Putin’s war planes approach Alaska and Canada 1

Is Putin testing Obama’s “flexibility“?

In Obamaspeak, “flexible” doesn’t mean compromising a little, bending to some extent; it means being willing to act in an unprincipled way, even perhaps to the extent of acting against one’s country’s interests.

Fox News reports:

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An F-22 fighter jet

Two U.S. F-22 fighter jets intercepted six Russian military airplanes that were flying near Alaska, military officials said Friday.

Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday.

Tensions are high between the United States and Russia as the two countries are increasingly at odds over Ukraine, where Russian-backed insurgents have been fighting for control of parts of the country.

The Russian planes were identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and two Bear long-range bombers. They looped south and returned to their base in Russia after the U.S. jets were scrambled.

At about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range Russian Bear bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea.

In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles from the coastline. They did not enter sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada.

Jazdyk said the fighter jets were scrambled “basically to let those aircraft know that we see them, and in case of a threat, to let them know we are there to protect our sovereign airspace.”

In the past five years, jets under NORAD’s command have intercepted more than 50 Russian bombers approaching North American airspace.

NORAD is a binational American and Canadian command responsible for air defense in North America.

What is Putin’s intention? Why does he think he can do this?

We found answers to those question in this article by J. E. Dyer at Liberty Unyielding. Commander Jennifer Dyer is a retired US Naval intelligence officer who served for 21 years. Her articles deal with important military issues and are invariably well-informed and interesting.

Russian bombers proliferate today in the air space off North America and Europe, operating at an activity level not seen since the very height of the Cold War.  This isn’t something to shrug off.

Although it’s certainly attributable to Vladimir Putin’s current, proximate geopolitical intentions – to defy NATO, press his aggression against Ukraine, and intimidate the Baltic Republics – it’s also an expression of strategic posture harking back to the conventions of the Cold War.

Bringing out the Bears is a strategic signal.  In Europe, the Russians could use Tu-160 Blackjacks and Tu-22M Backfire bombers to fly aggressive routes around the northern perimeter.  The Blackjacks (sometimes called the “B-1-ski”) are understood to have a strategic role; the shorter-range Backfires, as dedicated bombers rather than multi-role aircraft, send a similarly aggressive signal.

But the Tu-95 Bear H bombers have for decades been the backbone of the airborne leg of Russia’s strategic “triad”:  ICBMs, ballistic-missile submarines, and nuclear-armed bombers.  When Russia deploys Bear Hs, the strategic signal is unmistakable.

Americans watching the drama unfold have a visceral sense of this, in part because the media routinely refer to the Bear Hs as “nuclear bombers.”  The Bear Hs are more properly called long-range bombers or strategic bombers; they may or may not be carrying missiles with nuclear warheads.  The aircraft are capable of carrying AS-15 “Kent” long-range cruise missiles, which were designed to be fitted with nuclear warheads, but they won’t necessarily have them mounted on a given flight. …

The post-Cold War status quo involved three fundamental features:  a mutual (U.S. and Russia) stand-down of constantly-ready nuclear forces, which occurred in the early 1990s… ; verifiable adherence by both sides to the basic elements of our arms control agreements; and continuity in the strategic postures of both parties.

The last feature was the first one to be decisively breached … Through a series of actions from 2009 to 2013, the Obama administration overturned the premise on which, for the preceding 25 years, the U.S. had negotiated for arms control and proposed to guarantee global stability.

In 1983, Reagan established missile defense, and not mutual assured destruction, as the basis for U.S. security and global stability. … Although Obama has not publicly repudiated the U.S. missile defense posture, he has dismantled it with a series of policy actions.  All but a few thousand Americans, at most, are unaware of this arcane reality – but Russian decision-makers perceive it quite clearly. …

The Russians for their own reasons have long disputed America’s missile defense-based policy.  Obama’s unilateral decision to give it up has cut the whole strategic stability situation adrift, and the Russians in 2014 are happy to take advantage of that.

Regarding the other two features of the post-Cold War status quo, Russia has been engaging in violations of both START and the INF treaty for some time now; the Bush and Clinton administrations made an issue of that, but the Obama administration has not given it importance, and violations by Moscow have become more egregious.

The US and Russia signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in 1910. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed by the US and the Soviet Union way back in 1987.

