Terrorists have got hold of nuclear materials that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction, according to Reuters.
Why were nuclear materials in Iraq at all? Once there, why were they not well guarded?
Where did Iraq obtain them? From Iran?
This is from Yahoo News:
Insurgents in Iraq have seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the country’s north, Iraq told the United Nations in a letter appealing for help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad”.
Nearly 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of uranium compounds were kept at Mosul University, Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the July 8 letter obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.
“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state,” Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.”
“These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts,” said Alhakim.
He warned that they could also be smuggled out of Iraq.
A US government source familiar with the matter said the materials were not believed to be enriched uranium and therefore would be difficult to use to manufacture into a weapon. Another US official familiar with security matters said he was unaware of this development raising any alarm among US authorities.
Not very reassuring statements, those.
Might there not be alarm among US authorities that is being kept secret?
The terrorist organization that has captured the stuff is of course ISIS, now “the Islamic State”.
“The Republic of Iraq is notifying the international community of these dangerous developments and asking for help and the needed support to stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad,” Alhakim wrote.
Iraq acceded to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material on Monday, said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The convention requires states to protect nuclear facilities and material in peaceful domestic use, storage and transport.
“It also provides for expanded cooperation between and among states regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage, and prevent and combat related offences,” according to the IAEA.
And just what are the theoretically co-operating states going to do about it?
As a member of Cobra, the UK national crisis management committee, I was involved in British efforts to rescue our citizens kidnapped by Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. No modern-day military action is so fraught: the odds are stacked against the captives, the whip hand is with the captors, it is a race against time, and it becomes extremely personal.
So the admirable Colonel Richard Kemp, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, writes at Gatestone.
The world has undergone gut-churning revulsion this week at the videos of rows of kneeling young Iraqi men callously gunned down by Al Qaida terrorists in Mosul. But time and again, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Hamas has shown itself to be just as capable of such brutal cold-blooded killing. That knowledge has galvanized Israel’s desperate hunt for those who abducted teenagers Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach as they hitchhiked home from their school in Gush Etzion a week ago. …
Nothing – nothing – stands in the way of our efforts to bring them back. Although we hope for the best, we prepare for the worst.
From the outside, it is difficult to read the realities of a kidnapping. Those with the responsibility of saving lives are forced into a cat and mouse game in which they must both reassure the public and sow seeds of disinformation among the captors. So far, for Naftali, Gilad and Eyal, the signs are not encouraging. As far as we know a week later, there is no proof of life, no demands, no negotiations.
Yesterday, June 19, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency apparently reported that Hamas leader Salah Bardawil said that the “Palestinian resistance” (Hamas — the acronym for the “Islamic Resistance Movement”) had carried out the kidnapping.
The first priority is always to establish the identity and the motive of the captors. Early on, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that Hamas was guilty. [Even] US Secretary of State Kerry agreed, and this seems to be the view throughout Gaza and the West Bank.
Hamas leader Mohammad Nazzal, for his part, described the kidnapping of three teenage civilians as “a heroic capture”, and “a milestone” for the Palestinian people. He said that every passing day in which the Israelis failed to find the teenagers was “a tremendous achievement”.
The sheer sadism of the Palestinian Arab leadership, though bloodily demonstrated over and over again for nearly 100 years now – and so is fully expected – still shocks and revolts, and shows no sign of abating.
Nazzal’s comments reflect long-standing views on the abduction and butchering of Israelis by the leadership of Hamas, the internationally proscribed terrorist group responsible for firing thousands of lethal rockets indiscriminately against the civilian population of Israel from the Gaza Strip, the latest salvoes only this week.
It is the same terrorist group that the United Nations, the United States and the European Union – in a display of moral bankruptcy and betrayal – have all endorsed as a legitimate partner in a unity government for the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Just the day before the three boys were kidnapped, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, welcomed Hamas into the PA government while lambasting Israel for detaining terrorists and taking action to prevent Hamas terrorist attacks from Gaza and the West Bank.
Ashton, though never slow to condemn Israel, took five days to denounce this kidnapping. Both her words and actions have legitimized and encouraged Hamas. Her inaction in the face of repeated terrorist assaults has bolstered Hamas’s convictions.
