HOLTON: The Enemy Knows We’re In A World War, But We Don’t

IS

We’re in World War IV (the Cold War was World War III) and we are so terrified by the brutal reality of it that we refuse to accept it. It makes no different to the Jihadists of the Islamic State. They’re at war with us and they are on every continent. That’s pretty much the definition of a World War.

Will America’s leaders wake up?

By Christopher Holton:

With the emergence over the past 18 months of the Islamic State (IS), the West, led by the U.S., now finds itself in a world war, whether we want to believe it or not.

The Islamic State is not simply an Iraqi problem or a Syrian problem. IS has metastasized into a worldwide organization with 20,000 recruits from Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, the U.S., Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Germany. Even worse, Jihadists from Boko Haram in Nigeria, Abu Sayyef in the Philippines, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Northwest Africa and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen have all pledged allegiance to IS.

There can no longer be any doubt that the global Islamic insurgency that some have been warning about for some time, amounts to a world war. Nevertheless, policymakers here in the U.S. continue to ignore or deny this reality.

Over the period of a generation, the West has allowed itself to be thoroughly infiltrated by a savage and barbaric belief system. This is evidenced by the global base of recruitment that the Islamic State has been able to take advantage of and the numerous public displays of support for IS in the West.

In Germany, IS supporters actually attacked Kurdish Yazidis living there, mimicking the action by their fellow savages in northwestern Iraq where IS is committing genocide ,while most of the world looks on and does little or nothing to stop it.  We can only hope that German authorities are taking action to crack down on this activity, because if it isn’t stopped in the most forceful manner, it WILL get worse and worse to the point that stopping it will amount to full-blown counterinsurgency operations within their own borders.

In The Netherlands in July, pro-IS demonstrators marched with the black flag of the Islamic State, chanting “Death to Jews.” It’s 1936 all over again in Europe. Authorities are just sitting back passively as savages express their intention to target Jews.

In Austria, a fan club of sorts for IS has sprung up, complete with a Facebook page. Note that in the article about this group the author points out that he can’t find any evidence that the mosque associated with the group actually exists. This actually shows an ignorance of mosque organization. Many mosques operate in peoples’ homes and businesses in the West, with no overt, formal displays or organization.

It certainly doesn’t help that, when Westerners choose to exercise free expression with anti-IS protests, authorities have stifled them. While public safety is certainly paramount, isn’t it an ominous sign when Jihadist activity in the West prompts the government to stifle legitimate, peaceful demonstrations? That’s exactly what happened in The Netherlands this month,when a Dutch anti-IS rally was canceled as “too provocative.”

This should prompt Dutch authorities to think twice.  Mustn’t there be a critical public safety threat from Jihadists if those who disagree with them can’t even hold a protest? And if that is the case, shouldn’t the Dutch intelligence and law enforcement agencies be working to disrupt and take down those Jihadists?

The Islamic State isn’t just garnering support in Europe. IS is also getting jihadi recruits there as well. It is estimated that some 3,000 Western European Muslims have traveled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State’s Jihad—including young girls from The Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria. Perhaps the best known case involved a 14-year old girl from Spainthat was recruited to IS.

Part of the recruitment of Western females has been done on Social Media, including Facebook and usually involves Muslim women doing the recruiting. This is a sure sign that Jihadist doctrine has thoroughly embedded itself in the Islamic community in Europe. Again, a savage, barbaric belief system has mushroomed over the past generation right under the noses of western Europeans who are supposed to know the importance of freedom.

Not all of the recruitment in the West is happening on the internet and social media. Recently, IS supporters were seen openly recruiting on the streets of central London, handing out literature promoting the Caliphate.

Think about the implications of this for a moment. Here we have a case in which people are openly promoting and recruiting for a terrorist organization on the streets of a Western democracy that they have sworn to conquer and authorities appear to be taking no action whatsoever to stop it. We are through the looking glass.

Read more at The Hayride

Also see:

U.S. Must Hit Islamic State Hard After U.S. Journalist Beheaded

From the Islamic State's video of American journalist James Foley's beheading

From the Islamic State’s video of American journalist James Foley’s beheading

By Ryan Mauro:

The Islamic State has beheaded American journalist James Foley and is promising to do the same to missing American reporter Steven Sotloff if the U.S. does end its air strikes against the jihadist group in Iraq. Islamic State supporters are ecstatic on Twitter.

