do this, and frankly, given Arab intransigence, it is not going to happen.  Even were the Palestinians constitutionally similar to the obedient Swiss, I doubt Israel would agree. Israel is determined to remain ethnically Jewish, even to the point that it is willing to ditch democracy if need be.

America required one to become an American, not an Anglo-Saxon.  Israel however is determined to remain Jewish, an ethnic as well as religious identity.

The Bible says that the Jews are a “people [who] shall dwell alone” (Num 23:9 [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.)
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).  Scripture forbids intermarriage with Gentiles (Deut 7:3 [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.)
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), and there is a sense that this has an ethnic component, not merely a religious one.  It is seen as a covenant made with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  This indicates more than a religious choice.   One may convert to Lutheranism, but one is usually born a Jew.  Assimilation is anathema to many religious Jews.

Many religious Jews take these instructions to heart.   While Israel may have been founded by secularists, their numbers are decreasing relative to an Orthodox revival in Israel.  Religious legislation is increasing in Israel.

Judaism is not Thomas Jefferson and the Middle East is not the Mid West. - Rabbi Meir Kahane

Freedom of religion is allowed in Israel, but Orthodox Judaism, the state subsidized creed, is a case of more equal than others.  Rabbis have great control over who is declared Jewish, who is allowed to marry, etc.

Now, I have to admit that the refusal of Israel to accept Western Nation-State norms, especially the separation of state and religion, I find troubling; particularly since so many Jews in the West strove for a separation of religion and state.  Moreover I find it astounding that Israel strives for a high percentage of Jewish immigrants, particularly since many Jews in America, such as Congressman Emanuel Celler, worked to overturn laws in America that preferred North European immigrants, as a means to protect America’s heritage.  The consequence of that is that America may cease to be a European majority country in a few decades.  Why is it okay for Israel to maintain a Jewish majority, but wrong for the USA to maintain its Northwest European heritage?  I cannot help but see this as a double standard.

Yet, I also know Israel will not budge in its policies.  Neither will the Islamically-driven Arabs, who are much more tribal, unstable, and violentl.  The nation-state will not work in the Mideast.  Where sacred scripture takes precedence over human reason, and where tenets are matter of public, not individual, choice, the nation-state will not be entertained.

There is more at work here than security.  Israel intends to be Jewish, and would not even take in a large Euro-Christian minority.

Right now, many Palestinians and their supporters, realizing that a two-state solution is over, are starting to push for a one-state solution, with a secular state and full enfranchisement to Arab and Jew irrespective of religion.   This is the Western method, how the nation-state assimilates, incorporates, and grows.

It will not work in the Mideast.  This is something the Western Liberal does not grasp.  This is why American demands, and Middle Eastern responses (from both Arab and Israeli) are pointless exercises where the parties talk past each other.  They use the same terms, but interpret them differently.

Israel values democracy, but values Judaism more.  It defines itself as the Jewish state, rather than the present Western understanding of a state as a secular state of all its citizens.

Israel’s new opponents will come from the West.  They do not worship Allah, but they do worship the Age of Reason, Rousseau, and leftist Revolutions.  They will insist that the freedoms the democracies tendered to Jews in America, Canada, France, and Britain, must now be tendered to the Palestinians, or Israel will suffer the consequences

In the end, Israel cannot win such a fight.  For Western Civilization has some virtue in its philosophies.  It is an age-old fight, which goes back to the Rabbis vs. Hellenism.  Even the Maccabees that fought Hellenization adopted Greek names, and practices. Unlike its immediate neighbors, the West offers genuine competition to the Jewish culture.

Israel has to avoid that fight, and it can only do so by finally making the tough decisions on the Palestinians.  It can no longer fudge and obfuscate.  The two-state solution is dead, now Israel must either enfranchise the Palestinians or find another home for them.  Failure to act will force a Western solution on the Israelis.  Israel will remain democratic, but it will not remain Jewish, if that occurs.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is not Jewish, Latin, or Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.

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Sep 15 2014

Iran is More Dangerous than ISIS

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 1:21 pm

From American Thinker.Com

President Obama must be careful not to “degrade and destroy” ISIS in Iraq and Syria to the point of helping Iran and its axis of evil step into the vacuum that would be created and establish its own Islamic Shiite caliphate spreading from Lebanon through Syria and Iraq to Iran itself. This would be a serious threat to the moderate Sunni countries like Jordan and the Persian Gulf states and eventually to Israel and the West. Replacing the threat of a radical Islamic Sunni caliphate with the threat of a radical Islamic Shiite caliphate is shortsighted and could be a catastrophic strategic mistake to be regretted for generations to come.

Iran and its axis of evil, which includes the Syrian regime and Hizb’allah militias, are as brutal as ISIS. Both are Islamic totalitarian regimes which sponsor terrorism and wish to dominate the region. They both state their intention to defeat those they perceive as infidels, starting with other Muslim states and eventually moving on to Israel and the West.

While ISIS is beheading Shiites, Yazidis and Christians, the Syrian Government, with the help of the Shiite Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hizb’allah terrorists, has been using air attacks, tanks, and chemical weapons to kill thousands of its own Syrian people, mostly Sunni civilians, in the last 3 years of the civil war.