The weak performance of this one feature would be more tolerable if the other two were in line.  But in addition to the slow, bureaucratic collapse of the U.S. posture under Obama, Russia has since 2010 opened the door to breaching the third feature:  the stand-down of ready nuclear forces.  In 2010, Russia modified her national security strategy to permit preemptive use of nuclear weapons – a change to a policy that had stood since before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

Then, about three weeks ago, Russia publicly floated a threat through the common method of quoting a retired general in the state-run media.  This general, Yuri Yakubov (formerly the commander of Russia’s Far Eastern military district and a senior staffer in the ministry of defense), had an ominous message. Interfax quotes Retired Army General Yuri Yakubov as saying:

[The national military strategy] for the country should in the first place clearly identify the potential enemy of Russia, which is not in the military doctrine of 2010. In my view, our main enemy is the United States and the North Atlantic bloc [NATO].

In particular, in my opinion, you need to carefully consider the forms and methods of the operation of Aerospace Defence, in close cooperation with strategic nuclear deterrence forces, the Strategic Missile Forces, strategic aviation and the Navy. Thus it is necessary to study the conditions under which Russia could use the Russian strategic nuclear forces (SNF) pre-emptively.

The preemptive use of nuclear weapons implies readiness to employ them quickly, against preselected targets. …

Russia would feel much more constrained about nuclear tough talk if the United States were setting and enforcing boundaries.  But we’re not It’s essential to understand this.

Putin has his current, proximate reasons for wanting to convey threats to the U.S. and NATO – reasons having to do with perceived Russian interests in South Asia, the Far East, and the Eastern Mediterranean as much as with Eastern Europe.  But Russia wouldn’t be going high order with the overt strategic signals – the aggressive Bear flights – if Putin thought he was going to get real pushback from Washington …

Putin is pulling a really big weapon, with the accelerating implications that he feels free to break away from the post-Cold War strategic status quo.  This pattern, if nothing else, should be a clue to his seriousness.

But there are other gathering clues, such as the reports in just the last couple of weeks about frankly threatening comments he has made to European leaders.  …

Putin made [the following] statement during a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, who in turn, relayed his words to European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso, during the latter’s visit to Kyiv last Friday (12 September), in which Poroshenko briefed the EU chief on threats.

If I want, Russian troops in two days could not only be in Kyiv, but also Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest.

Putin is burning bridges by doing this.  He is clearly not trying to hold out hope of a restored status quo.

And that in turn means that the “push” has started: the push from a former stakeholder that will cause the status quo to fully collapse.

An F-22 from the 302d Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, AK intercepts a Russian Tu-95MS Bear H. (USAF image

An F-22 from the 302d Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, AK intercepts a Russian Tu-95MS Bear H. (USAF image)

Egypt offers to cede territory for a Palestinian state 2

President Sisi of Egypt has offered to cede half of Sinai to be joined with Gaza to create an independent state of Palestine. The importance of this development cannot be overestimated.

Caroline Glick reports and comments:

Something extraordinary has happened.

On August 31, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told an audience of Fatah members that Egypt had offered to give the PA some 1,600 kilometers of land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza, thus quintupling the size of the Gaza Strip. Egypt even offered to allow all the so-called “Palestinian refugees” to settle in the expanded Gaza Strip.

Then Abbas told his Fatah followers that he rejected the Egyptian offer.

On Monday Army Radio substantiated Abbas’s claim.

According to Army Radio, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi proposed that the Palestinians establish their state in the expanded Gaza Strip and accept limited autonomy over parts of Judea and Samaria.

In exchange for this state, the Palestinians would give up their demand that Israel shrink into the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, surrendering Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Sisi argued that the land Egypt is offering in Sinai would more than compensate for the territory that Abbas would concede.

In his speech to Fatah members, Abbas said, “They [the Egyptians] are prepared to receive all the refugees, [and are saying] ‘Let’s end the refugee story’.” “But,” he insisted, “It’s illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”

In other words, Sisi offered Abbas a way to end the Palestinians’ suffering and grant them political independence. And Abbas said, “No, forget statehood. Let them suffer.”

Generations of Israeli leaders and strategists have insisted that Israel does not have the ability to satisfy the Palestinian demands by itself without signing its own death warrant. To satisfy the Palestinian demand for statehood, Israel’s neighbors in Egypt and Jordan would have to get involved.