The kidnapping will find favor with Ashton’s new best friends in Iran. Also desperate to appease the ayatollahs, British Foreign Secretary William Hague this week announced the re-opening in Tehran of a British embassy, closed in 2011 after being ransacked on the orders of the Iranian government. There are even reports of US military intelligence-sharing with Iran over the crisis in Iraq – where only a few short years ago, large numbers of American and British soldiers were being slaughtered — using Iranian-supplied munitions by terrorists trained, directed and equipped by Tehran and its terrorist proxy, Lebanese Hizballah.
As Ashton and the West cozy up to the ayatollahs, the ayatollahs are again cozying up to Hamas. A few weeks ago, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizballah, met with Hamas leaders to resolve the differences between Iran and Hamas that arose over the Syrian conflict. Hamas – isolated from Egypt following the demise of the Muslim Brotherhood regime – seems desperate to restore full relations with the Iranian tyrant. Iran is equally enthusiastic to bring Hamas back into the fold: Hamas remains an important instrument of the ayatollahs’ overriding, stated goal of destroying the State of Israel.
In these circumstances it is certainly not beyond probability that the three boys’ kidnapping was a goodwill gesture from Hamas to the ayatollahs.
It is hard to not be chilled to the bone by the thought of three teenage boys – who might easily be our own sons or brothers – spending night after night in the hands of ruthless terrorists… or worse. The anguish of the boys’ parents must be unimaginable.
Yet among the Palestinian Arab population of the West Bank and Gaza, including children, a new symbol has emerged – the three-fingered salute, signifying joy at the kidnapping …
Such celebration, including the handing out of sweets in the street, has been widespread. …
Both the US and the EU have paid the salaries of Palestinian terrorists by means of grants to the PA; they also fund this propaganda and incitement, no doubt including some of the imagery applauding the boys’ kidnapping.
The Israeli security operation has so far focused on finding the three boys. Over 330 Hamas suspects have been arrested, and illicit weapons and ammunition seized. Echoing the code-name of the rescue operation, “Brother’s Keeper,” the IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, has encouraged his troops to apply the same vigour to their task as if they were searching for their own brothers or members of their own platoon. He has also reminded them that most people in the areas they are searching are not connected to the kidnapping, and to treat them with care and humanity.
Concurrently, the IDF is taking steps to weaken and dismantle Hamas in the West Bank. In some quarters these have been criticized as an unnecessary and opportunistic widening of the operation. It is nothing of the sort. With this latest kidnapping, Hamas has confirmed its continued intent to abduct, attack and murder Israeli civilians in the West Bank. Like every government, Israel has an absolute duty to protect its citizens, and undermining this terrorist threat is an essential part of that responsibility.
All military operations are unpredictable; it is possible that Operation Brother’s Keeper could lead to an escalation of violence. Incidents have already occurred. It is unlikely that Israel will expand the current operation into Gaza, unless there is a serious upsurge in violence from there or a connection between Gaza terrorists and the kidnapping comes to light.
Whichever way this operation develops, the international community should avoid the same response to the current defensive actions that they have so often displayed whenever Israel has sought to defend itself from missile attacks from Gaza. The international community usually ignores repeated volleys of rockets fired at Israeli civilians, and then condemns Israel for taking defensive action to prevent further attacks. It is these responses from the international community that have encouraged Hamas, and amounted to nothing less than support for terrorism. And it is these responses, along with the endorsement of Hamas’s inclusion in a Palestinian unity government, that have led to the kidnapping of the boys in the West Bank.
We could not put it better ourselves.
Yes. It would be greatly good if the savage fight now underway between two Muslim armies in Iraq, Sunni and Shia, could end in the destruction of both.
We quote from an article at American Thinker, by Mike Konrad, who argues the desirability of leaving the two sides to fight it out:
I know, I know, the recent ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) gains have everyone scared. No doubt, the Islamophilic administration will want to step in, and save Islam from itself once again. Let me advocate a course of action that will make sense to all sides in America; the left and right; from militarists to pacifists: Let the Muslims kill each other. …
ISIS is presently a large group of thugs with guns. They have no navy, no air force, except for a few captured helicopters, which they will soon break. The only ones they can threaten are their fellow Muslims. If they take over Iraq, who cares? They will soon reduce the Levant to the seventh century.
And this is a problem to us? OK, oil prices may spike for a while, but they are going to need to sell their oil because they’ve got nothing else to produce for export and can’t produce any of the fruits of modern industry. Meanwhile, the high prices will encourage domestic drilling and production of our nearly boundless reserves held in shale deposits, to the point where we will become a major oil exporter ourselves.