The only difference is that while ISIS uses social media including You Tube and Twitter to record and publicize their murderous and barbaric acts, Iran, Syria and Hizb’allah hide and deny their brutality and try to deceive the gullible world into believing that they are civilized.

However, if one looks objectively at their military capacity and capability, Iran constitutes a much bigger existential threat to the Middle East and West, while ISIS is just another terrorist organization, like Al-Qaida, with a lot of money, territories, and imitators across the world.

The CIA just reported that ISIS has mustered between 20,000 to 31,500 fighters across Syria and Iraq. While they have captured lots of U.S. made conventional equipment from the Iraqi Army, they still mainly engage in low-tech Third World warfare by relying overwhelmingly on civilian pickup trucks which are rigged to carry machine guns. It seems that they have few tanks, armored personal carriers, Humvees, anti- aircraft guns, mortars, or machine guns. But mostly, ISIS has been using medieval, barbaric tools such as gruesome beheadings and kidnappings to spread panic and f through modern technology ear among primitive local populations and incompetent Arab militaries. This has also served as great recruiting tool to increase their ranks.

In contrast, the Iranian military consists of 525,000 active personnel and 1,800,000 reserve personnel, including an air force and a navy. They have thousands of  tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, hundreds of  fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, dozens of submarines, and are in possession of hundreds of ballistic  and cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons  which could reach Israel, Europe, and U.S. regional bases. In addition to chemical and biological weapons, they are on the brink of acquiring a nuclear weapon.

The Sunni Persian Gulf states, Egypt, and Jordan should be very wary of helping to destroy ISIS while Iran is allowed to enrich uranium and sell their oil because of Obama’s misperception that Iran is “different”, less dangerous than ISIS, and can be successfully negotiated and reasoned with.

ISIS must be contained through U.S. air attacks and not be allowed to expand its territorial boundaries to Jordan and Lebanon. But Iran must be contained too by adding crippling economic sanctions to suffocate it economically till they dismantle their nuclear weapons program and curtail their military presence in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

The new U.S. campaign runs the risk of helping Assad and therefore Iran which has thousands of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah terrorists fighting alongside Pro-Assad forces.

The Kurdish Army, the Iraqi Army, and moderate Syrian Rebel Groups must be equipped with advanced weapons to give them a chance to defend themselves against ISIS. Likely their ground forces will still be too weak, impotent, and dysfunctional to be able to defeat ISIS, even after it is weakened by American air strikes. The probable failure of these ground forces to defeat ISIS could eventually tempt the West and the Obama Administration, which are against using their own ground forces, to agree to let. Assad stays in power and to cooperate with him, Iran and Hizb’allah.

If ISIS were to be destroyed by this strategic cooperation, only Iran with its Axis will be standing to fill the vacuum which will be left.

More important, the emergence of ISIS provides a strategic opportunity to gain what was lost after the defeat of Saddam Hussein by the U.S. When the Islamic Republic of Iran came to power in 1979 there was a balance of terror and power between Iran and Iraq. They fought a brutal war from 1980-89 against each other. During those years Iran did not have the resources to intensively develop their nuclear program and their military might was degraded. The defeat of Saddam Hussein in 2003 was good for Iran. After the Iraqi collapse, Iran stepped in and increased their influence in an Iraq under the control of a Shiite government.

Now there is another chance for the world to create a balance of terror in which both the Iranians and ISIS will degrade each other’s military power, influence, and ability to spread terror. Most importantly, President Obama and the world must not take their eyes off the goals of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power or reestablishing the ancient Persian Empire.

Shoula Romano Horing is an attorney. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com

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Sep 14 2014

The Middle East: A Man-Made Disaster

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 6:03 pm

From KHouse.Org

The Middle East

A Man-Made Disaster

by Dr. Steve Elwart

Lawrence was so disgusted by this betrayal that he refused the Victoria Cross and a knighthood (KBE), leaving a shocked George V, in the King’s own words, “holding the box in my hand.”


The decisions made a century ago are affecting us today. Are events in Iraq only a foreshadowing of a greater Islamic Caliphate?

The stunning recent military successes by the Islamic militant group ISIS have signaled a sea-change in the region and is causing a fragmentation of the Iraqi and Syrian nations into a Somali-like anarchy. Lebanon and Suez are becoming no-man’s lands, and Jordan is on the brink of revolution. Behind all this tumult is Iran, supporting various rebel factions with the dream of forming a Shia Caliphate in the region, and they are using the Ottoman Empire as a template.

Many were surprised at how quickly sovereign nations fell into chaos, but a look into history would show this realignment of power was inevitable.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement

The recent developments in Iraq have at their root a secret, century-old agreement between two men: one man a British colonel, Mark Sykes, and the other a French consul, George Picot. In what became known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, these two men agreed upon the division of Ottoman Empire territories in 1916 and changed the face of the region for decades to come.