The U.S. must respond immediately to deliver the Islamic State a blow that is impossible to dismiss.

It was a bad week for the Islamic State. U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, including female fighters, are battling the Islamic State and recently succeeded in taking back the strategic Mosul dam. American airstrikes are giving Iraqis hope that the success of the Islamic State has peaked.

Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki has resigned, resulting in Sunni tribal leaders declaring their support for Iraq’s new Shiite President and willingness to work with a new Iraqi government in fighting the Islamic State in return for autonomy.

These events took the momentum away from the Islamic State, and the terrorist group had to change the headlines. And it did.

The Islamic State murdered Foley, who was probably transferred to the Islamic State  from the Syrian regime that it is fighting to overthrow. That sounds counterintuitive, but Bashar Assad has a complicated strategy aimed at ensuring that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda dominate his opposition.

Even though the Islamic State is calling on its supporters to kill any American anywhere, social media accounts of Islamic State supporters reviewed by the Clarion Project specifically tried to pre-empt criticism over the murder of an unarmed journalist. Photos posted of him in military fatigues are common, as are claims that he was secretly working for the U.S. government. One account described him as a “member of the Crusader army.”

The video of the beheading that the Islamic State released on YouTube showed footage of Saudi King Abdullah, indicating he is the next target. Clarion Project previously reported on an Islamic State graphic indicating that offensives into Jordan and Saudi Arabia were planned, even before conquering Baghdad and southern Iraq.

A senior U.S. official made an alarming admission. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran Brett McGurk said the Islamic State is now a bigger threat than Al Qaeda. “[The Islamic State] is better equipped, they’re better manned, they’re better resourced, they’re better fighters, they’re better trained than the Al-Qaeda in Iraq that our forces faced,” he said.

Read more at Clarion Project

Islam’s dilemma over the Islamic State

Cooperation over confronting the threat is missing
 August 18, 2014:

The jihadist forces of the Islamic State are strewing a path of atrocities, destruction and conquest across the heartland of the Middle East. They thrust down into Iraq from Syrian battlefields in June 2014, sweeping all before them, including thousands of Iraqi army troops who abandoned uniforms and top-of-the-line U.S. weaponry as they fled south to Baghdad.

Who stands between the Islamic State and its dream of a global caliphate? The Kurds are doing their best with a Peshmerga spirit but outdated weaponry. The United States and some European allies have begun to intervene militarily. Saudi King Abdullah gave a couple of speeches imploring his fellow Muslims to do something. Iran reportedly sent Gen. Qassem Suleimani and some Qods Force advisers to buck up its tottering puppet regime in Baghdad. The question is, where are the rest of the region’s Muslims, those supposedly so threatened by what the Islamic State represents? The silence from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has been positively deafening. Above all, Gen. Suleimani and the Qods Force notwithstanding, what is Iran really doing to take the fight to the Islamic State and roll back its advances?

A directionless U.S. national security leadership helps explain why the United States can’t seem to figure out who’s the enemy (this week) or what to do about it all. As long as the Islamic State was still the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), fighting (at least occasionally) against the Iranian-backed regime of Bashar Assad in Syria, the U.S. along with assorted companions of dubious pedigree — Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood — channeled aid, intelligence, training and weapons to Syrian rebels, some of whom were of likewise dubious pedigree. But now that ISIS has morphed into the far more ambitious and dangerous Islamic State (or simply, the Caliphate), it seems to be another story. In between rounds of golf, even President Obama has expressed something akin to alarm.

The problem, as Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy pointed out recently, is that the United States has no “overarching strategy.” What Mr. May and others term (the politically correct) “jihadism,” in fact is nothing other than the purest expression of Islamic doctrine, law and scripture that has been waging wars of conquest against the non-Muslim world for more than 1,300 years. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after all, earned a doctorate in Islamic studies from a Baghdad university. Like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahri and others before him, he cites with specificity Islamic law and scripture to underscore the justification of his jihad. However, thanks to massive penetration of the top levels of U.S. national security leadership, which collaborated with affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to effect a governmentwide purge of training materials about such topics, the American ability to name the enemy and take the offense to confront and defeat his threat doctrine has been neutralized. So we see the Obama administration jerking from response to response, sending Libyan weapons and training future ISIS recruits in Jordan one day, bombing the Islamic State positions inside Iraq the next, too tongue-tied to identify the Islamic ideology at the root of the whole mess.