These mujahadeen are incapable of maintaining the weapons they already have. Weapons need upkeep. Weapons have to be oiled, cleaned, and upgraded. Upkeep interferes with raping, pillaging, and chopping off heads. Within two years, they will be slaughtering each other with scimitars and rusty AK-47s.
Iraq’s president, Maliki has asked for US assistance. Oh really?
Iraq insisted on setting up its country with an Islamic constitution; against our advice, and now he wants American help. For what? So Iraq’s Shia can continue to run arms to Syria and Hezb’allah in Lebanon?
We’d rather President Maliki wasn’t helped at all, but we like the idea of putting these conditions on any help he gets from the US:
If our State Department had men and women with intelligence instead of a love of the Qur’an, they would tell Maliki that our help would be predicated on four conditions:
1) Get rid of the Islamic constitution, and set up a secular state
2) Recognize Israel
3) Naturalize the Palestinians in your state
4) Break off ties with Iran
If Maliki says no, we say “Fine, have your Islamic state. We are not going to decide which flavor.”
Whether Maliki agrees or not, he loses:
He has no choice. No matter what he decides, the West wins. Should ISIS take over, Iran will be cut off from land routes to Syria’s Assad, and Lebanon’s Hezb’allah. How does this hurt the West?
Sure! Iraq may go down. The Sunni officers in the Iraqi army will not fight for a Shia majority Iraqi state. In fact, many Sunni officers are already joining ISIS. The Shia, who are mere foot soldiers, are not prepared to fight the better trained Sunni. So what?
When thieves fall out, honest men prosper. When Muslims fall out, civilization prospers. …
Now, Iran is scared. …
Iran sent two battalions of Iranian Revolutionary Guards to help the Iraqi government in its battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is hugely important, if not totally surprising given Iran’s intervention in Syria. Iran has the power to crush ISIS in open combat. But Iranian intervention could also make the conflict inside Iraq much worse …
Iran is hurting. Iran may have to decide between arming Hezb’allah or the Shia in Iraq. And this hurts the West how?
Other sources are reporting that Iran has called for international assistance to crush ISIS. Iran needs our help! The nation which has thumbed its nose at the West for 35 years, now wants our help?
Iran officials call for international response to ISIS violence …
Let them ask for Russian help, or Chinese assistance. I am sure the Russians and Chinese will be more than happy to make their nations targets for Islamic revenge. Nothing makes Muslim group A angrier than knowing that you have helped Muslim group B. And if the Russians or Chinese do intervene, good for them. Maybe international terrorism will re-direct their wrath eastward. Tell them it will be like the Chechnyans on steroids.
If Iran is really desperate to save its supply lines across Shia Iraq to save Assad, we could strike a deal.
You want our help. We want the Israelis to inspect your nuclear power plants; or you can go fight your fellow Muslims yourselves. Tell them, “Remember the first Iraq-Iran war.” Make the offer public. No help until the first Israeli technician comes out of the Isfahan plant and says, “All clean.”
Tell them up front they have to stop aiding Hezb’allah. Tell them that we are enjoying this.
At the same time, we should encourage all Euro-Muslim males to join the fight, and when they are gone, revoke their right of return to the West. Tell them, Allah Wants You; and send them off with halal meat and enough weapons to keep the Mideast in turmoil for another hundred years.
Why is this a problem? Even if ISIS wins the Caliphate, it will revert to seventh century technology soon enough.
Jordan is scared, now. She might be overrun. Supposedly, she is a Western-oriented state, which has the rudimentary forms of a democracy. Of course, honor killing and wife beating are still not prohibited; and Jordan refuses to take in more Palestinians.
If they want our help:
1) Saudis and Jordanians have to start naturalizing Palestinians
2) Set up truly secular states
3) protect their women
Be upfront about it. Of course, they won’t agree. So let them shoot it out. When the Mideast is a flaming wreck, the administration should encourage Putin or China to intervene. Nothing sinks empires faster than trying to tame the Muslims. We will get out, and avoid our own collapse.
If our administration intervenes in any way, it would be foolish. Over the past two years our administration has made blunder after blunder in the Mideast, regarding Libya, Morsi, Sisi, Arab Spring, etc.
This time it is so easy.
All the administration has to do is … NOTHING!