Until Sisi made his proposal, no Arab leader ever seriously considered actually doing what must be done. …

“What must be done” being an Arab solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

Very recently there have been huge shifts in the relations of Middle Eastern states with each other and with Israel. The amazing thing, that could not have been predicted or even imagined two years ago, is that some Arab states now see Israel as an essential ally.

So what is driving Sisi? How do we account for this dramatic shift? In offering the Palestinians a large swathe of the Sinai, Sisi is not acting out of altruism. He is acting out of necessity. From his perspective, and from the perspective of his non-jihadist Sunni allies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian campaign against Israel is dangerous.

Facing the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, and the rise of jihadist forces from al-Qaida to the Islamic State to the Muslim Brotherhood, the non-jihadist Sunnis no longer believe that the prolongation of the Palestinian jihad against Israel is in their interest.

Egypt and Jordan have already experienced the spillover of the Palestinian jihad. Hamas has carried out attacks in Egypt. The Palestinian jihad nearly destroyed Lebanon and Jordan. Egypt and Saudi Arabia now view Israel as a vital ally in their war against the Sunni jihadists and their struggle against Iran and its hegemonic ambitions. They recognize that Israeli action against Sunni and Shi’ite jihadists in Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran serves the interests of non-jihadi Sunnis. And, especially after the recent conflict in Gaza, they realize that the incessant Palestinian campaign against Israel ultimately strengthens the jihadist enemies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia like Hamas.

Apparently, Sisi’s offer to Abbas is an attempt to help the Palestinian people and take the Palestinian issue out of the hands of Palestinian jihadists.

Unfortunately for Sisi and his fellow non-jihadist Sunnis, Abbas is having none of this.

In rejecting Sisi’s offer Abbas stood true to his own record, to the legacies of every Palestinian leader since Nazi agent [the "Grand Mufti"] Haj Amin el-Husseini, and to the declared strategic goal of his own Fatah party and his coalition partners in Hamas.

Since Husseini invented the Palestinians in the late 1920s, their leaders’ primary goals have never been the establishment of a Palestinian state or improving the lives of Palestinians. Their singular goal has always been the destruction of the Jewish state, (or state-in-themaking before 1948).

Sisi offered to end Palestinian suffering and provide the Palestinians with the land they require to establish a demilitarized state. Abbas rejected it because he is only interested hurting Israel. If Israel is not weakened by their good fortune, then the Palestinians should continue to suffer.

For Israel, Sisi’s proposal is a windfall.

First of all, it indicates that the Egyptian-Saudi- UAE decision to back Israel against Hamas in Operation Protective Edge was not a fluke. It was part of an epic shift in their strategic assessments.

And if their regimes survive, their assessments are unlikely to change so long as Iran and the Sunni jihadists continue to threaten them.

This means that for the first time since Israel allied with Britain and France against Egypt in 1956, Israel can make strategic plans as part of a coalition.

Second, Sisi’s plan is good for Israel on its merits.

The only way to stabilize the situation in Gaza and comprehensively defeat Hamas and the rest of the terrorist armies there is by expanding Gaza. …

Sisi’s plan is a boon for Israel as well because it calls Abbas’s bluff.

Abbas is genuflected to by the US and the EU who insist that he is a moderate. The Israeli Left insists that he is the only thing that stands between Israel and destruction.

Yet here we see him openly acknowledging that from a strategic perspective, he is no different from the last of the jihadists. He prefers to see his people … without a state to call their own, than to see Israel benefit in any way.

Abbas’s rejection of Sisi’s offer demonstrates yet again that he and his Fatah comrades are the problem, not the solution.Continued faith in the PLO as a partner in peace and moderation is foolish and dangerous. He would rather see Hamas and Iran flourish than share a peaceful future with Israel.

The only reason that Abbas is able to continuously reject all offers of statehood and an end to Palestinian suffering, while expanding his diplomatic war against Israel and supporting his coalition partner’s terror war, is because the US and Europe continue to blindly support him.

The final way that Sisi’s offer helps Israel is by showing the futility of the West’s strategy of supporting Abbas.

According to Army Radio’s report, both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration have been briefed on the Egyptian plan. The Americans reportedly support it. …

Obama supports Sisi’s plan? What has he said about it? We wait to see how the media reports Sisi’s offer, Abbas’s rejection of it, and Obama’s reaction to it. 