Andrew Bostom nailed it in an Aug. 17 tweet in which he asked, “Whither the Muslim-led coalition to crush ‘un-Islamic [Islamic State] drawn from vast, modern-equipped militaries of Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, et al?” Yousef al-Qaradawi, senior jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood, bleated something about how al-Baghdadi’s declaration of a caliphate was “void,” according to Islamic law. No call to arms here, though, and certainly nothing at the level of his thundering fatwas endorsing suicide bombings against American troops in Iraq or Israelis. Even when the Islamic State calls the Shia “rafidah,” meaning deviants (from the “true Islam”), and jihadis flock from all over the world to volunteer for suicide missions to blow up Shia shrines, the most Iran seems to be doing is helping defend the ones that are left and making sure the Islamic State doesn’t capture Baghdad.

That leads to the nagging concern at the back of all this: What if the reason neither the ostensibly petrified Arab Muslim regimes nor the supposedly directly targeted Shia have called an emergency session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to denounce the “un-Islamic” Islamic State is because it really isn’t all that “un-Islamic” to want to re-establish the caliphate or enforce Islamic law (Shariah)? None of them wants to lose his throne — or his head — to the bloodthirsty thugs, but how to condemn something that Muhammad and the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs who followed him did on a much grander scale?

Read more at The Washington Times

Clare M. Lopez is the vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

 

Pope Francis, ISIS, and the Last Crusade

pope-francis-hall-of-remembrance-afpBy Christopher Dickey:

Is the Pontiff of Peace advocating war? No, but the self-proclaimed “Caliph” Ibrahim wants his fight to be a true holy war on both sides, and his strategy seems to be succeeding.
Pope Francis is walking a knife edge—or perhaps, better said, the blade of a crusaders’ sword—as he tries to mobilize support for Christians and other minorities victimized by the ferocious partisans of the so-called Islamic state.

“Where there is an unjust aggression I can only say that it is legitimate to stop the unjust aggressor,” he told reporters throwing questions at him on the plane as he returned from South Korea to the Vatican on Monday.

“I underscore the verb ‘to stop,’” he told them. “I am not saying ‘bomb’ or ‘make war,’ but ‘stop him.’ The means by which he can be stopped must be evaluated. Stopping the aggressor is legitimate.”

The “him,” the “aggessor” in this case is the self-anointed “caliph” whose forces, formerly called ISIS, now dominate swathes of Syria and Iraq, and this is just the kind of reaction he’s been hoping for.

The crucifixions, the beheadings and the mass executions of men, the kidnapping of women to be sold as wife-slaves to so-called holy warriors, the destruction of ancient civilizations and cultures, from Assyrian statues to Yazidi villages, and the systematic intimidation, extortion, and murder of Christians—all have a purpose that can no longer be ignored:

Caliph Ibrahim, as he calls himself, wants to provoke a 21st century crusade against his Islamic State. He wants to force his enemies into a religious war arousing atavistic instincts rooted in the Middle Ages—the great glory days of Islam—that linger in the hearts of many Muslims around the world. And by every indication he is succeeding.

With each American bomb that falls and each drone that flies over the territories the caliph has conquered, he comes a little closer to that goal. Perhaps there really is no choice. As Hilaire Belloc, a poet, satirist, Catholic historian, and author of a book on the Crusades once wrote in his couplet “The Pacifist”: “Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight, / But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.”

Read more at The Daily Beast

WATCH: ANTI-ISIS PROTESTS IN LONDON POPULATED BY KURDS, COMMUNISTS, AND PKK SUPPORTERS

PIC_0263Breitbart London:

LONDON, United Kingdom – Anti-ISIS protests in London this weekend saw hundreds of people march from the BBC’s Broadcasting House to the American Embassy then down to Marble Arch.

The march followed the Gaza protests staged in London over recent weeks, and there were originally concerns that the demonstration would be met by London’s pro-ISIS campaigners who were spotted on Oxford Street, moments away from where the march is due to start and end, earlier this week.

But all passed peacefully, with the only animosity being directed at the Breitbart Londonteam itself after tough questions were asked about the support for the PKK, and the communist flags being waved at the event. At one point, Breitbart London’s correspondents were surrounded by hostile protesters shouting, “You are ISIS!” at us.

The PKK, or Kurdistan Worker’s Party, is listed as a terrorist organisation by NATO members included the United Kingdom and the USA, as well as Australia, Iran, the Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, and more.