It is that simple. … If it does intervene, it will be clearly seen as an attempt to prop up Islam, once again.
Let the Shia and Sunni kill each other. In the words of the late Mayor Ed Koch, “root for whoever is losing.”
We like Mike Konrad’s suggestions. (And we understand that he is not being wholly serious.) But more needs to be considered.
There is the strong possibility, astonishing though it may seem at first, that fanatically Shia Iran has been giving aid to the Sunni insurrectionists - as well as the Shia government – in Iraq. Why ? In order to bring about upheaval and chaos, so the mullahs will be called upon to restore order.
Another surprise: it is the Obama administration itself which has made this information – that Iran has assisted the Sunni insurrectionists:
Paul Mirengoff writes at PowerLine:
A mere six weeks ago, the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism concluded that Iran is actively working to undermine Iraqi stability through terror groups. Significantly, for present purposes, the report assessed that Iran was facilitating both Shiite and Sunni terror activities.
With respect to Sunni terrorism, the State Department said this:
Iran allowed al Qaeda (AQ) facilitators Muhsin al-Fadhli and Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and also to Syria. Al-Fadhli is a veteran AQ operative who has been active for years. Al-Fadhli began working with the Iran-based AQ facilitation network in 2009 and was later arrested by Iranian authorities. He was released in 2011 and assumed leadership of the Iran-based AQ facilitation network.
In addition, of course, Iran has “trained, funded, and provided guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups” both inside and outside of Iraq. The training has included instruction in “the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry.”
The terrorist activities of the Iran-supported Shia militants have undermined stability in Iraq and undermined support for the government among Sunnis. But, again, Iran is destabilizing Iraq from both ends by also facilitating Sunni terrorism.
If anything, Obama should be punishing the Iranians by continuing, and indeed escalating, a sanctions regime. Instead, he seems determined to cozy up to the mullahs. In all likelihood, this means granting them additional concessions when it comes to negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Why else would Iran help the U.S?
The mullahs have always understood that an unstable Iraq not only can’t threaten or complete with Iran, but may well be forced to become a virtual client, as might now happen. But the mullahs could only have dreamed that an unstable Iraq would cause an American president to come before them as a supplicant.
Yet this too may now be about to happen.
And still another surprise. Amazingly, for once we find points to agree with in an opinion from the Left:
Among many assertions in the same column which we do not agree with, Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, writes some that we find ourselves nodding at:
Whose fault is the current debacle in Iraq?
It could be Nouri al-Maliki’s since he is the country’s strongman and has alienated the minority Sunnis.
It could be George W. Bush’s because he started the whole thing off …
The one person who is not at fault, we are told over and over again, is the current president of the United States. …
But with that he does not agree. He takes Obama to task for his failure to do anything effective against the gassing of Syrians by Bashar Assad:
Foreign policy [is] the area where a president’s power is substantially unchecked. … Other than avoiding war, it’s hard to know what Obama wants. I know what he says, but actions always speak louder than words.
For instance, he wanted Bashar Assad to cease using chemical weapons. His language was strong, nearly warlike.
“Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people, including hundreds of children. The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk.”
What happened next? Virtually nothing.
All those poisoned kids were soon forgotten and so, too, were all those people killed in the war, perhaps as many as 200,000. Those of us who advocated more forceful action were denigrated as war lovers who wanted to send in the infantry. (Better boots on the ground than head in the clouds — but I prefer neither.)
He disagrees with Mike Konrad’s idea that nothing at all should be done about the war in Iraq:
Airstrikes and such might not have worked, but doing nothing never does.
This is a serious, depressing discussion. Countless lives have been lost. A civil war that might have been stopped in its tracks was allowed to fester. The Syrian dictatorship survived and the war has spilled into Iraq. It has the potential to engage the whole Middle East — Jordan, for sure, and then that tiny nation west of the Jordan River: Israel. The madmen of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria don’t only kill Muslims; they would gladly drop a bomb on Tel Aviv.
Right. But he doesn’t say that the bomb could be nuclear. And that two, or twenty, could be dropped on Israel.
Or that there could be targets in Europe, or even in America, since the mullahs have long-range missiles.
He rightly finds the idea of the US and Iran being in alliance “preposterous”:
The U.S. may now find itself on the side of Iran — a majority Shiite nation much like Iraq. What could be more preposterous? What could be more ironic?