Sisi’s offer is a challenge to the US and Europe.

Sisi’s offer shows Washington and Brussels that to solve the Palestinian conflict with Israel, they need to stand with Israel, even if this means abandoning Abbas.

If they do so, they can take credit for achieving their beloved two-state solution. If they fail to do so, they will signal that their primary goal is not peace, but something far less constructive.

The Nazis of our time 0

The admirable Douglas Murray is interviewed intelligently on Canadian TV about the pro-Hamas anti-Israel protests erupting in the capitals of Europe.

Posted under Britain, Canada, Commentary, Europe, Islam, Israel, middle east, Muslims, nazism, News, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 27, 2014

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UN watch 4

July 23, 2014. The United Nations holds an emergency session on the battle in Gaza as the Israeli Defense Force destroys the invasion-tunnels and rocket bases of the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas.

Delegates from countries that specialize in mass murder, such as Sudan, Syria, Cuba, and Iran, accuse Israel of “war crimes”. Most of the rest of the world’s delegates are on the terrorists’ side too.

A lone voice defends Israel, and accuses its accusers. It is the voice of Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

The United Nations must be destroyed.

R too D to leave you free 5

When all the news is depressing or fearful, it’s great to have a good laugh. Even if the laugh is a trifle hysterical.

We laughed that sort of laugh at this story from the Washington Free Beacon:

The National Science Foundation has committed $10 million to build robots that will act as “personal trainers” for children, in an effort to influence their behavior and eating habits.

The government has spent $2.15 million so far for the five-year project, which is being led by Yale University. The project, “Robots Helping Kids,” will ultimately “deploy” robots into homes and schools to teach English as a second language, and encourage kids to exercise.

The project will develop a “new breed of sophisticated socially assistive’ robots, designed to help children learn to read, appreciate physical fitness, overcome cognitive disabilities, and perform physical exercises”, according to a news release by Yale University …

“Just like a good personal trainer, we want the robots to be able to guide the child toward a behavior that we desire,” said Brian Scassellati, a computer science professor at Yale and principal investigator for the study. “What we want to do is move these robots out of the laboratory and into schools and homes and clinics, places where we can directly help children on a day-to-day basis,” he said. …

“The need for this technology is driven by critical societal problems that require sustained, personalized support that supplements the efforts of educators, parents, and clinicians,” the [NSA providers of] the grant said.  

Scassellati envisions the robots influencing nearly every aspect of children’s lives.

“We want them to help children learn language, we want to help them learn better eating habits, we want them to learn new social or cognitive skills through their interactions with these robots,” he said. …

Social skills with robots. Interaction with robots who must therefore, presumably, also have social skills. This truly is a brave new world!

Of course kids will probably love having a robot as a pet and companion. Better than a doll or a stuffed bear!

But will the robot be sending info back to a mad professor or the state? We guess so. “He didn’t eat his salad today.” “She quarreled with a classmate.”

The kids will be in the constant presence of a spy. Nurturing a serpent in their little bosoms.

The project is seeking to create robots that could be personal companions to children for up to a year. Scassellati said he wants to “build a healthy relationship of trust and respect between the child and the robot.”

Respectful robots! They may spy on you, but they’ll do it respectfully.

“At the end of five years we’d like to have robots that can guide a child toward long-term educational goals, be customized for the particular needs of that child, and basically grow and develop with the child,” he said. “We want the robot to be the equivalent of a good personal trainer.”

The NSF has allotted $10 million for the study through 2017. The grant is one of the highest amounts the agency dispenses.

The University of Southern California, MIT, Stanford, and Tufts University are listed as partners for the project. Willow Garage, a personal robotics company, is also participating in the research. …

We bet they are. Most lucratively.

Scassellati said the robots would “not replace” humans, but provide additional attention and guidance for children. The research is focusing on both “regularly developing children and those with social or cognitive deficits.” Some of Scassellati’s prior research has focused on how robots can help kids with Autism.

Did you think the do-good factor, the “help” because “we care” factor would be missing? The state always exercises totalitarian control only for your own good.

“If we’re successful in this, we think we can make a real difference in the lives of children,” he said.

We don’t doubt it for a moment. The personal robot scheme will serve the government’s indoctrination purposes much better even than compulsory pre-kindergarten schooling could. Now the state will be with you 24/7. You’ll have no secrets from it. It’ll  be in bed with you, at the table with you, in the bathroom with you, at school with you. And it will be fun!  This is how you’ll come to love Big Brother.