These agreements, formalized at the end of World War I, carved up the Middle East for the sole purpose of benefitting the victors of that war and gave little thought to the people who had lived there for generations. Since the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany in the war, Great Britain and France carved up the empire to suit their geopolitical needs. (Russia was dealt out of the negotiations and the United States renounced any territorial claims in the region.)

At the time of the agreement’s implementation, the Ottoman Empire still existed. The empire was led by a series of caliphs (religious-political leaders), with the last one being Sultan Mehmed VI (1918–1922). The political element of the Ottoman caliphate ended with the founding of Turkey in November 1922, led by Kemal Ataturk. Its spiritual component lingered on until March 1924, when Turkey’s parliament (at Ataturk’s urging) formally abolished it.

In late 1915 and early 1916, before the end of World War I, the Sykes-Picot Agreement was implemented. For four centuries, Iraq had been part of the Ottoman Empire. That empire, which had once stretched from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf, was now over, a casualty of war. A host of independent and semi-independent nations would eventually take its place in the Middle East.

An Agreement Based on Oil

World War I was the first war fueled by oil. No longer were armies moving around by animal power. They were moving by gasoline-powered internal combustion engines and oil-fired steam turbines. Ordinary citizens were also starting to drive cars, and oil became a commodity people and nations soon realized they could not do without.

Prospects for any oil development within the British Empire to fill this growing need were bleak, which made supplies from the Middle East of vital importance. Sir Maurice Hankey, the powerful secretary of the British War Cabinet, wrote to Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour that, “oil in the next war will occupy the place of coal in the present war, or at least a parallel place to coal. The only big potential supply that we can get under British control is the Persian and Mesopotamian (Iraqi) supply.” Therefore, Hankey said, “control over these oil supplies becomes a first-class British war aim.”

The British had recognized how important it would be to have access to petroleum reserves. Control of the region would also connect other British interests and what was then British India.

The French, on the other hand, had emerging business relationships with the large Mediterranean port cities of Beirut, Sidon and Tyrus. Paris wanted to use Sykes-Picot to secure access to these cities.

The agreement redrew the region with a dividing line starting at Kirkuk, Iraq and extending to Haifa, Israel, with the territories north of the line going to France and the territories south of the dividing line falling under the control of the British.

The area that was divided is part of what is called the Levant. The term “Levant” (coming from the French lever, “to rise” [i.e., the sun]), encompasses the lands of the eastern Mediterranean—primarily Asia Minor and Syria-Israel. Syria and Lebanon comprise the northern sections of the Levant while Egypt anchored the southern end. The Levant served as a land bridge, connecting the great cultural centers located in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

The historical importance of the makeup of the Levant and the composition of its people were largely ignored by Europe when the great powers, primarily Great Britain and France, met to determine their fate.

At the beginning of World War I, the Ottoman Empire had already begun its decline, with modern-day Turkey being the most significant component. To keep the Ottoman Turks pinned down in the region and to keep them from assisting the Germans, the Arabs living in the region were told that if they sided with the Allies against their Ottoman masters they would gain independence.

Dividing the Land

Under the Sykes-Picot Agreement most of Mesopotamia was to be British, while the Syrian coast from Tyre to Alexandretta was to be French, along with Armenian and Asia Minor (primarily Turkey) regions to the north. “Palestine” (the Land of Israel) was to be “international,” but its chief seaport, Haifa, was to be British. The French sphere of influence was also to encompass the rest of Syria from Aleppo to Damascus and the English sphere would embrace all the rest of Mesopotamia, primarily the region around Mosul.

There was also a general understanding that “Palestine” fell within the English sphere of influence. It was also agreed that the land lying between Mesopotamia (Iraq) and the Syrian coast was to be “independent Arab under two spheres of influence.”

The independence promised to the Arabs by the English (and reiterated by Col. T. E. “Lawrence of Arabia”) had vanished.[1]

The Goal of ISIS: Erase the Borders

Sykes-Picot resulted in a region with states composed of a variety of ethnic groups and religions. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) would like to erase those borders, calling for an all-Islamic state in the form of a greater caliphate. The group’s name makes it clear that they hope to undo the boundaries they view as being imposed on them by the Western-dhimmis powers.

Many analysts also see the upheaval in the Levant as a realignment of the region to a configuration of national boundaries that existed before Sykes-Picot went into effect.

“The artificiality of state formation has caused numerous conflicts over the last few decades,” said Henner Fürtig, director of the Institute of Middle East Studies at GIGA research institute in Hamburg. “These questions haven’t been solved for a century and burst open again and again, in a cycle, like now with the ISIS advance in northern Iraq.”

In the face of the ISIS onslaught, it is becoming evident that the collapse of political order in Iraq is just a first step toward the new caliphate.

ISIS’s Effect on Israel

Do the events in Iraq and Syria have an impact on Israel?

Obviously, the chaos on Israel’s northern border threatens the security of the Jewish nation, but there may be more, farther-reaching consequences. The current Mideast bedlam has many taking a fresh look at a prophetic psalm vastly overlooked. This is Psalm 83 [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.)
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, which discusses the formation of a ten member, predominately Arab, confederacy destined to seek the total destruction of the nation of Israel.