But by and large the protests focused on the atrocities being committed by ISIS in the northern part of Iraq. Campaigners cited the massacres of Yazidis, though some, including speaking Dr Mary Davis, seeked to blame the Western powers rather than deal with the issue itself.

Breitbart London was there, with interesting results.

WATCH:

A Woman’s Job: Kurdish Female Fighters On The Front Lines In Iraq

Forbes, By Anushay Hussain, 8/18/2014:

The one thing everyone can agree about Iraq right now is that it is a mess. However, in the past week, the US military made tremendous gains against the extremist Islamic group, ISIS. But did you know America’s greatest ally on the ground are Kurdish military women?

Yes, that is right, and just today, backed by US airstrikes, the female-fronted 2nd Peshmerga Battalion recaptured the strategically located Mosul dam,handing the biggest blow yet to the radical Sunni group, ISIS.

The ironies here are endless. Not only is ISIS known for their atrocities towards women and minorities, hundreds of whom they abducted and took in as sex-slaves, they even mercilessly slaughtered sex-workers in Baghdad.

As with most extremist groups, ISIS is targeting controlling the visibility of women and minorities as a tangible demonstration of their power. The joke then seems to be on them that they are facing the very sex they deem as inferior on the battleground.

Even better? ISIS militants apparently believe that if their lives are taken by a female fighter, their entry into heaven is denied.

Iraq: Women Peshmerga Of The 2nd Battalion Military Exercise. Image Credit: Flickr.

Iraq: Women Peshmerga Of The 2nd Battalion Military Exercise. Image Credit: Flickr.

Well, diplomats and feminists can thank the Kurds.

The minority group, who have long been labelled as terrorist by the US for their decades-long struggle for independence from Turkey, were finally armed last week by Washington to fight Islamist militants from advancing in northern Iraq.

The deepening crisis in Iraq has put the Kurds and the US on the same boat, both determined not to let Iraq fall deeper into the hands of ISIS.

Both parties also, of course, have a vested interest in the fact that the Kurdistan region is home to two large oil fields, generating almost 10% of Iraq’s production.

The Kurds want to keep their autonomy out of Baghdad’s political power web, and they have a lot to lose, especially the women.

Kurdistan is one of the few Muslim countries where women are allowed to serve in the military and in combat roles. Female guerrilla fighters battle alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga, a fighting force whose name means “those who confront death”, who also happen to be a battalion of female Kurdish fighters.

One soldier who has been fighting with the battalion since its creation in 1996, describes the loyalty she has to defend her people and their land:

It’s an honor to be part of a modern Muslim country that allows women to defend the homeland…We enjoy the same treatment as male fighters do, as required by law. 

The US may have wanted to remain in denial that their supposed beacon of democracy in the Middle East, ie Iraq, ended up becoming an Islamic State run by radicals who deny women their most basic human rights.

But nothing could provide better poetic justice than ISIS’ looming reality of facing the might of a female-fronted army on the ground as they battle it out for the soul of Iraq.

From pioneering in the field of mathematics to fighting off Islamic militants in Iraq, women in the Middle East are reminding the world that the best people to liberate them, are women themselves.

Anushay Hossain is a Bangladeshi-born Washington, DC based journalist. She is the author of Anushay’s Point

Also see:

Rogers: Competing Terror Groups Multiply Danger to U.S.

 

By Patrick Goodenough:

(CNSNews.com) – The terrorist threat facing the United States is greater now than it was before 9/11 and the failure to address the jihadist problem as “an ecosystem” is helping it to spread and become more dangerous, House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers warned Sunday.

“The difference here is that, before 9/11, there were single-level threat streams coming into the United States – some pretty serious,” the Michigan Republican said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “Obviously, they got in and conducted the attacks on 9/11.”

“Now you have multiple organizations, all al-Qaeda-minded, trying to accomplish the same thing,” he said, citing the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda affiliated such as the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

 

“Thousands of individuals now signing up with ISIL to fight their jihad in Syria and Iraq have Western passports. That’s what’s so dangerous about this,” he said.

“We also know that they want to conduct an attack. But so does al Qaeda. And so now you have two competing terrorist organizations. Both of them want to get their credentials to the point where they can say, ‘We are the premier terrorist organization.’ Both want to conduct attacks in the West for that reason.”

“And guess what?” he added. “That means we lose at the end. If either one ever those organizations is successful, we lose.”