“And we think that we can produce some of the most interesting, the most engaging, and the most competent social robots that we’ve ever seen.”

You could make them pretty too, Brian. The things could have the look of this or that Hollywood star, for instance.

Considering the official prurience of the state these days, they will very likely be programmed to teach the kids practical sex. No holds barred, of course. (Sado-masochism is strongly advised by state-supported institutions right now.)

Loads of fun for the next generation coming up! Who said that the age of American vision ended with the close of its space exploration?

And – parents – note that the interesting, engaging, competent companion of your kid will not need feeding. It won’t consume the teeniest bite of the arugula, kale, broccoli, coarse bread and dandelion tea that it will prescribe for you and yours.

Brace yourselves for its constant (respectful) criticism though. It will be there to keep you in line too. Can’t risk your preferences or bad influence of any sort undoing its good work.

Nuclear armed terrorists? 3

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.

How difficult?

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?

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Iran, Iraq, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, News, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 10, 2014

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The name of the problem 2

Here is a news video of citizens rising in revolt on “Independence weekend” – a fitting time to choose.

Some residents of Murrieta, California – a small “bedroom” town of 106,000 – protest against 140 illegal immigrants from Central America, some of them sick with infectious diseases, being brought in buses from the border and dumped on them by federal agents.

The problem needs to be fixed at a federal level, says Alan Long, the mayor of Murrieta. “The problem is in Washington, D.C.”

Right. And its name is Obama.

Three murdered by Hamas, bill to US taxpayers 1

The bodies of the three teenagers, two Israeli and one American, who were captured by Hamas on June 12, have been found murdered.

Their names were Naftali Fraenkel, 16, (the US citizen), Gil-ad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19.

The US continues to fund Hamas.

So does the EU.

Obama administration a reign of monsters 1


PIED-PIPER

Once again we display the picture of Obama as the Pied Piper, bringing a stream of children from distant parts into the United States.

Why? Because the Obama Gang in charge of America actually did bring a stream of children over the border. Obama abducted 65,000 children. Organized the abduction and paid for it (with taxpayers’ money). 

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker reports this smoking-gun news:

The Obama administration’s claim to have been surprised by the wave of children flooding over our borders may turn out to be another political lie of the year.

Sundance of Conservative Treehouse noticed a very peculiar advertisement:

On January 29th of this year, the federal government posted an advertisement seeking bids for a vendor contract to handle “Unaccompanied Alien Children“. Not just any contract mind you, but a very specific contract – for a very specific number of unaccompanied minors: 65,000.

Why would DHS and ICE be claiming “surprise” by the current influx of unaccompanied minors on the border in June, when they were taking bids for an exact contract to handle the exact situation in January?

Secondly, how could they possibly  anticipate 65,000 unaccompanied minors would be showing up at the border, when the most ever encountered in a previous year was 5,000 total?

The bid specifics are even more suspicious:

The Contractor shall provide unarmed escort staff, including management, supervision, manpower, training, certifications, licenses, drug testing, equipment, and supplies necessary to provide on-demand escort services for non-criminal/non-delinquent unaccompanied alien children ages infant to 17 years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year. Transport will be required for either category of UAC or individual juveniles, to include both male and female juveniles.There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total: 25% local ground transport, 25% via ICE charter and 50% via commercial air.

In addition, the Contractor shall have personnel who are able to communicate with juveniles in their own designated language(s).

Link to the ad here.

Is this a plan to overwhelm the welfare system of the US? A further effort to engineer total breakdown of the economy?

Even our deeply disgusted view of Obama has proved to be too lenient. He is capable of greater evil than even we had thought.

They abducted the children from their homes. They pretended that it was legal for them to enter the US. The misleading news spread and more and more children were drawn to start on the long road to the US border. Whatever care the  paid agents were supposed to exercise during the migration of the children, we know it has been insufficient. Not all have been transported over ground or by air. Many have travelled alone, and many have died on the journey. Many have have been abused, forced into prostitution, and some of them have been killed.

This is not just bad government by bad people. It  is a reign of monsters.

The battle for Baghdad 7

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 … ?

Posted under Civil war, Commentary, Iran, Iraq, Islam, jihad, Muslims, News, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 12, 2014

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