Psalm 83 [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.)
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has recently been invoked because Israel’s enemies, many of whom fall within the hoped-for Islamic caliphate, appear to be among the prophesied ten-member coalition.

It would be wise to take another look at Psalm 83 and pray for a greater understanding of the psalm and its timeline.


Sources

  • International Standard Version, Psalm 38 [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.
    and Ezekiel 38 [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.)
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    .
    (2011). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.
  • Manchester, W. (1983). The Last Lion: Volume 1: Winston Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874–1932. New York: Little, Brown, and Company.
  • Missler, Ph.D., C. (2002, July 1). Roots of War: Profiling the Middle East. Coeur d’Alene, ID, USA. Retrieved from https://resources.khouse.org/middle_east/cda11/
  • Yergin, D. (2008). Yergin, Daniel (2011–04–05). The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. New York: Free Press (Reissue edition).

Notes

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Sep 12 2014

Russia warns attack on Syria would constitute ‘aggression’

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 5:07 pm

From American Thinker.Com

The Russian foreign ministry has issued a warning to President Obama and other western countries that might join the US in attacking ISIS in Syria: Without a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the strikes, the Russian government would consider any attack on Syrian soil “aggression.”

President Obama has no plans to seek authorization for his actions from the security council where it would probably be vetoed by Russia, or China, or both. This would set up another potential confrontation with Moscow, on top of the tension over Ukraine.

Reuters:

“The U.S. president has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the U.S. armed forces against ISIL positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

“This step, in the absence of a U.N. Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law.”

Barack Obama said on Wednesday he had authorized U.S. air strikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq, in an escalation of the campaign against the Islamic State militant group, which has taken control of large areas of both countries.

Western states have ruled out working with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying he has indirectly helped Islamic State grow in order to weaken other opposition groups.

Obama, who is due to host a leaders’ security conference at the U.N. General Assembly in two weeks’ time, made no mention of seeking an international mandate for action in Syria.

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, has given Assad crucial backing in Syria’s civil war, which has killed more than 200,000 people.

It has provided arms and blocked Western and Arab-backed efforts to adopt Security Council resolutions condemning him or threatening him with sanctions.

It has repeatedly argued that it does not believe the Syrian opposition can fill the void that would be left by Assad’s departure, warning the country would fall into the hands of Islamic militants.

France, a key ally for the United States in the planned coalition, said on Wednesday it was ready to take part in air strikes in Iraq, but said its involvement in any military action in Syria would need to have international law behind it.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the Iraqi government has asked for help internationally, but in Syria the legal basis would have to be established first.

French officials have said that would come either through a Security Council resolution or under Article 51 of the U.N. charter, allowing for protection of threatened populations.

Great Britain has already politely declined to participate in any military action in Syria, so, as expected, the US will be going it pretty much alone. With NATO on the sidelines, the Arab countries cheering us on from afar, and the “international community” willing to fight to the death of the last American, the Syria operation will reveal the nauseating hypocrisy of the rest of the world when it comes to America’s super power status. Everybody hates us, villifies us, and criticizes us - until they beg us to save them from the barbarians.

A UN resolutiion would be a PR move anyway, given that body’s total incapacity to act in a way that matters. But as long as we don’t directly engage Syrian troops, it is unlikely that Russia will complain very much if we destroy the ability of Islamic State to make war in Syria.

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Sep 12 2014

What if ISIS obtains chemical weapons? Analysis of the President’s speech.

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 1:24 pm

From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

What if ISIS obtains chemical weapons? Analysis of the President’s speech.

by joelcrosenberg

To pre-order THE THIRD TARGET — which releases on Jan. 6 — please click here or go to your favorite book store.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

>> See short video of me explaining why we are releasing my new novel about the ISIS threat — THE THIRD TARGET — earlier than planned because of fast-moving events (Jan. 6).

(Washington, D.C.) — On the eve of the anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11, President Obama addressed the nation in a prime time televised speech on the threat posed by the Islamic State (aka, ISIS or ISIL) and how his administration plans to respond. Here is a transcript of his remarks. I encourage you to read what he said very carefully.

A brief analysis:

· The President has now officially acknowledged that ISIS and its jihadist allies pose a clear and present danger to the American people, our economy, and our Arab and Israeli allies.

· ISIS is part of a larger Radical Islamic jihadist offensive that is attacking Muslims, Christians and Jews and sweeping across Gaza, Syria and Iraq.

· ISIS forces are beheading and crucifying those who stand in their way.

· They are trying to topple the Arab governments of Iraq and Syria, and as I write about in my forthcoming geopolitical thriller — THE THIRD TARGET — they will soon try to attack a new objective. The questions are: Who, when, and how?

· A serious concern I raise in the new novel is this: What if ISIS captures a cache of chemical weapons in Syria? Who would they try to wage genocide against — the U.S.? Israel? Someone else? And how much time do we have?

· New reports indicate Syria may still have chemical weapons.

· ISIS is training foreign fighters to penetrate the U.S. and Europe.

· The U.S. is particularly vulnerable on our open southern border with Mexico.