Worse, we could find ourselves engaged in a religious war — Sunni vs. Shiite. …
He fears non-intervention more than involvement:
Or maybe we should just wash our hands of the whole thing and turn over a hunk of the Middle East with its oil to a terrorist organization — one that boasts of committing massacres. …
You thought you can’t get more evil than al-Qaida? Look at who’s pillaging Iraq, a terrorist group that even al-Qaida can’t stomach. …
The one thing we do know is that things can get worse. They did in the Middle East, where Obama settled for a victory jog around the political infield after getting Assad to give up most of his chemical weapons. He now must deal with a region that is so much worse than anyone imagined.
Where does the fault lie? Where it always has — where the buck stops.
By which presumably he means Obama. He means that the fault lies with Obama!
How many members of Obama’s enormous media fan club, or of the Democratic Party, find him at fault over the carnage in Syria and Iraq, we wonder.
And will their disapproval induce Obama to act?
If so, how? Richard Cohen expresses his disgust, or frustration, or irritation – but he doesn’t say what Obama should do.
We say Iran should be stopped by all possible means, late though it is to take action, from becoming a nuclear power. And that is obviously not what Obama intends or wishes to do.
Because it expresses our own fearful anticipations, we quote from an editorial at Investor’s Business Daily:
From Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan to Pakistan, the jihadist dream of a caliphate stretching from the Atlantic to the Himalayas is taking shape. It’s aided by a feckless foreign policy not seen since Neville Chamberlain.
As President Obama learns about it in the newspapers, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is dismembering Iraq, adding Saddam Hussein’s birthplace of Tikrit to the list of cities once liberated by the U.S. that are now flying jihadist flags. The war on terrorism is over all right, and Obama lost it. …
An American official [says] that the U.S. Embassy, United Nations and other foreign organizations with a presence in Iraq are “preparing contingency plans to evacuate employees”. We might soon see helicopters on the roof of our embassy in Baghdad in a scene reminiscent of the last days of Saigon as Iraq becomes Obama’s Vietnam.
Unlike Vietnam, ISIS is not interested in liberating the homeland from colonial oppressors. ISIS and other radical Islamists have long proclaimed a goal of restoring a pan-Islamic state, a caliphate that extends from the Mediterranean coast to the Iranian border. One such Islamic empire, in the seventh century, spanned the Middle East, spread to Southwest Asia, North Africa and Spain, ending with the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258.
The largest and most powerful rebel force in Syria is Jabhat al-Nusra, with 7,000 fighters. It’s a branch of al-Qaida in Iraq, from which it has received regular payments.
“It’s now time to declare in front of the people of the Levant and (the) world that the al-Nusra Front is but an extension of the Islamic State in Iraq and part of it,” Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is quoted as saying recently …
“This (ISIS’s rise in Iraq) is of great significance”, according to an assessment released Wednesday by the Soufan Group, a private security company. A restored caliphate will attract “many more disaffected young people … from all over the Muslim world, especially the Middle East, lured by nostalgia for al-Khulafa al-Islamiya (the Islamic caliphate), which remains a potent motivator for Sunni extremists”.
Restoring the caliphate was the stated goal of Osama bin Laden in creating al-Qaida, but the terrorist group was never designed to take and hold territory as is ISIS, now flush with captured cash and weaponry.
“It’s ISIS that will build the caliphate, not al-Qaida,” says Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, who monitors jihadist activity for the Middle East Forum.
The president’s endless apologies to the Muslim world, starting with his Cairo speech in 2009; his abandonment of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi while blaming the terrorist attack on a video; his precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan as Iraq implodes; and his trading of Taliban commanders for an alleged deserter have sent powerful signals of weakness. Obama’s actions are reminiscent of how President Clinton’s withdrawal from Somalia inspired bin Laden.
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld warned in a speech in 2005 that, without U.S intervention, “Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East, and which would threaten legitimate governments in Europe, Africa and Asia.”
The White House’s failure — or was it a refusal? — to sign a status-of-forces agreement to retain a presence in Iraq — a deal which Obama now claims is necessary in Afghanistan — created a vacuum that ISIS is quite willing to fill.
As the Taliban bides its time in Afghanistan, its leadership replenished by Obama, it has the strength to attack the airport in Karachi, Pakistan, in a country that has nuclear weapons. Obama has made possible the specter of not only an Islamic caliphate, but also a nuclear one.