He pointed to concerns raised by Attorney-General Eric Holder recently about a rising terror threat from Yemen – “one of the things that keeps him up at night. I would concur with him. That is an attack that many believe is going operational. And that is what we should be worried about.”

Rogers said he believed the terrorist danger to the U.S. now is greater that before 9/11 because “the threat matrix is so wide. And it’s so deep. We just didn’t have that before 9/11.”

He observed that ISIS controls territory the size of Indiana, possesses sophisticated weaponry and is reported to have “as much as billion dollars in both precious metals, currency, and, by the way, selling oil on the black market to the tune of about a million dollars a day.”

Rogers pointed to parallels between ISIS’ viciousness and that of other terrorist groups.

“This is exactly the kind of thing – beheading people, convert or die, burning religious relics from the past – just the sheer brutality of it is exactly what AQAP pitches. It’s what Boko Haram [in Nigeria] pitches. When they took those 300 girls, that’s what that was all about.

“That’s what they’re practicing and putting into practice. That’s why this policy of not dealing with it as an ecosystem, I think, is wrong and has caused the spread and danger of these organizations.”

Syria and Iraq ‘one war’

Rogers argued that the U.S. would not solve the problem of ISIS without confronting the terrorist group both in Iraq and in Syria.

“I think the president said they’re not related. They are absolutely related,” he said.

Rogers noted that the caliphate declared by ISIS in June has its envisaged capital in Syria (the northern city of Raqqa, which has been under ISIS control for more than a year), and took issue with any attempt to distinguish between the Iraq and Syria situations.

“To say they’re not related, I think just diminishes our opportunity for a strategic victory.”

Read more at CNS News

Iraq crisis: Islamic State’s message to America – ‘We will drown you all in blood’

ISIS militantsBy LIZZIE DEARDEN:

Islamic militants losing ground in Iraq under fire from US forces have threatened to launch terrorist attacks on American soil in revenge.

A video posted online by the Islamic State (Isis) warned that Americans will be attacked “in any place” if air strikes continue to hit its fighters.

After showing footage of a US soldier apparently being killed by a sniper and a photo of an American beheaded during the Iraq occupation, a statement in English reads: “We will drown all of you in blood”.

In a previous message posted by Isis on Twitter last week said “we are in your state, we are in your cities, we are in your streets” with a picture of the Islamist black flag with the White House in the background.

Unlike al-Qa’ida, Isis has focused on gaining control of swathes of land and numerous towns and cities in Iraq and Syria rather than attacking Western targets.

 

Mass executions, kidnappings, beheadings and other atrocities have been reported during the group’s bloody rampage through northern Iraq.

Isis violently adheres to Sunni Islam and tens of thousands Shias, Christians and other religious minorities have been fleeing for their lives.

Read more at The Independent

US airpower supports Peshmerga, Iraqi forces to retake Mosul Dam

 

Long War Journal, By By

The US military is launching airstrikes in support of the recent push by Iraqi special forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga to retake the Mosul Dam and surrounding towns lost to the Islamic State earlier this month. Invoking the War Powers Act, President Barack Obama said the strikes, which “will be limited in their scope and duration,” are designed to protect US personnel based hundreds of miles downriver from the Mosul Dam.

The US airstrikes near the dam started on Aug. 16, when the US military noted in a press release that it was conducting airstrikes “near Irbil and the Mosul Dam.” US Central Command, or CENTCOM, said the nine airstrikes, which “destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle,” were launched “under authority to support humanitarian efforts in Iraq, as well as to protect US personnel and facilities.”

CENTCOM issued two more press releases on Aug. 17, both noting that airstrikes took place “near the Mosul Dam.” CENTCOM said the strikes destroyed “ten ISIL armed vehicles, seven ISIL Humvees, two ISIL armored personnel carriers, and one ISIL checkpoint.”

In the Aug. 17 press release, the military added that the strikes were launched “to protect critical infrastructure” and “support Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defense forces, who are working together to combat ISIL [the Islamic State].”

And today, CENTCOM said the military launched 15 more strikes in the Mosul Dam area. “The strikes damaged or destroyed nine ISIL fighting positions; an ISIL checkpoint; six ISIL armed vehicles; an ISIL light armored vehicle; an ISIL vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft artillery gun, and an IED emplacement belt,” CENTCOM said.