· The President’s speech last night represented an enormous flip-flop by President who earlier this year said ISIS was not a serious threat and called it “JV” (Junior Varsity), said he had “no strategy,” recently said he would “manage” the ISIS threat instead of defeat it, and has long opposed serious, sustained military action against ISIS.

· Now he s suddenly changing course.

· The President last night said: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents.”

· This an astoundingly naive statement. The President is wrong. The Islamic State is Islamic. They are all Mulsims. They see themselves as Islamic and are recruiting Muslims.

· Most Muslims are not violent. But jihadists are & highly dangerous and it is foolish not to acknowledge and understand the difference..

· To win, it is essential that President & his national security team must understand the theology & eschatology of Radical Islamic jihadists.

· That said, the President is finally signaling shift to a multi-year military campaign to “degrade and defeat” the Islamic State, so this is a move in the right direction.

· Skeptics are understandably asking if the President is doing this simply because of his terrible poll numbers on his handling of foreign policy and national security issues generally, and his handling of the ISIS threat in particular.

· That very well could be the case — but whatever the motivation, he is telling the nation and the world that he is committed to defeating ISIS, and this is progress.

· It remains to be seen how serious the President is about pressing the offensive and trusting his military commanders and advisors to do the job right. But I am praying for the President to do the right thing. I am a critic of the President on the matter of ISIS and Radical Islam. But I do not want to be a cynic.

· Finally for now, it is important to say that under the U.S. Constitution, the President must seek and receive Congressional authorization to launch such a long term war. That’s the only way forward and he must obey the Constitution.

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Sep 11 2014

Assad crosses red line again; world yawns

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 4:14 pm

From American Thinker.Com

Last month, the US government announced that all Syrian chemical weapons had been siezed and destroyed.

The Obama administration said Monday that U.S. military and civilian personnel had completed the destruction of the Syrian government’s declared chemical weapon stockpile, heralding the neutralization of chemical agents aboard an American ship as a watershed moment in the Syrian conflict.

The completion of the effort, President Obama said in a statement, “advances 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.”

Like all other Obama foreign policy “triumphs,” - Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, the “decimation” of al-Qaeda - the claim that Syrian chemical weapons had been “neutralized” proved to be an illusion.

After an exhaustive investigation, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that the government of Bashar Assad  had used some sort of chemical - probably chlorine - to gas people in 3 villages in northern Syria.

New York Times:

The conclusion, based on months of investigation by a fact-finding team, appeared to indicate that the Syrian government was continuing to use chemical weapons in the country’s civil war, despite having agreed to forswear the weapons, surrender its arsenal and tear down its manufacturing plants.

The agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said in a statement from its headquarters in The Hague that the information its team had collected provided “compelling evidence” that the toxic chemical was used “systematically and repeatedly” in Talmanes, Al Tamanah and Kafr Zet, three villages in northern Syria.

It said it had “a high degree of confidence that chlorine, pure or in mixture, is the toxic chemical in question,” based on the descriptions, physical properties, behavior of the gas, and signs and symptoms resulting from exposure, as well as the way victims responded to treatment.

The fact finders did not specify who had conducted the chlorine attacks. But its full report, which has been shown so far only to governments, is understood to leave little doubt that the Syrian government was responsible.

Michael Luhan, a spokesman for the organization, said in a telephone interview that witnesses cited in the report saw bombs dropped from high-flying helicopters that released the gas on impact. Of all the combatants in the civil war, only the Syrian government is known to have the ability to conduct such an aerial attack.

The fact-finding team said it was continuing to investigate reports of subsequent chlorine attacks, including a spate of new allegations in August.

Unlike nerve agents, mustard gas or other specially developed chemical weapons, chlorine is a common substance with many civilian and industrial uses. The international treaty banning chemical weapons does not restrict the manufacture or stockpiling of chlorine, but it does prohibit using it or any chemical as a weapon.

The organization’s report adds weight to the finding of a United Nations panel investigating human rights violations in Syria, which released a report last month saying that chlorine attacks had been carried out.

It still takes a manufacturing process to weaponize chlorine. Most likely, Assad simply hid the stockpile of Clorine gas bombs and waited until no one was looking.

Of course, after making a big deal about destroying Syrian chemical weapon stockpiles, the Obama administration isn’t likely to trumpet the news that Assad is still gassing his own people. That goes for the rest of the world too, who breathed a huge sigh of relief when Obama backed off a bombing campaign against Assad when Vladimir Putin saved his bacon with his proposal to remove all Syrian chemical weapons.

We await news of further investigations to see if other chemicals that don’t officially exist are being utilized by the Syrian armed forces to murder civilians.

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Sep 10 2014

Three threats to America, Israel & the Church in the Mideast. Notes from my address at Moody Bible Institute.

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 3:54 pm

From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

Three threats to America, Israel & the Church in the Mideast. Notes from my address at Moody Bible Institute.

by joelcrosenberg

Thank you

MoodyBibleInstitute(Chicago, Illinois) — It was an honor to be on the campus of Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago on Monday and Tuesday. At the invitation of Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of MBI, and Dr. Michael Rydelnik, a professor and head of the Jewish Studies Program, I was invited to teach a class on the Holocaust, another class on modern Israeli politics and society, speak on an evening panel on “Israel & The Gaza Conflict,” tape two programs for Moody Radio, and address the student body — some 1,600 future Christian leaders — on Tuesday morning at chapel.