At present, the battle raging in Syria and Iraq is another outbreak of the centuries-old war between Sunni Islam and Shiite Islam. There is one Sunni nuclear power: Pakistan. And there is about to be one Shiite nuclear power (aided by Barack Obama, president of the United States!): Iran. It will not be long before they will fight each other with nukes.
And when nuclear war breaks out, how long could the West – which, despite Obama’s transformative efforts, still includes the US – stay out of it?
Doing nothing at all; propitiating Muslim colonizers by conceding their every demand; bowing to Muslim potentates; holding talks in Geneva; praying to Nobodaddy in the Sky – none of these cunning stratagems will keep the West safe.
Obama’s pacifism has brought the world closer to intercontinental nuclear war than ever it was in the last century.
Continuing from our post below, Civil war in Iraq …
As so often of late, the fullest reporting of events in the Middle East is to be found in the Daily Mail. (Its report is also lavishly illustrated with dramatic pictures.)
The battle for Baghdad is nigh: Thousands of men answer Iraqi government’s call to arms as ISIS jihadists bear down on capital
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have taken over Iraq’s second biggest city Mosul and town of Tikrit
- Government forces have stalled the militants’ advance near Samarra, a city just 110km (68 miles) north of Baghdad
- ISIS’s goal is to create a Islamic caliphate (state) - it already controls territory in eastern Syria and western/central Iraq
- Iraq’s parliament were to hold an emergency session today but it was postponed due to an opposition boycott
- Kurdish forces are in full control of Iraq’s oil city of Kirkuk after the federal army abandoned their posts
- Iran has sent special forces and a unit of elite troops to Iraq to assist the Iraqi government halt the advance
- Turkey is negotiating for the release of 80 nationals held by Islamist militants in Mosul
- Iraqi air force is bombing insurgent positions in and around Mosul – 1.3 million citizens still remain in the city
(Much detail follows.)
Now that Iranian special forces are coming to the aid of their Shiite brethren in Baghdad, the outcome of the battle for the city is less likely to be another victory for the Sunni forces of ISIS.
From the same source:
Iraqi Kurds seized control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk today as the central government’s army abandoned its posts in a rapid collapse that has lost it control of the north.
Peshmerga fighters, the security forces of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish north, swept into Kirkuk after the army abandoned its posts there …
Kurds have long dreamed of taking Kirkuk, a city with huge oil reserves just outside their autonomous region, which they regard as their historical capital.
The swift move by their highly organized security forces demonstrates how this week’s sudden advance by fighters of the Al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has redrawn Iraq’s map.
We reckon the map of Iraq, and of the whole region, will need to be drawn many times in the coming months – and maybe years. Iran is not likely to tolerate an ISIS – ie Sunni – conquest of Iraq. And if it has it’s armies there, it is in a strong position to attack Israel.
If ISIS were to take Baghdad, it plans to move on to attempt seizing control of Jordan, Gaza, Sinai, and Lebanon. It’s ultimate target in the region is also, of course, Israel.
What will Hamas do? More importantly, what will Egypt do?
Britain is offering humanitarian aid to Iraq’s Prime Minister Maliki.
The US will … ?
Barack Obama is a great leader of Islam.
A report that he told an Egyptian Foreign Minister on January 19, 2010, “You will see what I will do for Islam” and “I am a Muslim” is very likely true.
Here are just some of the great things he has done for Islam:
He has made it easy for Iran to acquire a nuclear arsenal.
He has brought the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization, into the government of the United States to help formulate its policies.
He supports Hamas with funding and diplomacy, thus legitimizing a terrorist organization.
He has done the same for Hizbollah, except (as far as we know) for the funding.
He is helping the Taliban regain power in Afghanistan.
He restrained the government of Nigeria from cracking down on Boko Haram, the murderous Muslim organization whose mission is to kill as many Nigerian Christians as it can.
He continues to provide massive aid to Pakistan, one of the most repressive states among repressive Islamic states.
He is allowing Muslim terrorists to enter the US, in some cases more easily than other, law-abiding, applicants.
He refuses to admit that the mass-killing of US servicemen and women by a Muslim at Fort Hood was an act of Islamic terrorism, although it was carried out in the name of Islam, insisting that it be dealt with by the law as “workplace violence”.
He’s had army instruction materials on the subject of terrorism purged of all reference to Islam.
He is allowing the Muslim murderers of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, to go unpunished.