Since the US air campaign around Mosul Dam began three days ago, American forces have conducted a total of 40 reported strikes: nine on Aug. 16, 16 on Aug. 17, and 15 today, according to The Associated Press.

Evolving US mission in Iraq

The missions of protecting “critical infrastructure” and supporting Iraqi Army and Peshmerga offensive military operations were not part of President Obama’s initial reasoning for launching airstrikes against the Islamic State in northern Iraq. Obama authorized the use of force to protect minority Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar and halt the Islamic State’s advance on Irbil, the capital of Kurdistan, where US personnel are based.

Obama invoked the War Powers Act in a letter to Congress that was released yesterday to explain the reasons for expanding the strikes to support offensive military operations by Kurdish and Iraqi forces.

“On August 14, 2014, I authorized the US Armed Forces to conduct targeted air strikes to support operations by Iraqi forces to recapture the Mosul Dam,” Obama stated in the letter. “These military operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to support the Iraqi forces in their efforts to retake and establish control of this critical infrastructure site, as part of their ongoing campaign against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” which is now called the Islamic State.

Obama said further that “the failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger US personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace.”

The US air campaign appears to be having some success. The Peshmerga, backed by Iraqi Special Forces, SWAT units, and aircraft, are said to have retaken several towns and villages north of Mosul, including Batmay and Telskef.

Iraqi and Kurdish officials are saying the Islamic State forces at the dam have been been defeated, but the complex cannot be occupied as there are still IEDs seeded throughout. Fighting is said to be taking place on the west bank of the dam, The Washington Post reported. The Islamic State has denied reports that its forces have withdrawn from the Mosul Dam.

Up until Aug. 7, the Obama administration resisted entering the fray in Iraq. The US sat on the sidelines and resisted Iraqi pleas for air and other support as the Islamic State and its allies seized control of much of Anbar in January and then stormed through Ninewa, Salahaddin, and Diyala provinces beginning in June. Additionally, the Islamic State has consolidated its control of several provinces in Syria and entered into areas it lost there earlier this year.

President Obama had campaigned on withdrawing all US forces from Iraq by the end of his first term, and kept his campaign promise when he failed to negotiate a deal to keep US forces in country after December 2011. Obama referred to the Islamic State as the “jayvee team” in an interview with The New Yorker that was published in January of this year. Since then, the “jayvee team” has stormed throughout Iraq and Syria and has taken control of significant territory in both countries. This has forced Obama to reengage militarily in Iraq, even if only in the north.

Also see:

 

EMET Briefing with Thomas Joscelyn on the New Caliphate: ISIS

Published on Aug 18, 2014 by emetonline

EMET is proud to host Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the senior editor of The Long War Journal. Mr. Joscelyn gives a briefing about recent events in Iraq and Syria and the (so-called) new Islamic State.

http://emetonline.org/event/emet-briefing-thomas-joscelynon-new-caliphate-isis/

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Islamic State terror chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi hunted by specially-formed elite military unit

Hunt for The Ghost: An elite force is targeting the fanatical head of the Islamic State

Hunt for The Ghost: An elite force is targeting the fanatical head of the Islamic State

By Chris Hughes:

A crack unit has been formed to hunt down the terror chief whose barbaric Islamic State group has blazed a trail of murder and mayhem across the Middle East .

Around 100 CIA spooks and special forces are hunting for 42-year-old Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, dubbed The Ghost because he leaves no trace despite running an army of followers.

It is the biggest counter-terror search since the Americans tracked down and killed al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Using unmanned spy planes, other aircraft and satellite imagery, intelligence experts are gathering mobile phone call data and movements on the ground in Iraq and Syria .

A source said: “Al-Baghdadi is elusive but he will be found eventually.

“His forces are stretched so phone calls will be made – that will be his weak point.”

Read more at The Mirror

What Can YOU Do for Persecuted Iraqis? (Part 1)

17-WEIGEL-JONAH-IN-NINEVEH-JON-3-700x475By Faith McDonnell at Juicy Ecumenism, Aug. 17, 2014:

Civilized human beings across the world are sickened by the destruction taking place in Iraq at the hands of ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities — some of the most ancient indigenous people groups in the Middle East — are being slaughtered by what can only be described as a horrifically evil terrorist group.