Here are my notes for the addressed I delivered at chapel: “Three Threats Facing America, Israel and the Church in the Middle East.” I hope you find them helpful.

—————————-

Thank you, Dr. Nyquist. It is an honor to be back here at Moody Bible Institute and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share with you. This morning, I’d like to discuss threat grave threats facing America, Israel and the Church and how we as followers of Jesus Christ are supposed to respond, according to the Scriptures.

Let’s begin by reading the first ten verses of Ezekiel chapter 33.

33 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’ 7 Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. 9 But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.”

Ezekiel was a Hebrew prophet writing more than 2,500 years ago. He was part of the Jewish people that had been conquered and captured by King Nebuchadnezzar and were now living in the Babylonian Empire. And the Lord came to Ezekiel and called him to be a prophet — to hear the word of the Lord, and then to speak it to the people.

In this passage, the Lord says very clearly that He has raised Ezekiel up to be a “watchman” for the people. That is, his responsibility is to see threats and dangers that are approaching with God’s help and insight, and then warn the people about those coming dangers. He is also supposed to warn individuals about their sins, that they might repent of those sins and turn to the Lord with a humble heart for forgiveness.

But the Lord tells Ezekiel that it is not simply his job to be a “watchman.” The Lord will raise up and appoint other watchmen over time. And it is the responsibility of such watchmen to see threats and dangers and sins and warn the people, or they will be held to account by the Lord Himself.

Each of you are future Christian leaders. Each of you have come to Moody to study the word of the Lord and learn how to teach it to others. Each of you, therefore, has a responsibility to see dangers and threats and sins and to lovingly but honestly and clearly warn them to turn to the Lord before it is too late. It is a high calling and a great responsibility, and I urge you to take it seriously.

Today I want to briefly discuss three grave threats we all must see and understand and take action on:

1. The threat that America is not just declining but imploding — and that our only hope is a Third Great Awakening;

2. The threat that America and parts of the Church will turn against Israel & the Jewish people; and

3. The threat that Christians in the West will ignore or turn a blind eye to the barbaric slaughter and terrible persecution of Muslims as well as Arab Christians in the Middle East by Radical Islamic jihadists like ISIS, Hamas, etc.

Let me now share a bit more on each point.

1. America is not simply in decline. We are heading for collapse, for implosion.

There are many reasons for this, including a massive and crushing national debt with no end in sight, the implosion of families through divorce and out-of-wedlock-birth and the assault on traditional marriage, violent crime, drug use, pornography and so forth. I wrote about this in more detail in my 2012 non-fiction book, Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time?, so I won’t take the time today to go through each of these issues in detail.

But I do want to discuss one threat above all: America faces the implosion because we face divine judgment for murdering so many unborn children.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in Poland. As I stood in an actual gas chamber that was used to systematically murder so many Jews, political prisoners and others, it was a horrifying experience. I’m Gentile on my mother’s side, and Jewish on my father’s side, and standing there thinking about how the Nazis created these murder factories to kill six million Jews was one of the most painful experiences of my life.

But as I stood in that gas chamber, I could not help but think of how my own country, America — a country I love so dearly — has created murder factories to kill millions of people, as well. I was born in 1967. In my lifetime — since 1973 — the American people have legally murdered more than 55 million babies. If this is not stopped soon, we will reach 60 million. Think about that. If we really get to the point that our nation has systematically murdered 60 million human beings, we will have murdered 10 times more people than the Nazis killed of the Jews.

Now we know how God judged Germany and the Nazi regime through a crushing defeat in World War II, and we believe that the Nazis deserved such judgment. What do we think is going to happen if continue to murder millions of children? We are going to face the judgment of God. It is extraordinary that it hasn’t happened already.

There is hope, but we are running out of time. We could repent as a nation. We could turn from our wicked ways, plead with God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive our sins, and plead with Him to heal our land.

The Bible says, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 [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.)
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)

This was specifically a promise given to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. But it is a principle we can apply today. We could plead with God for forgiveness, and He could grant it. He could give us a sweeping series of revivals that could culminate in a Third Great Awakening, with hundreds of millions of Americans — beginning with the Church — repenting of our sins, turning to Christ, praying, fasting, reading God’s Word and seeking to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is possible. There is hope. But again, we are running out of time.

But let’s be clear: Without a revival, we are on the road to implosion. Indeed, the threat of implosion is far beyond what the next President or Congress can solve alone — we desperately need a Third Great Awakening.

Will you and I faithfully teach and preach the word of God to the nation? Will America hear the word of the Lord that we have strayed far from the teachings of the Bible and allowed our land to become polluted with abortions and pornography and violence and wickedness of all kinds? Will we admit how far we are from God’s plan and purpose for our lives? Will we confess that our hearts are far from Jesus Christ and plead with the Lord for His mercy and grace and forgiveness? Will we fast and pray and earnestly seek God’s face, and implore Christ to give us a Third Great Awakening? Or will we ignore the word of the Lord and continue in our sins and watch our nation continue to decline, or even implode?