He will not allow the condign punishment of a Muslim who deserted from the US army.
He instructed NASA to make “reaching out to the Muslim world” one of the space agency’s top priorities.
He has set five Taliban leaders free, described as “the worst of the worst“, in exchange for a US army deserter.
Can there be any doubt that Islam has become an ever increasing menace to the non-Muslim world, and an ever increasing cause of death even within the Muslim world, since and because Obama became president of the US?
We register in our margin the daily toll of lethal Islamic terrorist attacks since 9/11/2001 as recorded by The Religion of Peace.
The number has reached 23,121 today.
The Washington Times reported and commented on August 12, 2012:
Mr. Obama has used the occasion of Ramadan to rewrite US history and give Islam a prominence in American annals that it has not earned.
In this year’s greeting, Mr. Obama said -
The rituals of Ramadan remind us of the principles that we hold in common and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality. And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.
That Islam has had a major role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings may come as a surprise to Muslim women. Young Afghan girls who are having acid thrown in their faces on the way to school might want to offer their perspectives. That Islam is “known” for diversity and racial equality is also a bit of a reach. This certainly does not refer to religious diversity, which is nonexistent in many Muslim-majority states. This is a plaudit better reserved for a speech at the opening of a synagogue in Mecca.
Most puzzling is the president’s claim that “Islam has always been part of America”. Islam had no influence on the origins and development of the United States. It contributed nothing to early American political culture, art, literature, music or any other aspect of the early nation.
Throughout most of American history, the Muslim world was perceived as remote, alien and belligerent. Perhaps the president was thinking about the Barbary Pirates and their role in the founding of the US Navy, or Andrew Jackson’s dispatch of frigates against Muslim pirates in Sumatra in the 1830s. Maybe he was recalling Rutherford B. Hayes’ 1880 statement regarding Morocco on “the necessity, in accordance with the humane and enlightened spirit of the age, of putting an end to the persecutions, which have been so prevalent in that country, of persons of a faith other than the Moslem, and especially of the Hebrew residents of Morocco”. Or Grover Cleveland’s 1896 comment on the continuing massacre of Armenian Christians: “We have been afflicted by continued and not infrequent reports of the wanton destruction of homes and the bloody butchery of men, women and children … “
The picture of US Secretary of State John Kerry with Nabih Berri, head of the terrorist Amal movement and speaker of the Hezbollah-dominated Lebanese parliament, and the text beneath it come from an article at Front Page, by Daniel Greenfield.
We overheard the conversation in our imagination:
Kerry: “You really would allow ME to lick your boots?”
Berri: Why not?
The Amal movement kidnapped US Marine Colonel William R. Higgins who was slowly and brutally tortured to death. (Follow the link if you are feeling strong.)
What could these two chums be laughing about?
Maybe it’s the autopsy report that found Higgins had been “starved and had suffered multiple lethal injuries that could have caused his death. The skin on his face had been partially removed along with his tongue and he had also been castrated.”
He walked Independence Square in Kiev, the site of months of turmoil, and spoke with leaders of the protest movement, many of them college-aged. He visited a hospital in Tzfat, Israel, where he saw Israeli doctors provide free medical care to Syrians gravely wounded in the civil war there.
Despite his god-botheriness (an infection of irrationality from which no American politician known to us is free), and at risk of attracting the disapproval of some of our highly valued readers, we confess that we like Ted Cruz. We think he might make a good president.
Here’s an account of his current travels abroad issued by the Heritage Foundation, with the views he has expressed on issues of foreign affairs:
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, visited Israel, Ukraine, Poland and Estonia this week and detailed his travels in a conference call today …
Cruz gave a personal account of how those countries perceive American leadership during a turbulent time in the region. …
[He] reaffirmed his contention that Israel is America’s strongest ally and one that requires support to buffer peace talks with the Palestinians.
“The U.S. needs to stand with Israel,” Cruz said on the conference call. “No one wants to see peace more than Israel. But consistently, the Obama administration has criticized and attacked the leadership of Israel. Over the last five years, America is receding from leadership in the world, and Russia, Iran, and China have stepped into that vacuum and made the world a more dangerous place.”
Cruz emphasized the U.S. has no business dictating terms of a peace agreement, but he criticized the Palestinians for recent failures in the talks, and established basic requirements he said any agreement must have.