I chose the artwork of Jonah in Ninevah to emphasize the historic importance of the people who are being exterminated, the culture that is being eradicated, by ISIS.  The capital of Assyria, the ancient city of Ninevah was on the eastern side of the Tigris River, just across from the modern city of Mosul, on the western side of the river, in what is now northern Iraq. God sent a reluctant Jonah to preach to the people of Ninevah, worshippers of Ishtar (not a very nice goddess!) and they repented of their sins. These were the ancestors of some of the earliest Christian converts and of the Chaldo-Assyrian Christians of Iraq today!

In one of his many impassioned speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives, U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf pointed out, “Aside from Israel, the Bible contains more references to the cities, regions and nations of ancient Iraq than any other country.  The patriarch Abraham came from a city in Iraq called Ur. Isaac’s bride, Rebekah, came from northwest Iraq.  Jacob spent 20 years in Iraq, and his sons (the 12 tribes of Israel) were born in northwest Iraq.” And perhaps an even more important historical connection: A recent article in Foreign Policy points out that ISIS has claimed towns representing the last major concentration of Aramaic speakers in the world. The language spoken by Jesus when He was on earth is also being deliberately wiped out.

There are not enough synonyms for evil to do justice to ISIS. Yet on they go, wiping out the people of northern Iraq and building (rebuilding) the Caliphate, the global Islamic State. In spite of recent U.S. airstrikes, there is seemingly little to oppose them except the brave Peshmerga militia of the Kurdish Regional Government. ISIS has now renamed itself Islamic State, boldly declaring their preeminent status as Caliphate establishers.

Many concerned citizens in the United States and in the world community are using the Arabic letter nun (ن)standing for Nasara, Islam’s name for Christians, to identify themselves on social media and show solidarity with the Iraqi Christians who have been forced from their homes, brutalized, and killed. The jihadists of ISIS spray painted doors and walls of Christian homes, businesses and churches in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, with the letter before issuing an ultimatum to the city’s Christian population, giving them until midday July 19 to convert to Islam, pay a special tax (jizya) or be killed. They have been just as ruthless to the Yazidis and others who do not support their Caliphate-from-hell.

It is encouraging in the midst of this desperate situation to see people all over the world, from many Christian denominations as well as from other religions and no religion at all, brandishing the nun in defiant solidarity. After years of ever-increasing hardship and persecution for Iraq’s religious minorities, and, frankly, for all non-jihadist Iraqis, the world community has finally begun to wake up to this devastating human rights catastrophe. But what can we do besides showing solidarity with a ن on our Facebook or Twitter page? In my next post I will offer five things you can do for persecuted Iraqis.

In the Name of Humanity

 

iraq11n-1-webby Justin O. Smith:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, under the command of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is evil incarnate, and, more than a threat to Christians and America, it represents a new global threat, which was a foreseeable consequence of arming the “rebels”, Al Qaeda, in Syria. Having burst forth as a product of the Syrian civil war and the U.S. premature withdrawal from Iraq on Obama’s orders, ISIS now seeks to expand the area it already controls, approximately an area the size of Great Britain, through violence and terror, beheading all unlike them __ liberal Muslims, Christians, and Yazidis __ raping the women and murdering entire families; they are destroying all who do not accept their vision of an Islamic state, their declared Caliphate, as they give them the ultimatum of “convert or die.” And now, this genocide of historic proportions demands that the U.S. and the free world exterminate the dire threat from ISIS through all the military might they can muster.

Obama, ever sympathetic to Sunni Muslims, more than likely illegally and surreptitiously armed the so-called “rebels” in Syria by late 2011 from Libya, as strong evidence suggests. Conclusive evidence from U.S. officials and Syrian figures reveals the CIA and U.S. Special Forces delivered weapons to the rebels, mostly Al Qaeda affiliates, around September 1, 2013, according to the Washington Post (9/11/13).

Many war weary Americans did not want to intervene in Syria’s civil war last year, including myself, since many of us, along with many government officials, believed Bashar al-Assad could be deterred and eventually removed through better alternatives, than arming the rebels, as Senator John McCain advocated. Now the very circumstances, of which some, such as Lt Col Ralph Peters, warned and America sought to avoid, have developed, and ISIS murder and mayhem cuts a swath across the Middle East, due to Obama’s unilateral actions.