Twice in American history we have seen sweeping spiritual revivals known as the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening, respectively. Millions of Americans repented of their sins during those seasons, became devout followers of Jesus Christ, began to read the Bible voraciously and to obey the word of the Lord. Nowhere in Scripture, however, has America been promised a spiritual revival in the 21st century, much less one that would be so sweeping, so game-changing that it would qualify as a Third Great Awakening. But who knows? Perhaps the Lord will show us tremendous mercy and forgiveness if we all humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways?

2. What happens if — on top of all our nation’s challenges and sins — America abandons or turns against Israel?

In Genesis 12, the Lord God chooses Abram, calls him out of Ur of the Chaldees (located in modern-day Iraq, 220 miles southeast of Baghdad) to go to “a land that I will show you,” which turns out to be the land later called Israel. The Lord promises to bless Abram, and through him bless “all the families of the earth.” Specifically in 12:3, the Lord says, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” As one reads through the rest of the book of Genesis, it becomes clear that this promise from God is passed down from Abram (who is later named Abraham) to Isaac to Jacob (later named Israel) and then to Jacob’s descendants, Israel and the Jewish people. Thus, the Lord is making clear that those who bless Israel and the Jewish people He will bless, and those who curse them He will curse. If America turns against or abandons Israel and the Jews after being their closest friend and ally for so many decades, God warns He will bring judgment upon us.

Psalm 122:6-9 [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.)
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— This passage reads, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, ‘May peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.”

Clearly, people all over the world, including in America, need to:

· pray for peace in Jerusalem, Israel and the broader Middle East

· pray for Jews and Arabs in the epicenter

· love Jews and Arabs in the epicenter

· seek the good of Jews and Arabs in the epicenter

The Lord promises to bless and “prosper” those who do.

3. Followers of Jesus Christ who love Israel and understand God’s Biblical plan for Israel must not be blind to the suffering in the Arab, Iranian, and Muslim world, nor deaf to their cries for help, nor dull to the terror and tyranny they face.

We are witnessing a Radical Islamic offensive across the Mideast, from Gaza to Syria to Iraq.

Leaders in Washington and across the world have been slow to see, and slow to act.

But the Church must step up. We serve the King of glory. Our King was born in the epicenter. He died and rose again in the epicenter. He is coming back to the epicenter — and He’s coming soon.

So we must help our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in the Middle East. We must show Christ’s love and compassion to Jews, Muslims and Christians in the epicenter.

We need to LEARN about what is happening in the region and God’s plan and purpose for the people there. [On this note, I shared with the students why I write fiction and non-fiction books to help educate people about coming dangers and mobilize them to action. I also shared about my forthcoming novel, THE THIRD TARGET, about the threat ISIS poses to the region and America, and that Tyndale and I have decided to release the novel earlier than expected because of how rapidly ISIS is moving. The book will now release on January 6th.]

We need to PRAY for peace and healing and stability and calm in the region, and for open doors for the Gospel.

We need to GIVE to ministries that are doing effective work in the region, ministries like The Joshua Fund.

We also need to be willing to GO to the region if God sends us there to serve Him and serve the people in the name of Jesus.

Is this hard? Yes.

Is this dangerous? Sometimes.

But Jesus laid down His life in love to save us. Will you and I lay down our lives in love to serve Him?

When people and nations are in danger, will you and I blow the trumpet and sound the warning?

May the Lord use you as a faithful watchmen on the wall.

CONCLUSION

If a nation follows these principles — if they love and bless Israel and the Jewish people, and do not divide the land of Israel, and love and pray for Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem and seek their good — then God will love and bless and show mercy to such a nation.

But if a nation violates these principles — especially chronically and consistently — then there will be a day of reckoning.

The question is: What do we want, a blessing or a curse, mercy or judgment?

Overall, most Americans are very supportive of Israel and find many ways to love and bless her, as well as the Arabs and others in Israel and the Middle East. This is good.

But there are a growing number of voices who say it is time to:

· cut off military aid to Israel

· boycott Israel

· divest from Israel

· sanction Israel

· and/or turn against Israel once and for all

Some do so because of anti-Semitism, others out of a belief in isolationism, and others because of ignorance.

Given the high stakes, one of the things we need to do is teach people about God’s love and plan and purpose for Israel and the Jewish people, and why this matters to America. We need to help more people — including our leaders and future leaders — understand why America’s fate is inextricably linked with how we treat Israel and the Jewish people, as well as her neighbors.

I would encourage you to study Genesis 12 [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.)
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through 17, in particular, on your own more carefully.

You will seen how the Lord unfolds the Abrahamic Covenant, piece by piece, step by step, including the fact that this is an “everlasting covenant” (Genesis 17:7 [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.)
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) and thus cannot be broken or abrogated, and that the Lord has given the land of Israel as an “everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8 [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.)
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).

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Sep 08 2014

Arab League to join war against ISIS

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 4:38 pm

From American Thinker.Com

Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo have agreed to pool their resources and join the fight against Islamic State.