“The Palestinians need to renounce terrorism and to declare that Israel has the right to exist,” said Cruz, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “If not, negotiations will fail.”
Similarly, after meeting with Ukraine protest leaders in Maidan Square and later on with Ukrainian Jewish and Catholic leaders, Cruz described a country eager for help, in any form it can get.
Help also means deterring the force of Russia, by imposing tougher sanctions than the Obama administration has applied, he said.
“One thing I took away from the Ukrainian leaders is that the military lacks basic equipment, such as armor, communication tools and night-vision goggles,” Cruz said. “The leadership in Ukraine is looking for help wherever it can find it. And it’s in our interest to help. We ought to be using all the tools of soft power to impose significant sanctions on Russia.” …
Cruz declared the nuclear threat of Iran the biggest hindrance to peace and the largest test of American credibility.
He criticized the Geneva interim agreement, a pact between Iran and the P5+1 countries officially titled the Joint Plan of Action, which decreased economic sanctions on Iran as the countries work at a long-term agreement.
Cruz said sanctions should be lifted only when Iran disassembles its centrifuges and hands over its enriched uranium.
“The current deal is a very, very bad deal and a historic mistake,” Cruz said. “In the best-case scenario, we leave Iran to the threshold of a nuclear breakout. There’s concern in Israel that the U.S. deal with Iran exacerbates the problem. Every leader I met viewed the prospect of Iran getting a nuclear weapon as the strongest threat facing Israel and the U.S.”
We agree with these views of his. (Only we don’t think there should be any “peace process” involving Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians should be integrated into some of the 21 Arab states, and Israel should set its borders.)
As always, we invite comment.
Robert Spencer writes at Jihad Watch:
It has already been a busy Memorial Day weekend. Stories reported at Jihad Watch over the last two days:
Tunisia: Muslim screaming “The nation of Muhammad returns for vengeance” stabs Jew, is released
Sharia Egypt: Christian gets four years prison, $1400 fine for insulting Islam by drawing cartoon of Muhammad on Facebook
Somalia: Islamic jihadists murder at least 10 in jihad attack on parliament
Yemen: Islamic jihadists murder at least 27 people in raid on city
Pakistan: Islamic jihadists murder seven in three separate blasts
Thailand: Islamic jihadists murder three, injure 55 with series of blasts
Nigeria: Islamic jihadist murders two in bungled jihad/martyrdom suicide bombing
Iraq: Islamic jihadists murder seven people with car bomb at alcohol shop
Uganda: Churches step up security after threats from Islamic jihad group
Australia: Jihad fundraiser and brother of convicted terrorist preaching in mosques
Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad will continue until America is no more
Syria: Sharia enforcers disrupt wedding party, detain women for un-Islamic dress
Authorities suspect Islamic jihadists behind murder of four at Brussels Jewish Museum
Djibouti: Islamic jihadists murder three with bomb in restaurant filled with Western soldiers
Nigeria: Islamic jihadists of Boko Haram murder 24 people in attack on crowded market
In the face of all this, the Pope calls a man who has just partnered with a jihad terror group vowed to the destruction of the Jewish State a “man of peace” … The President of the United States has said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”, even to the point of removing all mention of Islam and jihad from counter-terror training material, acceding to the demand of Muslim groups with links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood — and thereby forbidding law enforcement agents from studying and understanding the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us.
And so on Memorial Day, we remember when we had leaders to defend us. We still have strong individuals who have vowed the defense of our nation, and for that we can be grateful, but they are being led by a political class so willfully ignorant of prevailing realities, and so deeply compromised, that they make misstep after misstep, endangering us all — while a likewise compromised media does everything it can to cover for them and defame those who sound the alarm about this problem. …
We remember that in our nation’s darkest days, there arose strong, rough men — the ones to whom Churchill referred when he noted that “we sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us”. For that we pause today to offer our gratitude [to them], and our hope that there still remains enough of them to see us through this present darkness.
Our resolve to remain free is iron; now all we need are some leaders with similar resolve.
We like that idea immensely. But we know there are many among us whose resolve to subjugate us to the will of over-mighty government, and even to the domination of savage Islam, is also iron.
Their idea of a desirable leader is Hillary Clinton. Judging by appearances and her record, the Benghazi disaster in particular, we would not describe her as a strong rough man ready to visit violence on those who would harm us. We dare to hope for someone stronger, rougher, masculine, and militant.