Abu Bakr Baghdadi, the self-appointed Caliph of the Islamic State and a one-time prisoner at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, leads somewhere near 35,000 well-armed and trained jihadist warriors, and he has steadfastly worked to redraw  the map of the Middle East. He swiftly led ISIS into Iraq around June with an army led by former Baath Party military and military intelligence from Saadam’s old regime. As they closed within 25 miles of Baghdad, they suddenly veered north and took Mosul on June 10th, and its dam on August 7th, routing the Kurdish Peshmerga (regional army) and creating tens of thousands of refugees in the face of their onslaught, mostly from the Yazidi minority.

At least 40,000 Yazidis took refuge in nine locations on Mount Sinjar, as ISIS hordes advanced on the town of Sinjar the first week of August, and approximately 130,000 more have fled to Dohuk, in the Kurdish north, and Irbil, once it became obvious ISIS was heading towards them; nearly all 300,000 residents have left, since ISIS Islamofascists stormed Sinjar on August 3rd and delivered their inhuman message of “convert or die.”

During an August 7th interview of Mark Arabo, a California businessman and a leader of Chaldean Catholics in America, when CNN’s Jonathan Mann seemed to be in disbelief and startled by his narrative, Arabo repeated his facts slowly (numerous videos support his account): “They are systematically beheading children. The world hasn’t seen evil like this for generations. There’s actually a park in Mosul where the actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick …. They are doing the most horrendous, the most heart-breaking crimes you can think of.”

Also on August 7th, Obama answered the cries of many refugees, who had said “no one is coming to help”, with “Well, we (the U.S.) are coming to help”, as he authorized a series of bombing raids on ISIS positions and supply drops of food and water to those encircled and besieged Yazidis on Mt Sinjar. Subsequently, 114,000 meals and 35,000 gallons of water were soon dropped by the U.S., followed by British cargo planes that dropped essential supplies and 16,000 more liters of water on August 11th.

As of August 15th (Friday), the ISIS siege was still in place and their perimeter had only withdrawn a couple of miles due to U.S. bombing, despite claims by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on August 13th that “we broke the siege at Mt Sinjar,” although Yazidi and Kurdish Peshmerga rescue teams had been able to move some civilians on August 10th to Kurdish controlled territory, near Fishkabour.

Iraqi Member of Parliament and a Yazidi, Vian Dakhil, who has been inconstant contact with Yazidi leaders trapped on Mt Sinjar, was recently injured in a helicopter crash, as she attempted to reach her people. She suggested (8/15/14) that the U.S. military assessment team visited the only side of Sinjar accessible by helicopter, the north side, leaving the real plight of nearly 80,000 more Yazidis on the south side unseen.

“We are being slaughtered, annihilated,” MP Vian Dakhil declared, as reported by the Middle East Research Institute. “An entire religion is being wiped off the face of the Earth. Brothers, I am calling out to you in the name of humanity ___ In the name of humanity save us!” And she then soon broke down in tears.

The world is witnessing a genocide of Christians that promises to surpass the Turkish slaughter of two million Armenian Christians (1915-1918). One and a half million Christians present in Iraq in 2003 have now been reduced to less than 400,000, according to Ablahad Afraim, the head of the Chaldean Democratic Union Party, who based this assessment on international reports and church records; this rising genocide of Christians in the Islamic world, whether in Iraq, West Africa or South Asia ought to cause a global alarm that makes this the most significant human rights challenge of this era.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s parting message to his U.S. guards at Guantanamo Bay detention camp was a vow that “we’ll see you in New York,” and one of his spokesmen recently declared that ISIS will “raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”

Obama is truly a pathetic commander-in-chief whose curious actions, as well as his inaction, may well allow Abu Baghdadi to rebuild the Islamic Caliphate in the Levant and a terrorist base of operations, unless PM Tony Abbott of Australia, PM Stephen Harper of Canada, PM Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and PM David Cameron of the U.K. unite to stop him, since they seem more inclined to do so than Obama. Obama seems to think a supply drop or two and a few F-18 airstrikes is enough.

Seeing what ISIS has done in Iraq, one quickly realizes they would gladly do whatever they could to deeply injure America again, and ISIS represents a direct threat to the U.S. and humanity. This is genocide pure and simple. America sees it and knows it as genocide, and as such, it is imperative that the U.S. and the world take vigorous military action against ISIS and all possible measures to prevent this massacre of minorities in Iraq. And with more than vigilance and 130 advisors, the U.S. and its allies should send 130 bombers and 130,000 soldiers to run ISIS into the ground, utterly destroy them and kill them mercilessly with extreme prejudice, just as they did entire Christian communities.