The resolution passed at the end of the meeting hinted at some kind of League military action and tacitly supported US and Iraqi efforts to combat ISIS.

NBC:

The Arab League also endorsed in the closing statement of its meeting in Cairo a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last month calling on member states to “act to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.”

Baghdad had earlier submitted a draft resolution endorsing its own efforts to confront militants who have seized large areas for a cross-border caliphate and to condemn ISIS’ actions as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Diplomatic sources said before the meeting that Arab foreign ministers were set to endorse a U.S. aerial campaign against the group and Egypt’s official Mena news agency said the ministers would agree to coordinate with the United States.

The final text did not directly endorse either the Iraqi or U.S. campaign against ISIS, but diplomatic sources said the wording clearly offered Arab cooperation to U.S. and Iraqi efforts and could be read as a tacit agreement to back Washington’s campaign against the group.

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi told the session that the rise of the group in Iraq challenged not merely the authority of the state but “its very existence and the existence of other states” and called for a decisive resolution to confront terrorism militarily, politically, economically and culturally.

Arabi suggested that military action could take place under the umbrella of an Arab League joint defense pact.

It’s amazing how the prospect of being hanged - or beheaded - concentrates the mind wonderfully.

In truth, few Arab states would be able to contribute anything significant to a military campaign against ISIS. Egypt has a large, modern army and the Gulf states - some of which helped create ISIS in the first place - have modern air forces courtesy of the US. Algeria is also capable of helping militarily, although they have their hands full with their own terrorist problem, fighting off a growing al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), among other extremist groups.

Of course, any support would be welcome, but realistically, outside of Egypt, few Arab states would be willing to put boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

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Sep 07 2014

Death on a Laptop

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 5:16 pm

From KHouse.Org

Found buried deep inside a laptop computer in Syria were plans to spread death and destruction in the United States.

In northern Syria, Syrian rebels found a laptop partly covered in dust. The laptop was found in an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) hideout last January in the Syrian province of Idlib, close to the border with Turkey.

Abu Ali, commander of the group says the fighters from ISIS fled before his men attacked the building. The attack in the village was part of a larger anti—ISIS offensive occurring at the time. “We found the laptop and the power cord in a room,” he continued, “I took it with me. But I have no clue if it still works or if it contains anything interesting.”

The computer, indeed, did work. Surprisingly it was not even password protected. Once started, however, the computer looked empty. The computer had no files on it. On closer inspection, however, the computer was found packed with data.

Buried inside the computer under “hidden files” were over 146 gigabytes of material, containing a total of 35,347 files in 2,367 folders.

(That is almost 1,000,000 pages of text.) The files were in French, English, and Arabic.

The laptop’s contents turn out to be a treasure trove of documents that provide an insight into the mind of jihadists and — and a playbook on how to carry out the ISIS’ terror campaign. The files contained videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use disguises in order to avoid getting arrested while traveling from one jihad to another.

But the laptop had far more than just propaganda and instruction manuals. The files suggested that the laptop’s owner was teaching himself about the use of biological weapons to prepare an attack that would have “shocked the world”.

The information on the laptop indicates that it was prepared by a Tunisian national named Muhammad S. Apparently, he joined ISIS in Syria and studied chemistry and physics at two Tunisian universities. (One university stated that he did study physics and chemistry there, but lost track of him in 2011. All other questions were referred to State Security.)

An astonishing number of Tunisians have flocked to the Syrian battlefield since the revolt began. In June, Tunisia’s interior minister estimated that at least 2,400 Tunisians were fighting in the country, mostly as members of ISIS.

The ISIS laptop contains a 19-page document in Arabic on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals.

“The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge,” the document states.

The document includes instructions for how to test the weaponized disease safely, before it is used in a terrorist attack. “When the microbe is injected in small mice, the symptoms of the disease should start to appear within 24 hours,” the document says.

The laptop also includes a 26-page fatwa, or Islamic ruling, on the usage of weapons of mass destruction. According to the fatwa, “If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir [unbelievers] in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction.” (The fatwa was pronounced by Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al-Fahd, who is currently in prison in Saudi Arabia. “Even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth.”

While the information on the ISIS laptop indicates that the jihadists possess the weapons described in the files. The material on the laptop, however, is a reminder that jihadists are also hard at work at acquiring the weapons that could allow them to kill thousands of people with one strike.

This isn’t the first time that jihadists have attempted to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Even before the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda had experimented with a chemical weapons program in Afghanistan. In 2002, CNN obtained a tape showing al Qaeda members testing poison gas on three dogs, all of which died.

This may not be the situation for long.

ISIS military gains in recent months may have provided it means of acquiring these and other conventional weapons. ISIS now controls large parts of Syria and Iraq. The fear now is that men like Muhammed S could be working behind the front lines — for instance, in the Islamic State-controlled University of Mosul or in some laboratory in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital — to develop chemical or biological weapons.

The longer ISIS controls parts of Iraq and Syria, the more likely it is that they will be able to develop crude, but effective weapons. The documents found on the laptop leave no doubt about the group’s intensions.

Notes

  • ISIS laptop reveals project to build biological weapons
    — Ynet News
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